I always take the second column in May to focus on the crazed events of upfront presentation week. I was going to explain how cost cutting was about to take its toll on the once lavish festivities. I was also going to complain that CBS no longer foots the bill for entertainment by mega-stars like Celine Dion or Faith Hill. And I planned to express my concern on how times are changing--and not necessarily for the good.
But, guess what? Good ol' Paula Abdul has done it again and created yet another American Idol scandal. So, I have to do what any good columnist would and blow off the networks in favor of the ongoing shenanigans of TV's kookiest reality/competition judge. No way could I keep from chiming in on what I now think can severely alter the perception of the entire series.
In the event you missed the now-classic April 29 telecast (and don't read a newspaper or have access to the Internet), the then-five finalists--the two Davids, Archuleta and Cook; underrated Syesha Mercado; overrated Brooke White; and Jason "Travolta with dreadlocks" Castro--had to perform two songs each. But instead of reviewing each contestant after the first song, the producers decided to have Randy, Paula and Simon do it en masse, after all five were done with both songs. Glassy-eyed Paula, who apparently does not react well to change in format, jumped ahead and actually critiqued both of Jason's songs before he sang the second one.
"Jason, the first song, I loved hearing your lower register, which we never really hear," she said, reading scribbled notes. "The second song