'American Idol': Shania Twain doesn't find much to be impress her, but shines as Chicago guest judge
It might have been a gimme that we'd be hearing Shania Twain's "That Don't Impress Me Much" during her appearance as a guest judge on "American Idol."
If only she'd serenaded some especially sad sack auditioner with her hit, it would have been enough to make "Idol" fans forget all about last week's "Pants on the Ground."
But while that was too much to hope for, no one could have predicted her ode to overrated, self-inflated lovers it would be so spot-on for "Idol's" Chicago auditions, where a mere 13 out of 12,000 hopefuls rated a golden ticket to Hollywood.
Not much to be impressed with, indeed.
Viewers were only treated to an hour of country-pop crossover Twain's pronouncements on Chicago's mostly talentless hordes, but she succeeded in making as much of an impression as Posh Spice Victoria Beckham and Mary J. Blige did in their two-hour premiere week shows last week.
And while Twain was more generous than her hit song would have suggested, she still came across as a direct, no-nonsense assessor of singing chops.
Always looking alert and attentive, she often sat forward in her chair, elbows propped up on the table and chin resting in her hands, and she was given to open expressions of surprise - shaded with dismay or delight - at contestants' efforts. Her signature look had her eyebrows raised, and eyes wide in happy, or more often appalled disbelief.
One thing that really made her stand out from her guest judge predecessors was her chemistry with Simon. It wasn't that they didn't have it, but her easy rapport with him is something that had been missing in Boston and Atlanta last week.
After Kara told the first contestant, Katelyn Epperly, that she wanted to see her be brighter, Simon said "It's all a little bit like the lights are off," to which Twain instantly responded, "But something's home!" It was the closest thing to repartee between the judges that we've gotten this season, and the moment of spontaneity between them was refreshing.
In the end Epperly was deemed worthy and she was sent through.
Twain and Simon looked like they clicked at other times during the proceedings, with her turning to him and laughing and touching him on the arm. But their judging styles couldn't have been more different. Twain in fact may go down as the most gracious judge in "Idol" history.
When one male singer treated the panel to an ear-splitting, unrecognizable audition song, she diplomatically said afterwards, "You have a high voice!" before Simon quipped, "Do you enjoy causing people pain?"
In the moment fans are likely to remember from Twain's stint as a guest judge, however, her politeness was undercut by her choice of words.
After his confident "I Love You More than You'll ever Know," she told the tall, handsome John Park, dark hair falling across his face, "You have a beautiful bottom end."
Of course she was referring to the lower range of his voice. But that wasn't how the other judges took it, especially when she also said he had nice lips, and then tried to correct her first remark (and end the snickering from her colleagues) by correcting herself: "You have a nice tone down there, okay?"
Which really didn't make it any better.
When Simon later told her she was going to regret that little exchange, Twain replied, "I don't regret anything."
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Shania knew how to handle Simon because she lived with one for the last 13 years