Last night on “American Idol” the theme was inspirational songs. You know, like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
Weak show. Very meh. Those tunes did not bring out the hotness in a Top Eight that’s already low on candlepower.
So I have a suggestion for a future “American Idol” theme night. It would be a different route for them to take... but different is good.
The theme is: Songs of Anguish and Despair.
I mean, for real, let’s see what these pretty motherfuckers are made of when it comes to heart and soul. Below are a few of my recommended songs, matched with some of this year’s contestants:
1. “Gloomy Sunday” – Billie Holiday
Brooke Smith damn near brought herself to tears last night with “You’ve Got a Friend.” I want to know how she’d handle a melody and lyric with the proven power to inspire suicides. (She should not wear that lemon-yellow dress she had on a couple of weeks back.)
2. “Alone Again (Naturally)” – Gilbert O’Sullivan
All the little girls love David Archuleta. They’d love him even more, I say, if he can show he’s felt some pain in his life. Like a woman breaking his heart. Or having to bury his father.
Kid has a nice voice. He could work it out on this one, he could do his thing, throw it down... yeah! You know what? That right there? Molten hot!
3. “My Shit’s Fucked Up” – Warren Zevon
Blissed-out Jason Castro... America’s favorite slacker. Dude, put that ukulele down, strap on an acoustic gitbox, wipe that grin off your face, and imagine real hard what it feels like to have cancer.
Or a degenerative palsy.
Then sing this jawn and prove to Simon Cowell that you’re in it to win it.
4. “William’s Cut” – Kristin Hersh
Kristy Lee Cook, can we talk? You ain’t gonna win this thing, you know that, right? No matter many times you sing “God Bless the U.S.A.” So why not “take a risk” and step outside your “comfort zone”? Think heroin addict.
And if you’re feeling really bold and sassy, borrow Jason’s ukulele. Shit could work, I’m telling you.
5. “Everything Goes to Hell” – Tom Waits
David Cook could win it all this season. Matter fact, I predict he will. (Even though half the time he reminds me of Jack Black in Tenacious D mode.) For you, David C., this Waits tune would be a right fine vessel for your grungy bad-boy sex appeal.
Say what, David C.? You’re unconvinced? Maybe this’ll seal the deal: Tom Waits was a big influence on Chris Cornell. You don’t believe me? Then unscrew yourself from Cornell’s jock, turn around, and ask him yourself.
Just playin’! You’re all right, David Cook. You’re all right.
6. “In the Year 2525” – Zager & Evans
Michael Johns could totally rock this creepy dystopian anthem. Or maybe he couldn’t. I don’t care... as long as he doesn’t murder any more Aerosmith songs.
Michael might rise as high as the Top Three in this competition. But “American Idol” is just a prelude to his true calling: servicing middle-aged women as a high-end gigolo.