I’m anticipating tonight’s American Idol with a visual I may have gotten from The Simpsons: two drivers heading toward each other on a rain-slicked highway. One snacking on a chocolate bar; the other, inexplicably, eating peanut butter straight from the jar. The two collide, fly through their respective windshields, and voila — the birth of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
The metaphor (far from perfect) applies (far from perfectly) to tonight’s episode, when these twelve kids, of drastically varying talent, will be covering the Rolling Stones, one of my all-time favorites. I’m looking forward to three or four delicious peanut butter cups, and at least four or five horrific car crashes… so if you’re like me, and love schadenfreude almost as much as Crystal and The Siobhan, BOO-YAH. Or, as people in their twenties would say, “a huge bucketful of win.” [Grumpily shaking fist]
Here’s the list of fifty songs the kids have to choose from:
As Tears Go By
Beast of Burden
Can’t You Hear Me Knocking
Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)
Fool to Cry
Get Off My Cloud
Heart of Stone
Honky Tonk Women
It’s All Over Now
It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)
Jumpin’ Jack Flash
The Last Time
Let It Bleed
Live With Me
Love In Vain
Mother’s Little Helper
19th Nervous Breakdown
Paint It, Black
Play With Fire
Salt of the Earth
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
She Was Hot
She’s a Rainbow
She’s So Cold
Shine a Light
Start Me Up
Street Fighting Man
Sympathy for the Devil
Time Is On My Side
Under My Thumb
Waiting On a Friend
You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Word on the ‘net is that The Siobhan will be doing “Paint It Black.” It goes without saying that she is going to kick its ass. I did some googling, and it’s crazy how many ways that song’s been covered. Perhaps she will go the Chris Farlowe route. As for Crystal, I am giddy with anticipation (and yes, I am straight) that she’ll do “Love In Vain” (with a harmonica bridge), “Midnight Rambler” (belting out the closing lines “I stick my knife right down your throat / And baby that hurts”) or “Waiting on a Friend.” (that link is to a montage of cute animals snuggling together, by the way).
The next tier, for me (for you), is Didi, Lee, and possibly Big Mike. Didi could CRUSH a slow-tempo number like “As Tears Go By” or “No Expectations” or Wild Horses” (which has been covered by many women before her). Regardless, it’s always a blast watching her teeter on the verge of an emotional meltdown listening to the judges critique her. Lee and Big Mike are pretty “meh,” but they could do songs like “Tumbling Dice” justice. I don’t think I really care.
I care a whole bunch about the remaining God-awful contestants, and might just jizz in my pants when Ryan tells us their song choices. Think of the train-wreck possibilities coming from the mouths of Tim, or Aaron, or Katie:
- “Brown Sugar,” which not-so-obliquely describes a sexual relationship between a man and his slave woman;
- “She’s So Cold” with the lyrics “A sweet sweet booty / But stone stone cold” and “I’m a burning fire / I’m a bleeding volcano”;
- “Country Honk” — “I laid a divorcee in New York City”;
- “Start Me Up” — PLEASE someone have the hubris to think you can do this song.
I’m also really hoping they’ll have those taped segments where the Idols stand next to the piano and rehearse their songs in front of Keith Richards. Imagine the conversations he’d have with poor Aaron or Katie. And what if they slipped Mike Myers in there playing Keith Richards? Would half of them even know the difference? I’m telling you people, tonight could just be schadenfreude GOLD. Gold, Jerry.
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