Entertainment behind the scenes
Simon Cowell becomes a stand-up guy
It’s an unusual night on “American Idol” when the normally sharp-tongued judge Simon Cowell offers a contestant a standing ovation, which is exactly what he did at the end of Tuesday’s show in reaction to Adam Lambert’s performance. Granted that Cowell had to offer succinct praise because the show was out of time, but he was definitely acting out of character when he stood up and gushed over Lambert’s singing.
Lambert chose the 1982 hit “Mad World” by Tears for Fears, a selection much less well known than the songs other contestants performed. This week, the Idols had to pick a song from the year they were born. The judges were tough on a couple of them over their song choice, with Lil Rounds getting the worst of it.
The judges slammed her for a lack of originality on her version of the 1984 Tina Turner hit “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” Randy Jackson said: “You can do a lot of stuff but Tina is not you. And that year, there’s an amazing bunch of songs you could have sung that would have been really you.”
Kris Allen also got slammed by the judges for his version of the Don Henley song “All She Wants To Do Is Dance.” Cowell was not his usual creative self in criticizing Allen, falling back on his standby disses of “indulgent,” “boring” and “forgettable.” That prompted host Ryan Seacrest to joke, “Simon, your critique was indulgent and predictable.” Cowell responded the way he often does when Seacrest jibes him, saying “Ryan, Ryan, Ryan,” as if he can keep Seacrest in line. It’s clear that Cowell has the most power on the judging panel, but often his exchanges with Seacrest seem a bit like verbal footsie.
As usual, contestants Danny Gokey and Allison Iraheta pleased the judges with their singing, and this week they avoided the daring outfit choices that the judges criticized them for in past weeks. Gokey sang “Stand By Me” and Iraheta performed “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” with her version of the Bonnie Raitt hit prompting Jackson to compare the 16-year-old to Season 1 “American Idol” champion Kelly Clarkson.
At the other end of the spectrum, aside from Lil Rounds the judges also condemned the performance of Scott MacIntyre, who sang “The Search is Over” by Survivor. Will either Lil, Kris or Scott be voted out on Wednesday? And depending on who loses, will the judges use their new save power, or save the save for another week?