Yesterday, my colleague Shirley Halperin wrote a PopWatch item asking how professional is too professional when it comes to American Idol contestants (a topic also debated on the special-effects-laden season premiere of Idolatry); one reason for the hullabaloo is rumored Hollywood-bound contestant Carly Hennessy, who back in 1999 signed a six-album deal with MCA Records. While I’m torn between believing that it’s always more fun to root for a total music-biz newbie (like Elliott Yamin) than a semi-pro (say, Taylor Hicks) and wondering where exactly Fox is going to find 24 great-but-unsigned singers who don’t at least have a MySpace page with their own original material, I also couldn’t resist the urge to do a YouTube search for Hennessy, where I found this 2002 video for ”I’m Gonna Blow Your Mind” (apparently produced by New Radicals’ Gregg Alexander).
Whatever your opinion of the song (or whether or not Hennessy belongs on Idol), you’ve got to admit: Her hair certainly moves like a pop star’s should. I mean, if you put me in front of a wind machine, all you’d get is a light rustling and woeful dishevelment. But Hennessy’s tresses? Wow. The way they shimmy and shine and explode, it’s like a Silkience ad and a Matrix trailer and a trip to Castle Enya all rolled into one. Her singing, on the other hand, while competent, doesn’t strike me as anything particularly distinctive or memorable. So unless Idol’s planning to let her perform in a wind tunnel, I’m not sure I want to see her in the season 7 finals. How ‘bout you?