Reality Rocks - Archive

Paula Abdul’s Idol Performance: Bad Lip Service

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

Tonight, Paula Abdul graced the American Idol stage for the first time ever in the show's eight-season history, performing her new single, "Here For The Music." Yes, in an unprecedented act of judge's bravery, she placed herself squarely in the same squirmy spot where all Idol contestants have opened themselves up for cold-hearted criticism from all the judges, including Paula herself.

Well, tonight after Paula's performance there was no critique, of course...and she was probably relieved that there wasn't. Because gawd knows what Simon Cowell would've said about Paula's performance if he'd been allowed to let it rip.

OK, OK, I will concede that Paula looked great. And she definitely danced well. And all right, the song actually wasn't all that bad, sort of like an outtake from Britney Spears' Circus. And yes, Paula even sounded good.

But it's pretty easy for a performer to sound good when she's LIP-SYNCHING.

And the kicker is...Paula wasn't even lipping well. She was so off, in fact, that I almost thought my TV set was on the fritz and I whacked it a couple of times to get it back in synch. But that didn't help matters. Because my television wasn't on the fritz. Paula was.

Really now...MC Skat Cat could've lip-synched better than this.

If Paula had mouthed along this lamely on the '80s reality talent show Puttin' On The Hits back in the day (YouTube it), she would have never won. And yet, she got away with it on American Idol, the biggest reality talent show EVER. A talent show supposedly all about SINGING.

Look, I'm not naive. I know that pop stars lip-synch all the time. For every Ashlee Simpson-on-SNL disaster or Milli Vanilli Grammy scandal, there are dozens or even hundreds of "singers" who get away with this sort of pop pantomiming. But still, I find it richly ironic that on a program on which Paula and her fellow panelists have routinely lambasted the contestants for every missed note and imperfect performance, a show that in this Auto-Tunes age hypothetically puts the focus back on genuine vocal talent, Paula copped out and delivered a performance that once again proved that being able to actually sing is ultimately not all that important in showbiz.

Paula, intentionally or not, proved that all an aspiring Idol really needs is a flock of sexy backup dancers, a flashy costume, a production Svengali to provide some decent beats, and a (non-functioning) headset mic...and he/she too can become a superstar!

I actually wonder if the contestants on the show witnessing Paula's lip-synch spectacle tonight were insulted. Especially Danny Gokey. After all, if Danny had been allowed to lip-synch last night, he would've been able to nail that screechy final high note in "Dream On."

I'm just being straight-up, readers.

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