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This Week, It's Paula's Turn to Be Judged

By Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 27, 2005

W e Watch So You Don't Have To:

Songs From This Millennium night on "American Idol." Do they actually have meetings where they knock around ideas and come up with these themes, 'cause this one's the lamest ever.

Here's the real theme of last night's "Idol" broadcast: All Eyes on Paula.

It looks as though "Idol" judge Paula Abdul may have her own "Primetime Live" broadcast. ABC News announced this week it's working on a "special" about "explosive claims" of behind-the-scenes hanky-panky on the Fox singing competition show, and just in time for the May ratings sweep.

Coincidentally, or not, Corey Clark, the contestant booted a season or so back after word got out that he'd been arrested for allegedly assaulting his teenage sister and then resisting arrest, has a book proposal floating around New York in which he claims Paula was hot for him and promised to help him in the competition and to launch his career, so to speak. He also has an album coming out.

Anyway, someone clearly got to Paula before last night's show. Gone were the slutty outfits she's way too old to wear, gone was the wild dancing during contestant performances, no more gushing at male contestants that she was falling in love with them, no pouncing on colleague Simon Cowell, only minimal seal flapping and waving of arms over her head. Waaaaaaaah!

Carrie Underwood kicked things off. But not before we'd visited the itsy-bitsy town in which she lives. There's Carrie, feeding the adorable cows. Carrie watching the cute little doggy chase the adorable cows. Carrie petting a precious little bunny rabbit. My eyes!

Carrie of course did her country gal thing; it was like something out of "Coal Miner's Daughter." Blech! Carrie wore fake hair; wonder if the ABC News folk caught that.

Bo Bice sang next, wearing a Halloween costume of wraparound dark glasses and a dashiki -- very retro, like Carrie's performance. Maybe they didn't understand when host Ryan Seacrest told them the theme of the show was this millennium. Maybe they don't know what millennium means. Simon put Bo straight, telling him the look went out in 1988.

Vonzell Solomon sang some song that set Paula to babbling about "keys" and "bridges" and "magic" -- signs she was starting to crack under the pressure to act all normal.

Seacrest told viewers that Vonzell won't speak to anyone on Tuesdays; if someone needs to communicate with her on performance days, they have to write little notes and she responds with little notes. Hope ABC News was watching that, too. That's good May sweeps stuff.

Heather Locklear was in the audience, part of her program to recover her career after "LAX." Her pretty little daughter was sitting on her lap; only the girl blows all the cues Seacrest and Locklear give her. Seacrest asked if she likes "Idol" and she answered, "Um." "Say yes!" snapped Locklear. Seacrest then asked who her fave is; she was supposed to say Anthony Fedorov because he was up next, but she cannot tell a lie and so she says nothing. "Anthony!" Locklear hissed, and the girl then says, "Anthony." Really hope ABC News was watching; another great May sweeps story: Celebrity Moms From Hell.

T-Boy began to sing, wearing a key around his neck -- the key to Paula's love pad, maybe? Hope ABC News saw that.

Constantine Maroulis tried to get back to his rocker roots, but the judges have none of it; Simon said he's better as a crooner -- like he means it to sting.

Finally, Scott Savol has found yet another song that's really all about him, which he sang. Simon told him to pack his suitcase. But we definitely won't go there because it only galvanizes Scott's fan base.

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