Despite some truly spectacular performances this week, somehow the judges managed to take center stage on "Idol" on Tuesday.
Randy continued on his whole if-I'm-negative-then-maybe-I'll-seem-more-knowledgeable trip, but apparently he's not content to simply drive us crazy during his turn anymore. Oh, no. The new thing he's fully embracing is to talk while the other two judges are giving their feedback.
This isn't so much a problem when Paula is yammering on, but when the moment we've all been waiting for finally arrives and Simon actually starts telling it like it is, the last thing I need is to hear Randy piping in with, "Yeah, that's what I mean" and "Exactly."
Why couldn't Randy have taken a page out of Paula's M.O. on Tuesday and spoken less rather than more? I'm talking about the moment when Paula pointed to the crowd shrieking their love for David Archuleta and said that their cries essentially summarized how she felt. Have you ever heard of a more efficient and effective way for Paula to talk? If only pointing and smiling could work every time.
The performances were, for the most part, quite good. Despite an unfortunate scarf-T-shirt-vest combo, Michael Johns was in epic form on Aerosmith's "Dream On." And Kristy Lee Cook managed to do well with Martina McBride's "Anyway," while David Archuleta did a superb job on Robbie Williams' "Angel" (though he looked even more terrified and deer-in-the-headlights-esque than usual whenever he wasn't singing).
Jason Castro, meanwhile, drew raves from the judges for his ukulele-accompanied version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," which I'm afraid to say simply may have been over my head because it all seemed a bit "Mickey Mouse Club"-ish to me. But I did agree with the judges that neither Brooke White nor Carly Smithson did anything too memorable.
Luckily, however, Syesha Mercado was there to make memories. You know that down-low bad attitude of hers that I've mentioned before, and which you can essentially see simmering just below that toothy smile? Well, girlfriend brought it out to play, and it was something.
Here's how it went down: After belting out Fantasia's "I Believe" and announcing several times that Fantasia was her idol, Syesha was the recipient of some not-terribly-eloquent Randy criticism. And she decided to handle that by taking the guy on.
The Crest toothpaste smile was nowhere to be seen as the Fantasia-worshipper essentially grilled Randy on what, exactly, he meant by saying she didn't have a special connection to the song.
Doing anything but smiling or crying with joy seems a risky move at this stage in the competition, but since Syesha had announced earlier in the night that Ramiele was the "only one who really got me," I took this to mean that she knows she's not particularly liked and doesn't really care.
Meanwhile, over on "Dancing with the Stars," arguably the most likable contestant in the history of the show, Adam Carolla, danced his final samba. While I can't fault the show's judges for his dismissal — they were as enthusiastic about him as their dance expertise allowed them to be — it doesn't seem right that Carolla's off the air but Syesha continues to be televised.
Can I get a judge's ruling on that?
Anna David is a freelance writer. Her novel, "Party Girl," is in stores.