All Hail 'Imperial Idol'
"American Idol" producers finally threw off the pretense they're doing a nice little singing competition and revealed the show for what it has become: "Imperial Idol" -- a bloated, overproduced, marketing barge on which the show's judges, host and contestants are being forced to row faster and faster.
There's no time for small talk on "Imperial Idol."
You say you're hoarse LaKisha? Can't chat now -- gotta cut to commercial.
You want to explain, Jordin, why, though you are only 17, judge Simon Cowell thinks you look and sound like an aged beauty-pageant queen? Sorry, gotta run -- love ya!
Reading the phone numbers that viewers were supposed to call in order to vote for their favorite Idolette, as the show progressed host Ryan Seacrest sounded more and more like a voiceover artist reading, rapid-fire, the possible side effects disclaimer at the tail end of a pharmaceutical ad.
"I'm Not Finished!" Simon roared after being cut off just as he was getting rolling on his comments about Idolette Blake Lewis.
"We've got a lot to do," Ryan told Simon apologetically, adding "We'll get back to you.
By cutting off the judges and competitors, "Imperial Idol" producers were able to squeeze in both Coca Cola-presented viewer questions for the Idolettes. At least that segment revealed to viewers more of the much missed creepy side of Idolette Melinda Doolittle, who once told us that if one of her hands gets cold she is compelled to touch something cold with the other hand very quickly lest the wheels come off the universe.
This week we learned from her that on the first album she ever bought, Michael Jackson's "Bad," her mother crossed out the title and wrote in "Good."
Later, showing she's her mother's daughter, Melinda told guest coach Barry Gibb she would sing his song "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" but planned to change the lyrics -- we think it was the part about "How can a loser ever win?" -- because she's been very careful not to sing any song about being a loser on the competition.
Judges and contestants were pushed out of the way in a mad dash to banter with Judge Judy, who was in the audience and who rushed Simon and kissed him after Ryan said she and Simon had been separated at birth. Ryan then added that the two were also dating. We'll think about that tomorrow.
The Judge Judy bit was a real headscratcher, given that her show is produced by CBS, not Fox network's parent, NewsCorp.
There was also plenty of on-air time for Barry Gibb, who we're going to find out from Ryan on Wednesday's results show either a) has a new CD or b) is going on tour.
Editor's note: For more on last night's "American Idol," read Lisa's TV column.
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