There were plenty of noteworthy moments from last night's American Idol Tribute to the Many Songs and Slutty Looks of Mariah Carey, from David Cook's soundtrack-ready, grungemo rendition of "Always Be My Baby," to a stirring performance of ''When You Believe" by a leather bepanted David Archuleta (who could have just as easily located the spiritually redeeming undercurrent to the "shoe do do do do do do do/shoe do do do do do do yeahs" of "Fantasy"). But the most thrilling development, for us at least, came not from the stage, but rather the judge's table, shortly before Randy Jackson was called upon to apply his highly attuned pitchydar to Carly Smithson's take on "Without You."
It was at that moment that the panel's mischief-making sourpuss, Simon Cowell, leaned into Paula Abdul's wig and quietly suggested, from as best as we can make out, "He won't admit that he got a boner." As predicted, Jackson made not a single reference to any involuntary anatomical reactions elicited by the Irish bar wench's power-warbling, unless of course his declarations of having "a HOT ONE TONIGHT, DAWG!!!" were in reference to his own lusty, subequatorial stirrings.