Eating the KFC Double Down while watching Adam Lambert and 'American Idol' on Elvis night: A big, fat, cheesy combo!

I could not resist trying the KFC Double Down. I like junk food, even if I balance it out by eating a lot of broccoli-and-quinoa dinners. But you show me a new sandwich with bacon, cheese, and mayo-mystery-sauce wedged between two pieces of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and that is a challenge I am ready to tackle.

Much the way the remaining American Idol contestants accepted the challenge of performing Elvis Presley songs. Insert your own grilled-peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches, late-period Elvis jokes here. Me, I respect Elvis in his prime the way I respect McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese: brilliant American inventiveness.

Don’t worry, this isn’t me dumping on Idol, and the eminent Michael Slezak gives you the full measure of his Idol expertise here.

No, I’m just writing about an experience you do all the time, but that critics don’t often write about: eating while watching TV.

So I sped home with my KFC Double Down in time to see Adam Lambert exhort the singers to provide viewers with what Elvis did: something “to listen to, look at, and feel.” I think Lambert is truly terrific. He gets it.

Unlike Presley, however, who was too polite to do such a thing, Lambert can also play the music critic with acuity. He told Andrew Garcia his rehearsal version of “Hound Dog” was “boring.” (It was.) In assessing Lee DeWyze, Lambert pointed to the area of the face and said, “there’s nothing going on there” — i.e., that Lee is inexpressive. (He is.)

I was so happy watching Lambert offer cogent, good-humored analysis that I started eating without thinking much about what I was consuming. (You know the feeling. Looking down at the empty bowl of potato chips during a Glee commercial break and wondering, where the hell did the chips all go?) Then I chewed and swallowed with concentration on the food.

The Double Down tasted… heavy, with grease. But not without a certain spicy charm. The KFC formula (I bought the “original,” not the “grilled”) combined with the bacon, cheese, and mayo for a nice tang. If I’d eaten a crisper piece of bacon placed on a single, thinner piece of KFC chicken, I think I actually would have said it was really fun. Unhealthy on a regular basis, but fun. Something like listening to badly but spiritedly performed music.

I’m not going to make the Double Down part of my regular snacking. It’s back to the broccoli and quinoa for me. Similarly, I’ll be watching Modern Family instead of Idol tomorrow night.

Have you tried the Double Down? Did you watch Idol? You didn’t by any chance combine the two, did you?

For Idol coverage: ‘American Idol’ brings back Adam Lambert for Elvis night

Comments (65 total) Add your comment
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  • ron

    I think ADAM LAMBERT did a fantastic job. He is a amazing performer and he was honest and gave great advice. cant wait to hear and see him tomorrow. Love ADAM

    • Melaina

      Agreed 100%.

    • LT

      Adam Lambert was the best mentor ever- he got those zombies to actually MOVE. Please have him on every week! Can’t wait for tomorrow.

    • LOL

      A Double Down has more talent than those Idol singers.

      • Billy

        And that’s being generous. Is Ken Tucker a middle-aged obese woman now? Eating in complete ignorant bliss in front of his TV? Come on, say it, how much is KFC giving to EW for you to write such an exhaustive review?

        There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, American Idol, the source of all evil, including obesity.

  • Jennifer

    Watched Idol and was shocked to find myself enjoying Tim’s performance – thank goodness he ignored Adam’s advice to use the falsetto, ’cause his falsetto sucks. And what were the judges smoking during Casey’s performance – it was fabulous old school bluesy Elvis, and it totally rocked. The judges were on crack at that point – that’s all I can figure.

    • Jennifer

      I do think Adam did a good job mentoring other than the falsetto comment to Tim, however.

      • terie


      • Kelly

        Terie, I don’t think you know what a falsetto is.

        When Adam told him to do that, I practically yelled “No!” at the TV screen. Ugh, Tim’s falsetto on Apologize was horrific, so I am so glad he ignored Adam’s advice.

      • dave

        Hey dumb dumbs. Tim did use the falsetto toward the end. Not at the very end but toward it. Right where he was instructed to. Are you deaf as well as dumb?

    • Kelly

      Casey was great last week. this week he was terrible if you ask me

    • 2t2tag

      he DID use his falsetto voice like adam suggested, only not in the place that was suggested. he used it in the middle of the song not at the end. adam was spot on as usual.

      • Valerie

        2t2tag: finally someone who also heard that Tim used his falsetto. Right before the end. Adam was spot on.

    • STFU

      ??? he used the falsetto , are you deaf? and he did sound beautiful

  • Jada

    Thank you Ken, you were right. Adam did a good job offering real advice and NOT only cheerleading like other trainers.

    Adam managed to give even Ryan a lesson of high class, style and sophistication. I think something was not quite good with Ryan tonight (did you hear Ryan’s remark about Adam’s tongue?).

    Do I need to mention that Adam looked amazing good and beautiful, as always?!

    I can’t wait until tomorrow!

  • Peggy Sue

    I don’t know what in the hell this article was supposed to be about, but I am glad you thought Adam was as awesome as I did – he saved the show, and probably saved some of the contestants!

    • Alex

      Ha-ha, ditto! Adam is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise boring & sleepy season.

      • dtny

        I agree totally! Adams comment about they need to wake up and drink some coffee was spot on!

    • terie

      I agree with Peggy Sue. NOW it is evident that ADAM did HELP the contestants on AI8 … and that’s why the Top 13 were so much better last year. They had advice on how to be ENTERTAINING and not just sing. IMO

    • Gabriel

      One of the tnighs I most value in your blog, Rick, is your ruthless self-honesty–your willingness not only to make mistakes but to risk “losing face” by letting us in on them. (Decidedly not normal.) As we become privy to your self-reflection and witness your “corrections in course” on this journey you’re taking we see how the messy process of “being (becoming?) human” works. Perhaps we might think of ruthless self-honesty as a necessary payment (the first of many) for growth and achievement on any level. I’m wondering if this is your experience.

  • Alex9

    Ken,every time I see you on Ferguson, your’re as thin as a reed, and yet you say you like junk food. I want to curse your metabolism!

  • Conibral

    Was Ryan Seacrest drunk? Seriously – I’ve never seen him more goofy and weird. The odd dancing during Tim Urban’s performance, acting like a 15 year old girl in the mosh pit, the Brian Dunkleman reference (his original co-host in season one), and the odd way he ended the show the the cast of Glee (and sort of slurred the word “America”). Anyone else??

    • Chris

      He was just so giddy and happy that Adam was there. We all were flailing.

  • Sarah J

    Lambert was fantastic tonight, giving spot-on, honest & constructive advice. I thought the performances were weak & forgettable. I am generally rooting for the girls this season as I think vocally both S Magnus & C Soxx are way stronger than the guys, but tonight the only performance I enjoyed was that of Michael Lynch. Looking forward to Adam’s performance tomorrow.

  • Sarah

    Adam was indeed terrific – he brought new life to the show!! Loved seeing him again, and I can’t wait to see him perform tomorrow.

  • dtny

    I thought Adam did a terrific job. He was spot on with his advice. He rocks!

  • Peggy Lou

    I loved Adam tonight and he did a great job and he looked great…As for Ryan I don’t know what if wrong with him this year, unless the raise gave him the big head….Acts goofy…

  • Shawn

    Loved all of Adam’s recommendations including the one to Tim. Unfortunately he finished on a flat note instead of taking advantage of his head voice as Adam suggested, but overall Tim was decent. He really helped Lee. Thought Casey was weak, but that only Elvis could do justice with… Casey sounds monitone, really boring. Andrew didn’t even try. He’s gone–or should be. Ryan was silly tonight. Was he coveting Adam. Glad Adam didn’t comment on the tongue comment. Where did that come from Ryan?

  • 2t2tag

    i think ryan and the rest of the judges on idol are kind of giddy in their desperation over this years talent. even adam can’t save them (crystal excepted).

    • terie

      I think the judges noses were ‘out of joint’ because ADAM gave the contestants BETTER advice than they did. So they naturally had to toss in their ‘snarky’ remarks when they were DEFINITELY “WRONG”!! ELLEN EXCLUDED! IMO

  • Sara

    For once, a mentor said all the things I wanted to say. Former mentors, was it really so hard? Well done, Adam.

  • lily

    Adam was good. Should have been a teacher in another life. The contestants were OK.

  • Chris

    Hey Ken – Modern Family is just going to have to wait. Mr. Lambert is back on Idol again tomorrow; this time singing (happy dance).

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