'Idol' Rocks Out

Does the fact that "American Idol" has raised at least $70 million for needy children make it less or more cringe-inducing that show host Ryan Seacrest introduces judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell as the show's "three needy children."

Does the fact that some of the recipients of the money will be children still left homeless nearly two years after Hurricane Katrina make it less or more cringe-inducing that President Bush appeared on "Idol" via video with First Lady Laura Bush, looking like rouged characters out of the French aristocracy from the let-them-eat-cake era, to thank 'Idol' viewers for coughing up some of that $70 mil.

There is so much to chew over as the Idolettes paid tribute to the music of Bon Jovi on "American Idol." Including "Why are they paying tribute to the music of Bon Jovi?"

Phil Stacey is first at bat -- thrilled to sing "Blaze of Glory," which, he says, he'd practiced for 15 years in front of the mirror using his comb as a microphone which is ironic, seeing as how Phil is bald. Simon -- the only judge worth listening to -- says Phil looks like he's playing at being a rocker.

We are prepared for Jordin Sparks to stink doing "Livin' on a Prayer" because Jon Bon Jovi seems skeptical during the pre-performance taped bit. But the Addams Family get-up, as Simon calls her look, takes us by surprise. Simon has lots of other negative things to say about her performance, only she totally disarms him by enthusiastically agreeing with everything he says.

The show producers, Ryan, the judges -- everyone works overtime to make LaKisha Jones look good tonight -- odd, since they've been putting her down for weeks. First, she gets to answer one of those Coca Cola Questions -- or are they Ford Questions -- about whether she's had any formal vocal training. Nope, she just sings in church, she responds, which makes her talent seem all the more impressive.

During the pre-performance taped bit, LaKisha says she has never listened to Bon Jovi tunes, though she has "seen him on 'Oprah'." Oh, snap!

LaKisha sings "This Ain't a Love Song" which is one of her better song choices. Bon Jovi bets she's not going home this week. "LaKisha I actually could kiss you after that," Simon says. Ryan leads LaKisha down to Simon, who kisses her, leaving his lips covered in her lip gloss, which he keeps trying to wipe away while saying "What I love -- you rose to the challenge. You absolutely nailed it and I'm so glad, because you are back" adding "Nice lips -- loved them."

With Sanjaya Malakar out of the competition, Blake makes his move to take over the hair franchise, dying his chocolate-frosting brown. After being bottled up a couple weeks, Blake has once again released his inner beat-box boy for his performance of Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name." Bon Jovi is skeptical; it sounds like two songs mashed together. But the judges give it a big thumbs up, including Simon, who said that half the crowd will hate it, but Blake needs to take risks to stay in the competition.

Chris Richardson does a Little League Arena League rendition of "Wanted Dead or Alive." Simon says he's not sure Chris will survive. (Two Idolettes are going home Wednesday because none went home last week, in the spirit of the "Idol Gives Back" fundraiser.)

Finally, Melinda Doolittle is once again doing her "All About Eve" routine. Gushing modesty, this time she says she doesn't think she could possibly sing a rock song. Which she then does, and more professionally than any of the other contestants, who must hate her by now, in a Bette Davis way.

Editor's note: For more on last night's "American Idol," read Lisa's TV column.

By Maura McCarthy  |  May 2, 2007; 8:09 AM ET "American Idol"
Previous: 'Idol' Gives Back, We Give Up | Next: It's Not About Winning


Please email us to report offensive comments.

I dont think beat-boxing is all that contemporary. I remember my daughter and one of her friends trying to perfect their beat boxing noises when they were in high scholl, and she graduated in 1991!

Posted by: washington, DC | May 2, 2007 8:35 AM

THANK YOU for pointing out the absurdity of having the Bushes speak last night. I was just stunned - if his administration had their act together, some of that money wouldn't need to go to the Katrina victims!

Sorry for the political comment on this non-political blog!

Oh and FWIW, Livin' on a Prayer should only be sung while drunk and scream singing, unless you are actually Bon Jovi.

Posted by: Betty | May 2, 2007 8:57 AM

I missed the Bushes last night ... must of being taking a poop ... oh well, maybe I didn't miss it. Blake really shined as a performer who can do more than just sing (ie, I think he knows MUSIC).

Posted by: Bill Monroe | May 2, 2007 9:01 AM

mmmmmm, maybe we should just celebrate that Jon still looks fine. F.I.N.E. fine. But then again, I still think Simon Le Bon looks hot. Maybe it's a Bon problem.

Posted by: Phillygal | May 2, 2007 9:19 AM

No formal training, LaKisha? What about that official AI website where you state:
"I have training in classical and opera."

Hmm. Someone's pants are on fire.

Posted by: Namaste | May 2, 2007 9:24 AM

Hooray, an All About Eve reference! Lisa rocks.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2007 9:29 AM

First time I have read your blog and found not to be completely negative about AI. Impressive some would say. Maybe you actually enjoyed yourself for once!!

Posted by: HappyDad | May 2, 2007 9:37 AM

OK being a Bon Jovi fan for the last 20 years I gotta say I was very impressed w/some & cringed @ others.

Jordin, Chris & Phil to be precise in the cringe-inducing arena.

Lakisha picked well & it was nice to see someone choose a non-hit Bon Jovi song.

Phillygal, Jon ALWAYS looks hot, even on bad days he's still smokin' hot. I just wish he'd grow his chest hair back.

Just for the record Phil, AI & all the other non-Jovi freaks, technically "Blaze of Glory" is a JON BON JOVI song NOT a Bon Jovi song.

Posted by: Bored @ work | May 2, 2007 9:40 AM

When I first heard that last night's idol was going to feature Bon Jovi music, I held my breath.

However, I was pleasantly surprised. They were better (for the most part) then I expected.

The best performance in my book was Lakisha's but I don't think she will last until next week.

Jordin's performance wasn't that great but she will be safe.

Posted by: Newyork Girl | May 2, 2007 9:41 AM

Jordin completely turned me off last night. First, she shows her immaturity in musical selection. Then she CANNOT SHUT UP while the judges are critiquing her! The more she talks the more I dislike her.

Yeah beat boxing isn't necessarily contemporary, but I think Blake did something with that song that NONE of the current contestants could do even if they tried.

The other contestants can sing, but they aren't anything special.

Posted by: VA AI Watcher | May 2, 2007 9:45 AM

Chris: Although he looks like Justin Timberlake ( that's why I voted for him), he leaves tonight.
Phil: The man is creepy no matter what song he sings. He stays.
Jordin: Leaves tonight. Her singing "Livin' on a Prayer" was awful. Actually, no one can sing this song well, but Jon.
Blake: I like the hair color. He had to let his inner beat box out at some point. He stays
LaKisha: Had nothing to lose so she went for it and was good. She stays
Melinda: She lied and she stays.

Posted by: Lisa1 | May 2, 2007 9:46 AM

I nearly choked when Seacrest referred to the judges as AI's "three needy children." How insulting!! Although, I think it is fantastic they raised $70 million.

Seeing W and Laura almost made me throw up my bagel. They couldn't have been more insincere. Truly, if the President really cared, he would be taking care of the residents affected by Katrina and stop bombing Iraq. (Sorry to be political in this light-hearted entertainment blog...but it is the truth.)

I thought Blake was amazing...I was starting to worry that he lost himself during the past few weeks. It's great to see him back.

Posted by: lilysue | May 2, 2007 9:54 AM

Kinda interesting going from Chris singing "Wanted Dead or Alive" at 8:40pm to hearing JBJ singing it as the "Deadliest Catch" theme song at 9pm.

Buh bye Chris and KiKi.

Was Ryan referring to Jordin or Simon when he made the Herman Munster comment?

What is Melinda doing with this bunch of PopTart wannabees?

Posted by: Rob Iola | May 2, 2007 9:54 AM

Loved Blake last night! Wish Jordin had sung something else but I still like her voice. Not fond of Melinda's song choices in the past - last night she rocked! My two choices for going home tonight are Chris and Lakisha (though Lakisha did really well last night).

Posted by: Milwaukee | May 2, 2007 9:58 AM

if chris does NOT go home tonight, i'll scream. and honestly, bush made a complete ass of himself. not that this is difficult for him to do. i wonder how much money HE donated?

Posted by: love to hate AI | May 2, 2007 10:11 AM


What did Melinda lie about?

Posted by: Ron in Reston | May 2, 2007 10:17 AM

Kiki and Chris will probably go tonight. Jordin should have enough good will built up to survive one horrible performance, right?

Blake was good and I actually liked Phil.

Melinda is light years more talented than any of the others. Light years.

Posted by: hoos30 | May 2, 2007 10:22 AM

Melinda said "she couldn't sing a rock song". She knew damn well she can sing a rock song and anything else.

Posted by: Lisa1 | May 2, 2007 10:45 AM

I guess I am the only person in America that liked Jordin's rendition of Livin on a Prayer. Don't get me wrong I thought the get up looked awful. But I did not think her singing was half bad. Since I seem to be the only one that liked her, she is probably doomed.

Posted by: Jeff | May 2, 2007 10:53 AM

Of course the Bushes were on Idol! Fox News is written by and for the Republicans, so Fox Entertainment had to add "credibility" to their $70million fundraising. Besides, he needed to appear on a show that is ultimately more popular than he is. I would suggest that should W do this in the future he have a reasonable exit strategy. Lame scripted jokes are not enough to save something that may have started as well intentioned.

that aside...toddle-oo to Chris, and likely to LaKisha. I'm sure she would have been gone last week, and although she did good, it isn't going to be enough to get her out of the hole she dug herself into last week.

Posted by: CJ | May 2, 2007 11:01 AM

It really should be Phil and Chris going home - LaKisha is far more talented than either one. If she puts out a record of the song she sang last night, I will buy it. I really think Chris has had more bad performances than she has, but for some reason those judges like him more. His voice is so awful. Even though I was a teenager when Bon Jovi was at its peak, I never really liked them. Oh boy, but how hot has Jon Bon Jovi been the last five or so years? Those teeth. . .I think I might have to go buy my first Bon Jovi album today. . .oh yea, they are CDs now. . .ha ha

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2007 11:04 AM

Why is Melinda even on this show? Isn't she already a professional? I always thought this show was for amateurs.

I like Jordin, but she was awful last night.

I thought Blake's beat box thing was just ridiculous. But the best line was "16 measures of not singing on a show that is a singing competition"

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2007 11:07 AM

I think Jordin is safe this week because she did well last week. last week, DialIdol.com said she "won" the night. If 70M votes were cast last week and only, say, 40M this week, she'd still be safe. I also didn't think her performance was "nightmarish" or whatever the judges said, but it wasn't as good as LaKisha, Melinda, or Blake. Blake's performance was more about performing than singing, but it didn't matter. It was "da bomb!" (And I loved that Simon LeBon-inspried hairstyle. Jon Bon Jovi and Simon LeBon in one night. How much more can this 30-something-year-old mom take? Yummy!)

Posted by: Rockville mom | May 2, 2007 11:11 AM

How dare the Head of State intrude on our mindless entertainment? And, while we're at it, let's blame him for Mother Nature and shortcomings of state and local governments. Cheney must have been in on it!

And it's all Bush's fault that Jordin stunk last night!

Seriously, get a grip people.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2007 11:26 AM

Let's all say Bye Bye Bye to Justin Timberfake tonight. Toss up on the other dearly departed ... Jordin for butchering up last night's song or LaKisha? Love me my KiKi ... I'm so over Jordin.

Posted by: *N'Sync Wannabe | May 2, 2007 12:43 PM

So exactly what did Blake do last night? Oh yeah, he beat boxed, danced and generally mangled a rock anthem! Since this is a SINGING competition I'm with Bon Jovi. He should have left out the glitz and sung the song. Oh that's right, he did try to fit some singing in there...and proved he can't. But at least it wasn't "nasal", LOL!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2007 1:14 PM

My main issue with Bush's remarks was the fact that Laura mentioned that children will have health insurance because of AI! While Bush cuts Medicaid and other CHIP programs. Infuriating.

Posted by: question 123 | May 2, 2007 1:22 PM

I voted for Chris Richardson only because he is a homeboy of mine. I agree with most everyone else posting here that his performance was OK but not spectacular like Melinda's. I guess if he is voted off tonight my vote will shift to Melinda!

Posted by: EricL | May 2, 2007 1:48 PM

LOVELY . . INSINCERE HYPOcrical Bush Bashers - Any and Every opportunity - huh?

Yup everyone is a victim - katrina victims? So the only people who are Victims of weather tragedies are those that are in big storms and do nothing to prepare? More money went to Kat than thousands of other incidents like the hundreds of floods and storms that destroy peoples property and DO NOT get paid for by the rest of the taxpayers. Emailed a former colleague from N.O. asked how he/his family "weathered" the storm - "not bad" he wrote - "EVERYONE who'd ever lived there KNEW to GET OUT if a hurricane was coming". So the hospital bound/invalids may have an excuse, but most . . . PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY - along with the avg tens of thousands dollars spent (already) per person/"victim" should have gone a LONG way.
Oh I forgot - not only did Bush blow up the Trade Centers - he had the navy redirect the storm (and lower the city of NO). ;-o

Posted by: Yeah President Bush | May 2, 2007 1:55 PM

Melinda is a professional. She's toured for years as a backup singer and has even recorded some songs. There is nothing fresh about her. I wonder how AI is going to market her as a superstar if she wins? I see her doing well on R&B stations (or even pop rock stations) that cater to older adults, but she won't be a hit for people my age.

LaKisha was my favorite last night. She sang with incredible passion and it's the best she's been in weeks. It's the first time I haven't been disappointed in her since Stormy Weather (even then, the "ain't no sunshine when he's gone..." part irritated me). Anyway, she deserves to be there another week. The three ladies should be the final three but I think Blakerated will make be there instead of LaKisha.

Dial Idol has both Melinda and LaKisha in jeopardy tonight. Shame.

Posted by: JustMe | May 2, 2007 1:57 PM

For those people with the misperception that this is a show for amateurs, it is not. It is a show for undiscovered talent. Although Melinda has been a professional BACKUP singer, she is looking to start a career as a feature/star performer. The public has no idea who most of the backup performers are unless they have some reputation on their own (and how many people can name more than two backup singers by name?). There have been many people that have been singing professionally that have been on the show. Daughtry, Sligh, and Glockson were all singers in bands (that got paid) before they came on the show. Scarnato was a singer for gigs (like weddings and special events, etc) before the show. Rogers was also a professional backup singer. Thomas Blake (who was in the Hollywood round this season, but didn't make the semi-finals) used to be a professional in the UK, then emigrated to the US as a student because it was the only way to get a Visa.

The point is this is a way to get discovered as a solo/feature artist and earn a recording contract. Probably the only rule is that someone cannot already be contracted to a recording label at the time. And already discovered talent isn't going to sign their firstborn to the AI franchise. Otherwise, anyone who is willing to become part of the AI machine is fodder to audition for the show.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | May 2, 2007 3:38 PM

I am so glad they got LaKisha out of those unflattering evening gowns. Trying to channel her inner Shirley Bassey didn't serve her very well for weeks.

After fast forwarding through the "Dancing with the Stars" elimination show, I've decided that in future, AI should do a Meatloaf night. Hey - Meatloaf has a new single to promote - and Phil Stacy would be perfect for "Bat out of Hell" I, II or III. If only Sanjaya were still there to sport a ruffled shirt and red silk hankie. Either Melinda or LaKisha would probably do real justice to the "girl" part of "Paradise by the Dashboard Light". And if Blake tried to beatbox Meatloaf, maybe Meatloaf would just sit on him.

Posted by: Jean | May 2, 2007 5:16 PM

Yeah President Bush -- um, I think O'Reilly's blog is on the Fox web site.

JBJ is still hot. He's the anti-Eddie Van Halen. Rockville Mom -- I'm totally with you -- Livin' on a Prayer was hot my senior year of high school -- last night bought back memories (especially with Paradise on the Dashboard Lights Meatloaf on DTWS afterwards!!)

Some of my Lakisha love came back last night, but I think Simon's love for Kiki was stronger!!

Jordin was a mess -- and it dawned on me when she was singing that she wasn't even born when this song came out, so I figured she couldn't truly relate. Even so, I think she's still got a great chance of winning.

Not sure what they are doing differently with Melinda's hair, but she's looking GOOD -- I can see her neck!! She's head and shoulders above everyone else and I think Simon is right: it's like she's in another competition. I loves me my Mindy Doo.

Blake -- Simon was absolutely right -- one either loved it or hated it. I was on the hate side. That song just shouldn't be done that way.

I never really enjoyed Justin Timberfake, so I won't miss him. I just don't know who else is going this week... but since it's Wed night, I'm about to find out.

Posted by: tyeinmd | May 2, 2007 9:26 PM

Yes, it's a good night. Timberfake is gone. Alien Boy has left the building.

Posted by: *N'Sync wannabe | May 2, 2007 10:32 PM

Thank God LaKisha lives to sing another week. Hopefully she brings it again next and Blake gets the boot. But he just got a crapload of votes from Chris' fanbase so we'll see how that goes.

Posted by: JustMe | May 3, 2007 12:48 AM

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