Hey, Harry Connick, Jr.: I Was Creeped Out Too!

Hey, Harry Connick, Jr.: I Was Creeped Out Too! January 16, 2014

Since my fellow Patheos blogger Tony Rossi threw open the door for conversation about American Idol, I thought I would share the moment last night when I sort of fell in love with new Idol judge Harry Connick, Jr.

Morgan Deplitch – Paris – American Idol 13 by IdolxMuzic

It happened when fifteen year old Morgan Deplitch sang “Paris” by Grace Potter. The song includes the lyrics:

You got me down on the floor
So what’d you bring me down here for?
You got me down on the floor
So what’d you bring me down here for?

If I was a man I’d make my move
If I was a blade I’d shave you smooth
If I was a judge I’d break the law
And if I was from Paris
If I was from Paris
I would say
Ooh la la la la la la la

After J Lo called the performance “Cute”, Harry Connick Jr. counseled Morgan that it was important to “find the songs that are right for you” and encouraged her to look for tunes that are age-appropriate, “Cuz hearing about you ‘shaving me smooth’ really was creepin’ me out.”

That’s the point where I wanted to stand up and say, “Go Harry!” J Lo turned to him and said, “You’re such a dad!” with a giggle in her voice. I really don’t know anything about Connick Jr., whose wikipedia page states that he is a practicing Catholic. But you’ve got to love a dad with the integrity to tell a young teenager that she should really try to respect herself in her art.

I’ll be watching in the weeks ahead to see how the season unfolds, but my first peek at Harry as a permanent member of the judging panel has me feeling optimistic.

A question for you: Do you watch American Idol?


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  • dana_wilson

    I saw that, too and thought, “Hooray!” It is about time someone spoke up — now if they would just say something about the modesty in clothing issue…

  • Christina Marie King

    Oh, I know Harry, I have been listening to his music since 1992 when I first fell in love with my husband. We just watched him perform this past summer in Chicago. His new album “Every Man Should Know” has a song he wrote for his wife…”love my life away” and it is a song every man should sing to his bride…

  • Sadly, a young person doesn’t have too many models to follow when it comes to respecting themselves in their art. And virtually none that rise to the level of “American Idols”. Our idols are generally of the more depraved nature.

  • I’ve always loved Harry Connick, Jr.–now I love him more!

  • Kim Whelan

    I used to watch it when my oldest was still at home (she’s a senior at college) but I always avoided these early episodes as I thought it purposely wanted us to laugh at folks who I am sure did not want to be laughed at. I did enjoy the show once they were in LA. 🙂

  • Edward Hoyt

    Don’t watch. I can’t enjoy music as an idol search. There’s a mystery of a singer, a song, an audience, and a moment that is transcendent. And such a presentation forsakes all that for the pursuit of new brands.

    Musicians are getting paid in pennies. Successful ones with international hits are sleeping on couches.. The only ones seeing real money these days are the ones able to successfully turn themselves into brands, profiting off of clothing and merchandising deals. And that’s what such shows are pursuing — the next brand. It feels dehumanizing.

    But I’m glad to hear that Mr. Connick has stood up in the Arena and recognized a bit of that dehumanization and called it out.

  • Joanne Mercier

    I am back watching AI this year with renewed encouragement thanks to our Catholic boy HCJr. He is a breath of fresh air in both the music and common sense departments. Keith Urban has a level sense and a good musical ear. J-Lo, well, I just ignore her. VERY thankful Randy Jackson has moved off the table! This season of Idol will be great – and I’ll be watching AND talking about it!

    • Ly

      In response to Esther’s comment. The other girl who sang paris was 22 years old not 15.

  • I guess I’m not “down with it,” so last night was the first time I’d ever heard of Harry Connick, Jr., at least knowingly. But I must say, I was impressed with his advice! I’m thankful for his candor and encouragement to the girl. It was refreshing to hear something like that come out of modern media.

  • Danielle Bean

    Oh Lisa, he’s great! We are doing our best to get an interview with him for Catholic Digest. I might just start watching AI again, after all these years.

  • Yeah, I’ve been a big fan of HCJr for many years. Very talented guy. Not surprised he did the right thing there and give that young girl some sound advice.

  • Harry has always been one of my faves. I had a crush on him when I was younger. 🙂

  • Don’t think it is merely because I have been a fan of Harry Connick Jr’s for over 2 decades that you win my nomination for this fun blogging award —though this post did help put ya in the final ten. Ha ha!

    So today I linked to your blog and nominated it for the Sunshine Award. It is just for fun and you don’t need to feel under any obligation to “accept” the award, its just a way some bloggers like to say, “I love your blog!

    When I was nominated I thought there was no way I would have time to jot down a few things about myself and nominate others. Turns out, I rather enjoyed thinking about some things to share and coming up with your name was a no brainer! Here’s my blog entry that explains the fun little award a bit more. http://www.kellywahlquist.com/blog/2014/1/16/let-the-sunshine-in

  • Sarah

    I haven’t been a faithful follower of AI. I kind of tune in just to know who everyone is talking about ~ Ha! But I have been a fan of Harry Connick, Jr. forever! I was very pleased by his advice to that young girl. Way to go, Harry!

  • I know how he felt. I got the same creepy sensation watching some of Zendaya’s dances with Val Chmerkovsky on Dancing with the Stars: “Sorry, you’re wa-aa-ay too young for the Argentine Tango!”

  • DeaconsBench

    I remember seeing Connick perform when Benedict visited New York in 2008. Along with Stephanie Mills, he was there to warm up the crowd at Yankee Stadium before Mass. I don’t remember what he sang, but I do remember something he said: “Folks ask me if I’m a practicing Catholic,” he said. “I tell them yes, I am. Gonna keep practicing until I get it right.” 🙂

    • Yeah, actually, I read an interview somewhere, like Christianity Today, where he talked about how his faith structures what he’s willing and unwilling to do while acting. He also said that people want to listen to him sing or watch him act, not hear him preach, or something like that, so he doesn’t preach; but that he isn’t shy about being Catholic.

    • Rob B.

      Martin Sheen said the same thing during an interview on NPR for his movie *The Way.” I’ve adopted it as one of my personal slogans… 🙂

      Seriously, I’m glad Mr. Connick was “creeped out” by this performance. It shows that someone can swim in the disturbing waters of modern media stardom and still retain a properly formed concsicence.

  • And the upshot of it all is that something which might not in and of itself be dirty takes on a lurid and even gross quality because an innocence that should be there is found missing.

    And it has the effect of ruining the art, as well. The girl sounded strained, and it wasn’t, I think, merely because of the shortness of breath, but because she was straining. A fifteen or sixteen year old girl should not know how to sound sultry as the song requires – to pull off sultry and yet not promiscuous, which would really perfect the song – that would be beyond the grasp of most. Especially a fifteen year old.

  • Well, now I’m going out to get more Connick Jr music. The other two judges are enough for me to be repulsed by the show. The show has lost any sense of family appeal it once had.

  • Roxane B. Salonen

    Hi Lisa. I know I’m going to come off as a real prude but I rarely watch TV. And I don’t know that I’ve ever watched American Idol all the way through even though it’s a musical/singer show and I loving singing and music. However, I have heard great things about HCJ as a person, not to mention his talent. I’m hoping I can catch the show soon just to see him and his reactions. This is so encouraging! Thanks for mentioning it. We need more people like this out there, shining the light. Yay Harry!

  • Momamary

    Thank you, Harry for having a sense of decency and for giving that child the advice that I am presuming he would give to his teenage children. He informs both his music and his job with his Catholic faith. And shame on J.Lo, a lapsed Catholic MOM, for making such a stupid remark! I wonder what advice she will be giving her child.

  • Gail Finke

    I didn’t watch last year (Nikki Minaj??? Are you kidding me?) but I have watched for most of the seasons after the first few. It always has a lot of people wearing crosses, Mormons, etc. This kind of competition show seems to attract them as viewers and contestants. That said, there has often been a subtle degrading influence that I take it is just the entertainment field itself — like young Jordan Sparks, who was a Christian singer before Idol, singing some suggestive songs. Not all the time, and not as bad as above, but still. Really? That’s what you do with a 16-year-old contestant and all the great popular music for the last few decades to pull from? Or when Scotty McCreary got some truly creepy advice from Lady Gaga — if he were my minor son, I would have punched her for talking to him that way, I don’t care how famous she is. It is the same with the dancing shows. No matter how amazing the talent and the choreographers, there are a couple of raunchy numbers or outright pole dancing pieces that everyone has to do. And these are on shows generally regarded as for family viewing. I get the idea that the producers are trying for wholesome and general audience, but they don’t even know what it is anymore.

    • Odd thing with that band this girl sang, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, is they have a song that certainly sounds like it’s about baptism in a healing/positive way. (Although reading the lyrics of “Nothing but the Water” again I guess maybe it could be about suicide. It does seem to say the Bible and prayer is insufficient so only “the water” can save her. However that could still refer to the value of baptism. Anyway I like that song and what I thought it said reminded me of my born-again relatives down-home, which what they believe isn’t what I believe but isn’t necessarily bad)

      As for reality shows I seem to recall an X-Factor where like a fourteen-year-old song that was clearly about sex/spending-the-night and was a little unnerved by that one. Maybe more unnerved though that no one said “I think this might not be age correct for you.”

  • Esther O’Reilly

    I totally agree with Connick, but there’s something that bugs me a little—there was another 15-year-old girl who sang this exact same song for her audition this year, and Harry didn’t say anything about the appropriateness of the lyrics to her. And she actually had a more provocative look about her because she chose to wear a bare tummy outfit. Her name was Stephanie Petronelli—look her up. Connick chose to focus solely on her vocals. Now, maybe Stephanie did the song first, then this girl did it again later and Connick felt like that was just enough, something was wrong with 15-year-olds singing this song. Or maybe it was the other way around, but he didn’t feel like repeating himself. I don’t know, I guess I just feel like he shouldn’t have been afraid to be consistent. That other girl had a more “mature” look, which in a weird way may have dulled his senses since the song “matched” the look better, but I think the same standard applies. However, good on him even so for speaking up in this case, it needed to be said.

    • Esther O’Reilly

      I wanted to come back here and add my apologies for misjudging Connick. As some of you might have read, he DID say this again to yet a THIRD girl who chose this very song in the Top 30 and was also a legal adult. So, I withdraw my complaint. He apparently is trying to be consistent.

  • Wisteria

    Totally agree. That’s a good point and i like the way he approached it “Is that really what you wanna sing about?”.

  • rockanne

    If you have not seen Harry Connick, Jr. live in concert, you must. You do not need to be a fan, to have any albums….it is a good show. He is incredibly entertaining. It’s a great night out, great date night. I have seen him perform a few times in three different genres, all excellent music, all very entertaining. He’s naturally hilarious.