So this was Stefano Langone’s week to disappear. I can’t say it’s a surprise; he’d been on the chopping block for a while, bouncing in and out of the bottom three and generally coming across as someone who was not long for this show. It’s still a bit messed up the way the show’s power structure works, and it’ll take some sort of high explosive to get James Durbin, Scotty McCreery, or Lauren Alaina off the show. Mostly, I’m just glad Jacob Lusk survived one more week.
Here are some other tings that happened:
• Jacob Lusk, Stefano Langone, Lauren Alaina, and Haley Reinhart all teamed up to sing Train’s famously godawful “Hey Soul Sister.” These are four singers with nothing to do with each other and even less to do with this song, and in their group harmonies, their voices couldn’t have clanged against each other any harder. And the damn thing still got stuck in my head hard before the first chorus was even over.
• We didn’t get any behind-the-scenes footage about this week’s Ford commercial, so we may never learn now they got that amazing footage of Casey and Lauren lassoing a cloud. I’m just going to assume they actually roped that thing, pushed a mountain, rolled out a big thing of grass, and turned a desert into a meadow. The Idols are magic.
• Casey Abrams, James Durbin and Scotty McCreery all say Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” together, and it was significantly less messy than that “Hey Soul Sister” debacle. Their performance did, however, involve probably the cheesiest choreography I’ve ever seen on the American Idol stage. The three-way finger-touch high-five thing was some Three Ninjas Kick Back shit; I can’t imagine anyone could’ve ever considered that cool.
• Casey explained the moment where he kissed J.Lo last night thus: “I was just going to breathe in her face, but she gave me the opening.” I’m not sure I can imagine a creepier arrangement of four words than “breathe in her face.”
• Former winner David Cook, who apparently is being allowed to release a second album, came through to some some perfectly generic cheese-grunge song. All the people in his backing band had perfectly absurd hairstyles. American Idol‘s general idea of rock music and mine are very, very different things. Cook always carried himself like a fundamentally decent dude; I hope he’s saving his money.
• We got a long time-eating montage where all the Idol kids went bowling, met Tommy Lasorda, got facials, and made faces at the camera. I questioned Casey’s bowling release, which involves cartwheeling. I also, and not for the first time, questioned my decision to spend two nights a week watching this goofiness.
• Katy Perry’s performance of “E.T.” involved the following things: Lasers going nuts; dancers in Cirque du Soleil/lucha libre costumes; an H.R. Giger-looking spaceship stage-prop thing; a lit-up unitard; a metal headdress; a taped introduction from Kanye West where he looked like he was floating in zero gravity; and an actual live cameo from Kanye West where he came up on a beneath-the-stage elevator and wore basically an entire dead wolf over his vest. Someone’s really gunning for Gaga, the previous hands-down record-holder for most ridiculous Idol performance ever. It’s pretty impossible to focus on “E.T.,” a pretty nothing song, when all that is going on, but maybe that was the intent? In any case, I never really noticed how messed up Kanye’s “I abducted you, so I tell you what to do” line is until now.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 22, 2011