American Idol L.A.: Rollin’ With The Holies

Did you know that Little Ryan has a big boy job doing a radio program? Well, the show needs to prove it, so we open on Seacrest in a studio, “broadcasting” into a mic. But the whole thing seems a tad bullshitty. The equipment looks all wrong. Ryan appears to be listening to an iPod. Also, he’s wearing a crisp white shirt and tie, and everybody knows that radio people work naked. This is American Idol. “Loneliness and cheeseburgers are a dangerous mix.”

Tonight’s auditions are in Los Angeles. Isn’t Hollywood a district within Los Angeles? So when contestants (most of whom we will never see) are sent to Hollywood, aren’t they, essentially, being told to go where they already are? This show is an enigma unto itself.

“Tik Tok” by Keisha is playing as we view the hungry hordes of potential Idols. Why “Tik Tok”? Because tonight’s guest host is Avril Lavigne, who does not perform that song in any regard. (But these boys do. And better than Kesha.) Avril is famous for recording music I have never listened to and have absolutely no desire to seek out. She is as far off my radar as football, the films of Adam Sandler, and vagina. But here she is, wearing a dark hoodie with devil horns attached to the hood of the hoodie. Did you know that in Saskatchewan, hoodies are called “bunnyhugs”? That is too precious. Avril’s bunnyhug is not precious. It’s annoying. Can girls be considered tools? If not, she’s whatever that thing is, comparatively.

First up is Neil Goldstein, 19, an overwhelming creature, with masses of hair and flesh. He claims to have an IQ of 168. I claim he’s keeping Senator Martin’s daughter in a pit.

Who draws hearts on bathroom mirrors in lipstick? What kind of person does that? The kind who will eat you with a spork.

Neil greets the judges, and ooh, he has a nervous tick! He makes a smacking sound inside his cheek. CHIK! Simon is like, “What was that?!” CHIKK! Love it. Rivers of flop-sweat running down his giant canvas of a face. He sings a Meatloaf song, by which I mean he croaks out a few words before forgetting his location and purpose. Do-over. Bad vocals. Strange dude. A future here is an impossibility. Rejected. Doesn’t want to leave. Rejected. Dripping sweat. Rejected. Shall we call security? Neil leaves. Have the lambs stopped screaming?

Jim Ranger is a worship pastor, married for seven years and looking like a mythical being that might live under a bridge. I’m just saying. Also, they lost me at “worship pastor.” Jim is too big for a vest that small. Again, I’m just saying. He sings of song of his own making. Good voice, but I can’t look at him. I just can’t. Hey, the song isn’t holy at all, so points for that. He’s better than most of what we’ve heard here. Yeah, okay. On voice, pretty strong. Avril Lavigne, though, is like, “How can you be the American Idol if you have a family? Are you just going to abandon them? You can’t possibly on this show if you have children. That’s where orphans come from!!” Dude, this girl is a…continuing on, Avril says no. Kara says no, too. She wonders how Jim can be dedicated to his church and be a singer. Well, Kara, you manage to be both a judge and a bitch, so I think multitasking is possible for everyone. The boys push him through. Hollywood.

Damien Lefavor is addicted to martial arts. He demonstrates his skills by jumping around on the roof in his stocking feet. Phantom kick. Phantom punch. He is in the Phantom Zone. “I’m also a pacifist,” he says. Yeah…so learning karate makes total sense. Damien is not ugly, and he doesn’t seem totally insane. So he’s either stupid or he just wants to be on TV. Same difference. His voice is a car that won’t start. His vocal engine is flooded. But oddly, he hears himself. That might be a first on this show. “Sadly, I really did just screw up about as badly as I could have expected to.” And off he goes.

Mary Powers, 28, looks older than me, and I was born in the 1960’s. The later 1960’s, fuck you very much. Her hair is dyed black, she’s got eyeliner coming out of her armpits, and she’s wearing eight crucifixes around her neck (that I can see), with some tattoo action happening on her chest. I do believe Mary Powers was downloaded from Rock Band 2. This somewhat intense look of hers is counter-balanced by the cutesy wonder of her little daughter, whose crush on Simon is so adorable, one might want to vomit profusely while throwing shoes at the child. Mary sings Benatar, naturally, in a fine, non-copycat voice. Simon doesn’t like Mary’s outfit, which he calls “clichéd,” although I bet if Mary wore a sundress and sang the same song, he’d be all, “You don’t look like a rock star,” and they’d make her change accordingly. But she gets four ‘yes’ votes to Hollywood.

Mary’s World of Eyeliner instigates an Adam Lambert Wannabe Montage, which includes several of the aforementioned tools, a couple of douchebags, at least one asshole. Hear me: If the fingernails are painted, the boy is tainted. Also giving my television the bad-touch is Daniel Franco from Project Runway (really), who would marry himself, if he could. We don’t hear him singing, but he talks, which is more than enough. And now we know where he went.

A.J. Mendoza, 20, is a frog-faced youth, who we’re told “looks like Adam Lambert,” except with a face like a Whoopie Cushion.  A.J. says he sent Adam a demo tape and “he got back to me and had nothing but fantastic things to say about my voice.” So Adam Lambert, between all the recording sessions and interviews and gay sex, real and simulated, has time to listen to demo tapes? Looks like I’ll be in the studio this Friday. Any of you kids know the harmonies to “Octopus’s Garden”? A.J. sings “Cult of Personality,” but only out of the left side of his face. Remember that girl last week, who had stroke-mouth? A.J. is like that, but without an excuse. “The cult of personayyylity…” is what he sings. And thus, the boy is rejected.

Avril Lavigne is gone and unmissed on Day Two, but replaced by the somewhat better, but also somewhat annoying Katy Perry. She kissed a girl and she liked it. I kissed a girl, but had sex with her boyfriend. True story. “I heard that the judges are arriving by helicopter, and I think that’s ridiculous,” she says. Hmm…Katy might have some potential, although how the fuck did she arrive? Did she hail a cab?

Austin Fullmer, 19, is…not at all bad looking. The latex shirt with red and black stripes isn’t helping him, though. And I think the pants are satin. Or silk. One of those. I don’t know fabric. “I’m the kind of guy who would bring people on the stage, and I wouldn’t care if people touched me.” Back in the day, there was a place in New York called Show Palace, where men of a certain persuasion could do that very thing. Poor Austin. Born too late. Austin sings some Cheap Trick, bending his lanky body into boneless scarecrow positions and making Mick Jagger faces in every direction. His singing is awful and shouty. Katy Perry is “scared” because she is a delicate flower of a girl. Kara likens him to Iggy Pop, so Austin threatens to sing some ELO, and dudes, I am totally down for that. “Xanadu,” please! But unfortunately, Austin is rejected, leaving disappointed because no one found him sexy. Austin needs to find the internet for himself.

Hey, you know who got rejected? Remember the nameless girl who cried over Sanjaya that time? We see her weeping desperately, outside the audition building, post-rejection. A guy says, “You always have next year. You’re only 16, right?” We never hear her sing, so either she was awful, or she repeatedly shouted the word “cocksucker” at Randy. I’ll bet that’s it.

Andrew Garcia, 23, is tonight’s first Sob Story. Andrew’s parents, sadly, were in street gangs when they were younger. So they got out of that horrible life and moved to a nice neighborhood and lovely home. There, they raised Andrew to be a fine, responsible man, surrounded by love and happiness. Therefore, Andrew’s tragedy is that his parents provided him with a safe environment and he was never exposed to gang violence. How…sad? I don’t understand what this segment wants from me. Andrew sings Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning,” sounding lounge-y and easy listening-y, which…well, that’s the song, isn’t it? Nice voice, though. I’m not cheering. But I could tolerate him for four months. Hollywood.

Tasha Layton is a personal assistant by day and “a minister by night.” She’s a prostitute?! Ah, whatever. Enough with the holy people. Don’t they have a version of Idol on the Prayer Channel? Tasha is pretty, but boring, and she can sing, but she’s boring. Hollywood.

Jason Greene, 21, is yet another goblin, delivering night terrors unto the viewing public. He performs “I Touch Myself” by the Divinyls, because he is the Al-Qaeda of singing. There is some eye-fucking of the judges and some bad choreography, and some touching of himself (but not in his boy place). Then he gets down on his knees and flirts with Simon. “Wanna come down and join me?” Simon says no, because gonorrhea is nobody’s friend. Katy feels “dirty” because she remains a delicate flower of a girl. Jason, rejected, goes out into his hall to give Ryan his phone number. “Call me, Ryan. Anytime. Serious.” I am not making that up. But you know what, I’ve always said that if I went on Survivor and got voted off, I’d grab me some Jeff Propst while leaving Tribal Council, so fair fucks to Jason for trying.

We end on another Sob Story. Chris Golightly grew up in foster care. Never had a proper birthday. Never had a happy Christmas. But he clearly had time for a Justin Guarini permanent, because that hair is out of fucking order. He sings “Stand By Me” while making Danny Gokey Faces of Bullshit Sincerity, and, lord, I am already done with him. The problem is the judges mostly like him (Kara loves him), and I’m getting the oogie feeling that Chris will be with us for awhile. Chris and Hobbit the Worship Minister from earlier tonight. I worry. Hollywood. Oy.

Tomorrow, we’re getting a Jonas Brother. Joe, I think. The lesser of the Jonases, but better than Corbin Bleu.


To the next episode or back to the season guide.


    1. Although I prefer your version of events better, my guess was that little radio studio was only set up so that Ryan could do a remote that morning *and* do the Idol taping the same day.

      re: Avril. You have succinctly summed up what I could never articulate about that kind of female clothing. I always wondered why I would call certain guys douchebags but never chicks. Thank you for breaking down the gender barrier to douchebaggery. That is exactly what she is. Doesn’t make her hip; doesn’t make her cute; makes her a douchebag. (Sorta like me for using semicolons in an internet comment.)

      The lipstick heart…seemed staged to me. Like they asked him to do it to exploit his 168 IQ stupidity. (By the way, what’s with the vests on the first two? I thought LA was a little hipper than that.) Avril’s comment to Pastor Jim was all subtext: “You don’t belong in the music business because I think you’re fat and ugly.” Douchebag.

      Holy crap, am I still writing this comment? That episode of Idol was awesome. Really packed full of excellence from top to bottom.

      Martial arts guy was sweet. I’m no Bruce Lee, but that guy was doing all these awkward moves like those 4-year-olds who’ve just watched Power Rangers. Instead of pacifist, I wish he said, “When things go bad, you have to get into your Megazord and walk away.” His best move was his flurry of tiny fists. I bet in his head he says “deathstrike” when he does it.

      Austin Fullmer would kick ass in a punk band. He wouldn’t even have to change that stupid shirt.

      And that Jason Greene guy should be the next judge instead of Ellen. Or Kara. How much better chemistry did he have with the other judges than that empty cipher Kara?

      Great recap as always, Frank.

    2. I would die without these recaps.

      I liked Dave’s version of Martial Arts Guy, but I would like to say that most people who study the Arts are primarily pacifist.

      There are a lot of Martial Arts Dojos out there where what they teach is non-contact.


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