Contrary to widespread rumors of its untimely demise, disco hasn’t died. In fact, tonight, the erstwhile superstar got its AARP card, some ill-fitting, age-inappropriate clothing, and a performance slot on American Idol‘s results-show telecast.
Sigh. As a longstanding disco fan — uh-huh, you read that right! — it pains me to say that the lowest point of tonight’s particularly abominable results-show telecast had to be the medley of dance classics from Freda Payne, Thelma Houston, and KC (controversially operating sans Sunshine Band).
Now, I understand the producers’ desire to pay tribute to each week’s theme by booking a musical guest from said genre, but shouldn’t the artist(s) in question be able to hit more notes per minute than, say, Norman Gentle? Without the visual aid of Ms. Payne’s impressively toned arms, you might have mistaken the sound of her gasping her way through ”Band of Gold” as the opening segment of an infomercial for Life Alert. (Her pitch has fallen off and it can’t get up!) Was Cecile Frot-Coutaz unaware that Idol‘s own season three star Kimberley Locke scored a decent-sized AC hit with a cover of the not-really-disco classic a couple years back?
Similarly, why not invite Elliott Yamin or Chikezie or, heck, even Kevin Covais to cover ”Get Down Tonight,” instead of forcing the audience to endure the sound of KC’s wheezy falsetto getting launched into the path of an oncoming backing track? Worse still, the sight of KC, clad in a too-tight top and surrounded by four writhing, lycra-clad backup dancers, played almost like a tragicomic parody of Flo Rida’s results-night ”Right Round” a few weeks back. Of the medley’s participants, only Houston managed to do vocal justice to her hit (”Don’t Leave Me This Way”) but unfortunately, the insane neckline of her yellow cocktail dress was about as effective at containing her heaving bazooms as a store-brand paper towel might be if it were pinch-hitting for the Hoover Dam.
Thankfully, the Payne-Houston-KC medley did not dominate the episode the way it is certain to dominate my weekend nightmare reel. In fact, there was serious business to attend to, as two contestants had to be sent packing thanks to the fact that Matt Giraud received Idol‘s version of a winning MegaMillions ticket in the form of the Judges’ Save last week.
NEXT: Slezak’s disco song