American Idol is starting to steal alot of thunder from the gutsy Jerry Springer show.
Idol - and one of its irascible Judges (Simon Cowell) - hit a new low last night!
Simon's mean-spirited assessments turned folks off so much, in fact, they were inclined to openly taunt him to show their disapproval during the broadcast.
The normally-cool Simon was so unnerved by the incident - that he was indignant - and begged (!) that he be allowed to "finish" his talent assessent.
Thank you very much!
In a nutshell, it appears that fans are tired of the English transplants cruel attacks on the contestants each week, and have no qualms about lashing back.
That aside, the performances (for the most part) were not only entertaining last evening, but more individualistic in style.
To their credit, the warblers took a shot with their own arrangements - and thankfully - refrained from being total copy-cats (Karaoke-style).
Casey James tried his hand at "Jealous Guy" with a romantic approach.
Rusty, heartfelt and - bluesy at times - the gamble paid off since the rendition suited the tune and his voice.
One Judge applauded the handsome stud for showing a vulnerable side.
Fellow songbirds joked about Casey and his golden locks (reminded me of my hippie days when I was 17 - footloose and fancy free - dancing outdoors at be-ins in Vancouver) and were inclined to bandy about names for the soap character they predict he'll be playing one day (Trevor & Drake were two favorite choices).
In particular, I was impressed with the way he closed the ballad with a heartfelt cry!
Tim Urban - the kid with the bright blue eyes and wide pretty smile - was received well by the adjudicators who have criticized him in prior weeks for holding back and taking advice lightly.
He started off slow with "All my Loving", then built slowly, until he had the rapt audience in the palm of his hand.
I thought that the performance turned a bit pedestrian at one point, and ended up a little flat, but the Judges raved.
It sure lacked the excitement and frenzy that ignited the British Invasion back in the sixties.
I was a teen when they conquered North America, so I know from whence I speak!
Tim's stage persona was bang on, though.
"You've got that McCartney cuteness going on," gushed Simon.
"The girls love 'ya. And it will sell tickets," he added in so many words.
Aaron's "Long and Winding Road" was too sweet (a polite way of saying weak) and was a bad choice in my estimation.
The kid's vocal projection was poor - which caused me to wonder - if he needed to be in a lower register.
Another singer fell into the same trap.
When the pretty songstress sang out - "Nothing's Going to Change My World" - I prayed that someone would toss out a hook, drag her offstage, and prove otherwise!
Crystal Bowersox wowed judges and the audience alike with her stab at a Beatles tune - and managed to pique their curiosity too - when she facilitated the use of a didgeridoo (an instrument originating with tribes in Australia) to injest a haunting new sound into the mix.
In contrast, another performer's use of bagpipes (Heh Jude) caused most to shake their heads.
"Looks like that dude wandered in from another sound stage," one Judge snickered.
As usual, Ryan Seacrest fluttered about the stage, trying to look important (relevant, as the Judges would say).
I laughed out loud last night when Dave Letterman quizzed one of the singers (who just got kicked off the show) about Seacrest's role on American Idol.
"What does that fellow Ryan Seacrest actually do," he quizzed the suprised guest.
The tactful young lady tried to skirt around the issue, but eventually coughed up a response.
"Ryan helps put the performers at ease," she asserted in so many words.
"Oh, he's one of those good looking non-threatening guys, eh?" Dave dead-panned to the camera.
Quite unlike that Brit who gets two thumbs down this week!
Tune in tonight for a performance by Rihanna.