Idolator’s American Idolatry: The Little Girls Are The Only Ones Who Understand Sanjaya


Welcome to Idolator’s American Idolatry, our look at every episode of the American Idol hit-making machine. Last night’s episode boasted the curious theme of “British Invasion,” which resulted in a remake of a song from Oliver!, Jordin breaking the judges’ hearts, Lulu and Peter Noone as coaches, and even some Beatlemania-style crying from the waterworks-equipped young lady above.

WITH DIAMOND DAVE AS PETER NOONE: Okay, let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: Sanjaya was terrible. He performed the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me,” only it was more like the Van Halen version of “You Really Got Me,” only it was really more like what Velvet Revolver’s version of “You Really Got Me” might have been like if Weiland was actually an overexcited teenager who liked to stick out his tongue a lot. Sure, he made that one girl cry (nice homage to the Ed Sullivan days there!), but we didn’t exactly have dry eyes, either, because we know that he’s going to survive for at least another week, thanks to Randy and Paula being charmed by all the “fun” he was having.

AND SPEAKING OF NOONE: How many of the contestants do you think knew who both their celebrity coaches actually were? We’re guessing Chris Sligh, who at first announced he was singing “I’m Henry VIII, I Am,” did (we also wish he’d actually pulled that stunt, as his version of the Zombies’ “She’s Not There” sort of fell apart at the end). As far as everyone else…maybe Melinda, if only because of her professional background, and Gina, because she seems like the type who’d stay up late enough to catch those infomercials Noone starred in.

WE ALMOST THOUGHT MELINDA WAS KINDA SORTA SKATING BY THE “BRITISH INVASION” THING… … until we learned that “As Long As He Needs Me”–yes, from Oliver!, the music of which we are pretty intimately acquainted with–was a UK No. 2 single for Shirley Bassey in 1960. Thank God goodness–her performance, once again, was easily the best of the night. (A side note: When the NASCAR commercial using the BellRays’ “Revolution Get Down” came on, we wished that the Idol producers would invite the band’s lead singer, Lisa Kekaula, on as a coach–sure, the band would need to be radically overhauled, but Melinda would absolutely kill on “Good Luck.”)

SO GOOD, SHE MAKES YOU SUICIDAL: Jordin’s performance of “I, Who Have Nothing” brought her to the next level; she even made Simon want to take a flying leap to his death, the idea of which, naturally, thrilled Paula.

THE CURVE WAS ALL OFF: Sanjaya wasn’t the only one garnering undeserved praise. Why did the judges seem to be charmed by Haley’s performance of “Tell Him”? Her voice was completely wrong for the song–it was thin in all the wrong places, strenuous in all the wrong places, and just blech all around. Maybe everyone was blinded by her short-shorts, even though they were completely unflattering.

AND SPEAKING OF UNFLATTERING: Gina’s shouty “Paint It Black” was not good at all–she surgically removed the nuance from the song, and replaced it with big, splashy yelling. (And let’s not even get into that orgasmy moan she inserted near the end.) However, even worse than her song was her all-black (get it?) outfit, which seemed to have been assembled from the clearance rack at Hot Topic in 2001. At least she kept it real with the pink stripe in her hair, right?

WHO WE VOTED FOR (IN OUR HEARTS): Melinda, Jordin, Chris Richardson, and Lakisha, who we’re worried about because of the “meh” comments from all three judges after her performance of “Diamonds Are Forever.” Sure, actually wearing a lot of diamonds during said performance was a bit gimmicky, but come on–fight the real enemy, guys!

WHO AMERICA WILL PROBABLY CUT: Phil, whose take on “Tobacco Road” seemed more appropriate for a Blueshammer audition, and who was in the bottom three last week; the weird pattern on his shirt made it look like he was sweating bullets. Also, the Axl-mic-stand-dance will probably alienate any frustrated Chinese Democracy flame-keepers out there. But really, Haley needs to go ASAP–we’re sure some cruise ship will hire her straightaway. ( has Stephanie, Chris Sligh, Gina, and Haley clustered near the bottom.)

PAULA ABDUL OUT-OF-IT SCALE: 8.5/10. From her whacked-out judgments to her telling Simon to “stop it” (what?) to her nearly slumping over the table at the end, she was clearly taking the live broadcast to another level. Then again, so was everyone else–particularly Ryan, whose zinger about Simon’s “self-love” seemed like a half-hearted attempt to get back at him for that closet comment last week.

Tomorrow: The long-awaited “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” performance!

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