Miley Cyrus gives back on 'American Idol'
It's Billboard No. 1's night on "American Idol" and Miley Cyrus mentor night too! Let's see how many times Miley can make it all about her!
Show host Ryan Seacrest asks judge Randy Jackson to explain the mysteries of 'Idol' arithmetic to him; it goes like this. There are 11 Idolettes. The top 10 get to go on tour, the one who gets the hook this week does not get to go on tour because 11 is one more than 10. The 1 Idolette will lose out in the Giant Opportunity. Judge Ellen The Generous talks about the importance of something called "voting" because it's votes from viewers that determine which of the Idolettes has the fewest "votes" and that person will be the one who is not part of the 10. Judge Simon Cowell, however, says it's like if you were an Idolette who had six numbers on a lottery ticket and only get five, because then you don't get to go on tour, you lose a lot of money and it's damaging to your career. "That's why I love this night". Cowell adds.
Hey, judges, let's make a deal. You stop talking down to us and we'll accept Miley Cyrus as a "mentor."
Now comes the part of the show when Seabiscuit eggs the judges on to pick over old bones from the previous week. This week, Kara maintains that a singer has to understand the lyrics of the song he or she is singing. Simon agrees that every song has a journey, a peak, a valley, a lake. Oh boy, is he bored.
After Seabiscuit and Simon play another round of Don't Enter My Space, Seabiscuit leans in and kisses Ellen The Generous. Are the "Idol" producers teasing a new story line here? Wow, there are more clues in tonight's show than a "Lost" episode.
No time to think. Someone from Billboard magazine is explaining that the Billboard Hot 100 is really, really old. Like August of 1958 old. Could they have found anyone less hip looking to be the face of Billboard?
Cut to Idolettes who don't know who is going to be this week's mentor. "It could be anyone," observes MENSA boy Casey James.
It's Miley Cyrus -- the "pop princess" who is only 17, but has "a lifetime of experience" Seabiscuit explains. And the voice of an old lady who has been a pack-a-day smoker for years.
'Idol' producers, who must be the only people in the music business who are amazed at the idea of teenagers being successful in the music industry, pile it on with a video in which Miley explains The Meaning of Miley:
"I'm the youngest of everything, all the time" she says. "It's not about age -- that's not what it's all about. I'm like trapped -- I'm 17 but I have these ideas. People don't take me serious, but they take me serious, because I take myself serious. I know what I think is how my heart feels and that's the way it's going to be."
Phew! That Miley is a fast talker! No wonder she has to use so many words.
Miley says she loves being a mentor on "American Idol" because "it made me look at myself . . . see how Miley's pitchy!" Miley Cyrus: Already All About Her.
Lee Dewyze gets the first personal training session with the high-volume pop princess. She thinks his voice is "amazing" but lacks stage presence and advises him to put in some notes people don't expect, when he sings "The Letter." Have you noticed how when Miley talks, sometimes her mouth is the only thing moving on her face -- like a character in one of those low-budget cartoons? Lee's performance continues to lack stage presence, but the judges are going to love that he moved around the stage more. Randy says he knocked it out of the box. Ellen The Generous likens him to a pen you love because it writes perfectly but then it starts running out of ink and you light a match under it and lick it. The American Idol Decency Police roll out the water cannon. Kara says he's never sounded better, which is setting the bar very low. Simon calls it corny.
As if Paige Miles isn't nervous enough hearing about all the millions of dollars she's going to lose out on if she doesn't' make the cut this week, they've put her in eight inch heels she's terrified she'll fall out of. She's picked the tune "Against All Odds" -- you can tell it's a terrible song choice when she's rehearsing with Miley. But Miley the Mentor's time is valuable, so she predicts Paige will "do amazing on the show as long as she watches her pitch." Which is another way of saying "This is going to be bad." It is. Randy calls it "honestly terrible." Ellen The Generous congratulates her on not falling out of her shoes, notes Paige's hair and outfit look great and refuses to discuss the performance. .Kara thinks it's the worst vocal of the season. Simon thinks she's toast.
Miley thinks Tim Urban "rocks" -- his pecs and abs have been all over the Internet for days and his hair has been trimmed to make him look more like Joe Jonas. She announces she is going to give him a big hug, like it's a moment he'll cherish forever. Tim assures the camera his is "going to be a good performance." He sings "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." If you listen closely, it's in there somewhere, between the grabbing of tweener girls' hands and the sliding across the stage in the general direction of Randy. Randy explains patiently to Tim that this is a singing competition. Ellen The Generous likens it to an audition for "High School Musical 6" -- or even "7." Kara says it's like Zac Efron and "Hairspray" all rolled into one -- and not in a good way. Simon compliments him on the heinie-slide, saying it distracted us from his singing.
Little Aaron Kelly just hit puberty; he calls it tonsilitis-cum-laryngitis. He recalls singing Miley Cyrus tune "The Climb" during his first "Idol" audition and wonders if she saw it and what she thought of it:
"Whassup," Miley says when she meets Aaron.
"I watched you sing 'The Climb and it was really great," she says.
"Thank you," he says.
"No problem," she responds.
"To hear that from somebody you're a fan of -- it just makes your day," Aaron tells the camera.
Aaron gives the exact same performance he always gives, only worse. Randy notes he's just hit puberty, only Randy calls it "a little under the weather." Ellen The Generous says he's always been pitch-perfect only now he's hit puberty; she calls it being "in third grade or something." Kara says she's not going to beat him up because he just hit puberty. Simon calls him brave to hit puberty in front of about 20 million people on "American Idol" and suggests he give Miley a call. Miley, seated in the audience, flashes a toothy, gum-smacking grin.
Crystal Bowersox picks this week to give viewers and judges what they've been waiting for from her all season -- a Janis Joplin tune. She picks "Me and Bobby McGee." Miley advises Crystal her to sing more high notes. Then, shockingly, the hype-immune, non-"Idol" watching Crystal goes all tweener school girl who has just met Miley Cyrus, and simpers "I don't know if I can do it!" While we try to recover from the shock, Crystal says to Miley: "I have powerful, beautiful women sign my guitar," and asks Miley to sign it too. "One more notch" Crystal says happily. We fling ourselves on the sofa and begin to gnaw at the cushions in a frenzy of disillusionment.
Spurred on by Miley's advice, Crystal give her first by-the-numbers performance of the competition, singing note-for-note, the Joplin version of the tune. And, sure enough, she doesn't quite hit all the high notes. Randy says she "slayed it." Ellen The Generous advises her to let her personality show more when she's imitating Janis Joplin. Kara wants her to get rid of the guitar. But Simon gushes that he wouldn't change a thing in Crystal's exact note-for-note imitation of Joplin -- which is good, because there won't be another version forthcoming from Joplin for Crystal to change it to.
Miley tells Michael Lynche he's already her favorite Idolette because he gave her a big hug when they met, while "everyone else is scared to touch me." Miley Cyrus: Still Finding New Ways to Make it All About Her.
"I'm falling in love with you" she tells Michael as he sings "When a Man Loves a Woman" while staring at her. "She has kind eyes," Michael says. Love is in the air. The camera cuts to Seabiscuit who is standing behind Ellen The Generous with his arms around her neck. She kisses his hand then rubs her cheek on the hand. We will never know the toll that gesture took on her. The American Idol Decency Police plug in their Pixilator.
Performing this time for the judges, Michael opts not to add calisthenics this week. Randy commends him for picking an R&B tune. "This woman loves this man!" says Ellen The Generous. Still, Kara thinks it had too many riffs and Simon likened it to wanting one scoop of ice cream and getting eleven.
Andrew Garcia gets so flustered meeting Miley he forgets the lyrics to "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." Miley suggests he get rid of his guitar, which she says blocks him and makes him really stiff. He tosses the guitar and instead stomps around stage and points at his ear when he sings the words "I heard it through the grapevine." It's hard to turn "I Heard It Though the Grapevine" into a nursery rhyme, but Andrew succeeds. Miley is seen in the audience, nervously chomping on her gum. Randy says it was all wrong; Ellen The Generous calls it "not good." "You've' got to do that moment where you did 'Straight Up'," Kara says, hearkening back to Hollywood Week. "You've had enough time to sort this out," Simon snaps, in regards to Hollywood Week having been a long, long time ago -- and the last time the judges liked one of Andrew's performances. He tells Seabiscuit his plan was "to just have fun, man!"
Katie Stevens notes she and Miley are the same age. She asks Miley "How do you deal with people who are negative?" which we assume means Simon. Miley plays the Remember Who You Are as a Musician card. This bucks up Katie as she sings "Big Girls Don't Cry." Not in the right key, mind you, but with gumption. Randy notes it was "sharp all over the place." Ellen The Generous calls it Katie's best performance ever. Kara says she still has "mad pitch issues." Simon commends her for losing her "pageant horror outfits."
Casey James introduces himself to Miley by saying he is a big fan - of her dad. "Oh great, not me but my DAD?!" Miley complains. Miley Cyrus: No End to the Ways She Can Make it About Her. She advises him, when singing "Power of Love," to make eye contact with the first three people in the front row. "It's funny she brought that up because this week I was really going to focus on that," Casey marvels. Then he doesn't. Randy's love is lukewarm, but Ellen The Generous calls it the best vocal of the night. "You're ready to make an album . . . you're in a zone now -- stay in it!" gushes Kara, who's on again-off again lust for Casey is apparently on again. Simon, however, calls it identical to the Huey Lewis version of the 80's. Funny him not telling Crystal her number was identical to the Janis Joplin version of the '70s.
Didi Benami asks Miley if she ever gets nervous before going on stage. Miley says yes, you have to be because it's what drives you. Does anybody buy that hooey? Yes, Didi does! Didi reports feeling a lot better, knowing Miley gets nervous before performances too. Didi then proceeds to vamp and growl her way through "You're No Good" trying out various keys along the way. Randy and Ellen react with caution. Kara says she was playing a character. Simon finds irony in her screeching "You're no good" over and over again.
Miley thinks Siobhan Magnus's voice is wicked cool and likes that she's so different. "I've been different my whole life," Siobhan says. Her hair in a fauxhawk, Siobhan sings "Superstition" and goes for a huge note toward the end, which the judges have said they have come to expect from her.. So, naturally, Simon nicks her for it -- but he's never liked Siobhan, though she's this season's most accomplished performer. But, in the audience, Miley has given Siobhan a thumbs-up. And Randy thinks she's "fearless," "great," and an inspiration for the other Idolettes. Kara loves it too. And, in honor of Siobhan's brilliant performance, Ellen pulls out the imitation of the Charles Dickens character, Oliver Twist, that she's been saving for just this moment: "More, please!"
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PHOTO GALLERY: See highlights from Tuesday night's episode.
Lisa de Moraes
March 24, 2010; 7:03 AM ET
Categories: "American Idol"
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