Dancing With the Stars and American Idol Recap: Bundling the Pain of Sanjaya and Paulina
I'm thinking he just doesn't give a crap anymore.
That's my conclusion after seeing the weirdly impressive faux-hawk hairstyle lovable loser Sanjaya Malakar came up with for Tuesday's American Idol performance episode. (click here if you can't make embedded video work)
Given how odd Tuesday's show was -- forced to perform songs associated with celebrity coach Gwen Stefani, the Idols were straining to find tunes with memorable melodies and decent vocal opportunities -- Sanjaya's towering column of hair was guaranteed to be the topic of discussion this morning on the morning shows and cable channels.
It's a typical Idol circumstance. Until the show shakes off the losers and gets down to the real contenders, fans must suffer through this circus, where those more, um, vocally challenged contestants try charm (Phil Stacey), sex appeal (Haley Scarnato) and outrageousness (Sanjaya) to extend their 15 minutes.
As usual, acid-tongued judge Simon Cowell had the two best lines of the night, telling Sanjaya "I presume there's no mirror in your dressing room," before noting "I don't think it matters what we say anymore."
How right you are, Simon. These are Idol's dog days; a peculiar sort of reality TV-fed hell made worse by the inability of Stefani to say much about the contestants beyond "stick to the melody" and "I can't wait to see how he/she does" onstage. No wonder they allowed contestants to sing songs that "inspired" Stefani, too; one run through Don't Speak and it's obvious -- her success is as much about washboard abs and a pin-up's smile than anything she's actually singing.
Sanjaya, clearly sick of all the jibes about his look and performance clocked in the equivalent of Britney going bald. It remains to be seen whether his small bit of televised rebellion endears him to the teenyboppers who are keeping him on the show, or finally puts him -- and us -- out of our misery.
My pal Lisa DeMoraes at the Washington Post sez Sanjaya's hair has already won the competition. And USA Today coins a way-cool name for those who can't get enough of the follically endowed man-boy: Fanjayas.
Wonder what it would be like if Sanjaya had his own hair studio?
Dancing With the Stars Embraces it's Own Mediocrity
Is there any celebrity whose name says exciting, contemporary dance moves like Dionne Warwick?
I think it was about halfway through the show -- as the program''s professional dancers were gyrating through a super-cheesy rendition of Queen's already cheddar-filled pop hit Don't Stop Me Now -- that I began to feel like I was watching one of those outlandish parody production numbers occasionally presented on The Simpsons.
This episode had it all: a long-faded pop singer trotting out TWO inexplicably ill-fitting '70s hits; a clumsy attempt at building suspense by staggering revelations of which couples did worst; sprawling dance numbers which excluded the celebrities viewers ostensibly tuned in to see and a bloated, hourlong slot that left producers horribly, awfully achingly deseperate to fill time.
Former E! correspondent Samantha Harris earned the Brian Dunkleman Award for lamest co-host on a reality show -- stepping all over super-smooth partner Tom Bergeron, stumbling over her lines and asking contestants variations on "How does it feel?" so often that Bergeron himself had to stop her from saying it when well-deserved loser Paulina Porizkova was finally announced. (how long before ABC suits realize the super-capable Bergeron is more than qualified to guide this train wreck by himself?)
And why, pray tell, was Chuck Woolery in the audience (and why wasn't he at least providing some kitschy drama by breaking into tears, like Hasselhoff)?
I can only pray ratings drop off enough that I don't feel obligated to relive the horror, week after week, documenting the slow decay of a TV audience who would rather watch Billy Ray Cyrus clomp around a dance floor than, say, a really cool Ray Liotta series.