If I'm Michael Corleone (and I'm not) trying to go legit, Katrina "Bikini Girl" Darrell is my Mafia. Every time I think I've gotten my last use out of Darrell's bikini-clad "American Idol" audition photo, she *pulls* me back in.

I would have guessed that Bikini Girl and I were just about through after she was finally eliminated from "American Idol" mid-way through the Hollywood Round. After all, even with a great willingness to disrobe, how many minutes of fame are "American Idol" rejects entitled to?

For Darrell, the answer appears to be "More."

Bikini Girl, it turns out, is now a legitimate reporter. 

Darrell, eschewing her familiar two-piece in favor of a far more professionally responsible ensemble consisting of a skin-tight, green leopard (or fish) print mini-skirt and high heels, was working the Blue Carpet at FOX's Thursday (March 5) night party celebrating the "American Idol" Top 13. 

[More after the break...]

I don't want to overstate Darrell's importance at the FOX party. She was just one of many journalists leaning over railing trying to get quotes from the "American Idol" hopefuls. Also, from little acorns, great oak trees something-or-other. I mean, four or five years ago, you'd have mocked the journalistic credentials of Kim Caldwell and Justin Guarini, but they've become the Woodward and Bernstein of former "Idol" contestants.

But Darrell was certainly attracting more than her share of attention, with her fake tan, fake extensions and, unless I'm missing my guess, recently enhanced bosom. In fact, the only person on the premises wearing more makeup than Bikini Girl was "American Idol" finalist Adam Lambert. No. Seriously. 

That Darrell was carting a microphone for E!, hardly an illegitimate outlet, caused a little ire amongst other reporters who, like me, know more than a few reputable, trained and over-qualified scribes on the bread-lines.

"I went to school for this," said one ink-smudged scribe of superior breeding. "F*** you, Bikini Girl."

There were several looks of incredulity from the Top 13 contestants when they reached Darrell's place in the media line, replaced quickly and professionally.

I didn't work the Red Carpet at this year's party largely because it's an arduous and endless process and between my "American Idol" recap and my "Survivor" recap, I knew I'd have to arrive early and leave early. My goal was really just to get a sense of the event. 

Some observations (many Tweeted from my vantage point abutting the Blue Carpet): 

***Pink hair aside, Alexis Grace has a strong Peggy Lee vibe in person. The judges compared her to Kelly Clarkson. Kelly Clarkson played *Brenda* Lee on an episode of "American Dreams." By the transitive property that means... Nothing, really.

***The guys this season are much more fashion-forward than the women. You've got Jorge Nunez and Matt Giraud looking to bring back the man-scarf and Lambert rocking the guy-liner and thin ties. 

***Megan Corkrey's smile is an amazing thing and she kept smiling on the Blue Carpet for nearly 90 minutes. Really, all of the "Idol" singers are great sports at this event every year. Amped up on adrenaline, they have to talk to dozens of reporters asking the exact same questions and they have to give the exact same media-trained answers, but they always keep their energy up. 

***I'll keep saying this: Scott MacIntyre isn't a good enough singer to have deserved his place in the Top 13, but watching him navigate the sea of reporters was really amazing. I'm not going to get soppy and say it was "inspirational," nor condescend by saying that there's any reason to think a blind person couldn't do a series of puff-piece interviews. Still... Impressive.

***I get the feeling that Anoop Desai and I would be friends. This may be factually inaccurate, though I *did* take folklore classes in college, but I think it's why he's destined for a really long run this season. Last year we had America's Nanny. Anoop could just be America's Bar Trivia Buddy.

***Who is Kris Allen?

Held at Area in Beverly Hills, the FOX party was well-attended. In addition to the "Idol" contestants and one or two judges (certainly no Simon or Ryan, who can't sacrifice beauty sleep for a mid-evening fete), attendance included the FOX network brass (including Peter Liguori, Kevin Reilly and evil genius Mike Darnell), a few series stars (John Noble of "Fringe" and Annie Wersching of "24"), the odd recognizable showrunner (Seth MacFarlane), plus the entire cast of FOX's "Glee," who put on an impressive (and at times embarrassingly revealing) display on the dance floor. Cat Deeley was also there, which just makes me happy. 

As befits an "American Idol" party, there were buckets of Coke and Coke-affiliated beverages everywhere for thirsty Blue Carpet denizens to quaff after noshing on crab cakes and mini-grilled cheeses, plus the obligatory snazzy pizzas and mini-burgers. The best things I grabbed were freshly baked cookies that came accompanied with slender shot glasses of milk.

Perhaps it's a sign of the economic times, but the party was Swag Bag-free, unless you count the two bottles of Coke that mysteriously found their way onto the passenger seat of my car when it came back from the valet. Their commemorative bottles "made with 30% recycled PET plastic." "Give It Back Toward Sustainability," the label reads. On the assumption that that's a good thing, kudos to FOX and Coke.

And kudos to Bikini Girl, for a career that's more than 30% recycled and disturbingly sustainable.

 

Can't get enough of The Fien Print? Sign up now for HitFix Blog Alerts and receive daily updates.

Don't miss out. Click here to add The Fien Print to your  iGoogle, My Yahoo or My MSN experience today.

Not part of the HitFix Nation yet? Take 90 seconds and sign up today.