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Did the Producers of American Idol Accidentally Buy This Idiot Another Week on Televison?

Maybe! Obviously Nick Mitchell thinks of himself as the second coming of Sacha Baron Cohen or something. But as far as made-up alter egos go, his "Norman Gentle" "character" is pretty lazy — just an obnoxious, flat-singing idiot in shorts, a headband, and a shiny shirt that we'd assume hasn't been washed since before his first audition. Even so, Earth's three most easily impressed people, Randy, Kara, and Paula, seem perfectly willing to encourage his "art" ("Definitely one of the most entertaining performances ever," Randy raved last night).

The behind-the-scenes string-pullers likely let him into the Top 36 just so he could drop a hilarious train wreck on the big stage, then get voted off right away. But while his version of "And I Am Telling You" was pretty awful, it was, astonishingly, probably among the episode's top three performances, meaning he might actually survive tonight's elimination. Only Allison Iraheta's take on Heart's "Alone" was passable; former front-runner Adam Lambert's "Satisfaction" was terrifying, Megan Joy Corkrey's "Put Your Records On" was okay but boring, and everybody else was hopelessly pitchy and/or completely forgettable. Obviously producers should have had him compete last week, when he would've only been the fourth-best singer. Anyway, here he is, we hope for the last time:


Photo: Courtesy of Fox