American Idol Talent Challenge [$49.99]
I'll admit it, I was skeptical. I thought our own L.B. Jeffries might have sucked down one too many helium balloons as a small child when he took on the assignment of reviewing the American Idol Talent Challenge and actually decided he liked it. Of course, this meant I had to try it. And you know what? He's right. The quality of the little contraption you get in the box with the fairly disposable DVD with the judge snark and the Idol-specific karaoke tracks is actually quite high for such an inexpensive karaoke machine. It will work just fine with a typical karaoke DVD, it will work fine with your DVD-Audio copy of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (as long as you don't mind singing along with Wayne Coyne), and L.B.'s right, it works especially well when you want to insert your own Mystery Science Theater-style commentary into the latest DVD release of, say, Gigli. It's a fun party contraption for adults, and I don't think I have to explain why kids love the thing. Fifty bucks might seem a bit much for an American Idol-branded hunk of plastic, but the possibilities it opens up are surprising, not to mention lasting.