Jan. 23, 2012 at 1:21 AM ET
The NFL is a harsh boss. It can offer opportunities for huge successes ... and also take those opportunities away with its innate unpredictability.
“American Idol” had to be hoping for more lenient treatment than it got from the Lords of Football, but its rare Sunday Night showcase turned into a late-night talk show thanks to the NFC Championship Game going into overtime. By the time the New York Giants slipped past the San Francisco 49ers and the postgame discussions were completed, it was 10:57 p.m. on the East Coast and the audience was bleary-eyed and likely headed for bed.
If they were, not much on "Idol" would have kept them awake.
The highlight of the night was Jane Carrey, if for no other reason than it made Jennifer Lopez feel old. Carrey’s the daughter of Jim Carrey, the comedian who was a star of “In Living Color” when J.Lo danced as one of the Fly Girls.
“I remember you when you were little!” the judge said. “When did this happen!”
Fortunately, J.Lo was able to interrupt the getting-old montage in her head to pass Carrey to the next round, proving that it’s never too late and it’s never too soon to get a big break. Expect more “In Living Color” theme lyrics if Carrey lasts in the competition.
Also noteworthy was Kyle Crews, a University of California-Berkeley student and fraternity member who will totally steal your girlfriend if you let her out of your sight. Don’t say you weren’t warned. He was the top male voice of the night, though he did have the indignity of having Steven Tyler tell him to lose his shirt. This is the same Steven Tyler who showed up last week in a purple hat best suited to a streetwalker and was in an old-school aviator hat with goggles in this USS Midway episode. It would be like Ryan Seacrest telling someone to relax every now and then and not work so many jobs.
Speaking of jobs, don’t forget about Ashley Robles. Robles, who works at approximately five different gigs while raising her daughter, became the first contestant in recent memory to sing “I Will Always Love You” and not cause all three judges to leap from the their seats into the ocean to make the bad noise stop. How she’ll get the time off from all of those tasks to keep auditioning is anyone’s guess.
Among the other 53 to make it was Ali Shields, who parlayed a homemade video into a chance to sing for Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show, a trip to the American Music Awards where she got her first kiss courtesy of Mike Posner and her second from Usher, and now a golden ticket to Hollywood. She’s the early favorite to be this season’s wacky comic relief who lasts much longer than expected but doesn’t make the final group. And that, my friends, is why there are so many random singing videos on YouTube.
Jason “Wolf” Hamlin would also be a great bet to last, since he has an old-school voice and isn’t afraid to take chances, but he also has the looks and mannerisms that would scare small children. He did get to close the show, however, which is usually a good sign for long-term success.
In sadder news, there won’t be a Bikini Girl II, or at least not one from the San Diego auditions, as Jennifer Diley’s outfit got her some leers from Ryan but no love from the judges. Maybe they, like much of the sleepy “Idol” audience, spent the preceding few hours looking at all the NFL cheerleaders and were too jaded to be impressed.
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