This was the greatest night of American Idol ever!!!
Paula Abdul actually critiqued Jason Castro's second song even before he sang it! And she had specifics!! [WATCH] This proves two things: Paula Abdul's brain is not as highly developed as a mollusk's. And two, the judges watch the dress rehearsal and in many cases formulate their spontaneous opinions beforehand.
But offering a detailed critique of a performance not yet given... in front of thirty million people? What a colossal embarrassment. And an instant television classic. Let's face it, it's finally time for American Idol's producers to think about replacing her. I hear Miss South Carolina is available.
This was Neil Diamond night and my heart went out to the contestants. How can you possibly do a memorable performance when you have to sing lyrics like "And no one heard at all, not even the chair"?
I knew we were in for an evening of hilarity right off the bat when Ryan narrated that puff piece on Diamond and actually said, "One of his greatest successes came from the movie The Jazz Singer. I almost fell off the couch. The remake of The Jazz Singer is a legendary Hollywood trainwreck. Neil Diamond, who has never acted, and was 39 at the time, played an adolescent. There's a scene in which he sings in blackface. It was a movie that not only killed his feature career along with Lucie Arnaz's. It almost finished off Sir Laurence Olivier's as well. Yes, one of Mr. Diamond's "greatest successes".
As a mentor I thought he was good with the kids although some of his advice was less than helpful. He suggested that Brooke White change a lyric from "I'm New York City born" to "I'm Arizona born" since that's where she hails from. So she did. But then the next line made no sense - "I'm lost between two shores". What east coast ocean does Arizona border? Paula? Do you know that one?
Each contestant sang two numbers. One in the first half hour, one in the second (except for Jason Castro who in Paula's mind sang two in the first half hour and can fly).
Jason did a passable version of "Forever in Blue Jeans" and slaughtered "September Morn". Why is he wasting his time trying to be a professional singer when he has such a bright career ahead of him as Lisa Edelstein?
David Cook sang two Neil Diamond songs I never heard of. I think they were from Neil's "Hot August Night--I'm wearing pirate shirts now" era.
Brooke White sang both of her songs in one take. And for the second she resorted to her Steinway crutch. My problem with Brooke now is that at any minute I expect her to have a complete breakdown. Do you want your next American Idol to be strapped to her bed for her own safety?
David Archuleta sang "Sweet Caroline" but as any Boston Red Sox fan knows, you pause for the "oh oh oh's" and "So good, so good, so good's". Otherwise, why on God's green earth would anybody sing that song? Then he did "America" wisely choosing that one over "Crunchy Granola Suite".
Syesha Mercado wore a hot purple dress this week. I hope it's enough.
But no one will remember the performances. All anyone will be talking about is Paula Abdul and that incisive critique of a song that no one heard. Not even the chair.
You can read more from Ken at kenlevine.blogspot.com