Tuesday was ’80s night on American Idol. Legends, Boy George, Salt-N-Pepa, and David Hasselhoff made appearances to honor the era of electric blue eyeliner.
Boy George served as guest mentor to the artists. Harry Connick, Jr welcomed him with a shirt that said, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” The ’80s icon and the contestants opened the show with a performance of “Karma Chameleon” — one of Culture Club’s most popular songs. Boy George also plugged his North American tour that kicks off in April. He told Billboard how much he enjoyed his time working with the American Idol “kids.”
“I’ve had a heart warming time working with the kids from Idol. It’s always great to be able to share you’re experiences with such talented artists starting out on their journey. There’s nothing more gratifying for me than to be able to help, advise and share, and this fantastic show allows that to happen.”
David Hasselhoff — and his chest hair — made a surprise visit to the Idol stage. After reminiscing about how “fun” and “cool” the ’80s were, he performed a mix of several memorable hits including Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves, “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley, “Do You Really Wanna Hurt Me” by Boy George’s Culture Club, “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie, and it closed with “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.
Before saying goodbye to Hasselhoff, Ryan Seacrest joked, “I have not seen that much chest hair since I worked with Simon Cowell on this show.”
The former Baywatch actor explained to People that he wanted to lighten things up with some fun and humor.
“I wanted to put a little humor in it and a little fun. Sometimes people just get up there and sing and they’ve got a great voice but who cares, you’ve got to entertain people. I wanted to do a little of the Freddie Mercury. I like to put humor and fun into everything that I do – and also passion. I just put that together yesterday with [Idol‘s music director Ricky Minor]. It was hard to choose just six songs. I wanted to do, like, 30.”
In case Boy George, the Knight Rider, and chest hair weren’t ’80s enough — Salt-N-Peppa shook things up with their hot “Push It” performance. It had all 3 judges on their feet — and even initiated a little booty smacking between Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. Salt-N-Pepa showed they still have it almost 30 years after the hit was first aired.
While there were some standout performances by the Idols, the greatest ’80s get-up of the night, by far, went to Joey Cook. She referred to the look as “Madonna in space.”
Last week, the judges opted to use the save for Qaasim Middleton. That meant after all the ’80s fun ended, 2 American Idol hopefuls had to go home. Rayvon Owen, Adanna Duru, and Maddie Walker ended up as the bottom 3. Rayvon moved on to compete another week, but the journey ended for Adanna and Maddie.
The guest mentor next week will be the original American Idol, Kelly Clarkson. The contestants will surely welcome advice and inspiration based on her experience from the show and beyond.