Today's mailbag is here. Questions and answers about Sandy Dennis in Akron, Kate Snow, "Dirty Sexy Money" spoiler, "Army Wives' " return, and whether McLean Stevenson and Adlai Stevenson were related.
"American Idol" next week will have a "teen idol" theme. Which at first makes me think that we'll get lots of covers of songs by former "American Idol" winners. But it's an insanely broad category -- the just-covered Rolling Stones were teen idols, after all, and so was Frank Sinatra. Beatles. Jacksons. Osmonds. Fabian. Elvis.
Of course, that's the point; a category like that offers every contestant a way to find a song he/she won't screw up. "Idol" wants everyone to seem good at this point -- especially when we're one contestant away from establishing the Touring 10. That said, the Stones in theory should have provided everyone an opportunity, since their catalogue is huge and varied. And that show proved underwhelming. At least with "teen idols" we shouldn't have to hear the judges whine that contestants should sing younger.
Speaking of "Idol" and the Stones, I'd recommend the contestants check out "The T.A.M.I. Show," the classic pop concert being released on DVD next week. The Stones closed the 1964 all-star concert and were in excellent form, and many of the "Idol" contenders could get some lessons about how to command a stage. And not just from Mick, Keith, Brian, Charlie and Bill; the show also included Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, with Smokey all charisma and soul; an epic James Brown performance (James was ticked that he wasn't closing, and so turned it up even higher than usual), the Supremes, Chuck Berry, Marvin Gaye, the Beach Boys and more. Check it out.