Simon Cowell kisses LaKisha before George W. and Laura Bush appear on Idol

Halfway into the second performance episode for the top six American Idol 6 finalists, during LaKisha’s critique, Simon Cowell said, “LaKisha, I could actually kiss you after that. On the lips, come here.”

And then, as the Paula Abdul Contestant Protection Squad mobilized, LaKisha went to the judge’s table. And they kissed. On the lips. “You are so good,” he said, and once LaKisha arrived back on stage, he said, “Nice lips. Nice lips.” That’s probably the moment when FOX’s lawyers all had heart attacks.

LaKisha’s performance was one of a string of very strong performances. And those aren’t fun to mock, but there were plenty of moments that were. First, Phil Stacey needs to work on his makeup, because he looks more like Nosferatu every week. (Hysterically, the last result on the first page of Google’s search results for “Phil Stacey Nosferatu” is his official FOX bio.)

Randy Jackson couldn’t resist making his comments about Phil’s performance about himself, saying, “I actually recorded that song with Jon Bon Jovi, I played bass on that; it’s cool to hear it again.” Paula fell into Simon laughing.

Later, from the Things Aging Rock Stars Love to Hear from 17-Year-Olds file, Jordin told Bon Jovi, “Oh my gosh, my mom is going to flip out. She got me into ya’ll, so…” Bon Jovi said, “Oh yeah?” with the same tone as one would say, “I hate you.”

Jordin’s performance of his song worked about as well as her compliment, as Simon told her, “It was just out of control. It was verging on shrieking at times. You absolutely, completely lost control.” He added, “You have a massive disadvantage, but it was terrible, to be honest with you.”

By the way, when Ryan Seacrest stands next to Jordin on stage, it’s like looking at a Fraggle stand next to a Gorg.

Unlike Jordin, Blake blew the judges away. He performed “the most original version of a song ever on American Idol,” Randy Jackson said. Bon Jovi worried that Blake “has to sell his interpretation of a song that a lot of people know and don’t want messed with,” but his beatboxing version of “You Give Love a Bad Name” was, as Simon said, a “massive risk, and this is what is going to keep you in the competition next week.”

Blake’s friend Chris Richardson was introduced by Ryan Seacrest as Justin Timberlake, and for a moment, it looked like Chris would use his round head to knock the Fraggle off the stage. But alas, no.

The second most unusual moment, after Simon and LaKisha’s make-out moment, was a clip Ryan Seacrest introduced at the very end of the show. It was a pre-recorded message from George W. and Laura Bush, both reading off a teleprompter to “thank you for raising millions of dollars for children living in poverty in America and Africa,” Bush said.

He later said, “We thank all the American Idol viewers who have shown the good heart of America. And we thank all the celebrities who participated, including Bono.” They concluded with some shtick: “Say Laura, do you think I ought sing something?” Laura replied, “I don’t know darling, they’ve already seen you dance.”

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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.