Have you ever watched American Idol and thought, “Gee, this terrible group medley would sound a heck of a lot better had they bothered to record it ahead of time instead of singing it live on air?” If so, well, we’ve got a pinch of bad news for you: They already do that! This stunning new detail came to light thanks to season-one Idol runner-up Justin Guarini, who boldly pronounced last week that he thought some of this year’s contestants appeared to be lip-syncing during the group numbers. Idol producers hoped that the allegation wouldn’t make a dent in the pop-culture consciousness — after all, Guarini’s show, Idol Wrap, does air on the TV Guide Channel — but after a wave of public outrage somehow began cresting, they were forced to issue a statement confirming the cover-up.
According to a report in today’s New York Times:
Manfred Westphal, a spokesman for FremantleMedia North America, which produces “American Idol” for Fox, at first denied the charge, saying on Tuesday: “The Idols don’t lip-sync, period.” But on Wednesday, in an e-mail message, Mr. Westphal said: “Due to extensive choreography and to balance their voices with open mikes against a screaming audience, the Idols do sing along to their own prerecorded vocal track during the group performances only.”
Ooh, burn! And although this revelation has no direct effect on the show’s outcome, it does confirm a suspicion we’ve had about Guarini ever since we first laid eyes on his mop top back in 2002: Maybe he is Idol’s version of Sideshow Bob, after all!