Forget you, Sasha Frere-Jones. The hip hipster face of music appreciation is now Quentin Tarantino. The onetime Idol guest judge was a Mentor to the kids last night. With, you know, predicatably disastrous results.

Tarantino is a genuine fan of the show, yes, and he's a very talented movie director, but that doesn't exactly qualify him to coach singers, even if they're singers on something as non-technical as American Idol. The whole conceit of the episode was that it was Idol Goes to the Movies, so Quentin was directing the singers as if they were actors. He was coaxing a performance out of them. Except... Eh. Not really.

The Good
Kris. When you gonna wise up, judges and America? Kid's the best thing on rollerskates and you all secretly know it. Sure he's not the purest most bombasto-tastic vocalist of them all, but he's so f'ing marketable. Who doesn't like a milky-faced kid with a guitar and a triangle mouth? Communists, that's who. In this weirdo truncated episode—only two judgings per singer!—Randy obviously wasn't able to feel out the sea change, so he just went with that "it was just aight" party line. Don't get him wrong, he's heard of "Falling Slowly," that song from Once, but you know, he doesn't like it for Kris. Kara is, apparently, a little more savvy, and she picked up on the fact that the performance demanded praise. But it was elusive and vague and measured only against Kris's other performances, not against his competitors'. Paula's arm agreed with Kara and we'll never know what Simon thought. I bet (I hope) he was dreaming up record deals.


Second week in a row, no one else was good. Really. No one.

The Bad
Not even Allison, who majorly stumbled with a whispery cover of "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing," that song about animal crackers and Ben Aflac from Deep Armageddon. It started off weak and only got a little bit better. But also she went first, and it was mostly forgettable, and that does not spell good things for the perpetually in-danger 16-year-old. I mean, Paula liked it. But whatever. I think she may be in trouble. Also in trouble, just because of the sheer numbers game, will be Anoop and Matt Giraud, who did nothing memorable with wan covers of Bryan Adams songs. My roommate and I sat there and marveled, suddenly remembering that a movie wasn't a movie in the early-mid 90's without a soaring Adams ballad. But Anoop and Matt did little to live up to this legacy, especially Matt, who foolishly seems to fancy himself Justin Timberlake when the results of his efforts are more consistent with mid-career Shelly Duvall.


Lil Rounds was once again a trundling disaster, ruining "The Rose", a song I really like and can play on the piano. So poo on you, Rounds. She really ought to go home this week. She merits a voting-off more than 'Noops does, at this point.

What's there really to say about the Gokes anymore? He's getting lazier and lazier, the judges just burble oatmeal and spittle and glitter and tomato soup and unicorn cum out of their mouths and he'll be in the finals, probably. Though he did look terrifying without his Gokey Glasses, so maybe America will vote, for the first time ever in history, on beauty and give the convulsing whiteboy the heave-ho. That would be super satisfying and surprising. "Endless Love" is such a beautiful song, but he just grundled through the soft opening and yelled the loud part and it's the same damn shtick he's had since day one, only now there's mold that's starting to show and the corners are yellow and cracking and Paula's head is lolling about on her neck more than usual and I fear that Randy might be running out of batteries and oh merciful God, are we nearly done?

Born To Be Styled
Lamb Chops sang "Born to Be Wild", from the movie Easy Rider (sort of), and... I want a check for the broken crystal ware and lightbulbs. Lamby's always been shrieky, but Gott in Himmel, last night was like Screech's balls getting caught in the door of the Max. I know, I know. He's artistic and different and slobberdy-goo-gumdrops. Buy his album after he wins. And then tell me with a straight face that you like it. He's a circus oddity, which is a fine. But a commercial pop sanger? Nay.

Oh well. The whole thing is such a foregone conclusion at this point. The only reason anyone's watching anymore is to see what weirdness Lambo comes up with next, and maybe to shriek and clap like a complete 25-going-on-14-year-old when it's announced that Kris will be singing that swoony swirly indie Once song and your roommate eyes you strangely and you wheeze and drink your seltzer and oh man, Tuesdays have gotten weird.

Adieu! Adieu! We Won't Remember You!
Hopefully: Lil. Likely: Allison.

Will we be out of the awkward Bermuda triangle of time compression next week? Was it just that one extra performer, plus the Quentin factor, that forced the newly-an-hour program to rush so crazily last night? Let's hope, 'cause I didn't like it.