It's Been Real: The Most Memorable Reality Rocks Moments Of 2012

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15) Cee Lo Finds It Easy Being Green

Right around the holidays, "Voice" coach Cee Lo Green dueted with another famous "green" singer, Kermit The Frog, and it was just about THE cutest thing to ever appear on "The Voice." (Yes, even cuter than MacKenzie Bourg. Remember him?) And hey, nothing against Shakira and Usher, who've signed on to be the new "Voice" judges for Season 4...but can't NBC just hire Fozzie Bear, Animal, Janice, or even the Muppet Cee Lo instead? They all looked so at home sitting in those big spinning chairs.

14) Jermaine Jones Get Disqualified From "Idol"

"With the cooperation of law enforcement, we discovered information that left us with no choice but to eliminate one of our own from the competition. When you're doing a live show, anything can happen. THIS is 'American Idol'!" That was the cold open of Season 11's top 12 "Idol" show, as intoned to full dramatic effect by an overly earnest-looking Ryan Seacrest. On that fateful episode, Jermaine Jones (who'd been a "surprise" bonus 13th contestant in the first place) was called in to speak on camera with stern-faced producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick about his past criminal charges--which included public nuisance, hindering apprehension, driving on a suspended license, disorderly conduct with an open container, and giving fake names to the police--and he was then publicly disqualified from the competition. The vibe of this entire segment felt icky, invasive, exploitative, and just plain wrong; I just hope it was worth the ratings Nigel and Ken were so obviously and crudely aiming for.

13) LeAnn Rimes Drives A Bus Over Carly Rose Sonenclar

On "The X Factor's" final competitive episode, the top three performed duets with superstars, and poor little Carly was paired with...America's most hated, LeAnn Rimes. Even on paper this sounded like a terrible idea, but when these two started to sing "How Do I Live," it was way worse than I'd even feared. LeAnn kind of seemed sloppy-drunk, or at least like she'd just woken up (couldn't someone have at least combed her hair?); the number seemed entirely unrehearsed; and LeAnn was almost acting like she was in competition with Carly, loudly belting over her in a way that did not complement Carly's efforts and just simply did not feel nice on the ears. ("I was very comfortable," Carly said when asked about her duet experience. Well, I wasn't.) If there was ever any justification to start a conspiracy theory that Carly was thrown under the bus, it'd be this mess. Carly lost to Tate Stevens the following night.

12) Fantasia & Mantasia Finally Join Forces

Speaking of freaky duets, this one from "American Idol's" Season 11 finale--between top three contestant Joshua "Mantasia" Ledet and his own all-time idol, Season 3 winner Fantasia--was bizarre as well, but in a much more entertaining way. The catsuit! The wig! The joyful-noisy screeching that continued well into the commercial break! (Seriously, I think Seacrest had to break them up; either that, or 'Tasia and Josh are still off somewhere in the wings, still singing at each other.) This was all sorts of amazing. Fantasia and Mantasia totally need their own variety show--I'd just watch it with the volume knob turned reasonably low.

11) Cody Belew Goes "Crazy" On "The Voice"

Heeding a previous recommendation/request from Christina Aguilera to bring back the "little bit of bam-bam" from his earlier, wilder performances, in top 10 week Team Cee Lo's Cody proudly paraded out in a one-shouldered leather contraption that basically looked like Michael Jackson's "Bad" jacket, Rose McGowan's 1998 VMAs chainmail dress, and everything Seth Aaron ever designed on "Project Runway" Season 7, thrown all at once into a shredder. And he was flanked by two backup dancers, one of which may or may not have been his former Battle Rounds sparring partner, Domo. And he outdanced them both. And he served a little bit of Glambert realness. And he left the audience panting for more...and then he actually gave them more, by quipping, "Wait, I ain't done yet!" and doing a boogie that he later described as "three parts attitude, one part hip action." And a gazillion parts awesomeness, of course. Cody lasted only one more week after this...but he sure knew how to leave an impression.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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