I bet that the American Idol contestants wish that it had been Hannah Montana and not her alter ego Miley Cyrus who was their mentor Tuesday night during Billboard No. 1 Hits Week. Because even if their only guidance had come from a fictional Disney character, things couldn't have gone much worse for the contestants - or viewers - than they did Tuesday night.
Screechy vocals, corny choreography and downright horrible song choices abounded during the two-hour show. Pre-taped rehearsal footage showed the 17-year-old Cyrus spending more time praising contestants than critiquing them, which could explain why this was easily the worst week of American Idol in recent memory.
In fact, the best performance of the night - which wasn't even close this week - came from Crystal Bowersox, who was coincidently the only contestant to have their vocals critiqued by Cyrus.
My wife and I have been waiting all season to hear Bowersox tackle Janis Joplin. And not only did she do it.... she slayed it. Her cover of "Me and Bobby McGee" was nearly perfect, and she looked surprisingly elegant in a long dress with her dreadlocks pinned up on her head.
And this was not the week for the other contestants to stumble. The Top 10 finalists each season get to go on the nationwide post-season tour. With 11 finalists left, the one who goes home Wednesday night loses out. That said, I'm hoping that America wises up overnight, or else Tim Urban is going to be the Sanjaya of the Season 9 tour.
It's hard to believe that I'm saying this, but Urban's karaoke-style performance of Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" was his worst since his blasphemous cover of One Republic's "Apologize" during Week 1. Actually, I take that back. I do believe I'm saying it - he should have been sent home weeks ago and, somehow, he keeps getting worse.
When he slid across the stage, I caught myself hoping that he kept going through the crowd and out the back of the auditorium.
Yet, amazingly, Urban's performance was not the worst of the night. That dubious honor goes to Paige Miles. Her cover of Mariah Carey's cover of Phil Collins' "Against All Odds" was one of the worst American Idol performances I have ever heard - William Hung excluded.
Unfortunately, I think that Didi Benami - whose rendition of Linda Ronstadt's "You're No Good" was cheesy at best - will be joining Urban and Miles in the Bottom 3. And, God willing, it will be Urban who gets sent home.
For the rest of the season, I will be ranking the contestants in order of who I think has the best chance of winning the competition from week to week. It's no surprise that Bowersox tops my list this week.