American Idol’s loopiest judge made the biggest and most cringeworthy gaffe in the show’s history.
Since the Top 5 had two songs to sing, the judges were going to critique them after their second performance. OK, makes sense. But at the midway point, after each contender performed their first song, Ryan brought the five on stage and asked the judges what they thought so far.
After Randy gave his thoughts, Paula began. “Jason, the first song, I loved hearing your lower register, which we never really hear. The second song, I felt like your usual charm wasn’t… it was missing for me, it kind of left me a little empty. And the two songs made me feel like you’re not fighting hard enough to get into the Top 4.”
Randy immediately jumped in and laughingly reminded Paula that the contestants had only performed one song, which she then gasped, red-faced and blathered, “Oh my God, I thought you sang twice!” Even Simon, who would have normally been making fun of her, attempted to rescue her.
It’s easy to chalk up the blunder to confusion on Paula's part but as far as I’m concerned, it can only be perceived in two ways: either Paula took notes during the contestants’ dress rehearsals and used them; or, Paula was reading notes given to her by the show’s producers.
Either way you cut it, it’s pretty damaging. And while the conspiracy theorist that I am may be reading too much into this, doesn’t it make you scratch your head a little? The judges should have no access to the contestants during rehearsals, and should only be giving feedback based on what the viewing public sees. But if her comments – which she stutters through, night after night – are written by someone other than her, then the show’s got a whole other mess to clean up.
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