AMERICAN IDOL 7 BEGINS: Oh, yes, oh, yes...American Idol is back and the blogging has begun. Let's be honest, last season was a huge snooze, save for the beautiful train wreck that was Sanjaya Malakar. This year, the producers have promised better talent. We'll be the judge of that. There will be fewer celebrity mentors (What? No more Diana Ross in a fright wig?!), contestants will be allowed to use instruments (that will both fantastic and horrendous) and there will be more backstory on the finalists. Does anyone really know anything about last year's winner Jordin Sparks other than she's 17? Anyone, anyone...

So, tonight began four weeks of audition shows. In past seasons, these early shows were filled with freaks and mental cases, but it seems the producers tried to bring a balance of the good and bad. However, the freaks that did make it to the front of the line were absolutely freaky deaky. I mean straight up nuts. You are going to see a lot of Star Wars references in this recap, which is not a good thing. The first audition city was Philadelphia (cue Philadelphia Freedom by Elton John, natch) and they selected 29 people to go on to Hollywood.

First up was Joey, who had lost 204 pounds and was a little too cocky for his own good. He was a fat douche and now he's a skinny one. He sang a Maroon 5 song in a high voice and Randy, Paula (disappointingly coherent...more pills for Miss P, please) and Simon put him through to Hollywood. Say which? Then there was Yuka from Egypt, who could barely speak English but tried to sing How Deep Is Your Love by the "Mr. Bee Gees." He also loves women from "head to nipple."

James Lewis, a Philly tour guide, showed up in a yellow suit that David Byrne would have found too large. He seemed sorta normal, then he said his idols were Paul Robeson and Eddie Vedder and it went way downhill from there. He sang Go Down Moses in this unintelligible low register that sounded like Chewbacca with a head cold. He was scary as fuck. Randy and Paula were laughing so hard, they had to turn away. There was quick montage of good singers who made it to Hollywood and then the first hour ended on several low notes.

First was Temptress Brown, a 16-year-old linebacker for her high school football team. I wanted to make fun of her unfortunate wig, her tragic bedspread blouse, and butchering I Am Telling You I'm Not Going, but I felt really sorry for her and when she started crying I felt worse. However, I will not spare her 900 pound mother, who should be in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the biggest camel toe EVER! They should have blurred that shit out or put a floating American Idol logo over it like they do people who flip off the camera or show too much crack. But noooo. That camel toe was practically 3-D. It was like the Death Star tractor beam drawing in the Millennium Falcon.

Then there was Alexis Cohen, who gets the award for being the biggest loon of hour one. This crack whore lives in a one-room hovel with her equally crazy mom, two cats and a dog. She wants to be a vet. I say she should be euthanized immediately. She said Grace Slick was one of her idols and she channeled Grace doing Somebody To Love pretty well, but it wasn't great and the judges passed. She graciously left the room and then got into the lobby and had a total, middle finger flipping, expletive filled meltdown. Batshit crazy is being kind. As she left, she screamed she was going to try "actressing" instead. Hide your kittens.

Hour two began with more montages -- screamers, losers and swearers -- and then Angela Martin, a sweet girl with a very ill daughter who basically said she wanted to get on Idol to get her child better medical care. Is that what this country has come to? Trying to win a reality show for insurance? Luckily Angela was very good and is going to Hollywood.

They let this creepy, 39-year-old social worker (?!) in to sing a song about abstinence called No Sex Allowed, which I'm sure he was singing from experience. A hairy guy named Ben showed up in Princess Leia's slave girl outfit from Return of the Jedi (no joke - that's him pictured above) and Paula told him they would let him audition if he went and had a body wax. He did and it was like waxing off a shag rug. Ben looked like he was in a lot of pain, and I'm glad. He returned, sang two words and they kicked him out. Cruel and hilarious.

A serial killer named Paul showed up and sang a song called Stalker that he had written for Paula. When he started humping the judge's table and talking about breaking into her house and wearing her panties, security removed him. He had serious crazy eyes. And finally there was Christina Tolisino, a self-proclaimed dork, who showed up with Princess Leia's bun hairdo, a Star Wars belt, fishnet stockings and knee-high shit-kicker boots. She said she did her hair and put on make up to cover her acne just to audition. Bless. She sang Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me and was as diplomatic as Princess Leia when the judges dismissed her. When she got outside she turned into Carrie Fisher -- cursing, flipping off the camera, ripping off her fake hair buns and giving them to her bewildered grandparents. She kept screaming that all the ones who made it to Hollywood looked and sounded the same and dorks like her didn't have a chance. Exactly. See you at the next DragonCon, crazy.

Tomorrow night it's on to Dallas. Stay tuned.


i love your recaps and i dont even watch the show!
Collin said…
You should start watching tomorrow night. If you can sit through Project Runwaytopmodelchefbiggestloser, you can watch Idol. :)
RJGibson said…
o kee-rist!!! i wish i had watched...tears...tears running down my face.

definitely tomorrow it's on like donkey kong.

verification code: hnudz
Justin Evans said…
I watched. It's like heroin. You don't want to think that you are going to be sucked into a world of junkies and William Burroughsesque surrealism, but 1 hour and 52 munutes later, there you are, pissed of that your fix is almost over. I am going to stick around for sure.

Great recap. Dead on. Especially with Alexis Cohen. When she opened her mouth after she said she wanted to be a Vet, my first thought was, "Where is she going to school to be a vet?" Then I realized she must be studying in Back of Jim's Hair Imporium, because that's where all the feral cats live---that, and Jim doesn't make you read any books for his vet program.

The topper was that Simon was actually pretty nice to her.

One more small point: If I was the tour guide, I would go back to my friends who convinced me to audition, and I would strangle them.

Much love to you and "The Mr. Bee-Gees"
Anonymous said…
I wanted to see more crazy people but they did balance it out more this year with good and bad like you said. But when they were bad they were like super concentrated bad. I dont get how somebody like the Princess Leia chick at the end can grow up to be so nerdy in this day and age. I thought I saw a gay guy go through to H'wood. We need an out and proud gay iin the top 12. No more Sanjayas and Gaykins.

Cheryl said…
Didn't Princess Leia say that if she coldn't escape her town, she'd become a corrections officer? Makes you quake for the crooks.

Collin, there's a series in the Wash. Post called "We watch American Idol so you don't have to"--this is way better!
M. RuPere said…
each tear that rolled down the cheek of that middle linebacker woman was about a quart of water! - I think they all walked her out because they were scared of her, kinda reminded me of the last scene in Streetcar
Rachel Mallino said…

Seriously, someone should pay for your commentary on Idol, it's the best ever and I don't even watch the show.
Anonymous said…
Sorry. I can't do the Idol. There's too much starch in my diet as is. ;-)
But I love the recap.
Keith M said…
Actually, Collin, as a pretty die hard New York Giants fan, I was for Jordin the whole way since her dad is Phillippi Sparks. Check it out -- -- trivia I suppose, but I don't think they even announced it that much. He was pretty good, though. Bad producers, bad.
Clare said…
Ooh I'm glad American Idol has started. They've been advertising it for ages over here but not given an actual date. Now that you have it that means we'll get it soon :).

Hope all is well with you.
I'm not watching this year. Maybe.

Still, love your recaps.

Hey, check this out:

Not a surprise, but insightful nonetheless.


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