Televised Talent: Do The Potty Dance

By Diane Smith | Staff Writer Published:

American Idol is always more enjoyable when watching it with friends. Even when you are “hate watching” the show.

I had a chance to see Wednesday’s episode with the friend who introduced me to the show in Season 2. Over the next 10 season, we’ve both gotten more cynical about it. This was the first time we’d had a chance to watch it together in quite a while, and not surprisingly, we both had similar opinions of the top contestants (weak) and didn’t disagree about the recent eliminations. We also had similar opinions about the apparent front runners (Jena and Caleb, we guess) and that the best singers were no doubt left behind in the abuse that is Hollywood Week.

Wednesday night was the night that contestants picked out songs for their competitors. Well, not really. Each of them came up with a suggestion, and it was up to that contestant to pick the one on the list that would be best.

We agreed that Sam was probably better off not being surrounded by girls, since that was too distracting for him. We also agreed that Jessica once again sang a song well but with none of the emotion that came with it. And Caleb’s performance was good, but not great. Then again, who was?

Dexter Roberts, for once, did not turn away from the mic, and we could hear every word of “Muckalee Creek Water,” which made it his best of the competition. That, granted, was not saying much. Judges criticized that it sounded too similar to the original, which meant nothing to those of us who never heard it before. Many blamed that criticism for his elimination on Thursday, and claimed they should have reserved their save for him. The judges did it to themselves, however, they wouldn’t have wasted their save on him anyway. My money is more on the fact that he and fellow Bottom 2 contestant Jessica were part of the abysmal “Alabama Power” trio. Jessica should have gone home, however, and my fear is that her presence in the Bottom 2 will encourage her fans to vote for her, which they’ll do early in the show, prior to her next emotionless performance.

And finally Jena “don’t call me Jenna” Irene gave what was the best performance of the night, if not her best of the entire competition, with “Creep.”

But it was Alex Preston’s performance that left both of us scratching our heads.

Close your eyes when he’s singing, or like me, open your web browser and listen to it while doing something else, and his performance of A Team is compelling, different and shows his artistry. Alex is arguably one of the smartest contestants on the show, plays a variety of instruments, and knows what it means to “end on the nine.” He is a musical nerd if ever there was one.

And maybe that’s why it goes right over his head that a certain movement he does with his legs is distracting to say the least.

“He looks like he has to go to the bathroom,” my friend finally said.

And after that, I could not look at him singing the same way.

And though my roommate didn’t come to the same conclusion when I showed the clip later, saying it looked like Alex was walking, other contestants came to the same conclusion my friend and I had made.

During the part of the results show where the contestants unwind (the segment that has apparently replaced the Ford commercial), Sam Woolf asked Alex what was up with “that thing you do with your legs when you perform, I mean it’s almost like you have to go to the bathroom or something.” When Alex replied that he hadn’t really noticed it, and hadn’t given it much thought, Caleb quipped, “Well you should, because it’s really pissing me off.”

Please, for the love of God, Alex, walk around the stage. Interact with people in the audience. Do something other than stand there and twitch your legs.

The voters will thank you, and you’ll be less of a subject of humor.

You’re welcome.

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