The Kellie Pickler Conspiracy
THE TRUTH MUST BE TOLD... KELLIE PICKLER WAS SABOTAGED, FROM THE INSIDE which renders Taylor Hicks' triumph largely meaningless.
It's time to spill the beans. As many of you know, Debra Byrd, the head vocal coach for the Idols, is a long time friend and collaborator of Barry Manilow's. Their working relationship and personal friendship extends back more than thirty years. What many of you don't know, however, is that Debra has been, virtually from the day she met Barry, deeply, hopelessly, tragically in love with him. Oh, she's hinted, she's cajoled, she's even groped on occasion, but never have her efforts payed in dividends. It took almost a decade before Debra realized that it wasn't about her, that there were other "issues" in Barry's life which were keeping them apart. This was scant consolation, however.
And so for the next twenty years she did what she could, seized any opportunity--no matter how small or subliminal--to communicate to Barry that she was the one who just might be able to help him make it through the rain, so to speak. But alas, no dice (nor weekends in New England, for that matter).
Which brings us to Kellie Pickler, America's little honey this past winter. Oh, yes, Kellie liked Debra--Kellie likes everyone, she's just a friendly sort. And Debra liked Kellie...at first, that is. Things changed quite a bit when Barry Manilow arrived at the Idol rehearsal studios.
Debra was glad to have Barry back; he had previously worked with another group of Idol contestants and it was a win-win for everybody. But "Songs of the 50's Night" would change lives forever.
You see, one coaching session with Kellie and Barry's world was turned upside down. Completely. Utterly. Start to finish. So beguiling, so delicious, so infectious--that Kellie. A minx indeed. In her honor, I feel compelled to rely on corn, that all-American, widely embraced staple of the Southern diet to elucidate the cataclysm to be. Barry had, of course, always liked corn on the cob--in fact, loved it, savored it, couldn't get enough of it; but now he knew that what he really hankered for was creamed corn--sweet, sticky and oh so good. And who has ever offered better corn than Kellie Pickler? No one, and you know it. And Barry knew it. In his bones, in his heart, in his long, ivory-stroking digits. Instincts he never knew he possessed leapt from him like wet chew headed for the spitoon. No one likes to think of the words Barry Manilow and loins in the same sentence, but brace yourself, because what Kellie Pickler did to Barry Manilow's loins was nearly historic in impact.
The night of the coaching session Barry went home and wrote an entire Broadway musical for Kellie--book, libretto, the whole damn thing. In the morning he was so proud of his achievement, so enthralled by the power and influence of his unassuming new muse, this bleached and feral object of desire, that his entire lifetime of musical achievement struck him as mere prelude to the wondrous compositions that Miss Pickler would henceforth inspire and interpret. No woman had ever made him feel this way. Not even Lola Falana. He had to tell Debra, his best friend, his 30-year confidant, the woman--nay, human being--who knew Barry best in this world...until now. He had to share with her the single most important encounter of his life. [It pains me to say this, because I am not the violent type, but I feel compelled to admit--with the utmost solemnity--that had I known personally that Barry was going to let Debra in on his feelings about Kellie, I would have most likely assassinated him in order to prevent the havoc that would ensue.]
Though Debra maintained a cool demeanor during Barry's confession, her insides, needless to say, were fairly reeling from the revelations. How dare Barry conceive of Kellie in the way that she, Debra, was destined to be conceived when Barry finally came to his senses? Debra had been willing to wait until she was ninety --ninety!--to claim her rightful place in Barry's eyes (and bed) because she knew the day would dawn, eventually, and had fully believed that she and she alone would be the one who could engender it.
Carefree, loving, oblivious Kellie never saw it coming. It began with an innocuous enough suggestion. At the next rehearsal Debra said, "Oh Kellie, I've got the perfect song for you for 'Rod Stewart Night'. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered. It fits you like a glove." Loving, trusting, music-history-devoid Kellie, who had come to look up to Debra as not only a mentor, but in many ways, as the mother she had never known, took the suggestion like a nightcrawler to a catfish.
Afterwards, Kellie really beat herself up over her performance. Barry had watched from home and literally heard the ache in his heart as his beloved faltered so miserably. He called her ninety three times to console her (that's three more times than the number of calls he used to make in Season Two to vote for Clay each week!), but since Debra and Barry share a joint cell phone plan, Debra had rerouted Barry's calls to Kelly's official Idol voice-mail box which, of course, was full.
Debra could anticipate Barry's every move--Of course! She knows Barry better than anyone--so she was certain that he would attempt to influence Kellie directly in terms of her song selection for the following week. You thought that Kellie's curling iron incident and Barry's sudden fungal infection in the days leading up to "Classic Love Songs Night" were weird, random occurrences? Let's just say a little byrdie told me otherwise.
Hence, Barry's inability to reach Kellie before she met with Andreas and David sounded the death knell for her Idol tenure. Once the theme was announced, Debra wasted no time in working on Kellie: "Oh, my flaxen darling, you know what the perfect song is for you this week? Unchained Melody . It was written for you. It even has a yodelling passage. Plus, it's Simon's favorite song of all time, and remember, how two weeks ago, he said 'I think I like you better than last year's winner?'--that was his way of saying that he liked you better than Carrie Underwood!" "Oh," Kellie said, realizing finally the enormity of what Simon had offered. "And Darling, he didn't just mean that he liked you better than Carrie as a person--who wouldn't, she's melba toast to your flaky croissant. ...Oh, that, it's like a curvy French donut. Well, anyway, he meant that he likes your voice better and that means you're going to win. Because he predicted that Carrie would win, and if he likes your voice better than hers, than that means you'll win. Singing Unchained Melody will be like a nice thank-you wink to Simon for predicting your victory." The light shining in Kellie's eyes once the situation was explained to her would have blinded Tammy Faye. "Oh Debra, I promise I'll do better than last week. I know I will. Thanks for finding me the perfect song."
Well, we all know the perfect song for Kellie on "Classic Love Songs Night" was anything but "Unchained Melody", a song which left her hemmed in, focusing so hard on the vocal pyrotechnics of the song that she was unable to relax, engage the audience, work the stage or physically inhabit the song with the ease and panache with which she sang numbers like "Walking After Midnight", which ironically was the song she sang on Barry's night.
Two weeks of weak performances due to songs selected expressly to obliterate her chances and my sweetheart Kellie was, to Debra's sick and twisted delight, sent packing back to Albemarle. Debra figured that her work was done because Barry would never set foot in North Carolina because of the sodomy laws, not realizing the obvious--that the whole sodomy/prison/gangbang/tabloid scenario was rendered moot, because when one is destined to be with Kellie Pickler one forgets sodomy even exists.
So, America, as you crown Taylor, know that Kellie's rightful ascension to the throne was prevented by nothing more than the machinations of a love-sick vocal coach too long tortured by unrequited love. Kellie Pickler was sabotaged, led on, misdirected, viciously hindered at every move and I cannot stand as mute witness to the crime any longer. If you would like to contribute to the "Impeach Debra Byrd Fund," please send your donations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Justice will prevail! Pickler will triumph! Barry will gorge at the cavern of creamed corn!
May 25, 2006
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