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Jamie Foxx: ready for his close-up on 'American Idol'

Jamie Foxx, last season's winner of Worst 'Idol' Mentor Ever, has been asked back because, some news reports say, he's under consideration to replace Simon Cowell as the show's Alpha Judge.

"He made such an impact we asked him back," show host Ryan Seacrest gushes at the start of the show.


'Idol' contestant Crystal Bowersox performs. (Michael Becker -- Fox)

Once again, Foxx doesn't coach the Idolettes - he creates camera angles for himself as he acts out scenes from his new movie, "Jamie Foxx: The Return of the 'American Idol' Mentor."

Foxx has a new gimmick this season - Insult T-shirts! Idolettes who don't treat him with due reverence will get a "Contestant" T-shirt, and only the very deserving will get "Artist" T-shirts.

Foxx has one trick in his Bag O' Mentoring - to get right up in an Idolette's face to throw him off balance. He used it last year on an Idolette. This time, he explains it's an authentic movie-director technique he learned from Michael Mann, who directed him in "Miami Vice," "Collateral," and "Ali." Unfortunately, Foxx decides to use "The Michael Mann" right off the bat, and the first up is Lee DeWyze of The Esteem Issues.

"No, no, no!" Foxx lectures as Lee sings "Kiss From a Rose"; Foxx leans in and gets within licking distance of Lee's face.

"Jamie Foxx kinda got right in my face and had me sing it," Lee says unhappily.

"Once I'm that close to you, what are you gonna do?" Foxx wonders - the answer "crack under the pressure of being so close to an actual movie star" oozing from his pores.

Sadly, Lee does not go with our choice: "Sock you in the kisser." Instead, he just sits there, looking miserable.

"If you smile and you laugh and you giggle and you say 'I can't do it" that means you can't perform in front of ten thousand people," Foxx says, with knuckle-headed logic.

"Can you do that? Can you do that?" Foxx goads Lee, adding, "I'm gonna give you this, but don't make me come and take it away from you," as he hands over an Artist T-shirt.

Not surprisingly, Lee gives his shakiest performance in weeks. Judge Randy Jackson says Lee did nothing with the song and Ellen The Generous agrees, while Kara DioGuardi says he got lost in the tune and Simon Cowell pronounces it "verging on karaoke."

"Let's dance!" Foxx chides Michael Lynche because he doesn't think Lynche is moving enough during rehearsal - of course Lee wasn't either. The mentoring session between Michael and Foxx has been heavily edited and is very, very short, suggesting things did not go well at all. And, at the end of the session, Foxx tries to give Michael a "Contestant" T-shirt and Michael refuses to accept it, which stuns Foxx. We like Michael all the better for it.

Michael sings an utterly pedestrian version of "Will You Be There" in which the back-up chorus does most of the work. He also does not move around much while singing it. So much for the "mentoring."

Randy says he doesn't know what's going on tonight. Ellen notes the flick from whence the tune came, "Free Willy," is one of the great movies of all time. Kara didn't feel any goosebumps like she has from Michael's other performances. "I can't connect a whale called Willy with what you just did," Simon says, adding "What's it about - a willy?" The American Idol Decency Police don their flak jackets.

Lee and Crystal Bowersox sing a duet of "Falling Slowly" which, mercifully, Foxx did not get to mentor. While they sing, they're facing each other up close (though not Jamie Foxx-close); it's like watching a couple perform on "Dancing with the Stars" in which each one is trying to lead. But Randy calls it "amazing," to which Ellen The Generous adds, "God, that was great!" and Kara says it's one of her favorite moments from the entire season. Simon doesn't know if he would call it a good song - he'd call it a fantastic song! At the end of all that praise, Crystal confesses Lee is her "musical crush." And a new 'Idol' storyline is born.

Casey James, who spent weeks of this competition living down the Kara's Boy Toy gag with which he got saddled during the auditions, has decided to embrace it and goes with "Mrs. Robinson" from "The Graduate."

Fox mistakes it for a love song - geesh! - and orders Casey to seduce him while singing it:

"Just act as if I'm a woman - look right at me and seduce me," Foxx says to Casey while giving him a dewy fan-girl look. Now that's acting!

"All right," Casey says, dubiously.

"If you can get past me looking you in your eyes and asking you to seduce me, you can really perform that song," Foxx tells Casey with more knuckle-brained logic.

"It wasn't about him really seducing me," Foxx assures the 'Idol' camera. "It was about him looking past me and understanding the bigger picture of it is, 'Now I'm being an artist'."

He gives Casey an Artist T-shirt.

Casey sings a slightly unhinged version of the tune, after which Randy teases that he wants to know what inspired Casey to choose that song. "A lot of things," Casey simpers coyly. Randy points to Kara; Simon points to Kara.

"Stop it! Don't listen to them!" Kara shouts to Casey. Has anyone else noticed how Paula Abdul-like Kara looks tonight?

The judges mostly like the performance though Simon thinks he did not make the kind of impact he needed to this late in the competition. Simon has chosen to ignore that viewers supported Casey last week, in spite of his breathtakingly bad performance of a Sinatra tune.

Crystal chose "I'm Alright" from "Caddyshack" for her number and, when she flubs a line during rehearsal, Foxx tells her to "get yourself together - don't ever stop" adding, "raise those pretty blue eyes and let people see that you're alright." Foxx has apparently mistaken the unflappable Crystal for a less confident Idolette.

Randy likes her performance; Ellen The Generous reaches into her Bag o' Canned Jokes and says the tune "just got Crystal-ized." Kara agrees with her and Simon says she's back in the game.

Michael and Casey sing a Foxx-mentor-free duet of "Have You Ever really Loved a Woman." With Casey focusing on his guitar playing and Michael taking lead vocals, they cover each other's weaknesses well.

"As a matter of fact - yes I have loved a woman!" Ellen exclaims. Da dum dum! Randy likes it; Kara notes the duets were so much better than the solo performances tonight - gee, I wonder why? Simon also gives Foxx a ringing non-endorsement, calling the duets "a million times better than the solo performances."

And, in conclusion, Foxx tells Seabiscuit he's looking for that person who will turn from a caterpillar into a butterfly, ending his second season of music-advice-free "Idol" mentoring.

Never miss another "American Idol" after-show analysis. Text "IDOL"
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By Lisa de Moraes  |  May 12, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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Comments

I thought Lee DeWyze was awful this week - both solo and duet. He can't sing in tune, particularly in low volume. While his on stage performance is slowly improving, his voice is not. This is who Lee is. I certainly hope this is not the second best candidate on the show.

Worst than Lee's singing was the judges reviews on him. Their criticism was too muted in the first performance, and unexplainably bad in his second performance. That duet was awful. Poor Crystal.

I think I need to rename the David Archuleta/ Danny Gokey award for undeserving praise over a mediocre performance to the Lee Dewyse/ David Archuleta/ Danny Gokey award. Heck we need to change the expression "Rose Colored Glasses" to "Lee Sounding Hearing Aids". The judges must have been wearing them.

Posted by: niceshoes1 | May 12, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

I thought Lee sounded rough, too, and I've always been on his team. Then I heard Mike and realized he had the same problems. So I decided these guys are just tired. They look tired and sound tired. While Harry perked them up last week, Foxx just irritated them (and me) and the drama of these last months told hold.
I'd love to see the outtakes between Mike and Foxx; any way to get those? I have visions of Mike stuffing him in the piano.
And let's get one thing straight: Foxx has put out records but he's not a singer. His "coaching" had nothing to do with music, just camera angles. Please, Fox, don't hire Foxx!

Posted by: disposall | May 12, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Last week was so much better because, I think, Harry Connick respected the contestants as artists with unpolished talents. He respected them, got them to relax, and actually gave them practical advice that showed up on stage.

Jamie Foxx made it about him. And t-shirts. And Michael Mann. His 'mentoring' also showed up on stage.

Posted by: molsonmich | May 12, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention Crystal's boyfriend and Rex Kwon Do pants.

"Take a look at what I'm wearing, people. You think anybody wants a roundhouse kick to the face while I'm wearing these bad boys? Forget about it"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKmUsVeKp1o

Posted by: niceshoes1 | May 12, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

FIFTH!!

Posted by: igetdeadbeats | May 12, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Crystal was really good.
Casey was pretty good.
Mike was pretty bad.
Lee was awful.
Crystal + Lee was pretty good.
Mike + Casey was really good.

I want Mike to go home tonight, but I think it'll be Casey.

Posted by: Duodenum | May 12, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Last night was bad, all around. I didn't care for any of the songs or the singers. Jamie Foxx was horrible. "nice shoes" - as far as David Archuleta, I wasn't a fan of his but I was a big fan of Danny Gokey - both of those guys, however, can outsing any of the remaining idolettes and all those voted off this season. This AI go around has had very few memorable moments, good memorable moments, that is.

Posted by: MrsKirby | May 12, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Jamie Foxx = the last nail in the AI coffin. And, Harry Connick - don't do it...you are much too professional for this dribble. Connick is so far above AI it's embarrassing. Jamie Foxx - about even with AI !

Posted by: snowbucks | May 12, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Crystal was really good.
Casey was pretty good.
Mike was pretty bad.
Lee was awful.
Crystal + Lee was pretty good.
Mike + Casey was really good.

I want Mike to go home tonight, but I think it'll be Casey.


Posted by: Duodenum

This shows how people have different tastes, here's my ranking using your formula.

Crystal was really good.
Lee was pretty good.
Mike was pretty bad.
Casey was awful.
Crystal + Lee was awesome good.
Mike + Casey was ok.

Casey had that lamb sound again all during his song, ugh!

Posted by: sivwiz | May 12, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

niceshoes1, thanks so much for that link! That was brilliant.

As the season lurches on, I want to say thank you to Lisa, niceshoes and all the posters who have made following this painful season of AI more pleasurable through this blog.

Posted by: verybendy | May 12, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Lisa,love these articles,they are an entertaining look at the last idol show. Each week I look forward to the next one.
Rock on Crystal and Casey!!

Posted by: vacarollm | May 12, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

wow that episode was night and day from last week. I thought the Sinatra tunes would be bad but this week was 100x worse thanks to Jamie Foxx and his horrible mentoring.

Posted by: MasonNation | May 12, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Good call with the Rex Kwon Do pants...
"Just break the wrist and walk away. Break the wrist; walk away."

Lee and Crystal were a good duet, Casey has real guitar chops. Everything else was terrible.

Posted by: ozpunk | May 12, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I was hoping to be the first here with the "Napoleon" pants reference... damn you, Pacific Time Zone!

Too bad there wasn't a way we could vote Jamie Foxx off the show. He was horrific.

Posted by: Regis09 | May 12, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The final four – and just a couple of episodes left – to decide a winner. Last night’s performances were far from cinematic, but they at least helped give us two somewhat stirring duets. Will it be Michael or Casey that goes home tonight? I think it’s safe to say Lee and Crystal will make it through to the end – or will there be an upset? http://thesmogger.com/2010/05/12/idol-hangover-the-final-four-perfourm/

Posted by: mksmogger | May 12, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't have to point this out, Lisa, but "from whence" (as in "Ellen notes the flick from whence the tune came") is redundant. "Whence" incorporates the preposition. So, you would say, "Ellen notes the flick whence the tune came..."

If you're going to use these high-falutin' words, make sure you know what they mean and how to apply them.

Posted by: haveaheart | May 12, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The usage of the phrase "from whence" has been debated for hundreds of years and has been used by Dickens, Shakespeare, etc. Redundancy is common in our language and terminology such as "close proximity", "armed gunman", "null and void", etc. They are called pleonasms and a normal part of our speech.

Posted by: ozpunk | May 12, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh drat, ozpunk! You beat me to it! "From whence" may be a debate in grammar, but it even shows up in the BIBLE!

Posted by: mommysalami | May 12, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Crystal was way beyond the other three last night. Lee was terrible, while Casey and Mike didn't embarrass themselves -- at least they sang in key with some amount of style -- but there was some lack of spark or excitement that's hard to put your finger on. As for Kara, yes she was beginning to SOUND like Paula (not a good thing) but after weeks of showing up all glammed up, this week she came dressed last night as a district attorney in an episode of CSI, albeit with a lot more eye make-up.

Posted by: owingsmills | May 12, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Casey reminded me of Tiny Tim singing Tiptoe Through the Tulips.

Posted by: seaduck2001 | May 12, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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