American Idol: Did you catch the Radiohead and Jeff Buckley cameos?

Meant to mention this in yesterday's American Idol post, but we ended up being so preoccupied with recounting the respective travails and eventual denouement of Lilly Scott and Haeley Vaughn, the two Colorado ladies ultimately picked to be included in the Top 24, that it completely slipped our minds.

Did you happen to notice the odd song selections in Wednesday's episode? Actually, don't answer that -- it's rhetorical. We know there's no way in hell you could have missed them. The compositions in question (3:00 in the first clip, 2:00 in the second) stuck out like Snooki at a Mensa convention. And although we're still rather puzzled as to why so many hopefuls chose to sing "Man In the Mirror" in the previous episode, this time around, the oddities we're speaking of weren't on the part of the contestants, rather the program's music supervisor.

As the judges commenced to unload an entire clip of hollow point commiserations -- "I'm really, really sorry" and "it's bad news" and "it's just not happening right now for you," all conveying the exact same sentiment, delivered decidedly less gingerly by Cowell, "you have not made the Top 24" -- we watched a parade of starry eyed also-rans be dismissed one by one to the familiar strains of Radiohead's "No Surprises," with Thom Yorke gently cooing the lines, "I'll take a quiet life/A handshake of carbon monoxide/No alarms and no surprises."


While we're not sure how Yorke and company feel about having their song played (they're probably laughing all the way to the bank, we suspect), we've got to tip our hat to whoever made the call to cue up that particular number at that precise moment (jump to 3:03 in the above clip). Odd given the context, but not completely incongruous.

We were slightly more dismayed around the two-minute mark on the next clip when Jeff Buckley's breathtaking version of "Hallelujah" plays as Ryan Seacrest introduces us to the Top 24. Nothing like reminding us that none of the assembled two dozen finalists -- regardless of how well they can sing or how much presence they carry -- posses even a fraction of the talent of Buckley, a genuine American Icon who casts an expansive shadow on all present and past Idols. The contrast was like holding up a finger painting next to a Picasso. Bravo!

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Dave Herrera
Contact: Dave Herrera