Bee Gees songs challenge American Idol’s final four

“I think you and Blake are vulnerable tonight,” Simon Cowell told LaKisha Jones last night. All final four American Idol 6 contestants had a rough night performing Bee Gees songs, which gave far too many journalists license to be witty and reference “Stayin’ Alive” in their Idol stories.

Blake, who’s usually praised for his originality, didn’t impress the judges with his take on the two songs he performed. Simon said his first “was absolutely terrible,” and after his second song, Randy said, “Just remember, you ain’t gotta beatbox on every joint, dude. You don’t have to do it; we know you can do it; it’s okay to sing it.”

After her first performance, Paula told LaKisha that despite a problem with its tempo, “everyone is on their feet.” Simon said, “They’re heading for the exits,” which Paula helpfully repeated for everyone to hear. Moments later, Simon said, “LaKisha, no kiss tonight, baby. … The performance was verging on scary in parts.”

Melinda and Jordin fared a bit better, although the judges weren’t blown away by Melinda. Jordin, however, really impressed this week’s mentor. Before she performed “To Love Somebody,” Sean Connery–I mean, Barry Gibb–said, “I know a couple of hundred people have sung this song, but I haven’t heard a greater version than Jordin’s.”

The show was rushed as all four performed two songs in a single hour, but the show still had time for a Q&A with Jordin, who Ryan Seacrest spit on while “doing our voice warm up,” he said. And Judge Judy was in the audience, who Ryan introduced as “Simon’s evil twin.” Judge Judy sort of ran around the studio, going over to the judges’ table and saying that she and Simon were “separated at birth. Long separation.” Ryan later joked, “Let’s tell the truth: they’ve been dating for three months now.”

While the Bee Gees music challenged the contestants, they may have other reasons for turning in less-than-stellar performances. A USA TODAY reporter went behind the scenes at the show over the weekend, and watched as they were pulled away from rehearsing to promote the show and be pimped out to its sponsors.

On Sunday, they were occupied by “an all-day production at Paramount Studios” for the music video that will air tonight. It takes them an entire day to produce those crappy videos?

And last Friday, while working on their wardrobe and finalizing song choice and arrangements, “The finalists must leave in an hour for a promotional stop at the Fox studio lot, where they will watch a preview of the Fantastic Four movie sequel,” the paper reports. Later, the “four receive Fantastic Four jackets at the preview,” which should be a nice consolation prize for the person who goes home tonight.

‘American Idol’: A week of running before the show [USA TODAY]

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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.