Film and TV

Disco Wreaks Havoc on 'Idol'

Disco: It's the musical genre that just won't die. Along with cockroaches and Twinkies, I'm pretty sure it's the only form of music that would survive a nuclear holocaust. It's been the butt of many a joke since it fell out of vogue in the 80s, but somehow, it still manages to find a tiny place for itself in our cultural fabric.
Idol contestants got the chance to do something different with songs notorious for their cheese factor. Not surprisingly, only a couple used the opportunity wisely (and thusly choked in front of Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil! Tre embarrassing!)

Lil Rounds kicked things off with Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman." I love me some Chaka, but Idol contestants do not know the meaning of beating a dead horse. This song has been done to death, leading to my boredom and causing me to stare at the wonder that is her butt rather than listening to the song itself. I thought it was actually one of her better performances, but of course the judges hated it. Simon even told her it was likely her last time on the stage, and the producers cut to her mother sitting in the audience, looking like she was about to cut a Cowell. Priceless. Lil also talked about her "inner goddess," which was kind of awesome.

Best performance of the night goes hands down to Kris Allen who turned a much-reviled song (much reviled by me, anyway) and turned it into something different and actually pretty sexy. His version of Donna Summer's  "She Works Hard for the Money" was a perfect example of a contestant taking a lame theme and working it to their advantage. The judges were jizzing their pants over it, and rightfully so. Also, he gets points for telling us that he picked the song because he though "it had something to say. It's a story about a woman." OK Kris. Nice try.

After a couple of weeks of toning it down, Danny Gokey has gone back to annoying the crap out of me. His version of Earth, Wind and Fire's "September" was decent vocally (he has one of those voices you either love or love to hate, and I fall firmly in the latter category), but the  whole thing was pretty cheesy and unoriginal. Of course the judges (except for Simon, who swooped in with a dose of reality for the others) ate it up with a spoon, with Paula telling him he has "one of the sexiest voices" she's ever heard. Then again, this is the woman who at one point thought the star of the Mighty Ducks franchise was the sexiest man on the planet, so let's all take that with a grain of salt, shall we?

Allison Iraheta gave a very close second performance of the night with another Donna Summer song. She inexplicably came in on a moving hot-pink staircase, but quickly redeemed herself with a slowed-down, hot version of "Hot Stuff." Randy and Kara "didn't love the arrangement," but the two of them, despite their music "experience," seem like they wouldn't know a good arrangement if they were hit over the head with one. Simon called it brilliant, further affirming that he's the only one who knows anything  about anything in this joint.

The judges lost their shizz again over Adam Lambert's version of Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You," which I actually thought was well-sung but a little boring. But then I listened to the original version, and realized that at the very least he deserves props for doing something completely different with a played-out song that had the potential to be over-the-top and cheesy. Which supports my theory that Adam Lambert is the most brilliant Idol contestant of all time: Everyone expects him to do the cheesy, campy, over-the-top thing on disco night of all nights, but instead he busts out with a slow jam. Bravo, my eyeliner-loving friend, for attempting to rise above the expectations. Even if you sort of bored me.

Matt Giraud: Go home already. I'm done with you. Your version of "Staying Alive" wasn't actually completely horrible, but you will never be able to do anything to shake the thought that the best you will ever do is become a Justin Timberlake impersonator. From your vaguely similar face to the way you dress to your overused falsetto. I definitely don't revile you as much as I do Gokey, but if I'm being fair, he has a better voice than you. You seem like a nice guy, though...maybe I'll catch you at The Big Bang during your inevitable post-Idol deuling piano tour.

Anoop Desai sang "Dim All The Lights,"   yet another Donna Summer song, whilst wearing a Pepto-Bismol-colored sweater. I thought it was really nice, and the judges (save for Simon) also dug it. Quote of the night: "Sometimes I forget this is a singing competition, but you can really sing," Randy Jackson said. Don't worry, Randy, we all forget sometimes, too.

Tonight: Two go home! Exciting. Except not really because I'm pretty sure we all know who the two will be.

Who should be in the bottom three: Gokey, Giraud, Rounds
Who will be in the bottom three:  Desai, Giraud, Rounds
Who will go home: My money's on Rounds and Giraud, but this whole two-person-going-home thing could throw it all off. What if Kris and Allen actually get booted off instead? Idol anarchy!

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Yvonne Zusel
Contact: Yvonne Zusel