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It’s amazing. Folks in Seattle are as proud as Minneapolans about their horrendous hometown showing in the America Idol auditions. Instead of cowering in shame and lowering state flags to half-mast, they’re celebrating their badness– and attacking at least one talented out-of-towner who showed up and walked away with a golden ticket to Hollywood.
In today’s paper, Seattle Post-Intelligencer TV columnist Melanie McFarland speaks to and for her fellow Seattleites:
“Friends, in my short time on this planet, television has shown me some amazingly abhorrent things. Among them: Boils containing parasites in the process of being lanced. About five minutes of Gigli. Glenn Beck’s talk show.
“Wednesday night’s American Idol beat all of those, hands down. Not even the pre-show press, in which Simon Cowell called the Seattle auditions atrocious, got it right. It was … it was … beyond definition.
“We should be proud of that.”
But why?Writes Melanie:
“Any city can fill American Idol judges’ ears with crimes against melody and flat intonation, but Seattle gave them something truly special. Our Idol tryouts looked like a refuge for extras who worked on the unrated versions of ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ and ‘Shakes the Clown.”
Melanie gives special props to the most outrageous contestants, but saves her wrath for a rare bright spot in the auditions: carpetbagger Jordin Sparks, the 16-year-old who came all the way from Glendale, Arizona:
“She’s beautiful, has a smile that can light up L.A., and tore apart Celine Dion’s ‘Because You Love Me.’ Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! Seeing her is supposed to drive home the reason we keep running back to Idol… the idea that someone with small but bright embers of talent can… shoot from obscurity to superstardom. Except that’s not exactly the case with this young woman.
“Out of nowhere, Abdul says she recognizes Sparks’ name– and Sparks reveals she is the daughter of former New York Giants cornerback Phillippi Sparks. What a coinky-dink!
“And that’s not all! Jordin Sparks has an exhaustive Wikipedia page, where you can find out interesting facts such as: She was the Coca-Cola Rising Star in 2002. Coca-Cola, of course, being Idol‘s major sponsor. She also appeared in America’s Most Talented Kidsin 2004, toured with Michael W. Smith and sang in Alice Cooper’s Christmas show. Winning Arizona Idol netted her a Ford Fusion and a trip to Seattle. Wonder if she had to wait in line?”
And what about that Nick Zitzmann, who came all the way from Utah? Next stop: Memphis.