Wet Hot American Slummer: Idol Vs. The Rat Pack
And then there were five:
Matt Giraud: an eager-to-please, easier-to-forget Timberlakian soul crooner.
Allison Iraheta: a world-weary Southland teen packing V8 lungpower under the hood.
Danny Gokey: the product of a chance indiscretion between Michael McDonald and Sarah Palin in the back of a Chevy Impala during the 1980 Anchorage Annual Smelt Festival;
Kris Allen: an endearingly muppet-like Tiger Beat troubadour;
Adam Lambert: the Glamagothabilly frontrunner, and, some believe, the reincarnation of the fabled Coraniaid from Welsch mythology -- a demonic people whose deafening scream terrifies the countryside every May Eve.
Last night, they tackled the Rat Pack standards. That rolling sound was coming from Frank's grave.
The evening was fraught with emotional intensity, but Jamie Foxx was on hand to put each of these worthy singers at ease. Explaining right from the stars that this isn't the "throat Olympics" (where, we presume, gonorrheal bicycle seat riding is a sanctioned exhibition event), Foxx took great care in doling out strategic morsels of advice to each contestant. (That he chose to deliver them in character as the schizophrenic virtuoso he plays in The Soloist only served to confuse matters, but as far as shameless Idol movie plugs go, it wasn't nearly as offensive as the time Jeffrey Katzenberg and Antonio Banderas performed Smash Mouth's "I'm a Believer" in full-on Puss in Boots drag before a stunned-silent twosh pit of horrified Blake Lewis fanatics.)
In some cases, such as with Danny Gokey, Foxx's mentorship was so hands-on that it literally involved crawling into the widower's cavernous oral cavity to manually tweak his vocal chords. The invasive procedure was worth it -- Gokey wowed all the judges, including Kara DioGuardi, who declared Gookey had found that "Rat Pack swagger." (Also having located a Rack Pat swagger: DioGuardi's cleavage.)
Allen, meanwhile, split the panel into two factions. One we'll label the Freshes (Paula, Kara, Randy), the other, the Not-So-Freshes (Simon), so named for the single adjective ("wet") Cowell used to describe the Jack Johnsonesque singer's soppy rendition of "The Way You Look Tonight.'' Hard as it is to believe, for a competition that has reached to topics as disparate as fruit salad ingredients, car seat fabrics, eugenics theory, and Teletubbies in search of the perfect karaoke-appraising metaphor, the subject of moisture had never once come up before. (And the possibilities were rich: Clay Aiken: dewy; Ruben Studdard: soppy; Taylor Hicks: washed up, etc...).
But they saved the beast for last: The One They Call Lambert was dramatically unveiled standing atop a towering staircase, both arms chained to retention walls and a look of depressed acquiescence in his once fierce, mascara-coated eyes. Host Ryan Seacrest affected a carnival barker voice and urged the crowd in attendance to "feast upon THIS! THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD!!! King Adam -- whose unearthly vocal range could easily leap over the highest modern skyscraper."
The audience gasped in amazement. Soon after, a barriage of Nokia cellphone flashbulbs sent the singer into a murderous rampage, trampling dozens of tweenagers and Idol producer Cécile Frot-Coutaz beneath his patent leather elevator boots before barreling out the exits to terrorize unsuspecting patrons of The Grove. Two hours later, he'd be tragically shot down from atop The Cheesecake Factory by a small battalion of trolley-riding marksmen, just seconds from hitting the storefront-window-shattering final high C of "The Time Warp."
'Twas Seacrest, killed the beast.