American Idol
Top Six: Carole King

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Something Inside Has Died

As Ryan points out, there were once 125,000 of these people, and now there are six of these people: old Scotty nodding like he knows things, Lauren and James lookin' straight up terrified, Lusk dressed like Randy Jackson's dorkier brother, Haley having a great time, and Casey wongling his eyebrows like he just figured out he's awesome. Not a great sign, but... Hopefully they'll perform in that order. That would be a nice show to see.

We learn the history of how awesome Carole King is -- she wrote 118 songs that landed in the Billboard 100, for starters -- from the very beginning: The first Goffin matchup that was a hit in 1969, &c., and then the 25 solo records (Tapestry was #1 for 15 weeks and stayed on the charts for like six years, back when there were these things called albums), all the way to Live At The Troubador with James Taylor lately.

It's funny to think about true stars, songwriters, how they have to keep singing the songs for the rest of their lives. I think I would be a bad pop star in many, many ways, but the number one thing is that about after a year, I would no longer be able to perform those songs.

"You want me to sing 'All I Wanna Do'? All I wanna do is never sing that song again in my entire fucking life," I'd say. "That sounds fun to me right now. I got a feelin' I'm not the only one."

"'Zombie'? How about I sing 'Linger' at this concert five times consecutively, while randomly chosen audience members punch me in the nuts, if you guys don't make me sing 'Zombie.'"

SO LIKE DO WE HAVE A DEAL

This week's mentor is... Not Carole King, but in fact Babyface. I have no beef with Babyface, as performer or songwriter. (Well. "Change The World.") He's always seemed like a kind soul. His opinion on the Idols is: We still don't get them. None of them do we quite understand. Not even Lauren or Scott. They are simply too complex in their "essence" for us to figure them out, in Babyface's estimation.

Ugh. Plus we're messing everything around this week. Not only random duets scattered throughout to justify the 90-minute thing, but also they're doing them in a weird order.

The way it seemed at the top, you had the Kuntry Kids to start with -- cute -- then James and Lusk to scream their fucking heads off, and finally Haley and Casey being the Final Two in this episode, just as in real life of the future. I know we always talk about this, about how the producers arrange them based on getting ratings so that the most exciting things are in the most exciting order, but it's a great sign when they line them up at the beginning and you're like, "This is going to be amazing. Probably."

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American Idol

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