I'm sure for most of the seven remaining contestants "Mariah Carey Week" was the American Idol equivalent of waterboarding. Good luck being compared to five-octave pop superstar Mariah Carey while having to sing those melody-free overwrought vocal obstacle courses that pass for her songs. Mariah Carey can't even sing half of those songs herself anymore.
Mariah was there to promote her new album, E=MC2 (as if she had a fucking clue as to what that means). But it was nice to see her serve as mentor. People claim she's a grand diva but I think they'd change their tune if they heard the terrific, down-to-earth advice she gave those kids based on her own experiences. Too bad those pearls weren't included in the show. I guess it was due to time constraints but fortunately I happen to know what she said and will report it here.
David Archuleta sang "When You Believe". Usually he claims every song he sings is deeply personal. I wonder how this one connects to his very soul since it's from the soundtrack of "the Prince of Egypt" and is a song about the Jewish Passover. David wore leather pants this week. I felt like I was watching a Muppet Babies version of Jim Morrison.
Mariah's advice: wherever you go insist there is a red carpet walkway with white candles.
Who among us can't learn from that??
Carly Smithson oversang "Without You". Yes, she has a big voice but the only time she's going to sing in front of 40,000 people is when she does the National Anthem at a Padres game.
Mariah's advice: If your high heels hurt you must insist on being carried. If someone suggests wearing comfortable slippers just say, "I can't wear flat shoes. My feet repel them."
I hope you're taking notes.
Syesha Mercado did a song that could describe her fate this week -- "Vanishing". It was lyrics set to vocal warm-up exercises.
Mariah's advice: Marry a rich music producer and ride his coattails to the top of the charts then dump him.
Poor Brooke White missed her sister's wedding. If only it was this Saturday I think she could make it. Brooke was completely over matched singing "Hero". Even her patented bag of tricks (piano, frizzy hair, barefoot) might not save her now.
Mariah's advice: Insist on twenty humidifiers in your bedroom.
And the added benefit of that is no one will ever again know if you wet your bed.
Kristy Lee Cook sang "Forever". Another forgettable performance by the Eve Harrington of this year's batch.
Mariah's advice: If you have to fly from LA to New York and your dog is too big to fit in a first class seat, have him driven 3,000 miles across the country in a rented stretch limousine.
That's just common sense of course, but it bears repeating.
David Cook stole the show and possibly the season with his powerful and unique version of "Always Be My Baby". And Paula gave him the ultimate compliment. She said, "That could be in a movie soundtrack." No wonder David was so choked up he almost cried. A real movie soundtrack! Wow!!!
Mariah's advice: If you stay in a hotel, always rent fifteen rooms.
That's 300 humidifiers if you're not keeping count.
And finally there was Jason Castro. Awful as usual. The guy just does not have the vocal chops. It was like when Marlon Brando had to sing in Guys and Dolls. And yet, Simon loves him for some reason.
Mariah's advice: Marry Simon and ride his coattails to the top of the charts then dump him.
Tonight Mariah is going to sing live -- either on stage or on Randy's shoulders depending on how her high heels feel.
You can read more from Ken at kenlevine.blogspot.com