American Idol Boston: It Ain’t Just a Band

Hello, children! How’ve you been? Did you miss Our Dear Show? More importantly, did you miss me? So much has happened since we parted company after Season 8. Paula Abdul quit. Alexis Cohen died. Adam Lambert rubbed his crotch in some dude’s face. And Simon announced that after this season, he ain’t coming back no more. What’s worse? Ellen DeFucking DeGeneres is on her way to the judges chair. Let’s all just kill ourselves now, why don’t we? This is American Idol. “Fame was like a drug. But what was even more like a drug were the drugs.”

We launch this season with Boston auditions. I went there last summer. For a place with a lot of history behind it, and a kick-ass band named after it, it was just all right. Disneyworld was better. Seacrest falls over his own tongue as he promises us a thrilling collection of freaks, weirdos, losers, and sob stories. Oh, yeah, there might be some talent, too, but who cares about that? Right now, we’re here for a glorious parade of human wreckage.

Many, many, many people holler at the camera about how they are the next American Idol. I promise you, most of them won’t even be in the running. But watch for them on Hoarders, Cheaters, Intervention, and, in a few cases, porn.

Tonight’s guest judge is Victoria Beckham, better known as David Beckham’s wife, formerly known as Posh Spice of the Spice Girls. Hey, you know what’s still a good song? “Wannabe.” Just last week, I was singing it on Singstar. I got good points, too. Posh Spice, in case you are unfamiliar, looks like one of those gray aliens, except with hair and lips and (maybe) boobs. Sandwiches, clearly, are not her friend. As with most of these guest judges, she’s useless, so don’t expect to hear much about her, although it should be noted that she’s wearing some sort of black funeral doily as a headband.

Our first contestant is a strange and mildly hyperactive blonde chick, who made the unfortunate decision of wearing a sleeveless, pink shirt which is about 6 inches too short. Her name is Janet, and she likes to jump around. When Janet jumps up, her pale, flabby belly goes down. When Janet comes down, her pale, flabby belly goes up. It’s a sight to behold, let me tell you. Hypnotic. She’s trained herself, vocally, by playing the American Idol video game. I’ve played it, myself, and…let’s just say the scoring is very forgiving. Janet seems to be having trouble distinguishing between judge Kara DioGuardi, who is present, and judge Paula Abdul, who is not. And Janet can’t sing. Fail.

Sob Story #1. Here’s Maddy Curtis, who comes from a family with about two hundred kids. Three of them have Down’s Syndrome (and two of those three are adopted, so the whole thing feels like a made-for-TV movie from 1983, probably starring Ann Margaret). They’re all adorable, and I curse this show for making my black heart feel any emotion other than hate. Maddy’s cover of “Hallelujah” is lovely, but she’s ultimately kinda boring. I doubt we’ll see much of her in the future. Still: Hollywood.

Pat Ford is 17 and hails from Derry, New Hampshire. He’s an energetic and spirited young man, possibly as gay as the day is long, but maybe his “accent” is just “regional.” He sings Miss Britney’s “Womanizer” almost completely through his nose. Arms flapping, body twitching. Welcome to SeizureVille. Population: Pat. He thinks he’s done awesomely, which personality-wise is absolutely true. He gives the judges loads of attitude, even though they’re all like, “You suck.” (Randy to Pat: “Stop singing forever.”) (Pat to Kara: “Can I hug you? Is that allowed? Or is security gonna come out?”) Why is this show hiring Ellen, when we’ve got raw snark coming out of this boy’s big ears? Stupid show.

A few females make it through to Hollywood, including: Giant Girl with Katherine McPhee Face, Girl Who Titillates Simon’s Wang, and Girl Who Looks Like Tracey Ullman Made a Baby With Liz Lemon.

Amadeo DiRicco comes from a big, Italian family. We see the whole gang — mother, father, cousins — eating a hearty meal at home. Love them. Ooh! I think I spotted the gay one! (Then again, if Jersey Shore is any indication, those boys do like to wax their eyebrows, so I could be wrong.) Amadeo is one of those tough-but-sweet guys. Very likable. And while I’m expecting him to belt out some Dean Martin or some Michael Bublé thang, he instead sings “Hoochie Coochie Man” by Muddy Waters. Very powerful, very strong, and with a kind-of-appealing voice. Hollywood.

Then some poor soul named Derek Hilton shows up with really bad skin and hair like Leif Garrett, spouting some hippie nonsense about nature walks and who-knows-what. He wants to make it to Hollywood and “touch numerous amounts of people.” Fair warning Hollywood: take shelter now. He thinks he sounds like Chris Brown and the Eagles, but he actually sounds like an eagle getting fisted by Chris Brown (and by “fisted,” I don’t mean punched). He’s terrible. Sadness: Derek doesn’t know he sucks. Reality check: The judges tell him so. Fail.

More people get rejected, including: Girl with Supportive Father, Girl with Supportive Family, Boy with Supportive Mom, and a guy who looks like Urkle.

Meet Mere Doyle. Misfit? Oddball? Creative Genius? Roll the dice, people. Mere is a self-described “anime freak” and designs kimonos for fun (several of which she models for a vastly disinterested constant waiting room). Mere’s been on hundreds of auditions, she says. “Ask my mother.” Cut to Mere’s mother, glaring at the camera with an expression like, “Don’t look at me! Don’t you fucking look at me!!” Awesome. Mere sings some Janis Joplin, by which I mean she vomits the song all over the judges, and it’s sticky and orange, with bits of meat in it. Yes, that’s a metaphor, and yes, she’s awful. They tell her so, and Mere argues the point. Ah…she’s one of those. Fail. And also, please go away.

Two more guys are Hollywood-bound, including: Handsome-But-Annoying Hipster and Mildly Chubby Guy in an Ugly White Jacket.

Here comes Andrew Fenlon. He’s annoyed at having to wait to audition. He’s annoyed at being interviewed before his audition. He’s annoyed at Seacrest. Plus, he looks like a bitchy Clark Kent. I love him. He struts into the audition room and immediately gets huffy about the trials and tribulations of auditioning for this dumb show. This puts Kara into quite a tizzy, because there are people who would wait years to audition for Idol, people willing to live on bread and water, willing to sell their own children, let alone wait a few hours (to which I say, anyone who would wait years to sail on this ship of fools needs more medicine than respect). He sings “House of the Rising Sun,” and it’s 75-percent almost-good, in a crooner sort of way, and 25-percent not-good, in a shitty sort of way. Kara is just like, “Die!” But Simon, who started off irritated with Andrew, now sees a kindred spirit in our delightful Clark Kunt. Simon takes up for him, which just pisses Kara off. Then Posh Spice sides with Kara, because what the fuck else is she gonna do without Sporty to defend her? Kara doesn’t understand her reaction to Andrew, but I think it’s because she wants to do things to (and with) his man-parts. Andrew gets three ‘no’ votes, plus a ‘yes’ from Simon, so ultimately, he’s a fail, but I enjoyed him.

Ashley Rodriguez is pretty, well-spoken, and “really wants this.” She sings some Alicia Keys song. You know, that one? “If I ain’t got yoooo…” or whatever. I find Ashley boring and immediately forgettable (and Alicia Keys, too, for that matter), but the judges love her. The word “sultry” comes into play. My iMac dictionary defines sultry as: “Attractive in a way that suggests a passionate nature.” Jessica Rabbit is sultry. Ashley Rodiguez, if I had to put my finger on it, is cute. Hollywood.

Tyler Grady is a wild-haired fool wearing a polyester shirt and looking like Halloween 1975. Also, he has two broken wrists because he fell out of a tree. Also, he’s a drummer. See? I don’t throw the word “fool” around liberally. But the boy can sing. His version of “Let’s Get It On” is probably the best I’ve heard on this show. It’s nice without being icky. Randy compares Tyler to Jim Morrison. Yeah, I guess. By way of Adam Brody. With a haircut and a body scrub, Tyler has potential. Hollywood.

Lisa Olivero is inspired by such singers as Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera. She’s self-trained. “Singin’ is spiritchual,” she informs us. Lisa enters the room, tits and ass on parade, painfully screeches out a rendition of “Vision of Love” and is summarily rejected. Kara advises her to practice more. Yes. Practice cooking. Practice needlepoint. Don’t practice singing. Lisa exits, and the judges are literally mesmerized by her buttocks.

March of the Rejects: Skinny Blond Boy with Crazy Eyes, Asian Boy with No Formal Training of English, Freaky Goth Girl and Freaky Mohawk Girl, and Freaky Boy Dressed Like a Disney Prince.

Mike Davis, who is an “actor on a speedboat,” whatever the hell that means, comes in, is charming, and sings well. Ugh. Didn’t I say nobody wants good singing tonight? What’s your deformity, Mike? What’s your social malfunction?! You have none? You disgust me. Hollywood.

Sob Story #2. Katie Stevens is 16, from Connecticut, and comes from a big Portugese family. She’s close to her grandmother, who doesn’t speak English and is suffering from Alzheimers. Katie wants to succeed on Idol, especially so she can share it with her grandmother, who Katie admits may not be here for much longer. I tell you now — if this show makes me cry, I will cut its hairy balls off. She sings “At Last,” and it’s lovely (and technically, more sultry than Ashley Whats-Her-Face). Hollywood.

Joshua Blaylock is suffering the unsufferable. He’s 28-years-old, and is at the maximum age allowed to audition for Idol. Because civilization as we know it would crumble should an actual adult compete on this ass-hat show. Plus, they might have to build nap-time and diaper changes into the Idol’s schedules, and we can’t have that. Joshua is cute, with a face like Peter Brady. He honestly looks about 22, so Idol can collectively suck it. He also has a nice voice, so Idol can collectively suck it harder. Or more. Or more harder. Simon is like, “Nice, but you’re too old for that voice.” He says the voice sounds 14, and that Joshua has no presence or personality. The judges try to get him to be assertive, but which they mean hostile, but Joshua is too sweet for their reindeer games. Randy wants him to be in a new Spandau Ballet, because Randy is on the crack pipe in major ways. But despite all of that: Hollywood.

Sob Story #3. Justin Williams is objectively hot, I guess. Dark hair, blue eyes, perfect white teeth. To me, he looks like the type of guy you’d see on I Love New York (but the type whom New York would reject for not being manly enough — or for being able to speak in complete sentences). Whatever. He brings the pretty. Also: Justin was in the army. Plus: Justin had The Cancer. He’s recovered, though, and his hair has grown back, so yay, all around. But cancer, dear viewer. Cancer. Pay attention and vote accordingly. Elliott Yamin only had diabetes and look how far he got. He sings “Feeling Good” with a voice an octave too high for my taste (at this point, New York might just ask: “Have you ever been with another man, sexshully?”). Randy is feeling the Bublé, and Justin is quadruple yessed to Hollywood.

After Justin comes this creation:

Words fail me.

Next is Bosa Mora whose parents came to America from Nigeria, met, married and produced a bunch of kids, including one decently talented but terribly dull son. I doubt we’ll see him again. But: Hollywood.

The last Boston contestant is Leah Laurenti, who grew up on Long Island with some freaky-deaky churchgoing family and whose harsh parents wouldn’t let her listen to regular music. If I ever have a kid, and I refuse to let him listen to the radio, I hereby give him permission to become a delinquent, because I’d deserve it for being an asshole. People, let your kids listen to the goddamn radio, because no matter what you do, they’re gonna grow up, they’re gonna have sex or whatever, and they’re probably gonna like it. Do we understand each other? Thanks. What was I talking about? Oh, right. This Leah chick. We’ll she got away from her holy-roller family long enough to make it to Boston, and although she has a possibly-could-fail sort of personality, auditioning in tears, for starters, her rendition of “Blue Skies” is great. Very mature. Good control. Leah is going to Hollywood, which I guess, for her parents, means she’s going to Hell. But thumbs up to Hell, y’all. Thumbs fucking up!

Be good!

To the next episode or back to the season guide.


    1. There were many colors on Victoria Beckham’s face and none of them human. I thought maybe she’d just come off the set of The Road or The Book of Eli as one of the ‘ash people’ of the post-apocalyptic future. Love her monofiliment arms, by the way.

      When I saw Joshua Blaylock, I seethed, “you ruined G.I. Joe and Micronauts! …Well, mostly G.I. Joe as Micronauts was kinda pre-ruined. Still, I wish you bad omens!” I don’t think it was the same guy.

      The Michael/LaToya Jackson wolfboy kid was great. I hope he practices for Cowell’s X-Factor.

      Overall, I felt the majority of the Hollywood-bound were good enough for stage 2 but were one-trick ponies. You know, those people who sing one song to perfection but when they reach back, deep down into the well, they come up with a bucket o’ nuthin.

    2. This review is going to Hollywood.

    3. mr. willian t. clam says:

      this has to be the best review of anything i have ever read.

    4. Great recap, Frank! As always!

      Posh Spice, You are as lifeless and robotic as I’d imagined you to be.

      Your nickname for “Clark Kent” had me rolling. His audition was a strange melange of his bitchy attitude, his lack of self-awareness, and Kara’s visceral reaction.

      The Italian dude was a big fake-out tho. He wasn’t a great singer, although his voice PROJECTED well. If he didn’t have the “gimmick” of being a “Joe Italian”, he wouldn’t have been put through. He won’t last.

      28-year-old-who-looks-22 was a better singer than he got credit for. This show.

      Less mean this season, more “uplifters.” Hm.

      And hey, I barely missed Paula.

    5. I came here at the behest of Deb, thumbs up for entertainment value.

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