'American Idol' Chicks: Goin' for the Sweeney
With David Archuleta pretty much stealing the show on guys night -- he was recognized with the competition's very first Crazy Paula Wants to Squeeze Your Head Off and Hang Your Body From Her Rearview Mirror Award, a.k.a. The Sweeney -- it's up to the 10 remaining girls to see whether they can make that kind of magic happen twice in one week on "American Idol."
But first, Ryan Seacrest announces that judge Randy Jackson wears a size 13-1/2 shoe, demonstrating once again why Seacrest is so going to win the TV academy's very first Primetime Emmy Award for Best Performance by a Reality Series Host this fall. I know, it's not a Sweeney, but it's still an honor.
The 10 remaining "Idol" chicks are, like the guys, stuck with songs from the '70s -- when their parents were going through puberty. And, like the guys, they must reveal One Thing America Might Not Know About Them.
What don't we already know about Irish singer Carly Smithson? We know about the record deal, the $2.2 million spent trying to launch her debut album, the sales so stupendously bad the Wall Street Journal wrote a whole article about it, her first tryout on "Idol," botched visa, very sad, tattoo-artist husband. What could possibly be left?
Ah, she works in an Irish bar and loves to make up the bed in her house. Good to know. She sings Heart's "Crazy on You" and continues to be the best chick singer this year. Randaula likes it; Simon says. "You are an incredible singer. I don't think any of these girls can touch you vocally."
Syesha Mercado thinks we'll be surprised to learn she has done TV commercials -- nope, it was all over the Internet -- and that she does this creepy imitation of a baby crying, which she demonstrates. Okay, that was surprising.
She sings "Me and Mrs. Jones" only, of course, she sings it "Me and Mr. Jones," which totally does not work because "Mr." does not convey that the guy's married like "Mrs." does. And her voice gets too itty-bitty during the soft bits. No Sweeney for her, say Randaula and Simon.
Brooke White confesses she went to "beauty school" and can cut hair and when she sees people walking around she wonders what she could do with their hair. This is utterly surprising, given how bad her hair looked during the auditions phase -- before the show's hair stylists got hold of it and at least found a part somewhere, and did something with those elementary-school bangs.
She sings "You're So Vain," while playing the guitar, which the band tries to drown out. Occasionally she hits the right note; at one point she forgets how to play the guitar and stops. Randaula loves it, thinking she was addressing the song to Simon; Simon loves it for the same reason. Seacrest makes a comment, in re Simon, about how when you are that vain and you hear a song about being so vain, you're vain enough to like it. This borders dangerously on what is known in some circles as "being a horse's heinie," which would put at risk Seacrest's lock on the Primetime Emmy Award for Best Performance by a Reality Series Host -- a new category Variety says probably will be added this year.
Ramiele Malubay reveals she learned to do Polynesian dances as a child, then sings "Don't Leave Me This Way," which, of course, has all of two notes in it, though she sings those two notes well. Randaula notices this, as does Simon, who says the song has been forever ruined for him, not by the fact it's horrid but by having been sung so many times at so many "ghastly weddings." You know, weddings with '70s disco themes. Simon gets around, apparently. He tosses Ramiele a bone -- she's one of the three best singers in the competition (he's already declared David Archuleta and Carly Smithson the other two) -- but no Sweeney.
Kristy Lee Cook thinks we'll be surprised to learn she's a tomboy. Given she's already told us she rides horses and kickboxes or something like that, the surprising thing to learn is that she thinks this is surprising. We'll give you a minute to re-read that.
Anyway, she sings "You're No Good" while doing her signature deep-knee-bend squatty thing that is so offputting. On the other hand, she's got a great hair-flipping technique and the best shoes on the show this season, so she's sure to get lots of guy votes.
And the show's producers apparently learned their lesson from the week they gave Jolly Rancher Blue Raspberry candies to the Idolettes to soothe sore throats, which turned all their tongues blue, setting off some kind of mini-hysteria on "Idol" blogs. They have switched to something that turns Kristy's tongue bright red, which is so much less creepy.
Randaula gives her props, as does Simon. Seacrest and Kristy chat a bit about how last week she was very sick, "on so much medication," something about being hardly able to stand up and "five antibiotics," which, gotta say -- really chilling.
Amanda Overmyer -- this week made up like Yvonne De Carlo on "The Munsters" -- gets mowed over by her song, "Carry on My Wayward Son." And if they thought Jason Yeager looked like he was drunk dancing on stage the night before, then Amanda's in the final throes of alcohol poisoning. Randaula tells her to go back to being Janis Joplin and take off about a pound of makeup; Simon says her hair is terrible and the song is ugly.
Oh, and the thing we might not know about her? She's a bookworm -- "one of those 'knowledge is power' kind of people," she says; mostly reads biographies of "rock icons that I like."
Pretty teen Alaina Whitaker, turns out, is this season's obsessive-compulsive. Remember last season's Melinda Doolittle who, if her right hand got cold, had to make sure her left hand got cold? Well, Alaina doesn't like the foods on her plate to touch each other. "I definitely try to put my food on, you know, sides, but the worst kind of food is, like, when there's, you know, like green beans and there's, like kind of juice and it kind of flows to the other side . . . I don't like it. It's something that started when I was really little. I actually used a different fork for each food." She says she's "gotten better, so maybe in a few years I won't have the problem."
We try to focus while she sings "Hopelessly Devoted to You" but she's not that good and we're still reeling from the OC news. It wasn't Randy's fave; Simon accuses her of having a grandmother for a stylist and manager. Paula tells Alaina she'd like to "mess you up a little" but stops short of saying she'd like to pull her head off and hang her body from her rearview mirror. So close!
Alexandrea Lushington's one bit of news was that she sang at Ground Zero a couple of months after September 11. She sings "If You Leave Me Now," which is the week's oddest song choice. Randaula and Simon think so, too. Simon says the song is "stuck in its time period." Yes, the '70s. Which is the whole point of the week, last we checked.
Kady Malloy apparently can not only do dead-on imitations of Britney Spears and other pop messes but also sings opera. Seriously. Which explains why her version of "Magic Man" sounds like Britney trying to sing opera. Randaula and Simon are frustrated by her inability to be as cute in person as when she is when imitating Britney.
And, finally, Asia'H Epperson reveals she was a cheerleader. I knew it! Randaula like it a lot but Simon tells her she's not a good enough singer for "one of the ultimate diva songs of all time" and should not have attempted it.
Seacrest notes that had she not taken the risk, Simon might have had something negative to say about playing it too safe. Simon says, "You've got to know your limitations, Ryan -- something you managed to do quite well in your career." Randy tells them to "keep it to the scene, guys, come on!" But Seacrest can't resist telling Simon, "Towards the end of yours, you've accomplished a lot too" -- virtually handing this fall's Primetime Emmy Award for Best Performance by a Reality Series Host to Jeff Probst.
Lisa de Moraes
February 28, 2008; 7:07 AM ET
Previous: 'American Idol' Guys: 10 Things We Didn't Know About You | Next: 'American Idol': And Then There Were 16
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