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Paula vs. Kara: Why Opposites Attract

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Q.  Is Cara/Kara starting to bug the shit out of you with her comments yet? Lord, she bugs the fuck out of me!
Bring back Paula! Dumb as a rock, but unpretentious…

A.  First off, I need to address the Cara/Kara thing once and for all. I knew a girl named Cara in college and managed to get close to her one night. I’m sure she’s blocked this out of her memory, so much so that if she’s reading this now, she won’t have any clue what I’m talking about. Since she most likely isn’t, I’ll confess that (between you and me) she had very pointy nipples. Nothing freaky unordinary, just extended. I’m not saying you could use them as a hatrack but if I’d been wearing one that night, I’d be in a better position to answer that question now.

Not Cara

Even though I’ve been unable to secure a reliable nipple comparison, I can say with most certainty that Kara from Idol — I can’t remember how to pronounce her last name but I love those rising crust pizzas — is a different person. The Cara I knew had nipples so long that a cowboy could rope one. You needed to use both hands just to control what you’re doing. Again, nothing freaky unusual but if you were at her feet and glanced up, she sort of looked like a climbing wall. Areolas normal. It just looked like she got shot with two suction darts. Thip. Thip.

These two women don’t even look alike, from what I remember. Very, very long pencil erasers, like she’d need pasties as thick as a Chinet plate to keep from affecting the lines of her blouse on even a slightly cold day. Totally different person, I guarantee it. If I somehow failed to make an impression on a future mega-prosperous songwriter and television personality, it wouldn’t be the first time. But I swear it wasn’t her. If you were hanging down a cliff and lost grip of her hand, you could conceivably grab a nipple and pull yourself back up to safety. I’m not saying this is the ideal strategy — a lot depends on her ability to take the pain — just that it may become a logical next gripping point in the event of trouble and an option most other women can not provide.

I don’t believe that Kara is among this group of elite however it’s clear that I’m still casting doubt and not putting this controversy to rest, else you wouldn’t continue to fan the flames. Cara was Asian, I should have brought that up earlier.


What was the question? I remember. I find that nipples aren’t usually that erect. Not a big concern, just found it interesting. But she seemed like good people, not like that crazy Paula Abdul. Remember when the guessing game was not so much figuring out what she just said or if she even had a point but what substance she had taken in order to find herself on live national television in that type of condition? Those were indeed the days.

Unfortunately, also not Cara

Some shows, a martini was a safe bet. Others, she was clearly mixing, you just didn’t know what. Prescription drugs of some kind? Possibly mixed with ketamine or Patron?? Who the fuck really knew? I remember one week I was wrong predicting Taylor Hicks would be voted off but was correct that Paula would be caught trying to smoke Xanax in her dressing room shortly before air. Allegedly. I kid. No really ….. I heard they kept Paula in the middle of the panel just to make sure she didn’t fall off the sides. It wasn’t a guy-girl-guy balance thing, it was a Paula Abdul balance thing. They needed to keep her “Straight Up.” Thank you, I’ll be here all week. 

I know what you’re thinking: “why not just have half a martini?” I’d remind you that half a martini is still one martini, it’s just smaller.

I agree that Kara is waffling on a tightrope of inconsistency and uselessness but to go as far as to yearn for Paula, this must really be getting to you and I want to help talk you down. I think the annoyance with Kara is that she’s now trying to play the role of Paula and there’s no insight into what drugs she’s taking, if any at all. Come to think of it, it’s highly possible that the entire panel this year is sober and that’s probably not a bad thing but it fails to explain how we ended up with Andrew Garcia or Tim Urban.

Kara doesn’t even attempt to slur her words and maybe that would ease the transition for you. With Paula, it was always a slightly different buzz from week to week and she seemed to change it up just enough to keep us guessing. That’s what made it fun!! Sometimes it was “last customer at the bar, 10 minutes after last call Paula” who’s made no effort to leave the bar but she’s mumbling and coherent so at least that’s a good sign. Always a sort of Foster Brooks thing where her entire 30-second critique blended into one word, it was great TV. You knew, at the very least, it wasn’t Coca-Cola in her cup.

I admit, I miss seeing Paula stand up after a performance she particularly enjoyed, huge smile and applaude, saying something like: “Marshmallows!! Absolutely Marshmallows!!!” It was that ying-yang drama that made her forever our girl and I can see why you might be pining for the good ole days.

That said, I’d be pretending if I said I missed her because if she were back, the question would be “why is Paula still on the show?” and I’d probably be the one asking you. Is Ellen not your type? Can’t you accept that she’s probably just not that into you? Let it go. Kara is the only member of the judges panel currently in a relationship with penis and you’re bashing her? For this reason alone, I probably unconsciously give her allowances that I might not give others.

Does she bug me? Maybe I just block it out better than most. She was specifically hired to lend fresh industry insight perspective and I don’t think that’s changed but there’s definitely something that seems twisted this season. She’s certainly become much more of a whining bag of nonsensical, contradictory advice. This season, she has some of these kids trying to act older and younger at the same time. I think her biggest issue is that she’s so overly concerned with lyrics and the intent implied within that after “Come Sail Away” she’d be put off that Aaron Kelly didn’t employ a starboard tack or hoist the proper sail at exactly the point before the chorus when a gathering of angels appeared above his head and began to sing.

KARA: “It’s the angels singing to you, Aaron, not you singing to the angels. And why would you hoist the main sail when the voices are coming from the heavens? It’s a head wind, it’s coming towards you and doing what you did, it’s gonna knock your boat right into the sea. So now you’re in the middle of the ocean and you don’t even have a paddle and that’s how I see you right now in this competition. You’ve got to start making better song choices.”

And the 16-year old kid looks back at her and has no fucking clue what she’s talking about.

It might be that Kara is caught between who she is and what we expect or who the producers want her to be. She suddenly sits too close to Simon for a reason. Maybe she’s being told to do this specifically so that we’ll talk about it here. Maybe Ellen has an odor, I doubt it. I always saw Paula leaning on Simon for support, literally she was about to fall over. My favorite Paula moments were when she reacted to morning headlines which spoke of what a wreck she was the night before and she’d always respond that evening by annunciating each syllable like Forrest Gump trying to overcompensate sobriety. I always wished she’d show up more wasted than the night before and Ryan would be forced to stage an intervention. Ryan now only has to interrupt the show to ask Kara why she’s sitting on Simon’s lap.

In order to properly understand it, you have to put it all into context of the judges after they’ve viewed a bad performance and nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news. Randy starts with a monosyllabic: “Ooh, ah, hey, well,um, hey, um, dude” before he eventually reassures the contestant how much he’s just trying to keep it real by adding a canine reference. Paula never wanted to be the harsh critic so she wasn’t any help. She’d stammer and turn to Simon, picking a non-existent fight to essentially yield her time on the floor.

This year we add Ellen saying something short, sweet and funny and we still have yet to critique the actual performance. Simon tells us what we already know and both Randy and Paula boo him for saying what they were too afraid to put into words themselves. But always prior to Simon is the role of  “female judge most likely to have sex with a contestant,” originated by Paula with Kara as the eager understudy. This is where this season got fun.

Kara seemed more in the groove earlier when she gave the impression she was one Casey James performance shy of an emergency Human Resourses meeting away from needing restraints to keep her from literally sliding off her seat. Ever since she was reminded of her marriage and that she’s three years older than Anne Bancroft was when she played Mrs. Robertson, she’s been skittish and all over the place. Like the Sundance Kid needed to move to shoot accurately, Kara needs her genitalia to be free to roam and help her express her feelings towards a performance.

I want her on that wall. I need her on that wall.

Once Fox dialed her in, she’s seemingly only committed to Simon now. Let her ask each contestant to take their shirts off and see what happens. Let nipples be a consideration when deciding the Top 24. Ratings are down. How bad do these kids want this? 

If she still bothers you, my suggestion is to try muting the sound when Kara speaks and then play roles by guessing what she’s saying. I’ve already provided sample dialogue to start with but be free to invent your own. Just remember to put the sound back on to hear what Simon says. He’s the only one who makes sense and I can’t wait to see him replaced by Lorenzo Lamas next season.

We’ve actually been skipping the other judges and fast-forwarding straight to Simon for the past few weeks and it’s been great. I probably should have mentioned that earlier too. Go ahead and verify my sources. Most everything should still check out. If you talk to Cara, I’ll deny everything.

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