American Idol: The Cruel New Rule
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Grand entrances, scary makeovers, and tearful goodbyes, all set to the soundtrack of Michael Jackson’s best hits. Ahhh, AMERICAN IDOL Season Eight is in full swing!

THE PAULA REPORT: Paula Abdul has her own unique fashion style and has even created a line of jewelry that celebrates this. Although she’s raised an eyebrow or two with her judge’s-table outfits, most of the past “Paula chatter” on AMERICAN IDOL has had to do with her kooky personal behavior. But something has gone horribly wrong in Paula’s dressing room.

Is Paula’s team of highly-paid stylists playing some elaborate trick on her? Are they underpaid, jealous, or just plain mean? The former pop star appeared on stage this week in thick glitter makeup and a bird blouse. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her, but I wanted to!

MEMORABLE MOMENTS: Contestants, now sharing space in a pimped-out mansion, performed their favorite Michael Jackson song this week.

The Good News: Danny Gokey sported some cool new red specs, Allison Iraheta did an amazing Heart impersonation, and Adam Lambert, the rocker with a cool blue streak in his jet black hair, brought the crowd to their feet.

The Bad News: Lil Rounds had a rough night, Anoop Desai “Beat It” badly, and Alexis Grace sang “Dirty Diana” in a catsuit.

GOODBYES: First, a general explanation of the whole new “rescue the singer” rule. Judges each have the option of saving a singer from being “offed,” but they can only offer this free pass once during the season, and only before the top 5 are selected. This additional safety net is supposed to keep some of the talented singers in the game, the ones that America didn’t vote through, but this new rule makes it doubly insulting for the singers who get the boot by vote and then the public “you are not worth saving” speech from the judges.

This week, despite how great she looked onstage, Jasmine Murray was the first to be voted off. After Ryan Seacrest awkwardly asked the judges if they planned to “save” her, and they awkwardly declined, Jorge Nunez was brought to the stage. Without hesitation, Simon barked, “No,” to Ryan’s inquiry, and Jorge was out of the competition, too. Normally I love the drama of reality TV, but this new post-voting judgment is cringe-worthy, at best.

Maybe by next week they will have found a way to break the news more gently. But then again, it’s Simon’s show, so probably not. Either way, we are in for a wild ride!

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