Tonight’s audition episode takes place in Denver, best known to Idol viewers as The Place That Gave Us Daughtry. Personally, I pay no attention to where these people come from (or where they go, as long as they go quickly), but the show seems to put stock in such things. Barbarella Hufflepuff auditioned in Alaska. Lysterine O’Reilly auditioned in Hawaii. Isn’t that special?!? This is American Idol. “I don’t like being outdoors, Smithers. For one thing, there’s too many fat children.”
Victoria Beckham “rejoins us” for this round of auditions, but her so-called return is more likely due to the producers running the auditions out of sequence. Why order tell things in? She still looks like Anorexic Barbie Styling-Head on a Broomstick. Simon and Randy are so world-weary that they have to be told what city they’re in today. Then Randy tries to convince us he’s the black David Beckham. Clearly, that’s due to Randy’s phenomenal abs.
Mark Labriola would like us to believe he looks like Jack Black. I believe he looks more like Ernie off Sesame Street after a shopping spree at Baby Hipster Doofus Gap. Trendy cap, giant google-eyed glasses, and a white tie tucked into his shirt at the halfway point. He greets the judges with a “chello,” complete with finger snaps, and talks about how he spent his childhood on the run. See, his mom stole him from his dad and now he’s with his dad, but his mom is in Maui or North Carolina, depending on the moment in which the story is being told, and Mark is currently in Colorado with his own, not-stolen child, and I. Don’t. Give. A. Bright. Shining. Fuck. After vexing the judges with this nonsense, he sings Squeeze’s “Tempted,” softly and beautifully, so I can hate him all the more. Hollywood.
Mario Calvin has a nervous laugh and looks like he was hit with a shrinking ray prior to entering the room. He sings some Elvis, sounds like Redd Foxx, and is summarily dismissed.
A bunch of idiots are pissed off after being rejected, and thus, they curse like sailors. Among them: a hopeless white boy with dreads who smacks the camera like a Frankenstein, a classy young lady who, while walking with her dear, old grandmother, shouts profanity at the viewers while flipping them the double-bird, and a great, big fat person.
Kimberly Kerboy, 26, brought her irritating-as-hell Toddlers & Tiaras daughter, who tells us that her mother is the next American blah-de-blah while staring at us like a Children of the Damned cast member. Kimberly herself is wearing a wig to her audition, which is totally noticeable, although I don’t think we’re supposed to notice. Is she bald? Is she incognito? Ooh, maybe she has that psychological disorder where you eat your own hair until you look semi-irradiated. I saw that on Nip/Tuck, so you know it’s all the rage. She sings a song about Rogaine or some shit, which is quite hilarious, given the abnormal state of her head, but she’s pushing the sex factor a little too much. Between that, the wig, and the kid, I’d boot her. But Simon throws a rod, and Kimberly is off to Hollywood. Afterward, Simon is all, “She was wearing a wig.” This concept amazes Randy, because his brain only has the capacity to maintain his Dark Beckham fantasy.
Danelle Hayes is a karaoke hostess with a penchant for dressing like a gypsy. Kerchief on her head. Big jewelry. Okay, maybe she’s less gypsy and more Rhoda Morgenstern. She wants to make “a really good living” to support her kid. Because there are no better paths to earning a wage than whoring yourself on a corporate-owned singing contest. Pssh! I’m talking crazy. Danelle falls apart before the judges, without even singing a note yet. Her Life Is So Hard. Then she performs Melissa Etheridge’s “The Only One” by shouting at the top of her lungs; like the song is playing freeze-tag down the street and she’s calling it home for dinner. So loud! It’s a little painful to hear (and possibly for Danelle to sing). The judges like her, but think she’s fragile. “You’re almost broken,” Simon says. And by broken, he means jacked-up crazy. So Danelle is off to Hollywood, where, if we all say our prayers at night, we can watch her dreams get shattered on live TV.
Casey James, 27, was in a motorcycle accident. Years ago. So, naturally, this fact is paramount to today’s proceedings. He’s an attractive fellow, and looks like a blond version of our own Ace Young. Unfortunately, Casey is just a decent singer with no real personality. So Posh Spice decides to give him one, by making him take his barely-lengthy hair down. Then Kara, after instructing Casey to work on his personality, tells him to take off his shirt. Excuse me?! And he does. Again, excuse me?! Is this allowed? They’d better vote now, before Ryan comes in and asks for Casey’s pants. This objectification, because it’s female-to-male instead of the reverse, not that I mind it, is all in “good fun,” and Casey’s humiliation/desperation/participation is enough to get him to Hollywood.
Tori Kelly is 16-going-on-28. (Seriously, dear, stay out of the sun.) She also brought a collection of annoying children with her to audition. American Juniors failed, so can we stop now? One of Tori’s kid entourage comes to judging, and brings drawings of the panel members as gifts for the gang. Randy’s likeness is quite remarkable.
Tori’s voice ain’t bad. Almost pretty. A little sharp. Simon finds her “almost annoying,” but Randy and Kara like her, and Posh loves her look, which is about as far as her particular path goes. Hollywood for Tori.
Austin Paul is a big, dumb, football-playing jock. He’s a long-snapper or schong-napper. Some sporty thing. And he likes to sing and compose music. Austin would like us to know that he is awesome. His hobbies include loving himself, talking about himself, and masturbating to himself while looking in the mirror. He sings one of his own compositions (I think). “Someday I’ll fly/someday I’ll soar. Someday I’ll be so much damn more/Cause I’m bigger than my body gives me credit for.” I think Austin gives his body a lot of credit. His voice is okay…not good enough to compete, but okay…and his ego is out of control. The judges can’t even handle him. The words “cocky,” “annoying,” and “arrogant” are thrown around. Randy: “I just don’t get it.” Austin Paul: Fail.
Kenny Everett, 24, is “the world’s best singer” and “the male Mary J. Blige.” He sings in his local park, which he says brings the community together. I think it’s because they’re gathering to see what’s up with the crazy person singing in the park. Kenny is flat and loud and makes long, random sounds like, “AaaAAaaAAa-AAaaaAA-AAaah!!” He wants to play the “Let me sing something else” game, and the judges play along by refusing to let him sing something else. So he sings something else. Wow, I can’t get enough of this, every week. Kenny is rejected, just shy of being thrown the fuck out.
Nicci Nix, 22, traveled from Florence, Italy to audition in Denver, America. She has a high-pitched baby voice, which you know I just love. And by love, I mean hate. Simon is like, “Are you huffing helium?” Hee! But when Nikki sings, her voice drops an octave and she’s much more bearable. Even enjoyable. She covers Girls Aloud’s “Something Kinda Oooh,” and while it isn’t fantastic, I totally support any use of BritPop on this program. The judges are surprised by Nicci’s vocal plot twist, and she is forwarded to Hollywood.
Sob story. Haeley Vaughn was born premature — in 1993. Then her father died — six years ago. Can’t they find singers with more recent tragedy? This one had cancer. That one’s parents were in a gang. For Christ’s sake, we’ve seen amputees audition for So You Think You Can Dance. Doesn’t anyone with a hook-hand want to be a popstar?! Anyway, Haeley is adorable and wants to be “the first black, pop-country, kinda mainstream singer.” Her voice is a little piercing, and she lacks control, but the judges are totally charmed by her, and Haeley is going to Hollywood.
Then, all at once, this prize walks in, the judges walk out, and my DVR stops recording. It’s time for Lost, bitches, and that’s a whole other kind of headache.