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'American Idol': Eight Chicks on Embarrassment

On "American Idol" it's the chicks' turn to tackle songs from the '80s -- a decade judge Paula Abdul is reminded was big for her. The age reference would make most women working in TV very insecure, but Paula's still sucking on whatever crazy juice she got into the previous night and prattles on merrily about all the great songs, the weird clothes and the pompom hairdos she takes credit for making popular.

Host Ryan Seacrest asks judge Simon Cowell who needs to step up tonight. "Everyone. No one's safe."

What follows is the worst night in "Idol" history.

Like the night before for the guys, the chicks were compelled to tape bits about the most embarrassing moment in their entire life -- not really.


Asia'h Epperson (Michael Becker - Fox)

Asia'H Epperson says that would be the time she was an extra on a movie that involved skating and she ran into something . . . .

Oh god, not another Whitney Houston song. How many times must we endure Idolettes flattening the same four Whitney tunes?

Judge Randy Jackson, however, is elated with Asia'H's Whitney Lite version of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" because it allows him to remind us -- again -- he recorded with Whitney. It's hot, Randy says. Paula's eyes already are starting to roll around in her head, a sign of things to come. Simon calls it "second-rate Whitney." Asia'H deflects the insult, saying she's perfectly happy to be a second-rate Whitney. Way to reach for the stars, Asia'H!

Kady Malloy's most embarrassing moment ever was in ninth grade when her music teacher hated a song she sang during an audition and she tripped over the microphone cord. These chicks live large, don't they?

Last week was very intense and emotional for Kady because she was sure she was getting the hook. Having cheated Idol Death, Kady celebrates by singing "Who Wants to Live Forever." It would have been okay had she sung it like Queen, or even Britney, but she sings it like a robot. Again.

Randy observes Queen is really hard to sing. Paula says the tenderness and softness in Kady's voice is where the magic is. Simon still has issues with her "massive lack of personality" and general gloominess. Kady notes the song is sad. But even sad songs can be emotional, Simon shoots back. Simon wins that round.

Kady tells Seacrest she doesn't understand what Simon means in re "massive lack of personality." Seacrest asks Simon what it means. Simon refuses to elaborate. Seacrest says it's going to be a fun hour. He's wrong. He reads the number to call to vote for Kady and Kady winks at the audience.

Amanda Overmyer the Biker Nurse has abandoned her cast-of-"Cats" look this week to perform "Hate Myself for Loving You."

But only after telling us about the time she discovered she'd left the fireplace burning on the deck of her house, and the deck burned down, the side of the house was scorched and the swimming pool melted.

She's better than last week, though she can't stop staring at the floor. Randy says it's the Amanda they fell in love with. Paula says there are so many things she wants to say, starting with Amanda's beautiful face, and she likes her hair. Simon thought it was fantastic and then dares her to smile. Biker Nurse continues to look glum, even in the face of all this praise. My Post colleague Tamara Jones thinks it's because Amanda is coming to the realization she is not going to win this competition but is about to go far enough to be compelled to spend weeks and weeks on tour with the Virgin Nanny and all the other Idolettes, which is like waking up and discovering you've been adopted out to the Partridge Family. We agree.

Carly Smithson, still the best female singer by several laps, was most embarrassed when she got her leg stuck in a railing at a bar and the patrons laughed. She sings "I Drove All Night." Is this the worst crop of songs ever or what?

Randy says she just keeps hitting targets -- boom, boom, boom. Paula says there are not enough adjectives to describe Carly's singing and is reduced to seal clapping her approval. Simon thinks she is a million times better than the song and that she could sing the phone book.

Looking back, Kristy Lee Cook, the Horse Pawner, realizes that her seventh year, which she spent drinking water out of a bowl and walking around on her hands and knees, thinking she was a dog, with her pet rats on her back, was probably her most embarrassing time. It's gonna be hard for anyone to beat that, no matter how many seasons Fox squeezes out of "Idol."

Did you know "Faithfully" should not be done with a "country lilt"? Do now. Randy, however, liked it because it gives him the opportunity to remind us -- again -- he worked with Journey. Paula has started giving Simon a lap dance. But she still has time to tell Kristy she looks great and she, Paula, has nothing but positivity to say about Kristy. Simon liked the country "influence" but the problem is Kristy is forgettable. He's now nicked both hot interchangeable blondes for their lack of personality, which never used to bother him. Heck, two seasons ago, Simon would have said they were the whole "package." Simon clearly has had a bad experience with a pretty blonde.

Ramiele Malubay will never forget the humiliation of fifth grade when she rode her pink bike to this boy's house and dropped off her picture and then crossed the street to see if he'd look at it and he did, only he and his mother laughed at it. Tonight, she flings it back in Nasty Boy's teeth, singing on national television "Take a Look at Me Now."

Randy says she wasn't confident enough vocally. Paula likes her beautiful face and her innocent pure voice and her excess of textures . . . . She becomes distracted by the people in the studio audience, telling them she loves them even if they are mutts, which she also loves. Simon notes Ramiele is little and cute but old-fashioned and he's not jumping out of his seat. Possibly because Paula is nearly on top of him now.

Paula begins to talk about melons -- still draped over Simon.

For Brooke White, the Virgin Nanny, the ultimate in embarrassment was when, as a little girl, she came out of church and flung her arms around her daddy and said she was tired of being in church, only it wasn't Daddy.

Brooke emits a very high-pitched squeak as she sings. Like a dolphin. Flipper's cover of "Love Is a Battlefield." The Navy could use her for sonar tracking of enemy torpedoes. Randy likes it. Paula mentions a music video she choreographed but this confuses herself and finally she admits she doesn't understand what's going on. Simon welcomes her to the club. Simon gives Virgin Nanny mad love for her second "great" performance in a row.

And, finally, Syesha Mercado brings us to tears with her story about a boy she had a crush on in second grade and sent a note in school, with gum enclosed, which the boy chewed while ratting her out. Which brings her around nicely to "Saving All My Love for You" -- yes, another Whitney song. Whitney Lite bookends.

Randy says it's "good." Paula says it's "sophisticated, lovely." Simon calls it "predictable but good." They've obviously been told the show is out of time.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  March 6, 2008; 7:03 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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Next: 'American Idol': Your 12 Finalists

Comments

Seriously.....heard of Tivo? it will prevent much of your weekly pain!

Posted by: happydad | March 6, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Relax and smile Happydad! A morning side of rich, satisfying Pookie Snark is just the thing to go with your coffee and bagel - of course, now I have to call network support after reading "Flipper's cover of 'Love Is a Battlefield'" and snarfing coffee all over my keyboard...

Posted by: Rob Iola | March 6, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Oh my god! This review had me in tears...It's got to be one of the funniest things I've read. She's nailed Paula's behavior right on the head.

Posted by: dm | March 6, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

The song is called "Against All Odds," the theme to the eponymous movie. Not "Take A Look At Me Now," which is a mere verse in the song.

Posted by: the kairosguy | March 6, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I thought Brooke's rendition of "Love is a Battlefield" was very good, enough to get me to vote for her. She was in tune and had a strong depth of voice throughout. I didn't like her very much until that performance. Didn't really notice a "dolphin squeek." What's all that about?

Posted by: Kat | March 6, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

After spending a lifetime in the music business, I can't wait to read Lisa's take on A I each week. Here's the problem, folks. The people doing the screening during the auditions miss many of the really talented people who never get in front of Manny, Moe and Jack. Thus, they get to this stage and you can see the lack of depth in their talents. Lisa, you're a hoot. Keep it up!

Posted by: AS | March 6, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Why do the judges love Amanda Overmeyer??? Yeah she's different but seriously I think she needs to see the ENT doc.

Posted by: hodie | March 6, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I think idol jumped the shark last night. Even 10 year olds in the TV audience must be wondering what's going on at the judging table. Paula is out of control for 2 consecutive nights.

Posted by: Brian Drumm | March 6, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I find it really irritating when Simon traces every song source he doesn't know to Whitney Houston or Celine Dion. "I Drove All Night" was made famous by Cyndi Lauper, whose version was unforgettable. (Apparently it was written for Roy Orbison, who released it after she did.) Many people do NOT listen to Celine Dion's ouvre. Simon needs to develop a wider range of listening tastes.

Posted by: carol | March 6, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I could hardly wait to read Lisa's review of last nights show. Paula was so into her happy juice or whatever she's into. She was the very best part of the show. Lisa you could have written a complete column about the judges. It seemed like Randy and Simon didn't know how to handle Paula so they just joined in the freak show. Best Idol Ever!!!

Posted by: Pb | March 6, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Love the columns, but please have someone at WaPo invest in a Billboard chart book. The correct song titles are "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)"; "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)"; and "I Hate Myself For Loving You".

Posted by: JBK111 | March 6, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Pookey
You are a killer...I'm sorry.I had to vote for Horse Pawner [2]She thought she was a dog at 7 ? Lap dance[s] for Simon.Finally this show is starting to hit its stride...More,more.

Posted by: Ms. LdM fan | March 6, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Really now.... who watches AI for the singing? We watch it for the freaks! Judges included. I'm disappointed with the blonde barbie clones they chose this year (except Brooke because she's a little other worldly) but LOVE the freaks who entertain us as they try to sing like Danny. I guess Amanda fits in that catergory but her voice is sooo grating. Also enough with DIVA wanabees like the Whitney impersonators. What kind of niche will they fit into when it's done? Maybe they can be in the travelling troop of High School Musical

Posted by: hodie | March 6, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

What an example of Paula and Simon's are. The American idol contestants stand there waiting for the judge's constructive criticisms. They are facing millions of young viewers' nation wide topping each other. Are they really wanted to be a judge or just want to show adult life publicly? Do you think they showed any expect to both singers and viewers?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Ok, so I laughed harder at Rob's "snarfing coffee" than I have at anything on Idol. Best season ever my butt! Blah! Thank goodness for Tivo.. and FASTFORWARD!

Posted by: labe | March 6, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Have to agree about the Tivo. I speed past Paula's babbling after each song to get to the real (and usually spot-on) analysis of Simon.

Posted by: NxtPlz | March 6, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Hallelujah for snarkiness! And thanks for putting in a public place what we concluded at my house weeks ago. This is NOT the best season of Idol, but the worst.

And whatever Paula and Simon are drinking, I want some!!

Posted by: JARA45 | March 6, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

It is funny to look back at the thousands and thousands that auditioned --- and think, THESE are the Pick-'o-the-Litter? LOL LOL LOL
Hey, just enjoy the show for what it is. I haven't quite figured that (what it is) out yet...but I do think it's hysterical.
P.S. - go Danny go. You will be one of the few that sells the Tour tickets.

Posted by: AI - LOL | March 6, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Is there some kind of competition between Asia'H and Danny to see who can do more of those side-to-side head bob things in one appearance?

Posted by: Nix the Horse Pawner | March 6, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

In this "Simon's Meanest Season" he actually pulled the throttle back from previous episodes, but he was seriously overzealous about Amanda.

TOP
Carly - has the best trained voice and can use it, but I am tiring of the flat-black, staid look. I can listen to her but wouldn't ever pine to watch her show. An AI needs to present well too.

Syesha - Of the ladies, has the best combo of poise, voice, and looks, to sell CDs. Am suprised Simon has not propped her up more as a potential "one to beat". I think the judges have not given her the attention she merits in this group -- their one-line reviews last night were another slap to her.

Brooke - the second best ladies combo of talent and marketability. She continues to impress and always updates her songs. . .makes them "relevant" in Simon's words.


MIDDLE
Kristy - not as bad as some would say, but not a star
Ramiele - has potential but still looks awkward on stage
Asia'h - a fine voice but not ready for prime time. A work in progress. She's trying too hard to impress.

BOTTOM
Kady - Simon is right, Kady does nothing remarkable worth remembering from week to week.
Amanda - a one-trick pony. Great in a bar band. Not an AI package.

Note: the guys and girls that play to the camera (Asia'h, Remiele, Danny, David H) come off looking like too much posturing and desperate. The ones that "sing for themselves" (i.e., concentrate, close their eyes, get lost in the song -- Brooke, Michael, David C., Jason) come off much better as singers. Moral? Stop playing to the camera and start playing up your voice. For example, except for that horrible night with Bride of Frankenstein hair, Amanda just sings her stuff and doesn't vamp around the stage -- which is why she has survived this long. However, as I wrote above, she has only one style and will not merit hanging on much longer. As for Danny "look at me!" Noriega? Please, just go away!

Posted by: RedRocket | March 6, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The DVR is definitely the only way to go with this show - plus Kickapoo Joy Juice. It could only be more entertaining if contestants were forced to pick from a hat next week's assignments such as: "Sing one of Al Jolson's greatest hits"; or, sing AND dance like Shirley Temple in "Curly Top". I would pay good money just to see their faces as they read the assignment out loud on camera.

Posted by: Jean | March 6, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

-AI needs to cut down on Paula's happy juice or she will be doing a Winehouse on live T.V.

-The Whitney, Celine, Mariah and Christina catalog should be retired from AI.

-The women seriously lack personality this year.

-Please don't vote for Danny.

Posted by: Brooklyn | March 6, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Yes, just because Celine puts her stamp on a song doesn't make her version the preeminent one. I still cringe every time I hear her version of "River Deep, Mountain High."

Posted by: the anti-celine | March 6, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I wrote here last week that Brooke is going all the way to the Finale. After her stunning performance of a Pat Benatar song last night, I need to revise that prediction. Brooke is going all the way (an exciting thought in itself) and is going to win it all. In eleven weeks, Brooke White win be American Idol #7!

And those 11 weeks are going to be fun. Although I've liked her best since her Philly audition, she has shown more depth and range in every performance. Simon has given up trying to categorize her as a happy '60's "liquid soap" commercial singer. The next 11 weeks will be a delightful tease as we see and hear her Darker Side (such as it is) come out. But it won't come out all at once, but as a modulated range of grays and blacks, mixed with a wide range of vocal and personality colors. A "tapestry" a la Carole King, if you will. Whatever "It" is, Brooke has "it" in hearts, diamonds and spades.

Posted by: Christin | March 6, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Best AI candidates
--Syesha
--David A
--Michael J
--Brooke

Broadway
--David H
--Kady

Cruise Ship
--Chikezie
--Kristy
--Luke
--Jason C

Cover Bar Band
--Amanda
--David C
--Carly

High School Musical Troupe
--Danny
--Remiele
--Asia'h

Posted by: myTake | March 6, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I kept wondering why Amanda was so pitiful looking last night, like maybe she had just read a bad review, just gotten into a tiff with another contestant, just lost her dog--what could explain her lack of eye contact, refusal to smile... But Lisa, I think you are exactly right. She was trying to purposefully get the boot, because she has realized she won't win the whole thing, and will certainly die on inanity if she is forced to tour with the rest of those snarky fools. Sheesh!!

Posted by: Sam | March 6, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I only watch AI so I can keep up with what Lisa has to say the next day! There are millions of keyboards getting spewed, snotted and sprayed on each day after Pookie's re-cap of the previous night's (in Paula-speak - "hi-lacious") events!

Posted by: jpstang | March 6, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't see Jason C. on a cruise ship--he's more like the open mike guy at the coffee house. But Luke is totally cruise ship.

Posted by: the anti-celine | March 6, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the review of Paula's actions. I can't stand the show but your recaps are funny. I wish there was one girl that you wouldn't be so mean about.

I guess you're being paid to watch even though you hate the show, so you write your true feelings. Too bad you can't find someone else to do a nicer job.

Posted by: Ze Beagle | March 6, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I dont understand why brooke white was in tears while she was singing. Kady was awful as usual.

Posted by: simon powell | March 6, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Another great review and great comments with corrections and other observations. I also think Brooke is doing pretty well. However, when she comes out with the guitar I expect her to start singing Smelly Cat!

Posted by: Rob | March 6, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Re: my earlier slotting of AI talent

anti-celine, you are totally correct, dear. Jason C is the "coffeehouse" talent. (Brooke could possibly fill that role too.) Thanks for correcting that!

Others - FYI, my list above is not "who's best" but rather where do these folks fit in the world of entertainment? For example, Carly has the best pipes, but I just don't see her headlining a concert, at least not until she updates her look. RedRocket is right -- she is to performance what "flat black" is to a color palette. Update your look, girl! Enough of the one-style hairdo, the sleeveless look. We get it! You have a tat! Now try a new wardrobe and stylist.

The real acid test is, which of these people would fit in on the red carpet on Grammy night?

Note to LdeM: the "replay' of each night is useful, but we watched too, so much of what you write is backstory. Tell us WHY this was the worst night in AI history. (I can think of a few others) and give us your picks and pans. Did you like, or not like, each performer?


Posted by: myTake | March 6, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Lisa, the only reason I endure "AI" each week is because it sets me up to read your column. You got it goin' on, dog! Much more entertaining than any of these wannabees.

Posted by: Chicken | March 6, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

You know that I like you Lisa, but you're starting to become a "onr trick pony" yourself. Try being a little bit more positive. Yesterday's was funny, today it seems like it's just a rehash of the same stuff you wrote about the guys - it makes you sound kind of bitter and depressed. :-(

Posted by: Shawn | March 6, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Great Article. It was hilarious. Just the way it should be.

Posted by: Dana | March 6, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I am glad you brought up Simon's history with the blond singers. He is dismissing Kady & Kristy Lee for the same traits Carrie had (she could be a boring performer & he once called her a Stepford wife), and he couldn't help himself but pimp Carrie all season. Interesting....

Posted by: Mary | March 6, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I believe that 'American Idol' is designed to find the best vocal singer, with the use of three judges. Therefore eliminate all of the talk about the candidate's features, such as; beauty, clothes, body abs, hairdo, muscular body, weight, height and etc. Place the candidate behind a obscure (hidden) panel and permit their singing voice be approved or disapproved by the so-called judges.
However allow the television and the arena audiences view the candidate's actions and emotions.

Posted by: Tony | March 6, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Folks...pookie's blog entries are not column-writing by committee. There are hundreds of AI blogs and reviews out there. If you don't like this one, rather than complain about it (it is unlikely to change Ms. DeM's writing style), just find another blog. With so many, there is one to fit everyone's taste. Some of us like this blog the way it is (snarky-R-Us)

And to Mary--the problem is that Carrie is a significantly better singer than either Kady or Kristy. Kristy is more attractive, but neither of this year's random blondes is the singer than Carrie is.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | March 6, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Having a bad day are we?

Posted by: mattcable | March 6, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm gonna miss Kady's "shoes." Sigh.

Posted by: Xopher G. | March 6, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Go, Pookie, go! Don't change a thing!

Posted by: meg | March 6, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh, the women were all mostly pretty lame last night. The two highest vote getters, for elimination, in this column, is hopefully who will be eliminated: Malloy and Cook are blond ciphers that will be quickly forgotten and certainly not missed.

Posted by: Accidental Tourist | March 6, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

So strange and surreal how Malloy is charismatic and appealing on her video segments but simply switch to her "live" on Idol, and she curiously morphs into one of the dullest, boringest and jejune girls in Idol memory. Wierd, very wierd. Also, I like this column writer very much too, props to you, and thanks. I think ur one of the best commentators on this show.

Posted by: strider643 | March 6, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

If anyone thinks Paula's behavior is due to "happyjuice" then you didn't see her own reality show, which clearly demonstrated that Paula is a 24/7 nutbar. She is wacky, childish, immature, incoherent & scatalogical. Her only "happy juice" is her own DNA. That being said, Abdul is an oddly compelling yet vital ingredient to AI. She is also an indispenable member of much loved trinity of AI judges.

Posted by: Gene Simmons | March 6, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

His Paula Abdul on drugs or his she an alcoholic. I viewed the boys night and she could not stand up, Simon Cowell asked her to sit down. Whats going on.

Posted by: Steve Smith uk. | March 7, 2008 4:38 AM | Report abuse

His Paula Abdul on drugs or his she an alcoholic. I viewed the boys night and she could not stand up, Simon Cowell asked her to sit down. Whats going on.

Posted by: Steve Smith uk. | March 7, 2008 4:55 AM | Report abuse

MESSAGE

Posted by: ISHMAel back | March 9, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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