American Idol: Disaster Strikes!

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Photo: Courtesy of Fox

At the top of last night's episode of American Idol, Ryan Seacrest attempted to distract us from Adam Lambert's inevitable victory over Danny Gokey on May 20's finale with some outrageous story about an exploded stage prop, "glass shooting everywhere," a hospitalized stage manager, and a big electric AI logo that COULD EXPLODE AT ANY SECOND! Fears over contestants' safety purportedly robbed them of a dress rehearsal, though not, hilariously, preperformance interviews with Seacrest seated directly underneath the flaming wreckage.

It was "Rock Night," which for some reason Adam Lambert used as an excuse to dress like Griff Tannen from Back to the Future Part II. He got things started with a reverent, typically screechy version of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," which the judges loved and which prompted Randy Jackson to recommend he make an album with Slash (the night's celebrity mentor, who was there to promote his upcoming blockbuster solo album). Why did the usually licensing-averse Led Zeppelin allow him to do this? We have no idea! But we bet it probably has more to do with the money they're losing by not doing a reunion tour than with their feelings for Adam as a contestant.

Next up was Allison Iraheta, whose version of "Cry Baby" impressed us again and gave Paula the chance to show off her color blindness by suggesting the Salvadoran contestant star as Janis Joplin in a biopic. We won't get worked up about it or anything (since she's either going this week or next), but if she's voted off before Kris Allen, it'll be a minor travesty.

Kris must've known he had to work extra hard last night, which caused him to nearly pull a muscle while attempting to contort his face into adorable positions during a hokey version of the Beatles' "Come Together." For once, the judges hated it as much as we did, which we suspect will probably result in sympathy votes and another week of this guy, sadly.

But special congratulations are due to Danny Gokey, who, incredibly, managed to out-screech Adam with a horrifying performance of Aerosmith's first-ever single, "Dream On." (Music-biz expert Kara DioGuardi told him she'd have preferred to hear him sing "more early Aerosmith, like 'Cryin' or 'Crazy.'") On Slash's hilarious recommendation, Gokey went for the Steven Tyler scream at the end. How'd it go?