The American Idol producers have made some changes to the show to try to spruce it up and keep it exciting. However, somewhere down the line someone must have decided that the ‘Idol’ stage was looking a little stale after 10 seasons and was in need of a makeover. Unfortunately, that makeover came in the form of super-creepy images on the screens behind the singers, ultra-cheesy props and graphics so distracting that you can barely focus on whatever crappy Stevie Wonder song the kids are singing!
During the first few episodes of this season, the graphics and lighting special effects were relatively unobtrusive, but as the season has gone on, the “concepts” of these sets has become downright ridiculous!
As you Roundupers know, The Ashley loves all things creepy, so rather than complain about these ridiculous sets, she will instead celebrate them! Here, she brings you the Top 8 Worst Stage Looks seen on ‘Idol’ this year.
7. The Glamour Shot Trio
I have no idea what song Hollie, Joshua and Jessica were singing during this number because I was too busy laughing at the lame neon lasers in the background. Seeing those gave me flashbacks of going to the mall to take cheesy Glamour Shot photos with my friends that featured those same lasers in the background.
Those pink-and-purple lasers were practically a staple of life for junior high girls in the 1990s. You and your girlfriends would get all gussied up (mostly likely in matching tank tops, naturally) and hustle down to the local Glamour Shots at the mall to take photos to hand out to all your other friends (that you didn’t like enough to actually ask to be in your photo).
The best part about the whole experience was choosing a cheesy background for the photo. Although you had many to pick from (cool neon hearts, or something like this ) most people went with the neon laser background. It’s nice to see that those lasers have since found a home on the ‘American Idol’ set. Say cheese!
6. Hollie Gets Lost in a Snow Globe
Poor Hollie. She chose a song that contained the word “snow” in it and was essentially forced to perform inside a snow globe. The set designers got way too carried away with this number, pumping white smoke onto the stage that was so thick, you could barely see Hollie. (How the hell did she manage to sing and not choke while inhaling all that crap?) That, combined with her shiny white dress and the falling snow on the screen behind her, made her performance look like it belonged in a Christmas pageant, not a singing competition.
5. He’s a Fire-Starter…Sorta
Eben Franckewitz didn’t make it into the Top 13, but he did make it into The Ashley’s heart when he sang Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” during the semi-final rounds. After warbling out this song, poor little Eben didn’t stand a chance on making it on the show. Not only was the song way too big for him, but the set designers decided to play up the whole “fire” aspect and essentially turned the set into a scene from “Firestarter,” the movie about a little kid who likes to burn crap down. If his singing didn’t scare voters away, the creepy fire set most certainly did.
4. Jessica & the Doors to Nowhere
Jessica chose Beyonce’s “Sweet Dreams” for her Top 9 performance, and, while her look and voice were top-notch that night, the set designers almost ruined her whole number by adding creepy red doors all over the stage. Jessica dramatically posed next to each of the doors during her performance, taking the cheese factor up to new heights. The doors were never explained, but Heejun Han walked through one that night and was never seen again on the show….
3. Phillip’s Balloon Drop Nightmare
Ugh…this Top 7 performance could possibly go down in the ‘Idol’ history books as one of the cheesiest group numbers ever. (And that’s saying something!) The song, “Dancing in the Street,” was a bad fit for nearly all of the contestants’ voices (except for Jessica who appeared to be having the time of her life). And just when you thought the number couldn’t get any more Velveeta, they busted out a balloon drop on the contestants. A balloon drop!? I haven’t seen one of those since my middle school’s Winter Wonderland dance!
I couldn’t help but think of this when I saw it. (Scroll to the 1:40 mark for the goods). Of course, the ‘Idols’ will never reach this level of balloon drop greatness. Never.
2. Phil & Elise’s Psychedelic Trip
No kids; someone didn’t slip you an acid tab (although that would probably be the only way you could watch this season of ‘Idol’ and actually be entertained). This trippy performance was actually the result of a bad choice of background graphics, not hallucinogenic drugs. Phillip and Elise sang Gotye’s “Someone That I Used to Know,” which has a 1960s vibe to it. The set designers took that vibe and ran with it…all the way into the ground. The graphics were so distracting and annoying, almost causing me to have motion sickness while watching it.
The only part of the performance I actually enjoyed? Watching Phillips face throughout the song. His self-loathing for being on this cheesy show was so obvious during this performance that it cracked me up.
1. Jessica & the Three-Headed Monster
Once again, the set designers decided to use poor Jessica as a pawn in their plan to creep out America. Fans’ hearts skipped a few beats when, during Jessica’s performance of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” three of her creepy mugs appeared on the screen behind her! Yes, I’m aware that it was a shout-out to the music video for the song in which the band members’ heads “float” in the background, but most people have no idea what they were going for here, and were instead just frightened.