American Idol Goes (Lady) GaGa
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Top 40 Download Week on AMERICAN IDOL was supposed to give the contestants a chance to sound current—you know, let them show us what kind of album they will make when the hoopla of AMERICAN IDOL is over. For some, it was pure recording-star magic, but not everybody belonged in the celestial night sky.

THE PAULA REPORT: Paula looked beautiful Tuesday night in a strapless hot pink dress and flat-ironed hair, but don’t worry—Paula may have looked pulled together the second week in a row, but she still rambled on like a crazy woman during her reviews. The “outrageous outfit of the night” award was left to one perky little redhead instead.

THE HIGHS: Danny, the widower who stole America’s heart, brought soul and fun to Rascal Flatts, crooner Kris tickled the keyboards and oozed a dreamy version of “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and Scott finally got someone backstage to fix his mess of a hair (his Billy Joel song was good, too, but really, THANK YOU to whoever tackled that boy with a can of mousse and a blow dryer!).

  
 
THE LOWS: Anoop over dramatized Usher (which is hard, because Usher is the KING of drama), Matt chose yet another persona to try for a night (still not the right fit), and Megan Joy was the prettiest mess ever to hit the stage.

MOST MEMORABLE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK: Funky 16 year old Allison warbled a luke-warm version of “Don’t Speak,” while her outfit screamed instead. Wearing a bizarre pink and black pseudo-punk dress and that firey red hair of hers, Allison looked like a rock version of baby Pebbles from the Flintstones.

GOODBYE TIME: Usually I hate the goodbye show each week. Between strange group performances and Ryan Seacrest’s drawn-out routine to divide the bottom three from the rest of the pack, I think it’s just a waste of time. I want to know who gets kicked off. Period.

But this week was different. Millions of us tuned in waiting to see Lady GaGa hit the stage. The gritty pop star is one of the few young singers onstage today who hasn’t been plucked from a modeling agency or had a former life on the Disney Channel. Lady GaGa worked every venue in New York, honing her unique look and sound.

And she was terrible live. Yes, I said it. I’m a fan of the GaGa gal, but the amazing stage theatrics and cool costumes couldn’t cover the fact that she sounded AWFUL. So when it was time to play out the whole “bottom three” game, I could only wonder if Megan, Allison, and Anoop each had better vocals than the hottest downloadable club girl in America. When Megan Joy was finally voted off, I nodded. I mean, she didn’t have a great week, and there are better singers left in the competition, but I liked her style. And her goodbye song was SO much better than having to hear Lady GaGa screech at me again!

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