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'American Idol': What was that Steven Tyler apology about?

February 2, 2011 |  6:53 pm

Tyler You didn’t have to wait long for the apology for Steven Tyler's "outrageous behavior" that Ryan Seacrest had promised his radio listeners they'd see on Wednesday night’s "American Idol."

Before even the opening sequence rolled, there it was, white letters on a black background:

Card 1: “American Idol would like to apologize for last week’s outrageous behavior by Steven Tyler.”

Card 2: “Mr. Tyler has been warned and assures us it will never happen again.”

Cut to …

A contestant named Jake Muck walking onto the audition stage in Austin, Texas.

Tyler: You know what Muck rhymes with, don’t you?

Muck: Duck?

Tyler: Read my lips.

And then the “Idol” opening sequence kicked in.

Was it a joke? Was there more to come? Seacrest had said it would all become clear if viewers watched to the end of the show.

But judging from the response on Twitter, nothing was clear.

“American Idol Apology: A Fake Apology from Idol Producers?” tweeted AngelaAyles.

“Anyone, I gotta know, why the apology for Steven Tyler at the top of the show?” pleaded IHilldog.

We watched the whole show, and still we’re baffled. Was it a publicity stunt to boost ratings? A joke? Are producers worried that the show this season is not exciting enough on its own?

Or was it … serious? Did they actually get an onslaught of angry mail from viewers ticked off about all those rhymes-with-Muck utterances on last week’s show? And if so, was “Idol” seriously responding to those concerns, or wryly thumbing its nose at them? All explanations are equally mystifying.

Are we missing something? Do you have a theory? If so, please share it.

-- Amy Reiter

Photo: Steven Tyler. Credit: Tony Duran / Fox