'American Idol' Recap: Bring On the Fear Factor

Lindsay Mannering

ashley sullivanOn American Idol last night, we got to hear "Georgia on My Mind" one million times and found out what J. Lo looks like dressed as a bumblebee. The contestants had to sing a solo on stage, then the judges formed four large groups -- two of which continue on, and two of which are sent home.

I have two problems with last night. One: can you believe that emotionally unstable Ashley Sullivan made it through? I can't. She needs help, not more camera time. And two, the begging we've had to endure this season has been painful. "I'll do anything for one more shot! Just anything! Please, I'm begging you!!"

I suggest that Idol really test what the kids would do for another shot. Ratings are down, so I say bring on the Fear Factor challenges. One bite of this Amazonian roach, kid, and you get a second chance.

First let's talk Ashley. She's the super skinny bug-eyed girl who's possibly a 45-year-old meth addict with 18 cats at home and a gun on her nightstand. Her performances give me goosebumps because I feel uncomfortable watching someone mentally volatile being led on by the judges. They keep shoving down our throats that this is the most talented group in 10 years, and then they let Ashley and her visible demons through to the next round. It's sad.

Has the begging gotten to you this season? Don't get me started on that kid Nick (who dates Jacqueline). You remember his incessant beseeching to stay. Walking down the aisle after a rejection, and still singing. Sad, sad, sad. But there's room to capitalize here.

Once Nick, or any other reject desperate enough to sacrifice dignity and their public opinion, opens the door to find Seacrest, I think that's when the real show should start. That's when Seacrest should say, "If you really want a second chance, all you have to do is eat this poopsicle and you're back in."

The kids could be tempted to do all types of debasing things just for another audition. Drink a milkshake of cow blood, eat raw monkey brains, hold their breath 'til they pass out. Why not? Let's test their limits. At worst we'll see some kids throw up, at best the whining and the begging will STOP.

What do you think -- should we combine Idol and Fear Factor?

Photo via AmericanIdol.com

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