American Idol Hollywood: Eye of the Liger

Like a plague of locusts, the Golden Ticket-holders descend upon Hollywood, California. Their goal: to suck our souls dry with their singing and their boringness and their yuck. What a non-starter crowd we have this year. A whole lot of nothing that adds up to zero. Sure, the freaks are gone — mostly — but they’ve been replaced by human static. White noise made flesh. I almost long for the days of Sanjaya Malakar and Matt Rogers. This is American Idol. It wants no straps.

Seacrest, after describing the Kodak Theatre in such a way that it might very well be the location of the Last Supper, tells us that after weeks upon weeks of auditions, and thousands upon thousands of auditioneers, the judges could only manage to scrape together a mere 147 bodies to ship to Hollywood. Half of them will audition on Day 1, the other half will audition on Day 2. And there must be a midget in that crowd, because last time I checked, 147 can’t be divided by two. Anyway, we get both days tonight, so whatever.

Ryan says there’s a twist. Oooh! What can it be?!? Are you ready? Here it is: The contestants get sent to hair and makeup. The end. It’s like a Shyamalan film up in here.

Also, the group is sent to “Boot Camp,” which is really like a “How To Not Be Retarded” course at the Learning Annex. A vocal coach reminds them to be confident, tell the story, and pick the right song. Then some old lesbian lady named Barry Manilow shows up to give a lecture called, “Hey, Everybody! I’m Famous!”

The rules: Each potential Idol gets one shot. You line up in a group of eight, you sing a song of your own choosing, and the judges will decide if you stay or go. There are no second chances, so don’t ask. Are you listening, Girl With a Wonky Eye? We’ll see…

Lil Rounds, whose house got ate by a tornado, sings some Whitney, and she’s good, but not worthy of the standing ovation given to her by Paula and Kara.

Dennis Brigham auditioned in Kansas City, and was noteworthy for the fact that he wasn’t a very good singer and that he jumped around like an idiot. Tonight, he sings some Stevie Wonder looking like a mental patient. Dennis can’t sing very well, but he’s good at the crazy-face.

Lil and four Mystery Folk are through to the next round. Dennis gets cut. So he sings some more. He bitches and moans. “What kind of message are you sending to America?” Um…that you suck? Dennis, outraged, verbally attacks Simon’s pants, so you know he means business.

Nathaniel Marshall has never been seen before. He’s an interesting one. Tattooed arms, necktie worn over a baby blue t-shirt, some piercings beneath his lower lip, and a hairband on his head that makes him look like he’s going on a double date with Archie and Jughead. His voice isn’t bad, but the judges don’t like his song choice. Bad, Nathaniel!! So he cries. “I just want this more than anything. It’s on my skin!” There are creams available at CVS.

Anoop Desai, the Big Bang Theory guy, steps up and sings well. I think I like him a lot.

Jasmine Murry, who wears the head of Mo’nique, takes her turn. She’s a little gargle-y, but overall, she can perform.

Rose Flack, Dirty Hippie, is still dirty. She’s maintains her grudge against shoes. Her hands, in an act of solidarity, are not associating with soap. Rose sings like she’s on LSD in 1968. I just can’t take her. I like my Idols clean.

Jason Castro’s brother doesn’t sing in this episode, but he’s back there, looking like a dull Andy Samberg.

The whole bunch are put through to the next round.

Stephen Fowler is a new person. Big-ish guy. Afro-headed. Sings like Seal.

Jorge Nunez, he of the Menudo Fan Club hair, sings well and makes no impression on me whatsoever.

Von Smith is all Judy! Liza! Barbra! in his Strong! but Gay! vocals. Rather than cop to the fact that they should have told him to rein it in during auditions, Simon calls his performance “horrible” and “annoying,” while Randy literally goes “Heh heh!” like some sort of lackey. I’m not a big fan of Von’s, but the boy can sing and just needs to learn control. However, because Simon and Randy are such manly men, they seem to take pleasure in belittling him.

That said, Von, along with Stephen and Jorge, get forwarded to the next round.

And now, a PSA from your American Idol judges: Song choice! Song choice! Song choice! Thank you. This has been a PSA from your American Idol judges.

Nick Mitchell, a.k.a. Norman Gentle, a.k.a. Disco Assclown, first appeared at the New York auditions. Nick thought he was very funny. He wasn’t. The judges thought he was very funny. They’re morons. Now, he’s in Hollywood, and we’re being force-fed more of him as the producers blatantly try to create water cooler conversation. Dear Producers, Kindly fuck off. Signed, Frankie. People are here to compete. At this point, most, if not all, are taking this thing seriously. And here’s this dick in his silver disco shirt and giant glasses, mugging and hamming up “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” as the judges laugh their tits off. Simon, especially. Randy calls Nick “hilarious,” and then underscores his idiocy by saying that Nick can actually sing. Then Simon flips his coin so the scarred side comes up, and tells Nick that without the get-up, he’s boring, and with it, he’s ridiculous.

Somehow, Nick gets put through to the next round, along with the faux-Archuleta kid from auditions whose name I have already forgotten, The Blind Guy, and a chick named Frankie Jordan, who looks vaguely familiar, but it doesn’t matter because I doubt she’s a key player in any of these proceedings.

It’s Day 2, in case you’ve been burning with curiosity, and the second half of the contestants take the stage. There is no midget. (And yes, I know it’s “little people,” so please, midgets, if you’re going to send me angry e-mails, please keep them short.)

Jackie Tohn, remember her? From that party we went to, Junior Year? Remember how drunk she was? Then there was that other time that Lindsey’s Hill’s father went outside to pick up his newspaper, and he found Jackie asleep in Mrs. Hill’s rose bush, but Jackie came to school anyway, covered in dirt, and when Mrs. Delaney told Jackie to go to the principal’s office, Jackie told Mrs. Delaney to kiss her black ass, and we all laughed and laughed, ’cause Jackie is totally white. Good times… All kidding aside, our Jackie, when not auditioning for Idol has appeared on such shows as The Nanny, Veronica Mars, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. You know what they say. Be kind to people on the way up, because you’re gonna meet those same people when you’re on American Idol.

Jackie, obviously, loves being on camera. If only the camera loved her back. She makes constipation faces while she sings. Her singing is more growling than anything else. And her growling is not something I’d like to hear on a weekly basis, please and thank you.

She and some Mystery Folk, including Cute Boy in a Hat, and Girl with Hilary Swank’s Face, are moving forward.

Others are sent home, including Expressionless Boy in Sweater Vest, and the chick who took her little brother to auditions.

Danny Gokey and Jamar Rogers are best friends who auditioned in Kansas City. Danny is the guy with the dead wife (I still say that was Bonnie Hunt sitting behind him). Jamar is…um…the other one. Danny is interviewed in a place which I swear is the house the Top 12 or whatever it is this year…Top 36…will live in. Spoiler-y interview location! Jamar has good pitch and pleases Randy. Danny sings that dumb “Kiss From a Rose Song” from that dumb Batman Forever movie. Lovely voice. Masculine, but soft.

Danny and Jamar move forward to the next round, along with a bunch of other people who I totally recapped right here on this site, but not one whom I can point at and name. The Idol producers can’t remember, either. Nobody gets a caption.

Bikini Girl is back, and she brought her vagina. Would you like to see it? Just ask. Ugh. She’s disgusting. At least she saw fit to wear clothes this time. I love it that Judge Kara hates her. Bikini Girl kisses Ryan three times and he’s either blushing or we’re literally watching his face get infected with herpes. She sings some Faith Hill as Simon does all but masturbate while watching her. Kara is in the process of telling Bikini Girl exactly how much she sucks when Simon starts acting like Kara is just being catty. Dick.

Bikini Girl is through to the next round. Kara: “Bring your pole tomorrow.” Hee!

Going home? That Lisa Loeb girl who takes care of her grandmother (“These are my crazy pills!”), the girl who brought her dog to her audition, and Patricia Lewis Roman, who was the last person we saw audition this year. Don’t remember her? No worries.

Jeremy Michael Sarver is the burly man who works on an oil rig or something like that. He sings well. Jesus Valenzuela brought his two little boys to his audition. He sings okay.

Jeremy lives, Jesus gets the ax. “I’m done with this,” he says. “I just wanna go home.” You and me both, brother.

David Osmond sings like an Osmond. A Girl With a Wonky Eye sings like whatever.

Emily Wynne-Hughes, who we saw in auditions, still has the pink hair and the tattoos for sleeves. She also does that thing where you wear earrings that stretch big holes into your earlobes so they’re the size of tea saucers. You know that thing? If you do, can you please tell me how this will let you be taken seriously in life? Because I need to know. Anyway, Emily was going to sing one song, which she rehearsed, but switched it to something else at the last minute. Did she not see the PSA? The judges are like, “Baby killer!!” Emily is in the poo.

David Osmond and Emily Wynne-Hughes survive, along with Alex the Wiseass Nerd, who we saw waaay back during the first week of auditions, when we were all young and full of dreams and optimism.

Girl With a Wonky Eye is not moving forward. But she won’t get off the stage. “I’m a fighter and I’d appreciate another chance!” So Paula throws the other judges under the bus, saying that she voted ‘yes’ for Wonky, but got outvoted or arm-twisted or punched in the face. I dunno. She’s like, “Don’t blame me, I’m innocent!!” Wonky Eye goes, “It’s my cousin’s birthday!” Because if anything could persuade the judges to give her a second chance, it’s that piece of heart-wrenching information. So the judges, collectively, are like “You can leave now. Really.” Wonky leaves with a surprising amount of grace (for this show), as Paula and Simon continue to snipe at each other. Psst, there’s gonna be a fight in the schoolyard at 3:00, pass it on.

Also moving forward: That unmarried chick with the kid whose baby is in storage somewhere, the Spencer Pratt guy, Anne Marie Boskovich, who gave herself a makeover last week, per Randy’s request, and some pretty Goth boy.

In all 104 contestants are still in the running.

Tomorrow, Group Round will slay some more.


Back to the season guide.


    1. This whole “Hollywood is gonna be sooooo different this season” was such a lie. (And I’m saying this with both Tues. and Wed.’s episodes in mind.)

      Last night I noticed Paula Abdul is developing ‘old lady lips’ rather nicely. Take a look. They’re starting to get all crinkled and pruney. It’s only funny to me because I picture her crying in the mirror every morning before make-up. I guess that makes me a bad person.

      You’re going to hate me for saying this, but Nick “Norman Gentle” Marshall or whatever has grown on me. Like you say, there’s no one to really get behind yet. It’s just a line of kids going into the sausage grinder, so why NOT Norman? He’s the only one with any personality, even if it’s fake and amateur-hour-ish.

    2. Frank, I love your various descrips for the people whose names we do not know.

      Dave, I do think Hollywood is different this year, in that we are seeing some “continuing stories” from auditions. In the past, Hollywood week has been whatever high-drama they can cobble together.

      I find it amusing that 147 people go through makeover and boot camp, and over 40 of them get let go after a few notes onstage. It’s like when a kid builds this huuuuuge tower of blocks… and then knocks it all down…!

      In other news, My eardrums have a restraining order on Von Smith. Yes, Frank, they should have given him constructive advice at auditions… but here, Simon is spot-on. His performances are indulgent and tantamount to that 10 year old shout-singing at a party.

      Emily Wynne-Hughes is like the porn-worn version of Jem, of Jem and the Holograms fame. They totally chose her for her “rocker vibe” over her singing, which is marginal. Much like Rocker Nurse from last year, she’s just falling into a box-trap laid by The Show.

      Bikini Girl gives women everywhere a bad name. And Simon’s “game” with her is an offense to anyone that takes this contest seriously.

      104 contestants left? That means they only cut 43 people? Zamn, I coula helped them cut a bunch more.

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