Idolator’s American Idolatry: It’s A Not-So-Beautiful Day In Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

Mar 15th, 2007 // 7 Comments

Last night’s top-12 American Idol elimination was a hurried, relatively drama-deprived affair: The contestants put on their cheesy medley shoes, Diana Ross was nearly out-performed by her own poofy pink shawl, and in the end, a contestant who never had a chance begin with was dismissed.

WHO’S OUT: While Phil and Sanjaya landed in the bottom three, it was Brandon “The Background Singer” Rogers who got his walking papers. Of course, his smooth-to-the-point-of-bland voice marked him from elimination from the very beginning; but Tuesday night’s lyrical faux pas sealed the deal, and a resigned Rogers took it like a man.

WHO’S (INEXPLICABLY) IN: Sanjaya. Just how bad do you have to butcher a Supremes song to get eliminated from this thing? He was off-pitch and at times quieter than the back-up singers, and yet they still won’t set him free. Is it the hair?

WHO’S SINGING A SUPREMES MEDLEY
: Everyone! The gang transitioned from “Where Did Our Love Go” to “Baby Love” to “Stop! In the Name of Love,” and it was a little bit like a high school pop-choir program with Brady Bunch Variety Show choreography. Appropriately, they ended the whole number with “Stop!”, complete with corresponding hand motion.

WHICH FOX TV STARS ARE FORCED TO ATTEND: Anita Barone and Michael Rapaport of The War at Home.

WAIT, WHAT?: Ford sponsored a music video in which the contestants sang Modest Mouse’s “Float On.” Sure, why not? But get this: They’re performing it while dressed in clothes from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. And while walking like zombies. Plus, they completely missed the boat on Isaac Brock’s growly screech, though Chris Sligh–in a huge afro wig–came the closest.

BUY DIANA’S NEW CD: Ms. Ross’s rendition of “More Today than Yesterday” from her new album, I Love You, was fine, if not a little disappointingly unremarkable. Her big pink tulle shawl looked fabulous in the dramatic, backlit entrance, but it slowly slipped off her arms, into her right hand, behind her back, and eventually down onto the floor, lying there like some sort of lifeless Muppet for the second half of the performance. Afterwards, Diana dropped her final nugget of sunshine into the American Idol universe: “This entire show is such an inspiration to all American young kids out there.” Yeah, to the future advertising executives, maybe.

PAULA ABDUL OUT-OF-IT SCALE: N/A. Absolutely no commentary from the judges tonight. She seemed pretty lively during Diana’s performance, though.

American Idol [americanidol.com]
Earlier: Idolator’s American Idolatry archives
Photo: Reality TV Magazine

  1. Chris Molanphy

    I continue to be impressed by Sligh’s slyness. Within the confines of that ridiculous Ford advertainment, he really did try to hit a Brock-ian high growl, and I’ll bet he had to fight the producers to get that in.

    I also belatedly watched his “Endless Clocks” performance from the other night and came away impressed at his chutzpah. It didn’t work, but only because the two songs made a bad mashup – the slow-ass lyrics of “Enldess Love” simply don’t fill enough space to connect the segments of “Clocks.” But hey! the kid tried to do a mashup live on national TV – give him props! The last person I saw pull that off (much more successfully) was Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Blue Monday” at the Brit Awards five years ago.

  2. KimPossible

    Does anyone remember Up With People from the 70s? Everytime I see those group performances on AI it reminds me of some lame Super Bowl halftime show or the Up With People group that use to tour high school gymnasiums.

  3. Docmarvy

    Wait, why are zombies from the 60′s and a white-ish Run DMC selling me Ford Mustangs while singing a feel-good alt 40 tune again?

  4. Mary

    Sanjaya didn’t butcher a Supremes song, he butchered a very famous Diana solo track.

  5. Kate Richardson

    Woops! Sorry! Thanks for the correction. Considering the amount of time I spent on Wikipedia covering this thing I totally should’ve been on top of that.

  6. Chris Molanphy

    @Mary: True, but there’s an even subtler point to make here: He butchered the original version (as written by Ashford and Simpson) of a song later redone completely differently as a Diana solo track.

    Ross’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” famously consists of her speak-singing through three-fourths of the track (with a lot of new lyrics, to boot) and only actually singing in the last chorus and fade-out. Understandbly, the already charisma-deficient Malakar performed the song as originally written and recorded by Gaye/Terrell.

    It wasn’t the only pseudo-Ross fakeout of the night. TaKisha sang “God Bless the Child,” a song made famous by Billie Holliday but associated with Ross only through her performance as Holliday in Lady Sings the Blues. And Blake did the Supremes’ “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” but his arrangement was a direct lift of the 1987 Kim Wilde hi-NRG #1 hit (it drove me crazy that all three judges criticized him for the “weird” arrangement, blissfully ignorant that the song had gone to #1 a second time 20 years ago, sounding exactly like that).

  7. 30f

    Khalid Shaikh Mohammed ruins it for all of us by voting for
    the haircut. WWKSMD ? ? ?

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