Last night the "American Idol" top 13 competed together for the first time, and afterwards some lucky press folks, including myself, were ushered backstage for some face time with the contestants. The camaraderie between the finalists was truly adorable to behold; when these guys raved about being the best of BFFs and feeling no sense of cutthroat competitiveness between them...I actually believed
"I don't think anybody's really threatened by each other, because we're all so different; we all bring something to the table," Stefano Langone diplomatically and jovially explained. "So there isn't like, 'Oh my God, they're competition!' We've all got our own niche, and that's why we gel so well together."
I admit the snarky reporter in me was a tad disappointed that I didn't dig up some good "Idol" infighting dirt--come on, who leaves the toilet seat up, or the toothpaste cap off, over at the "Idol" mansion?--but all this lovey-dovey-ness and group harmony had me wondering: If the top 13 Idols could choose a cast member, any cast member, to duet with, who would it be? Duets are always one of my favorite part of any "Idol" season, and with a talented and diverse bunch like this, the possibilities seem endless.
The Idols, some of whom have already been jamming and writing with each other in the "Idol" house, had no trouble answering. The always fierce and outspoken Ashthon Jones went first, naming the dissimilarly soft-spoken Thia Megia as her dream partner. "I would love to do a duet with Thia, because for some reason her voice gives me goosebumps," she gushed.
Lauren Alaina unsurprisingly picked fellow country contestant Scotty McCreery, while old-soul chanteuse Naima Adedapo selected stand-up bass cat Casey Abrams. "This boy here, we'd give 'em a little jazz," Naima purred, as the two of them high-fived.
Karen Rodriguez, as once suggested by Steven Tyler, picked Jacob Lusk (which prompted Jacob to bust out an impromptu, a cappella "No Me Queda Mas"), then Stefano suggested that he and Pia Toscano do an Italian song together ("Maybe a little Andrea Bocelli, you know what I'm sayin'?"). Wow, "Idol" goes multi-lingual! It was like "World Idol" up in there.
"Paul [McDonald] and I write a lot of music together, and one day it's gonna be time when we release that album," James Durbin quipped. (McDurbin for the win, I say!) Haley Reinhart also expressed interest in dueting with Paul, so McDurbin may have to expand to a trio--McDurbhart, maybe?--and hopefully wear matching rhinestone suits.
Moving on from dream duets to possible dream themes for future "Idol" episodes, Naima rallied for a Reggae Night, Ashthon for a Swing Night, Stefano for a Motown Night, James for an '80s Night (heck yes!), and, most amusingly, Casey suggested a Polka Night. (Hopefully Weird Al Yankovic would be available to be a celebrity mentor on that episode...)
Aw. With all this in-joking and friendly sassing, I practically expected them to break out into a group singalong of "Kumbaya" at any moment. These 13 seemed so tight, I honestly don't know how they're going to handle eliminations every week. So expect some tears this Thursday, and for many Thursdays to come.
[photos courtesy of Fox]
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