While Syesha Mercado was screeching out some faux inspirational song that strung together every "I believe/Catch a shooting star/I've waited for this moment to arrive/There's time for every soul to fly/Reach within your heart/Strive to be the very best/Anything is Possible" bullshit cliché (and every one of those lyrics actually was in that song), Doug Davis, a young pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks took the mound and pitched the game of his life...knowing that in two days he will undergo surgery for thyroid cancer.
THAT'S inspirational. THAT'S real.
American Idol's "Inspirational Music Night" was manufactured hokum -- trumping up your emotions so you'll be all primed and ready to give to American Idol Gives Back, their big charity oozfest.
Now don't get me wrong. It's all for a good charity and it's commendable that they're doing it. But there's an element of inflated importance and grandstanding that just gives me the vibe that American Idol is doing this more for themselves and their image than for the charity itself.
I will not be watching the show this evening. I watched it last year. It was like freebasing the Jerry Lewis telethon.
Nor will I watch the results show. Last year they didn't eliminate anybody. How could they? What is American going to say -- "Your song was the least inspirational. You've got to go"? Of course not. So now the show that is 90% filler normally will be 100% filler. There will be the zippy Ford commercial, the Up With People production number with the kids (probably singing "Climb Every Mountain" while Paula cries uncontrollably), probing questions from the viewers ("David Archuleta, I'm getting my braces off in a year. Will you wait for me?"), and finally the recaps -- endless recaps (Tuesday's show, Wednesday's show, last year's show, the first half of this show).
But I did watch the Tuesday performance show. I'm not an overly sentimental slug as you know but I must admit I was moved to boredom.
I know I'm being snarky but does it seem to you that the performances are just not that good this year? There are always things to goof on but in the past those were mixed with some fantastic performances. Now the judges are fawning over Jason Castro. We've lowered the bar to the point where only a limbo champion could go under it.
Michael Johns sang "Dream On". Most inspirational songs are not angrily shouted at you. Okay, okay, I'll dream on. Don't hurt me!
Syesha belted the crap out of the aforementioned "I Believe". Actual lyrics I forgot to mention included "I believe in the impossible/It's in the eyes of every child/Have you ever reached a rainbow's end?"...and the obligatory "I've waited all my life for this moment to arrive".
Jason Castro did the Iz version of "Over the Rainbow". The judges LOVED it. What am I missing? To me it was like watching Tiny Tim.
Kristy Lee Cook sang "Anyway". She said it was a deeply personal song to her. I guess because any way she can win this contest she's going to go for it. God bless the U.S.A.
With David Cook's new hairstyle he's starting to morph into Joey Heatherton. He did "Innocent" and had "Give Back" written on his hand. Carly Smithson wanted to do the same thing but her tattoo artist was on vacation.
Carly sang Queen's "Show Must Go On". I forget why she said this was inspirational.
David Archuleta did a lovely job of "Angels" although the producers didn't do him any favors making him give a video introduction. Somehow, life lessons from a 17-year-old don't have the same impact.
Brooke White got the pimp spot. Her Carole King song this week was "You've Got a Friend". But the genius of Brooke is that she picks the right one. She could just as easily have chosen "Don't Say Nothing Bad About My Baby (Oh No)", "Happy Being Fat", "Let's Turkey Trot",or "He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)".
I don't care who gets the least number of votes this week. I do care however that Doug Davis pulls through his operation this Thursday and has a complete and speedy recovery.
You can read more from Ken at kenlevine.blogspot.com