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Renaldo Vs. Milo: Vote For The Best American Idol Original!

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

In past seasons, when the powers-that-be at 19 Management and Fox Entertainment needed the perfect song to be the new American Idol winner's debut single, they turned to pro hitmakers like Diane Warren or past contestants like Tamyra Gray, or they even resorted to a nationwide songwriting contest. But this season, they need look no farther than Philadelphia and Dallas, where the latest crop of auditioners have performed original songs so utterly original, so utterly awesome, if Taylor Hicks had released any of them as his first single, he'd probably still be signed to Arista Records now. Do these bold new amateur songwriters make ME proud? Heck yes, they do!

First, on Tuesday night, millions of impressionable potential celibates had the privilege of watching leopard-vested New Jersey comedian Milo Turk's "No Sex Allowed" (perhaps the finest pro-abstinence anthem since Jermaine Stewart's "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off" or Janet Jackson's "Let's Wait A While") in all its G-rated glory. In an era where today's pantyless pop stars are giving a free peep show every time they drunkenly stumble out of a car, and the airwaves are teeming with salacious shoutouts to "Superman that ho," what a refreshing change of pace this song truly is! Of course, it IS kind of "creepy" (to borrow Simon Cowell's favorite adjective from this season) that Milo is 44...but this tune would be a totally appropriate single if an under-18 contestant won Idol again this year. Too bad Bruce Dickson, the teenage Dallas auditioner who doesn't plan to even kiss a girl until his wedding day, didn't make it through to Hollywood, because "No Sex Allowed" would have been the perfect song choice for him.

Speaking of "creepiness," another surefire season 7 smash is Paul Marturano's Paula Abdul stalker song, featuring genius couplets like "If she were a blackboard, I'd chalk her/If I were Columbo, I'd Peter Falk her/If she were bathtub, I'd caulk her." Man, Diane Warren WISHES she could write brilliant stuff like that! Sure, Paula should be afraid, be very afraid...but you know what would be even scarier? Letting this potential hit slip through the cracks. Hey, unhealthily obsessive love was great subject matter for the Police ("Every Breath You Take"), Blondie ("One Way Or Another"), and Kylie Minogue ("Can't Get You Out Of My Head"), so why not for Paul and Paula? I just wish I could have seen spooky-eyed teacher by day/rocker by night Kyle Reinneck snarl this tune at his Wednesday-night Dallas audition. He really could have done it justice.

And finally, American Idol execs, and American audiences in general, adore big, BIG power ballads. We had Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This," Ruben Studdard's "Flying Without Wings," Fantasia's "Believe," Carrie Underwood's "Inside Your Heaven," all humongous hits...and now we have the biggest, most powerful power ballad of 'em all, Renaldo Lapuz's furry-hatted fist-pumper, "We're Brothers Forever." Say what you will about Renaldo, but at least he knows the first and foremost rule of hit songwriting: Repeat the chorus. A lot. Seriously, this song is a HIT, plain and simple. If Kelly Clarkson had had an uplifting, feelgood number like this on her supposedly depressive My December album, Clive Davis never would've complained, and she'd still be playing to arenas full of illuminated-cellphone-wielding fans, all singing with her in unison (c'mon everybody, I KNOW these words are lodged permanently in your cerebellum after Wednesday night's Dallas audition show): "I am your brother/Your best friend forever..."

OK, so I know it's a little early to be thinking about this stuff...but if you had to watch this season's Idol winner belt out of one of these three victory songs on finale night, which would it be? That's the vote that really counts this year, in my opinion. (It's a close race, but I think I personally have to go with "We're Brothers Forever." Even Simon Cowell couldn't deny the smash-hit potential of Renaldo's rousing Olympic anthem, and Simon is rarely wrong.)

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