Oh, Texas. You’re not that bad, you did produce Flipit.
Is Kelly Clarkson the Lone Star of Texas? We’re treated to an acid flashback of how the last time American Idol was in Dallas, they discovered a 20-year old waitress who, despite her serious need of conditioner and wardrobe help, was a gal with a great set of pipes and enough charm to win the hearts of millions. It includes compelling graphics such as “2 GRAMMYS” and “Over 14 MILLION Albums Sold” but you know what? McDonald’s = Over 100 BILLION burgers sold. Top that.
If Dallas Raines (one of the country’s most appropriately-named weathermen) were here, he’d predict, “Tone deaf with high chances of sob story.” Montage of rolling Texas lands, tall buildings, and people in cowboy hats. The theme from “Dallas” is playing, making this very meta. From Buddy Holly to Chamillionaire, Texas has a long list of famous citizens.
We see lush green acres, big houses, cows, and Republicans. What, no shoutout to Needless Markup (Neiman Marcus), which has its headquarters and flagship store in downtown Dallas? Where else can you pick up some Christian Louboutin pumps as well as a 2 person Gem Triton submarine for 1.44 million? Or if that doesn’t float your boat, you can snag his and hers portraits done in chocolate syrup by artist Vik Muniz, a veritable Costco bargain at $110,000. Isn’t rabid consumerism what this show/state/country is all about? It’s also about one of my favorite things: schadenfreude. Two whole hours of it.
There’s no entertainment more beautiful than enjoying someone else’s suffering! We’re gonna see a lot of shirts made out of American and Lone Star flags. We’re gonna see people dancing like it’s Easter Sunday and the Lord hath Risen for baby back ribs and cold Shiner Bock. We’re gonna see…beached whales with bad dye jobs.
Oh Perez, what big teeth you have!
Texas predictably draws a ginormous crowd, packed in a stadium like sardines. Sweaty, jiggly mounds of sardines that fan themselves dramatically and talk about slip and slides inside their dresses. The heat even induced labor, as a waiting contestant left for the hospital to give birth to Idol’s first baby.
Antoria Gillon, a hairstylist, thought it was appropriate to name her child Idol. Yeah, Jamil LaBarron Idol McCowan was a totally popular name this year. Well, that’s way more airtime than she would’ve gotten if she’d made it through to pre-screening, unless her water broke right in front of the judges. The camera pans across a crowd of over 13,000. That’s at least 12,999 Republicans. The mob is melting from Texas heat, and Rob Zombie is using this opportunity to cast extras in his sequel to The Devil’s Rejects. FEMA also steals some footage of the writhing mass of humanity for a future press conference.
Blue Man Group reject or California Raisin?
After Paula trips up the stairs in perky heels, the judges are finally ready for their first story of redemption. A proud graduate of D.A.R.E., Jessica Brown, is a 24-year-old stay at home mom of two. She should’ve introduced herself as a shit ass ho motherfucker, it sounds cooler. Her life wasn’t always perfect, but what’s life without a few cracks in it? Our gal reveals she went a little overboard in college, where she minored in Meth.
And was the “Before” model for Proactiv Solution.
“I was a completely different Jessica,” she reminisces, echoing Nikki from Heroes. “I got in trouble, I got arrested.” The editing crew decides it’s funny to play “Jesus Take The Wheel” as Jessica drives through her hometown. It’s not. My roomie from Oklahoma chimes in: “That’s interesting, they did a piece on meth. That’s a very local issue.” My issue with Methless Jessica is that she insists on wearing cheap, oversized plastic bead necklaces.
Did we mention that she is also narcoleptic?
Jessica launches into The Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You” for the judges. Paula keeps time by tapping her head and focusing her eyes on the table. Fortunately for all of us, she’s decent and sings with emotion, though generic and unmemorable. She gets as far as the chorus. Simon comments that she made the song interesting, and decides her audition is good. Randy agrees, but points out she could use a tuner. Outside the audition door, we can see she’s passed on her Forever 21 jewelry addiction to her family.
You’ll soon learn why it’s called a choker.
We bypass the actual voting, and Jessica’s going to Hollywood! Noted: the set up to her story was way longer than her audition. Contestant 13799 embarrasses himself even before he starts dancing in the loading room to the barely-concealed smirks of fellow contestants. Thanks to the power of video editing, Jessica Brown is sitting there, clapping half-heartedly and thinking, “Jesus, he is lamer than my meth face.”
Paul Stafford is a frumpy, 25-year-old park attendant. He’s like Yogi Bear with few redeeming qualities. He’s a bumbly, schlumpy dopey guy who doesn’t know how to control his body. Ryan Seacrest asks Paul to show him some moves, and immediately regrets his decision. The judges put on their pity goggles as Paul reveals he’s a card-carrying member of The American Roller Coaster Enthusiasts. “The scarier the ride, the better, Randy, that’s the way I like it!” That’s what she said.
The whole exchange is awkward as Paul’s metaphor of American Idol being a roller coaster fails and severs a girl’s feet. He yelps and screeches his way through Elliot Yamin’s “Wait For You,” punctuated with erratic flailing hand motions. The most successful part of the performance is his exhale at the end. His body deflates like the world’s saddest beach ball. It’s Randy’s favorite part, while Paula refuses to look up from her paper and proclaims that it was extremely joyful. Simon pins the tail on the donkey.” You’ve never sung in front of anyone, right? In public?” Paul replies that his family gave him two thumbs up.
Some Latin scholars now believe that thumbs-up was actually the “kill” gesture in ancient Rome. Suck on that, Gladiator.
Simon proclaims the singing enthusiastic, and Paul exits to three no’s. Simon calls Paul a nice guy. Someone’s slipped happy drugs into the judges’ Coke cups. “Simon didn’t come down on me like I thought he would. That’s good, ’cause he goes down on just about everybody,” confides Paul. That’s what she said. Where is Michael Scott when you need him? Commercial break!
Fox’s new game show,Moment of Truth, involves a lie detector. If only Fox News had the same setup for their anchors and Ann Coulter. Time for more crowd footage, with a closeup of a guy whose scalp has been shaved into a musical staff with eighth and quarter notes. “I got music on my mind!” he declares proudly. Yeah, well, I got a huge fermata tattooed across my chest. Hold it.
I spy lots of obese Americans, a day-glo green and blue shirt, and pretty blonde girls, followed by an eager brunette who declares her undying love for Kelly Clarkson and clear plastic bra straps. Honey, invest in strapless, and please don’t wear a white bra under a black shirt – have you seen what happens when you take pictures with flash? I learned that in 7th grade, way before I had boobs.
In a super-awkward sequence, we see two busty blonde girls smiling insincerely at our brunette friend. Their eyes are full of pity and repressed disdain. I’m not sure what the producers are trying to convey, but the chick in the pink tank top really needs a bra of her own, as her cups runneth over. They’re sagging.
Someone’s overdue for a reality check.
Beth Maddocks, who “isn’t Kelly Clarkson but wants to be her/kill her/skin her and wrap herself in an idol blanket”, enters the room. A singing waitress at a fondue restaurant (I’m thinking more like Arby’s, which offers a sandwich with an au jus sauce), she tries to perform “Beautiful Disaster,” setting the judges up perfectly for comments afterward. What ensues is the latter part of the song title. I want to get up off the couch and leave. It doesn’t help that she only has only one sleeve.
Kelly Carkson’s stalker claims she gets 30-90 bucks in tips at her serving gig. “A month?” asks Simon. Damn, they pay her a lot to stop. She leaves, dejected, and woodenly explains to her friends that the judges told her she can’t sing worth anything. Her blonde frenemies express mock concern and sympathy while Seacrest pretends to ogle them.
Fast-forward through a montage of rejects. They include Esteban Deanda, whose mustache was stolen from Speedy Gonzalez, Victoria Metz, who has not bothered to brush her hair since 1999, and a gal named Drucilla Wideman. Drucilla must be friends with Jessica Brown, because she also loves her some necklaces..
I’m sorry, Esteban. I can’t help myself.
Kelly Clarkson is nowhere to be found, but a pre-anorexia Carrie Underwood walks in. “I like to think that Carrie Underwood looks like me,” says Alaina Whitaker. She’s a sunshiny, perky young thing, with a gap tooth to boot.
These are the best sweet sixteen presents EVER!
Predictably, she sings a Faith Hill song, “Stronger.” The girl is decent, and films well. Paula calls her on breathiness but likes her tone of voice, and Simon looks pained as he proclaims it a good audition. He takes her down a notch, telling Alaina, “I don’t think you’re as good as you think you are. I just didn’t like the latter part as much.” “Excuse me?” she asks confusedly. Alaina, a high scorer on the SAT verbal, thinks “latter” is a funny made-up British word like “knackered.” I am in hell.
Do we have to watch Seacrest peddle tooth whitening products during commercials too? Fuck you, Crest. Both of you. We’re in for a treat. Two siblings, Gregory and Mia Tobias, came straight from madrigals practice. The judges are rendered mute as the duo butcher counterpoint. Yeah, well, the Renaissance faire didn’t want the two either. I vomit a bit as I notice Gregory’s really weird necklace. Is that a pig’s foot or a sausage casing hanging from his neck? Whatever it is, it’s disgusting. There are no words, and the judges can only nod disapproval at them. They exit in silence.
A twinkly piano plays Richard Marx’s “Right Here Waiting” as we embark on the story of a 19-year-old boy named Bruce. “I’m different from a lot of other guys,” he confesses. Probably not, but continue. “I’ve never kissed a girl nor have I had an intimate relationship with a girl.” Buddy, you haven’t attended ComicCon or a Star Wars convention. When he was 13 and those disturbing wet dreams started, his dad gave him a pill to stop the stirrings, just like the ones in Lois Lowry’s book The Giver. (Which was an awesome elementary school read, by the way.) Someone doesn’t get to dry-hump!
Your dad couldn’t get laid when he was your age, either.
Only the pill looks more like a key Bruce wears around his neck, which fits into a heart charm that his father wears around his neck. Theoretically, Bruce’s dad will hand over the heart necklace to Bruce’s future wife (or husband) because the two charms fit together, symbolizing that (s)he has the key to Bruce’s heart. Because people still believe in soulmates and not getting mono from sloppy drunk makeouts with strangers. Somewhere, Eric Cartman is squealing, “This. Is. So. Gay.” And creepy. The action of the key fitting into the heart looks an awful lot like sex to me.
Seacrest banters a bit with Bruce’s dad about the floozies (trannies) who live in Hollywood and confides, “I’ve kissed a girl (tranny) today.” He sends Bruce in to continue his nationally-televised spanking from the judges. Why would you reveal such personal and easily manipulated information to the producers? Paula licks her lips in anticipation, while Randy asks Bruce if he actually intended never to kiss a girl until marriage. “On purpose? My cool new sideburns get more action.”
Because a promise ring was too subtle.
Virginal Bruce’s version of “Ain’t No Sunshine” isn’t piss poor, but it isn’t anything to write home about either. Paula doesn’t see him as an R&B singer. “I’m not sure who you are…[long pause implying "in the closet"]… as an artist.” The judges dismiss his singing, as Randy advises him to kiss some girls and Simon warns him to avoid Ryan on his way out.
Pia “Zpia” Easley has more edge in her pinky finger than Bruce had in his entire body. You can’t mistake her for anyone else in a crowd. A musician/model and “background singer” has a bleached faux hawk, tats, and soul. She confidently belts a Gladys Knight tune and is a shoo-in for Hollywood with her blues-inflected voice. Originally from Chicago, Pia’s smart for trying out in Texas amongst a bunch of Wonder bread bland contestants.
Simon is enchanted, proclaims that she doesn’t act like a bloody donkey at all, and the judges all love her. Our next contestant likes to wear vests. Hailing from Mississippi, Brandon Green’s hobbies include playing guitar, growing wimpy beards, and one really gross thing. He pulls a Ziploc bag out of his pocket, and for a second, I think he’s dumb enough to show off his stash of weed from around the world. Nevermind, it’s full of fingernail peelings dating back to his middle school days. It isn’t very full, which leads me to suspect there is a mason jar full of ear wax and toe clippings back home.
My intial reaction is “Ew” but my brain automatically thinks of things that are far worse, like an assortment of used condoms tied at the ends. Sorry. My mind wanders. Ryan Seacrest swallows the bile that’s building up in his throat, and notes the clippings get darker with age. My brain tells me that it could still be worse, for there will be an Idol contestant who brings an assortment of colostomy bags for good luck. Oh, my bad, they’re technically called ostomy pouching systems and not shit bags.
You’ve already lost.
Fingernail-less Brandon sings “Rich Girl” by Hall and Oates. It’s rather nasally/throaty, but he’d be good with some training. Simon deems it forgettable, while Paula kinda likes the freak. Randy likes him too and tries to start some whack drama about who tells the truth and who doesn’t, implying that Simon tells the truth but tells it slant and some Emily Dickinson mumbo-jumbo, but that Randy and Paul really tell the truth and the truth is that he’s going to H-wood.
Brandon gets through. My head explodes. Seriously, I had a vision of next season with lie detectors strapped to every single judge and Seacrest, and it’s totally happening. I’ll take your meth addict and raise you a one-eyed car wreck survivor. Kala Hatfield is 24 but sounds six, and also a mother of two. A series of photographs involving eyepatches follows, which explains why she shows up dressed like a manic pirate covered in parrot vomit. She’s not quite all there, if you know what I mean.
The international symbol for loco.
Her frenetic rendition of a Janis Joplin song is disturbing, as it’s more yelling and growling than actual singing. When she screeches “Come on! Come on!” and flails all over the place, I hit the mute button and bury my head in my lap. I’m sorry, but I would not want to take a cross country road trip with this woman. Surviving stuff doesn’t make you a better or a more talented person.
Simon must’ve gotten laid during the break because he votes yes, claiming he likes Kala’s energy. Don’t encourage the crazypants! Paula sensibly refuses, but Simon asks Randy to give Kala a chance. The woman sounds like a tugboat with emphysema. Simon toes the line of inappropriate as he tells Kala, “I want to be you for one hour a day. Maybe two. You’re so happy, aren’t you?” Simon, try some nitrous oxide. Kala’s through to Hollywood as Paula silently vows to put laxatives in Simon’s water cup. WTF?! Since when is Paula the most sensible and levelheaded of the three?
The talent thins out with heavyset Eric Maudlin, who sings something about Mama in a baby voice, and Charles Markham, who is equally atrocious. Tristan Clements is a nerdy teenager whose “man voice” doesn’t match his scrawny body, but mistakenly thinks it qualifies him to sing “Freedom.” Simon proclaims it creepy. I am beyond the point of enjoying other people’s delusions and suffering. It’s like y’all shop at the same store in the mall or something.
The last audition of the day is set up to restore faith in the American Idol process. Feline-eyed, barely legal Kady Molloy does vocal impressions, from Shakira to the guy from Rascal Flatts. Hee. Randy has her channel Britney Spears in an uncanny impression. She launches into a snippet of singing, but Simon interrupts, reminding her to be herself. Her real audition consists of “Unchained Melody” which gives us a nice mix of her voice’s high and low range. May I say Top 24? The judges are pleased, praising her natural talents and fresh beauty. Simon says of all the people they’ve seen this year, (Paula hastens to agree before he finishes his sentence) that she’s the best.
Haven’t they only seen four days’ worth of auditions? Whatevs. If she doesn’t make it in Hollywood (a very improbable “if” since she’s rather talented), she can always make bucks impersonating the first incarnation of Britney Spears, circa “Hit Me Baby One More Time.” In addition to Kady, 11 other people got a golden ticket to Hollywood, including CrazyPants Pirate Screecher. They display varying degrees of conference and what I call sasstitude.
On a side note, the current issue of The New Yorker has a piece on how $cientology and The Celebrity Center cleaned up Hollywood by restoring historical buildings and reviving them as their Xenu offices and the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition. What it didn’t mention was how the church also funds the uber-scary Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Museum on Sunset. Have any of you ventured inside that place? It gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Dallas Does Debbie, Day 2 Since yesterday, the oversized plastic necklace virus has blown up into a pandemic. Our next audition is one for the cringe-worthy record books. Douglas Davidson, age 27, is best described as the bastard spawn of Milton from Office Space and a young, tubby Bill Gates. I hate him.
Everything you touch turns to suck.
MiltonGates references an article he read where Aguilera mentions that not knowing what to do with your voice can cause you to lose it forever. I can only hope. Douglas bizarrely confesses that eight years ago, his father caught him singing and asked him, “Who do you think you are?” Undeterred, MG continued to sing and his father replied, “I hate you.” And not in the “I hate you for being so good” joking way, he clarifies. He must mean the “Oh god, I can’t believe I had unprotected sex during that LARP-ing session with strangers from Craigslist, I really hate you for being born” way.
A little part of me dies every time I have to rewind this segment, because I can’t fully describe the atrocities being committed by MG. He enters and immediately asks for a bit of time to warm up, turning his back on the judges. MG’ warm-ups and rousing rendition of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” are reminiscent of Sloth with asthma and voice modulation problems. MG stops warbling and apologizes for that “one rough note” that crept into his otherwise flawless performance.
Randy, in disbelief, points out that 20-30 notes were butchered: “It was worse than ‘The Killing Fields, dawg.” The implacable MiltonGates will not be deterred. He walks around in circles, water bottle in hand, readying himself for the second movement of his song. He begins with a whisper, insisting that he’s building up. Simon is about to slap him, insisting he stop the stupidity as MiltonGates brings us to the climax of “WHOAAAAAAAAAA” which is punctuated by a greasy sounding burp or two. Dude, lay off the bean burritos before important singing gigs.
After a few more false starts and stops, he launches into his loudest chorus yet and finally stops with a whimper. “Wow, you really projected on that one,” says Paula. Simon tells MiltonGates that no one in a million years would pay to hear him sing, and that he won’t get better anytime soon. MiltonGates hears none of this, insisting he can do better and starts the whole cycle again. Finally, the judges have the producers/security guys escort him out. You really should see this in its entirety. Please remember that this guy had to sign a release form to air this footage, which will supply all your schadenfreude needs for the next six months: MiltonGates Video Resume: “Impossible is Nothing”
Angela Riley is orange. Recently wed to a professional model, she sounds less-than-thrilled to be married. It must suck when your husband spends more time ogling himself than you. At the judges’ prompting, her husband enthusiastically suggests that she sing “Baby Love.” What we get is an attractive twenty-something singing as though she’s drunk at a karaoke bar off-Broadway. It’s like she’s reliving her own bachelorette party. The jazz hands appear as the judges stop her.
Chad enthusiastically pumps his fist in support. Hell is being married to someone who is tone-deaf and encourages you to sing on national television. “They say love is deaf, right?” snarks Simon. Zing! Simon begs Chad to stop his wife, but the other two judges are enablers. We’re graced with “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” which has been reduced to a poppy showtune more similar to “It’s Not Unusual” than rock ‘n roll. Pat Benetar cries and thanks Jebus she sold her song to Guitar Hero III. Chad insists he’d buy his wife’s CD as the judges roll their eyes and send off the lovebirds on their merry way. Oh, true love! Next up, a kid who reminds me of the Nerd from The Breakfast Club.
Andrew: What do you need a fake I.D. for?
Nerd: So I can vote.
But then he opens his mouth. Distantly related to Woody Allen, Andy Samberg and Disco Stu, the Nerd knows what he wants. He shops at the Young Republican store, where he buys his red power ties and non-threatening brown loafers. At OSU, where he’s double majoring in polisci and international business, they call him “Guv’nah.” This fraternity brother also enjoys long walks on the beach, democracy, and the occasional glass of wine.
Nerd graces us with “Somebody to Love” by Queen. I was kind of hoping for “Bohemian Rhapsody” so we could get that falsetto. The selection is pretty awesome, much better than Faith Hill. What we get is a performance that screams “a capella group escapee/glee club president.” Simon is pleasantly surprised and says yes after Nerd promises not to pull a Clay Aiken. Randy proclaims it too academic and vetos the future Governor Ensley. Paula is wooed by the geek-chic, especially after he renounces his love of politics for Hollywood. Flip-flopper! Flip-flopper!
Nerd will nervously fumble with your bra strap and give up after his sweaty fingers can’t undo the clasp.
As Nerd departs, Paula confides that she’s been afflicted by a case of niceness, along with this pesky thing called sobriety. Our next contender, Tammy Tazinksi, appears to be a potential serial killer on downers. I would classify most lovers of Celine Dion under this category. Her monotone interview juxtaposed with quick cut scenes of the crowd on crack suggests someone may have had too much electroshock therapy. She makes Sylvia Plath look like a ray of sunshine.
Her version of “The Power Of Love” quickly morphs into “If You Asked Me To,” leaving the judges puzzled and on the verge of crying/laughing. Tammy gets a do-over, which is equally monotone and awful. She reminds me of a monotone middle school music teacher Bobbie Moughan-Culp from SNL. Remember Marty and Bobbie Culp? Dismissed. Ryan Cabrera circa 2005, James Van Der Beek, and Zack Morris walk into a bar. Their whiskey-produced offspring is named Colton Swon, a singer/guitarist/bassist. Precious.
His outfit screams first season of Laguna Beach, down to the print t-shirt, leather cuff and cheese grater-ed faded jeans. His forced and awkward performance of “Boondocks” indicates that he needs to see himself on video. Simon is meh about his generic bar-band talent but ultimately says yes, and other two crumble. The kid has them pretend he’s been rejected, to mess with his family/Seacrest (who wishes he had such abundant hair).
I don’t wanna wait! For our lives to be overrrrrrrrr!
Montage of castrated men with soprano voices and a tribute to the gender-bender/transvestite/questioning parts of Texas. Men in dresses! How democratic and inclusive. The gender-questioning, free-lovin’ segment is brought to a screeching halt as we zoom in on a tractor-driving, southern drawlin’, apple-cheeked farmer boy. Singing makes those long hours of baling hay go much faster, apparently. Dude, get an iPod.
Evidently, people still drink out of mason jars outside of hippie co-ops and western-themed restaurant chains. Farmer Drew Poppelreiter even has parents who sit in *gasp* rocking chairs on a front porch. He chews on a piece of hay and waxes on about the countryside while fantasizing about Miley Cyrus turning 18. I get it, you’re a simple hick farmer with a dream.
The mellow, old-fashioned George Strait song is okay, but I don’t see versatility or any stage presence. I agree with Simon, he won’t be able to sing outside the country genre. But that’s not enough to keep him from going to Hollywood. Bad idea, he’s going to be traumatized. Here’s a cautionary tale, in two words: Brad Renfro.
CAPTION CONTEST! Leave your captions in the comments section.
Kyle “It’s guyliner” Rennick brags he’s a rock sensation who rocks out with his cock out. He’s never seen himself perform, but hears from secondhand sources that he’s pretty intense. Oh, like when you’re playing Rock Band with friends? Let’s ignore the “Do you idol Kyle” homemade tee and collage of the kids he plays counselor to. His version of “Never Again” is, in short, demonic. It hurts to see such shiny white teeth in contrast to his oompa-loompa tan. The eyebrows! The eyebrows!
Paula cowers in fear and crawls under the table. Kyle admits that his kids tackled him after he sang to them. Rejected. Now it’s time for our obligatory “Since U Been Gone” motley medley, with rejected contestants coaxed to sing along. It’s bad, but it’s no “2 girls 1 cup.” What can I say? It can always be worse.
Hailing from Kelly Clarkson’s hometown, Burleson, Nina Shaw is slender, leggy and attractive. Her dress, however, reminds me of trippy 70′s era wallpaper. It hurts! Simon perks up, until Nina sings a super-old fashioned pageanty version of Whitney’s “Run To You.” Paula doesn’t dig it either, but Nina launches into a jazzier song. Randy is swayed, citing the recent popularity of retro-cool artists like Amy Winehouse. Um, Amy Winehouse writes her own songs and sounds much better than Nina, when she’s at least half-sober. Simon disagrees and Paula runs to Randy’s side. Nina’s through to the next round, but she’s going to have to show us that she is more versatile. Seriously, calm down on the pouty lips, vocal runs and vibrato.
They’re like the same person!
Twelve hours later, we are down to our final audition. One man stands in the way of my recap freedom. Dressed to deliver a message from God/Bjork’s swan, our last Idol hopeful is channeling the episode of Seinfeld where Kramer drapes himself in Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat and a hat he finds on the street, sans pimp cane. I start to clap my hands with glee.
Renaldo Lapuz, age 44, thinks it’s a privilege to sing to the world, to those in despairs. I hate when I’m in despairs. He does everything short of declaring that he’s on a mission from God. I’ve seen this outfit before at Disneyland, on Prince Charming in the Electrical Parade. Renaldo is resplendent in white, with a brimmed hat is covered with feathers and wings and a sticker that reads “Simon.” Wings people! Does this mean he is a holy messenger? He’s got poofy epaulets made of snowball doodads, a fur cape, a quilted jacket, and a sparkly silver cape. Half the things that adorn him would make great additions to any present I would ever need to wrap, the things I never have on hand when I want them, like streamers and glittery ribbons. He’d make a great crafts cabinet.
I start to feel a tad guilty as they exploit his naivete (but who knows, maybe it’s an act) because he’s kind of like an innocent baby seal that’s about to be clubbed. Only this baby seal unfortunately lacks the ability to feel pain, so he smiles as he’s being clubbed and thinks people are hugging him instead. Renaldo bows endearingly to Seacrest and enters the judging room.
Not as fun as that giant parachute from kindergarten, but WAY shinier.
Randy doesn’t even bother to conceal his laughter, as Paula asks Renaldo why Simon’s name is on his hat. Renaldo replies (correctly so) that Simon’s name is known wherever there is media and television, even in Communist countries where youth don’t really know what happened at Tiananmen Square.
Paula regrets not having a flask on hand as she starts to bang her head into the table. He’s singing an original composition titled “We’re Brothers Forever.” It’s more grammatically correct than “Since U Been Gone.” For your singalong pleasure, I am including some lyrics from Renaldo’s soon-to-be hit single, available in karaoke bars everywhere:
“I am your bruddah, your best friend forever, singing this song, the music that you like. We’re bruddahs till the end of time together and forever till the end of time. I am your bruddah, your best friend forever, singing this song the music that you like. We’re bruddahs till the end of time, together or not you’re always in my heart…I love you bruddah!” – Renaldo Lapuz, Bringer of Brotherhood
Are we gonna say goodbye to sober, coherent Paula?
You know what? He’s really confident and endearing. He’s got better pitch and better breath control than some of the other contestants. He can kinda sing and keeps the tune in one key. I’ve heard worse things on Paris By Night. Are any of you familiar with that Vietnamese musical variety show?
The judges keep egging him on and he keeps going like the Energizer Bunny. It is hypnotically catchy, if kind of awful, like Kylie Minogue. The boyfriend even started whistling the tune while pouring himself a glass of orange juice.You can hear the producers in the background squealing “Milk this! Milk this!” while rolling on the floor in tears.
Paula screams. Randy comes up to dance with Renaldo and invites Seacrest to join them. Simon resigns himself to yet another chorus of “We’re Brothers Forever.” Simon remains stubbornly in his seat, convinced this is the end of American Idol.The song reaches its climax with Seacrest and Randy singing along with Renaldo, while Paula busts out American Sign Language and dusts off her interpretive dance moves. And it is awesome.
…and we’ve fallen off the wagon.
In a showdown between Renaldo “The Swan of Brotherhood” Lapuz and Milo “No Sex Allowed” from Atlantic City, I’d put my money on Renaldo. His costume would totally kick ass. Way to perk up the end of this episode. Simon predicts it will be a hit record. We’re not done. Brotherhood triumphs as Simon hugs Renaldo and friendship bracelets make a comeback.
In a teary exit interview, Renaldo calls Simon “heaven’s chosen” and his “glory.” If CrazyPants Pirate lady can make it to Hollywood, why can’t he? The guy was robbed. Don’t worry, Renaldo, you’ll be getting a call this weekend from William Hung. Whatever you do, do it for brotherhood!