Welcome to Idolator’s American Idolatry, our episode-by-episode recap of the ratings steamroller that is American Idol. Tonight’s episode looked at the final round of auditions, held in San Antonio, and watching it was like watching Simon, Randy, and Paula on the last day of school; they couldn’t stop giggling, they had a lot of trouble focusing, and they seemed to get more bored as the day wore on. And, oh, boy, did we feel them on that last part.
This whole show felt rushed–so rushed, in fact, that the woman above and her life-size diorama of the judges didn’t make the final editing cut. Come on, Idol editors, at least give us a good visual to work with!
HARDEST-LUCK CONTESTANT: We felt really bad for Ashlyn Carr when she claimed that she’d been beaten up in high school because her voice was so good. We felt even worse for her when she started to sing, because belting out her songs caused her face to twist in ways that spooked Paula and Randy. (Perhaps it was a defense mechanism against all those beat-downs?) She was nixed at first, but Simon’s insistence that she was “too good to pass up on” resulted in the judges bringing her back and putting her through to Hollywood. Which made us happy–we were pretty charmed by her Lauryn Hill-ish charisma, and if this story about her pouring sugar in an ex’s gas tank is true, we suspect that she’ll provide some amazing tabloid fodder in the coming months.
MOST ILL-ADVISED TACTIC FOR “STANDING OUT”: Bryan Kynsh, who told Ryan Seacrest that his “vocal projection is very loud and profound,” accompanied his tuneless roar through “Rebel Yell” with his feet. His stomping was so loud, it prompted Paula to ask him if his knees hadn’t shattered as a result. Perhaps he should take to drumming?
DO YOU OR DON’T YOU WANNA BE MADONNA: Hey, Deborah Tyler: If you’re going to murder “Vogue,” the least you can do is try to strike a pose on the chorus. Otherwise, you might as well have auditioned with “Justify My Love.”
FOR ONCE, THE SAD PART TOOK PLACE OFF-CAMERA: Akron Wilson’s version of “A Change Is Gonna Come” bored Simon, although he got the Hollywood green light after tossing off a decent version of “Let’s Get It On.” But Reality TV Magazine reported this morning that Watson was uninvited from the next round for undisclosed reasons–which made us a little sad, especially because he declared pre-tryout that he had no job and was basically banking his entire future on his Idol successes.
THE MOST ILL-FATED ATTEMPT TO BE “NICE”: After Sandie Chavez, a teacher, bleated her way through a song that was supposed to be Alannah Myles’ “Black Velvet,” but sounded like a somewhat tuneful choking spell, Paula tried to comfort her by saying, “You know what? Teaching is a wonderful thing.” It was only after Sandie left the room that Simon revealed the all-too-predictable punchline: Sandie taught music.
PAULA ABDUL OUT-OF-IT SCALE: 9/10, although, really, all three of the judges were high on whatever was in their Coca-Cola cups. We added an extra point for this bon mot to freshly scrubbed farm girl Baylie Brown: “If there are more cows than people, I’m saying you’ve got a good sense of style.” Don’t set the bar too high, now.