We Watch . . . So You Don't Have To

By Lise de Moraes
Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Penultimate performance night on "American Idol."

First, record industry relic Clive Davis, for whom the "American Idol" winner will cut an album, chooses a song for each of the remaining three Idolettes.

He picks lousy ones for Katharine McPhee ("I Believe I Can Fly") and Elliott Yamin ("Open Arms"), which doesn't really matter because Taylor Hicks is going to win this thing, heaven help us.

"I didn't pick it!" Katharine complains when judges Harpo and Zero nick her song choice; even judge Groucho agrees they're being "a bit unfair."

But for Taylor he picks the perfect tune: Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark."

Taylor jumps up on the catwalk behind the judges while singing and motions Zero to dance with him, which she naturally does.

"Dancing with Paula -- that was hot!" raves Harpo.

But Zero says it was nerve-wracking because she's wearing some animal-print strapless sheath that's being held up with double-stick tape.

Only then do Fox suits realize how close they'd just come to having a Janet Jackson moment on the live singing competition; Fox's entire Standards and Practices department drops dead.

Next, the judges pick a song for each contestant and they fly the Idolettes to their home towns just so the mayors can be taped reading the song choice. This show must print money.

Zero picked "What You Won't Do for Love" for Elliott, which is only slightly better than his previous song.

Harpo chose Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful" for Taylor, which is so unfair because Taylor is the reincarnation of Joe Cocker -- yes, before he's even dead.

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