Thomas Edison is quoted as saying that genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. Well, last night's "American Idol" was brilliant in that it was slightly inspirational, but mostly left me in a cold sweat. The performances started out well enough, with Casey James accompanying himself on guitar (again), and Lee DeWyze doing...

Share story

siobhan200.jpgThomas Edison is quoted as saying that genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. Well, last night’s “American Idol” was brilliant in that it was slightly inspirational, but mostly left me in a cold sweat.

The performances started out well enough, with Casey James accompanying himself on guitar (again), and Lee DeWyze doing justice to “The Boxer” even without Mr. Simon or Mr. Garfunkel to harmonize with. Aaron Kelly and Tim Urban both did their usual adequate performance that will make the cat ladies vote for them.

The biggest moment of all, however, belonged to the butterflies that were creeping up Siobhan Magnus‘s arm. They even confused Simon Cowell who thought that they were leaves. I have to confess that butterflies sort of scare me. My siblings still give me a hard time about that one time when one of the foul insects attacked me when I was a kid. I was just sitting in a hammock one summer afternoon, minding my own business reading Encyclopedia Brown when a particularly mean monarch went right for my face and sent me screaming across the backyard. Of course, everyone was howling with laughter, and I had to hear “Ahh! A butterfly!” for years. (I may or may not have yelled this in panic.) But it did attack! Butterflies are mean!

I realize that not many of us have such thoughts about these winged terrors, but let me point this out: you’ve heard of the “Butterfly Effect” — when a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil, it creates a massive hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico or something similar. Really, the people of New Orleans should be squishing every butterfly they see (or squishing the ones in Brazil, I suppose).

As for the actual singing, I sort of lost track after Siobhan, but I believe that Lee and Crystal Bowersox definitely ruled the evening. Neither of them seemed like they were pretending to be inspired. I didn’t watch Siobhan (for obvious reasons), but from the next room she sounded like her usual self. I thought she would scream more, since there were vile creatures affixed to her.