By Michelle Collins
American Idol is really delivering the addictive goods this week, following last night’s two-hour premiere with yet another hour of auditions from St. Louis, Missouri, Home of the Arch and Three TJ Maxx’s.
The episode begins with your typical montage of all the thousands of morons who camped outside for a week only to learn that they have zero talent. We see that today, newly-less-fat-but-still-somehow-soft Randy is wearing pink loafers. Gastric bypass surgery or no, he still is not “light in them.”First up, we have a “Triple Threat” in the form of the Maynard Triplets. Fresh from having their faces bronzed, they somehow manage to wear the most ill-fitting pink minidresses Sears has to offer. But no more being mean to the Maynard girls, because I happen to like them. They’ve chosen to harmonize “It’s Raining Men”, a song that really brings the gay man in me back to his bathhouse days. Believe it or not, these three ladies can lay the track down! If Bill Clinton was watching this, he was no doubt aroused, as there is something about these girls that brings to mind a genius idea for a musical called “Lewinsky!” Can you imagine the reviews? “Lewinsky! Sucks!”; “Lewinsky! Blows!”; “Lewinsky! Bones A Cigar!” On second thought, what about a show called “The Linda Tripp-lets”? Don’t get up, I’ll kill my own self, thanks.
Back to the Triplets. Simon, bastard that he is, tells them that they’re overweight. And here’s where I get angry. Because, yes, they may have biggish faces, and yes, they chose bad outfits, but these three girls are most definitely NOT fat. Let us not forget, America, that the winner last year, Ruben “Man Teet” Studdard, was a 400-pounder named after a corned-beef-and-cheese sandwich.
The judges dismiss two of the sisters and keep the one in the middle, who had the best voice of the three. Alas, they decide she’s not right for the competition, and send her on her way. Shame, really, cause I happened to like them.
Next up, it’s Katrina Rece, an actual overweight woman who starts off her audition by admitting to eating human flesh, which she says “tastes like bacon.” I’m sure the Hormel marketing people just loooooved that. Katrina begins her high-pitched rendition of “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” (sometimes, for fun, try gallivanting around your home in your finest gown singing “I Wanna Prance with Somebody.” Really, it’s fun.)
Now I don’t know if Katrina can sing, but damn can homegirl snap! Her snaps are crisp and evenly spaced. I found myself humming her snaps all day today. Her voice is high-pitched and mediocre. Simon passes, but offers to introduce her to the triplets because “she can eat them.” Hey Simon? Someone called “Double Chin Lift” is on line 3, and they say it’s an emergency. (whispering: I think he’s Chinese.) You better take the call, you two-faced bastard. Paula, always a lady, doesn’t laugh.
Next up, the camera follows Ryan Seacrest to a Cardinal’s game, where we see him throw out the first pitch. If muppets could throw, this would be how. Although, as my mother used to say, if my Grandmother had wheels, she’d be a bus. No idea how that relates, but just good advice in general.
In keeping with the baseball theme, the son of Cardinal Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, appropriately named Osborne Smith, has decided to audition. Thankfully, he doesn’t completely suck. In fact, he’s adorable. I’ll even forgive him for telling the judges he’s “chillin’ like a villain.” Everyone knows it’s “chillin’ like Bob Dylan”, Ozzy.
Ah, but they must always follow a good with a bad. And Johnny Hayes brings the bad, and he brings it hard. Have you ever heard the phrase “having a tin ear”? This guy must have two cans of corn stuck in his waxy canals, because every single note is off. I’m half expecting puke or even an entire turd to pop out of his mouth at any given moment. Sadly, this does not happen.
People like Angel Higgs remind me that the age limit was raised to 28. She is a singing teacher, and is trying out for the show along with one of her students. She seems like a big ball of matronly fun, and is, to say the least, pumped. Her song is “Ain’t Nobody”, and she has a good enough voice, although I think the Triplets were better. (Note: I am still upset about the whole Triplets situation.) Angel is very vibrato-ey. It sounds like she’s singin’ on a Motel 6 bed after her lovah popped a 25 cent piece in the box that makes the bed shake. Simon doesn’t think she’s a star, and for once, he’s right. But she manages to squeeze herself through the Hollywood door before it slams in her face.
Jessica Pontius says she is a “singer” who has “the confidence” and “the look” to make it. Uh, last I checked, JP, the look wasn’t a mouth full of teeth meant for a 10 month old baby. Seriously, picture the face of a sweet 16 year old with the mouth of a hobo clown, and you can pretty much figure out what she looks like. She breaks new ground by singing “Over the Rainbow” and — hold on — Farinelli! Castrati! Her voice is so hiiiigh! Any dog within a 2 mile radius must have been losing its she-ite. The judges stifle laughter, and Paula tells her she should get into voiceover work. Somehow the judges, who make it clear that they’ve been sitting there ALL. DAY. lose their face off with laughter by explaining how hard it is “to get an agent who does rat voices!” Through their cackling, a dejected Jessica walks out and begins planning her public hanging.
This next guy was so annoying, I almost debated not bringing him up at all. But a job is a job. In walks this tanned, balding douchebag (no offense to ya’ll other douchebags out there, really) named Joe Schoen. He has “the whole package”, which, upon closer inspection, appears to be only about a 4-inch package. And, Clay Aiken aside, that’s not enough to “make it” in Simon’s book. Joe begins this entiiiiirely rehearsed speech about his “experience”, which includes some reporter work and singing (once) on a cruise ship. Note how he doesn’t bring up those back-alley handjobs the Schoen family is famous for (or so I hear).
He begins his song by opening his mouth so wide, he nearly swallows himself. Joe’s face reminds me of some scary antique German doll, his cheekbones and nose forming three perfect, golden points. Listen, Joe, if this whole “Idol” thing doesn’t work out, I hear the Aryan Nation is looking for someone to host their weekly cabaret show, “The White Power Hour.” When he finishes, Randy says it was “nicely done”, but Simon correctly pegs him down as a cruise ship singer. The guy flips his male-patterned lid, and insists he should make it through. Simon calls him “obnoxious”, and throws him out. Joe exits the room, and throwing his arms to his side, says “No! It’s a no!” like totally incredulously. In the background, a member of his fam quietly begins to fold the $300 “Congratulations!” banner they had made. But don’t throw it out! I hear the Klan loves banners.
Justin Smith shows up in a janitor’s uniform and a sweatband. This guy’s heart just beats “Pizazz! Pizazz! Pizazz!” He sings “Rollin’ on the River”, only I think this guy might have been “rollin” on something else, because something with him just didn’t seem right. With every beat of the song, Justin would stomp his feet and clap his hands with such gusto that my own hands started to sting. In between the stomping and clapping, he also managed to not only “Doo Doo Brown”, but also have an epileptic seizure, all while barely hitting a note. Justin Smith, Renaissance Man.
Perfect time for a “Proud Mary” montage, which includes some pretty hilarious characters: A guy who probably got lost on the way to Star War convention (or “Starcon”, don’t ask me why I know that), a man choosing to speak the words instead of sing them (including the “do do do’s”), and a transsexual who I’m betting is a tiger in the sack.
Aa’shia (P-row’nownsced Asia) Jackson is Michael Jackson’s tiny lesbian brother. But this lil’ lass has got spunk! And cornrows! And, yes, I think breasts somewhere under there! Aa’shia begins and sounds exactly like a chipmunk on speed. But of all the people seen so far, she’s the most memorable. They take her to Hollywood, and she maintains her composure in the room. Then the doors fly open and all hell breaks loose. “THANK YOU GOD!!!!!!!!” she cries, and her entourage rejoices. Her mother guarantees us “that she will be the next American Idol.” Something tells me I already want my money back.
Moustachioed Maurice Thomas swears he sounds like Brian McKnight. But surely he doesn’t mean the famous singer Brian McKnight. Perhaps he works with a man named Brian McKnight who has a cleft palate. Yes, yes that makes sense. When the judges tell him that “it’s a no”, he keeps on smiling in disbelief, as if they can get real now, the joke is over. When he learns that the judges are serious, he tries again, singing a song while somehow not pronouncing a single word. It’s more like what a dying cat would sound like if cats could speak English. Paula nearly shoots liquid out of her plastered nose. He’s out.
Highlight of the night alert! Carrie Underwood is your typical farmgirl, only she looks like Kate Hudson and has a voice you could die for. She sings “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, with Simon undressing her with his eyes much in the same way he used to do with former guest judge Neil Sedaka. And to quote The Great Sedaka, Carrie Underwood is “Ear Delicious!” One to watch, people.
Remember Angela, the semi-OK singing teacher who made it to Hollywood? Well now it’s her student Jeremy Wakefield’s shot at fame. He bounds into the room, and breaks out into “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”. Jeremy Wakefield has a good voice. Unfortunately, it’s hard to focus on his voice with the amount of bobbing and weaving he’s doing. I pause to take Dramamine intravenously, and tune back in. Randy tells him to sing another song “less affected.” He says “No problem”, and you can tell that Jeremy has no idea what Randy is talking about. He starts the next song with double the gusto, and Simon stops him to say “no, no, noâ€¦ LESS affected.” But the judges aren’t impressed and send him home.
Jeremy exits the room, and when teacher/still-in-the-running Angel sees that he won’t be going with her to Hollywood, she loses. her. shit. Angel starts crying her face off! It’s as if she just found out about Luther Vandross’s coma ALL OVER AGAIN. She slides down the wall, sits on the floor, and is inconsolable. She begins beating herself up about auditioning and taking away a potential spot from Jeremy, who, thankfully, seems pretty reasonable about the rejection. Here’s hoping she sobs her way through a rendition of Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” in an upcoming episode.
An appropriate title for the final chapter of this episode is “Adam Met Durk.” And if ever the editors of this show figured out how to link up the two most idiotic, unattractive doofuses to ever audition for Idol, God bless â€˜em, they did it. These two are down like syndrome. How to describe? HEAVY SIGH. Well, Adam looks kinda like Wayne from The Wonder Years, although at other times he brings to mind Jared the Subway guy. He is so confident that he will appeal to America, I begin to wonder if he thinks “America” is actually the Biology Department at a school for the mentally handicapped. On second thought, I really need to give the mentally handicapped some more credit here.
The other one, Dirk Pearman, is extremely overweight, and is a self-described “Comedian”. He tells the camera he doesn’t want to be the “next William Hung,” and I grab my dictionary to paste a picture of Dirk under “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy”.
Dirk tell the judges that he watches Baywatch obsessively because he loves David Hasselhoff. Excuse me for a moment. (Phone dialing.) “Yes, hello, Germany? It’s me. You can have both of them. Smell ya later.” For a moment, I wonder if Dirk is in fact a genius, as this could be the most brilliant audition ever. Alas, he is just mentally unstable. He actually has TWO rows of teeth, and almost looks like an overfed, brain-dead piranha. Simon wants to know if he is auditioning seriously. When he claims that he is, the judges dismiss him. As Dirk leaves the room, I notice he is wearing a digital calculator watch UNIRONICALLY.
Next comes in his bestie Adam, who arrives by giving some sort of gang sign, and saying “Hey, what’s goin’ down dawg?” Too bad he didn’t forgo this audition for a shot at the lead in “Napoleon Dynamite”, cause he’s practically a shoe-in. Then Adam tells Paula that his first music memory was of her video for “Opposites Attract”, which I’m guessing is also the first thing he likely masturbated to. He begins his song, and I just don’t. understand. why people put themselves into harms way. When the judges break the news that he is completely tone deaf, he looks crushed. Shoulders slumped, he exits, and in a hilarious post-rejection montage, we hear “That’s What Friends Are For” while Dirk and Adam barely punch fists and miss high fives in slow-motion.
One more episode down, 758 more to go. Next week, Kiss’s Gene Simmons takes a break from negotiating his fee for The Surreal Life 5 in order to ogle some 15 year olds.