Film and TV

'American Idol' Gets Gay, and So Does Jamie Foxx a Little, Too

American Idol is really cracking me up lately.

From the contestants' cheesy head turn in the intro to the usage of Jamie Foxx, the king of Auto-Tune, as mentor, it's clear this show is not about finding the best singer in America. It's more about making even the most non-savvy music lovers happy, it's about product placement, and it's about promoting the careers of the host and judges.

Oh, well. I'm still watching.

This week, the contestants sang songs from movies, and Lee DeWyze chose a great song, "Kiss from a Rose." Foxx gets up in DeWyze's face real up-close-like during rehearsal to get him to connect with the audience members, and even though the performance had a lot of out-of-key notes by DeWyze, it was a great choice for him, and it was probably the first performance where I really enjoyed listening to him. But, sigh, he's still not so smart in his banter.

On to Michael Lynche, who got to dance and box with Foxx. He sings a song from Free Willy, which is awesome, even more so since Michael Jackson originally did it. We get to hear judge Kara Dioguardi, dressed in a really weird suit, try to explain the movie to judge Simon Cowell, which is hysterical, only adding to the funny factor since Lynche brought out a choir on-stage with him. It was just too much, and while he sounded good, it was still too corny to take seriously. Prediction: Bottom Two.

DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox sang a beautiful rendition of "Falling Slowly". It was partly acoustic, and their voices actually sounded great together. It was also really emotional, since they looked at each other the whole time, and that made it really gorgeous to watch. It was a really enjoyable performance that hopefully they'll perform during their tour.

Foxx asks Casey James to seduce him, which is also a wonderful moment. Then James calls it "intense". Maybe those rumors James is gay are true...also awesome. His version of "Mrs. Robinson" was subdued and just as awkward as last week's...which is disappointing because he used to be semi-good. What's going on?! Prediction: Bottom Two.

Bowersox sent a strong message to the judges after a tough couple of weeks by singing "I'm Alright," which was the perfect hippie-ish track for her and suited her voice perfectly. She's best when she's in jam band form, with a song where her voice is center stage, but there are also enough instruments to make any track seem stadium-worthy. If she made her album full of songs like this, I would buy it immediately.

James and Lynche both play guitar and sing "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" It's sort of a weird duet, but they both sound and look great, as well as play guitar well--especially James. The song was not the most exciting, but it was pretty, and it's great both duets were actually enjoyable. And judge Ellen DeGeneres acknowledged her sexuality, young viewers be damned. That is freaking incredible!

It looks like despite all his pleading ,about how last year it was totally his number one goal to get into the Top Three, Lynche will be going home this week. He always sounded good, but could you really see him being the next pop star? Me, neither.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Nicki Escudero
Contact: Nicki Escudero