AMERICAN IDOL 7 - SAN DIEGO: Tonight's show was, mercifully, only an hour. I'm still a bit bummed about poor Heath Ledger, but Idol did what it does best by providing a bit of escapist entertainment. Tonight, the auditions were in San Diego and 12,000 people showed up. The producers decided to show a mix of good and bad tonight, and, of course, when the contestants were bad they were total freak shows.
The hour began with three pretty decent singers in a row, who all got through to Hollywood. Tatiana (with a terrible dye job) and Australian Michael (hot!) both made it through. Perry Cotaldo also made it, but his backstory was a bit weird. He's a single father with an adorable kid, but the mom died because she was "in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong people." Uh-huh.
After three good auditions, there was a montage of the horrifically tone deaf, some screeching like the undead. Then there was Valerie Reyes, a big fan of Mariah Carey, who said she loved to watch Idol and laugh at all the terrible singers. The irony -- or not -- was that she was totally unaware that she was one of them. She sounded like she was hacking up phlegm and then unleashed a set of notes that would have summoned the hounds from miles away. After she was laughed at and dismissed by the judges, it dawned on her: "Oh, my god, I'm gonna be one of the rejects." Just like Kathy Griffin says, that was like a little kiss on the cheek from Jesus.
Next was the delusional duo of mincing Christopher and his plus-size fag-hag, Monique. They had convinced each other they could sing and were destined for Hollywood. Monique is destined to be taking your order at Burger King and Christopher to still be karaoke-ing at the boy bar when he's 50 in a wig and heels. Once again, security had to be called in to haul the faggola out, and then he and Monique cursed and Christopher "freestyled" is anger at the camera. Whatever, bitch.
Nerd-supreme Blake Boshnack showed up in San Diego to audition for the 11th time, dragged there by his loony mother who said she wanted him to go to Hollywood more than he did. In season five, he showed up in a Statue of Liberty costume (hoooooomoooo!), but he decided to dress normally. To be honest, I'd heard much worse, but the judges weren't having it. This was followed by another tone deaf montage, including Sarah Long, who the judges compared to William Hung. She sounded like she was singing in pig latin.
Then there was Alberto Hurtado, a 300 pound, flowing-haired queen with fingernails like claws, carrying a giant Spanish-style fan and a Barbie doll (he's pictured above). I immediately dubbed him Maria Conchita Awww-Hell-No. He was shown trying to shake his bon bons like Shakira and described how he lived most of his life in a dreamworld. He must have been there when he decided to audition and sing a song he "made" called Live. It was nonsensical ramble about "tragedy" and "eagles soaring." After the judges sent him packing, he went running away in slow motion and the screen dissolved into an eagle flying. Heeeee!
The show ended positively with cute little David Auchuleta, who had vocal paralysis, but recovered and has a wonderful voice. He might go far if his voice holds out. And then there was Carly Smithson, an Irish lass who had made it to Hollywood in season five, but wasn't allowed to advance because her visa never cleared. She sang a fabulous version of I'm Every Woman. Easily the best singer of all we've been allowed to see this season.
They picked 30 to go to Hollywood from this round. Tomorrow night: South Carolina.