Harry Connick Jr. criticizes smiling singer during 'provocative' song on 'American Idol'

Why was "American Idol" contestant Jessica Meuse smiling during performance of song about a school shooting?
By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |   Updated March 21, 2014 at 9:28 AM

American Idol judge Harry Connick Jr. wasn't a big fan of finalist Jessica Meuse's interpretation of Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks," saying she smiled too much during the song referencing a school shooting.

The song speaks of a kid who "found a six-shooter gun in his dad's closet," and who's "coming for you, yeah he's coming for you."

Meuse sang a country version of the song during Thursday night's episode … all with a smile on her face.

Connick Jr. questioned the smile.

"You kinda were smiling and I'm thinking about the words, which are extremely provocative lyrics, and I'm wondering why were you smiling."

Foster the People frontman Mark Foster explained the dark message behind the song in December 2012.

“I wrote ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ when I began to read about the growing trend in teenage mental illness. I wanted to understand the psychology behind it because it was foreign to me,” he said. “It was terrifying how mental illness among youth had skyrocketed in the last decade. I was scared to see where the pattern was headed if we didn’t start changing the way we were bringing up the next generation.”

Take a look below. Was her performance inappropriate?


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