Priscilla Presley says Idol “would be one of [Elvis'] favorite shows”; Ryan calls Paula a stripper

If Elvis is still alive, you can bet he’ll make an appearance today, horrified at what his former spouse Priscilla Presley told the final four American Idol contestants. When they visited Graceland to prepare for last night’s performance show, Priscilla told them, “I think if Elvis were alive today, he would certainly cheer you on. I think it would be one of his favorite shows, truly.”

Priscilla continued the parade of newly young-looking old celebrities appearing on the show this season; at almost 61, she looks like Ryan Seacrest wishes he looked five years ago. At Graceland, she also told Chris, Taylor, Elliott, and Katharyn that she watches the show and knew who they were.

Things didn’t start so well for the contestants; Simon told Taylor, for example, that his rendition of “Jailhouse Rock” “was a terrible impersonation of Elvis Presley. … It was just karaoke with a capital K.” The performances improved, and Paula managed to behave, although she did jumped up and scream at Simon at one point, so annoying him that he yelled back “shut up!”

Instead, it was Ryan Seacrest had the evening’s weird moments, and he even crossed a line that Simon Cowell was horrified by. First, though, there was a weird exchange between Ryan Seacrest and Chris Daughtry–weird because of Ryan’s reaction.

During the Host Chat Time Waste, Chris said, “There’s a debate going on with all my fans, and to answer their question, it’s boxer briefs.” At that point Ryan sprung from his chair and moved about 10 feet away. “I’m a little uncomfortable with this conversation right now, Chris,” he said, protesting way too much. Later, giving Chris’ phone numbers, he suddenly became comfortable with the idea, and then clued us in to his own underwear vernacular. “He’s standing here in hybrids, ladies and gentlemen, now all of America knows that–that’s what we call boxer briefs,” Ryan said.

But that was nothing compared to what happened after Elliott’s performance of “Trouble.” Paula was apparently dancing during the song, and afterwards Ryan asked Elliott, “Could you even see the moves that Paula was pulling off? I feel like I’m obligated to give her a dollar after that.”

Right when he said that, essentially saying that Paula was dancing like a stripper or otherwise acting like a whore, his face sort of went blank and he realized he went too far, even if he does still loathe her. “No, but I mean — she was, you were enjoying it,” he stumbled.

Then Simon verbally spanked him, saying, “Thank you, Ryan. A bit disrespectful, thank you. Family show.” Good point, Simon; families only want to hear jokes about Ryan being gay and Paula being drunk.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.