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American Idol recap: Hello Beatles, Goodbye Dreams

The contestants (barely) meet the Beatles and J. Lo breaks down in a real circus show

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American Idol

American Idol

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest
Reality TV

Field trip to Vegas! It was Beatles night for 61 American Idol singers, some of whom had never heard a Beatles song before. My instincts told me these people should be dragged into one of the dreary back rooms of THIS SPECTACULAR HANGAR to be killed at once, but instead they were allowed to sing. Living is easy with eyes closed. Misunderstand and you’re on TV.

Five of the 24 semifinalists were announced and five more headed home, so Fox has two whole hours tonight to deal with the life and death of just a few more trembling teens. (We are all teens at heart, and occasionally in mind.) We can rest assured Idol will find more tremendous ways to fill the dead air — perhaps “vocal coach from hell” Peggi Blu will get a half hour all to herself, and I think at least a whole segment should be devoted to Ashley Sullivan blubbering from a lonely jail cell about where she might have “hidden” her new husband. Spoiler alert: He’s dead.

I must now pause and give it up for Wednesday’s Unsung Hero of the Night: Camera man Dave, who sure was excited to bear the privilege of being the primary records custodian of Ashley Sullivan’s crazy. (I still can’t believe she didn’t sing “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” like I so politely asked, albeit several months after the fact.) Runner-up hero: Piano player who kept a straight face as the vocal coach from hell told Thia and Melinda they were going to die onstage.

We only got an hour of Beatles performances, because Chris Medina ended up serenely gliding away forever and the producers wanted us to see Jennifer Lopez cry. Did you cry with J. Lo, friends? I was about to — so on the verge — but then I began to thoroughly inspect the contours of J. Lo’s dress. I’m not proud of this; it’s just what happened. My job is to report the facts. So there was J. Lo completely losing it, and there I was in an entirely different place, wondering if her hair was extra greasy that day or if it was just a case of too much product. J. Lo cried for a long, long time; she was human, she was beautiful, and my God, the draping of that luscious green silk! To sum up our collective experience: “I felt so bad.”

NEXT: Whatever happened to Baby J. Lo?