I'm In The Mood For Love
American Idol 5: Episode 1


Eeeeee! For a moment I wonder whether I'm watching Mr Bean. There's a funnel of light shining on the floor, and I expect Mr Bean to appear lying on the floor just like in the opening sequence of that British slapstick comedy. Instead of Rowan Atkinson, though, it's Ryan "Tell Me I'm Prettier Than Catherine Zeta-Jones" Sleazebag looking like an out-of-job circus ringmaster. He tells me that he's at the famous Kodak Theatre in Hollywood and reminded me that it was just eight months ago when the show declared that they wanted Cattle Underwood to win and the electorate agrees. He tells everyone that they all cherish dreams of becoming famous throughout the whole world as they go about their mundane tasks in real life. Instead of completely reconstructing one's appearance and sleeping with everybody who is willing to give some career boosts, not that Sleazie dear knows anything about that, the universally and morally approved way to do so is to, of course, take part in the latest season of American Idol. The rest of you who are too short, too fat, too young, and too busy flame-warring with fans of other contestants on the message boards out there can join in the fun by spending money on voting for these contestants. In short, it's business as usual so everybody, welcome to the latest season of this freaking show.

Credits. It's the same one as the last season only with Cattle morphed into the final scene to remind people just how at home that young lady is among silvery-blue space-age holograms and other things we normally associate with robots, Star Wars, and Willie Nelson telling a wailing Cattle Underwood on the holodeck, "Young lady, I am your sugar daddy!"

Oh look, there's a crowd of people chanting Queen's We Will Rock You. Didn't they do this last season? I think they have a script by now to tell these aspiring wannabes to chant out some dirge from a pre-approved list. Sleazie pretends to be amazed that there are still so many people wanting to be on the show since it debuted four years ago. Yes Sleazie, and it never rains, et cetera. The show then heads into a montage of highlights and lowlights of previous seasons, which I won't bother to recap. I'll just say a big thank you to the editors for showing me Josh Don't Tell just when the scars from my listening to him are starting to heal. Sleazie then moves on to talk about how the show has become a "national phenomena" after magazines and even The Simpsons hop onto the bandwagon as it hurtles towards the money pit. Yes, I can see that. King Tut can see it too, seeing how he "borrowed" the show's concept to start his own show that has overtaken the popularity of the now defunct Pop Idol in the UK. "The show is now an integral part of American culture!" Sleazie declares, which puts this show in good company with McDonald's, Coke, and Nike as beautiful things that will change our lives for the better.

Finally, we get down to business as nearly half a million kiddies suffered the rain and sun for money, "merit" (cue a dweeby-looking guy, an Alicia Silverstone lookalike, and this pregnant-looking guy with the number 34545 all saying that they want to touch people's hearts, lives, and if you're hot, um, everywhere else). No, wait, the show hasn't started yet as Sleazie compares auditioning for this show to the prom, getting a first car, and graduating from high school. Of course, then come the unemployment issues, the money problems, and the huge regret that the both of you didn't use protection and end up wedded and with kids straight out of high school, but like Justin Guarini can tell everyone, this show ends with the coronation of the winner and what happens next, nobody cares about. The show then takes the moment to brag about how important the show has been to people, using clips of the delusional teenagers, all of whom interviewed can't be older than sixteen, who audition today to drive home the fact that this show touches them, it really does, just like the creepy old men behind this show touching all the Idols whom they love so much, it's like one big happy family out there.

The show then moves on to touch on the fabulousness of the judges and uses that clip of that Miss Paula and King Tut kiss again. It will still be used in 2056, methinks, when King Tut is preserved and embalmed so that he could still be on the show judging people and telling them how they are the worst singers he has ever heard while a parrot has replaced Miss Paula. Sleazie wonders how the judges will behave towards each other and pretends not to hear my answer ("Um... the same as always, perhaps, with Randy Randy irrelevant, Miss Paula inebriated, and King Tut being King Tut?"). The judges show up and take their seats, where they obligingly tell each other how much they hate each other for the sake of the camera. I'm sure you will be shocked when Randy Randy insists that this season is their best season ever. It's not like he babbles the same crap every season, after all.

Sleazebag tries to tantalize me with clips from auditions from the granddaughter of Ann Nesby from the huge gospel group Sounds of Blackness, some blonde young lady who wants everyone to know that her home life isn't too nice so we should all take pity on her and make her a millionaire while telling her how pretty she is, a tragic looking bald guy who is hoping to jump on the Bo Bice bandwagon, and a TeenyBopper My First Boyfriend Huggy Doll that incorporates the less-than-stellar Rank Sinatra model's vocal microchip with a fresh ruddy-cheeked teenybopper kiddie image. Of course, that kid acts and sounds like some flaming Broadway queen but I'm sure everyone expects these guys on the show to behave like that by now. Bo Bice? An anomaly, that one. Then there is another My First Boyfriend Doll, this time with slightly curly hair and unbuttoned shirt all the way daringly to midchest to accompany its owner's maturation of taste from O-Town to the newly hip and "street-like" now-solo former O-Town lead singer Ashley Parker Angel. Shockingly enough, this one too sounds and acts like some happening hot grill on weekend barbecue parties at Hot Boi Tam-Tam Club. Some lady whom Sleazebag claims to have film star looks - "film star" as in "I spent all my money to look just like Carmen Electra - give me a career and tell me that my new boobs are worth it!" - screeches Alannah Myles' Black Velvet and makes all the shingles of my roof rattle. The sight of a tall manly-looking guy with stubble and broad shoulders has me perking up a little, until he opens his mouth and I sigh. It's the My First Boyfriend doll again, only this one is a more daring improvement over the Ashley Parker Angel doll in the sense that this doll comes with facial and body hair. Coming up next: the My First Boyfriend doll with earrings. That will be hardcore, little girlies. A sixteen-year old young lady who loves her fried iron curls oversings Whitney Houston's One Moment In Time while sounding most ordinary at the same time. Sixteen? They are becoming younger every year, sigh.

Well, let's bring on the uglies next. A fat girl wearing a blonde wig pretends to kick at the camera. It's the Knowles sister that they kept locked in the basement of Papa Knowles' church, people, and somehow she has eaten the door and is now free to terrorize everyone, oh no. A young guy can't seem to make up his mind who he wants to be so his lower body wants to dress just like Michael Jackson (I hope the fashion sense is all his lower body takes after from Michael Jackson) while his upper body wants to look just like some tacky Las Vegas pimp. He is trying to sing some Michael Jackson song and perform some Michael Jackson moves as well, as if being a hardcore Michael Jackson impersonator today isn't pathetic enough. A fat lady who doesn't sing as badly as I'd expect ("Lean on me... *bleep*!") is next but I guess the fact that she's fat makes her one of the those I should be mocking. A guy wearing some Sherlock Holmes coat and hat (only in yellow) wheezes. A flaming fruitcake seems to be operating an invisible spindle with his hands as he warbles through Ain't No Mountain High Enough. King Tut is so fed up that he leaves the room. After four seasons of seeing him do just that, I'm actually expecting him to do just that. Right on cue, people.

Now, the rejections. They cry, they justify, they rail into phones, the usual. One guy tells the person that the other line that were not for his facial hair, the judges would have thought that he's a "girl". Funny, I myself always find that there are quite a number of lads on this show every season that look like girls. I have to love that plump silly young woman with red hair that actually walks up the wrong escalator and acts in mock indignance when she realizes that her silly-bitty mistake is caught on tape. And finally... finally, Sleazie promises that the auditions will really, really begin. In Chicago.

Credits again. I am really starting to hate the fact that the first episode of this season is as tedious and filled with rubbish padding like the finale of the previous season.

It's raining. It's windy. Sleazie however insists that people aren't discouraged from lining up and waiting at the stadium. In fact, so eager are these wannabes to seize some camera time so that the memory on being on TV will keep them warm on those cold and lonely nights when they watch American Idol on TV and scream to the heavens that the person on TV should be them that they take the opportunity to mug, do runway walks, and other monkey-see monkey-do antics for the camera. One lady insists to the camera that her yellow garbage bag that she uses as a raincoat is inspired by garbage and babbles something about couture. That is a warning that she'll be showing up at the auditions for the next season of Project Runway, perhaps. For some strange reason I find myself rivetted at the sight of Sleazie's brand new muscular physique flatteringly displayed in a skin-tight red T-shirt. It must be the painkillers I took in advance in anticipation of this show because oh no, I do not find the sight of a man in red holding an umbrella the most masculine specimen so far on this show. I honestly do not and I will personally sit on the face of anyone who dares to suggest otherwise. To demonstrate that Sleazie is telling the truth about stormy weathers hitting Chicago, clips from Fox, the most truthful TV station in the world, are shown to drive home the fact that storms are hitting Chicago in full swing. It probably rained just as heavily right before Sodom and Gomorrah burned, right? Nonetheless, the wannabes will not be stopped. They want fame, they want money, and they want everything now. Meanwhile, a camera close-up reveals that Sleazie's T-shirt says "We totally ROCKED that set" and that's followed by a small sentence about something going crazy that I can't make out. Sheesh, did I just admit that I paused the TV to study Sleazie's chest? What's the number of the nearest shrink?

Anyway, Sleazie announces that the season has finally started and the crowd behind him shriek and scream as they run to the audition stalls. I am forcibly reminded that nothing on this show is unchoreographed. The whole running happily to the stalls scene probably requires a few takes. Elsewhere, the judges show up. Miss Paula wears shades to hide her red-rimmed eyes and the fact that she had a one-woman party with at least three hundred pills as her guests of honor. Randy Randy and King Tut pretend to strangle each other for the camera. Such wonderful G-rated fun for the kiddies watching this show, all that.

Derrick Dupree is first. He's chubby and his voice reminds me of Aaron Neville and I must admire a young man who admits on TV that he gets turned on sometimes by the passion of his own voice. That has to be very handy on those cold weekend nights. Some guys have to go rent some video. Others spy on the neighbors. But Derrick, all he has to do is to sing and the world is fuzzy and beautiful again. And now, he wants to share the fuzzy love with everyone and I can't wait. He is confident and he says that no words will cut him down. In fact, he is so confident that his armpits are sweating in anticipation of the musical orgasm that he is going to give everyone who hears him sing. The print at the back of his T-shirt is the perfect visual to remind me what a masculine stud he is. I mean, it looks like this:

OEO
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Tell me I'm not the only one who sees... um, something I probably shouldn't in that. Reassure me, people, that I don't need psychiatric help.

Anyway, Derrick tells the judges that he is hot and ready to go, "just like Paula", and Miss Paula quickly reads aloud Derrick's profile so that people will not remember just how hot and ready she was to go with some of the guys on the show. Miss Paula reads aloud that Derrick can sing any pitch. Derrick clarifies that he can sing "bass, medium, and semi-high". He will sing a "surprise medley" today. And so he sings. Oh dear. Let's just say that he sounds like a balloon that is inflated and then deflated. He wails like a muppet when he's trying to sing high and he rumbles like a broken engine when he's trying to sing bass. The medley ends with him stomping the ground and screaming, "It's Nigel! It's Nigel! IT'S NIGEL!" Miss Paula blinks and goes, "What?" Derrick says that the Nigel bit is from an "XTC song back in the day". The judges are all, hell no, get out of the room but Derrick insists that he can sound better after an hour. I'm afraid to ask what he will do in that one hour to make himself sound better. Finally, the judges agree to give him an hour. The producers give each other a high-five because Derrick has just given them something to fill up an extra ten or twenty minutes in this episode. When Derrick's gone, Miss Paula says that Derrick looks like he's 43. "At least," says Randy Randy.

Next is this young lady with unnaturally red hair. Katrina Yorkie, I believe, is her name. She will do "part of the Humpty Dance". She then half-raps in a wretched manner until King Tut asks her to sing something normal. Katrina can't think of anything because she has this grand plan to be the new William Hung in her mind. The judges cut her off and she tells them that they are making a mistake. Bye bye, lady. Next is Justin Stitch. He's the type of guy with no looks and no charisma but insists that he has a unique voice that will make him the new superstar. He says that he has a range that allows him to do anything from Elvis to Queen. Maybe he's thinking of the Queen of England instead of the group Queen because his version of breathless karaoke version of Meatloaf's I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) - a song that nobody should ever do without being backed by music - and Bobby Darin's Beyond The Sea are all mercifully cut short by King Tut before my ears start to bleed. Justin will have to go home to cry into his pillow about how nobody can see the real beautiful soul underneath his doughy complexion and "I live in the basement of my parents' house" pallor.

Trust Sleazebag to get himself in the middle of a sandwich with twin brothers. After he rattles about how twins on the show always brag about bringing all kinds of stuff to the show before they fall flat on their faces, he asks that the Brittenum twins whether they will be any different. Of course the twins say that they are different, apparently because they aren't like those wussy twins in previous seasons that want to win together as they are willing to backstab each other. Or something. I'd be more convinced if these two don't look so much like garden gnomes and act like they will lose to the garden gnomes in a join-the-dots pop quiz.

Time for the obligatory Rejectees Strike Back montage. Yeah, yeah, fuck you judges, I hate you judges, you made a big mistake, yadda yadda yadda. I hope Wannabe #897 with his beard and that blue waitress pinafore he is wearing and all wins something good from the bet he made with his friends to come on the show like that. If he hopes to become some overnight stand-up comedian with his shtick, he should try to be more subtle.

Oh, oh, oh, the Brittenum twins are up. As usual, the producers make the twins audition together because twins on this show are freaks. Those two sing something "original" together and they obviously spend a lot of time rehearsing their harmonies. They then sing solo. One of them sings the Temptations' My Girl while the other sings Ain't Too Proud To Beg. The both of them manage to go through but considering how ordinary they sound, I suspect that they will both be cut quickly before the semifinals. That or they will be pitted against each other for the schadenfraude of the audience. Sleazie gets them to run up and down the streets shouting that they are going to Hollywood. It's a good thing that there are cameras on these lads to preserve this moment for the days when they want to relive their TV adventures.

Meanwhile, the three judges demonstrate that their acting skills won't make the cut in soap operas by pretending to argue about King Tut becoming "crusty". Is this a new addition to the show, staged confrontations between the judges? Or is it a new insidious attempt to make the adult viewers cringe and turn off the TV so that only impressionable kiddies will watch the show and therefore be more susceptible to this evil show's "Buy everything, kiddies!" messages?

Meet Gina Glocksen. During the day, she's a dentist's assistant and manages to learn big words like "suctioning of saliva" in the process while at night her bum gets a hard shaking as she tries to be the new Kelly Osborne while fronting some fake girlie-rock group called Catfight. Gina says that being in Catfight gives her stage experience that will give her an advantage and Sleazie pretends that he'd love to get treated for a root canal at the dentist that she works for because he finds her hot. Actually, he's just trying to read the label of that bra she is wearing under her see-through top because he's sure that she may have grabbed that bra from his laundry basket earlier today. Gina sings Jennifer Grey's The Power Of Love although she claims that the song is Celine Dion's. Again, an ordinary performance that has no memorable traits. It's hard to sound good when singing acapella, I know, but Gina honestly sounds forgettable. I cringe when she starts singing about how King Tut is her man and she will do all she can when he reaches for her. Anyway, the judges let her through because she can sing.

Next, a montage of people losing their breath, voices, or minds (that's Gina Noriega whose Blue Moon degenerates into an annoying echo of the first line again and again in-between her muttered curses and exclamations before she switches to Christina Aguilera's Reflections before she switches back to Blue Moon - bonus mock factor added for the fact that she's fat because fat women are always funny and sad on this show unless you're Burger Queen that happens to be dating Uncle Nigel's son while competing on the show). Haw, haw. Next, this young lady who is also fat and therefore the appropriate target of King Tut's fat jokes, "Just" Madisa, launches into a powerful rendition of Alicia Keys' Fallen and I am awake for once. Hey, what's her name again? Madisa? I'll remember that one. Of course, King Tut has to make a crack about needing a bigger stage because he knows that he can get a rise out of the audience by cracking fatty women jokes. The thing is, that shtick is getting old after four seasons. Maybe it's time to start making jokes about girly boys instead?

Okay, King Tut is now losing his patience, according to Sleazie. Poor King Tut. They must have forbidden him to sneak off for long lunches with Sleazie or something. Anyway, into the audition room comes short Kevin Brenneman who has to dress up like he's trying too hard to remain a ten-year old while he's at it. Okay, so he knows The Weight by The Band. That makes him cool after all in my book. But he starts singing and eeuw, he sounds like he's trying very hard to be like Donald Duck. Please, can he forget that he listens to the Band? That's not cool anymore. Miss Paula tells Kevin that he has a chance to become a voice for the cartoon Rugrats. King Tut brings up the fact that Miss Paula asked someone to be the voice of the rat in a cartoon the last season. Next is Charles Berry who says that he has flopped in two previous auditions and he has taken the advice given by them to make sure that he won't fail this time. I suppose none of the advice given to him include not singing because he sounds horrible. It's an original song he's singing about wanting to be the American Idol but it's wobbly and off-key. King Tut tells Charles to get rid of the beard, wear a dress, and become a "great" female impersonator. Miss Paula is aghast and Kevin flees the room dazed and ashamed to go back inside. I honestly don't know what King Tut is thinking. Wait, I know that he wants to do something to get people talking about how mean he is, but come on, Charles will make a horrible female impersonator! Look at his face! It will never be mistaken as a woman's face! Then again, what does King Tut know about women anyway, eh?

Amanda Rabideau - Rabid, eh? - has boundless energy and if her sentences are transcribed on paper, they will all end in exclamation marks. Like, ohmigod, her rendition of Bonnie Raitt's Something To Talk About is ghastly! She's just shrieking tunelessly like a banshee! Jumping around like an epileptic cow! And she sells furniture but she's definitely missing a few piece upstairs! And she also judges cows! And she sounds horrible! Ugh! Agh! Aaaah! And she's gone! Too much energy for the show, King Tut says! Like nuclear energy, primed to explode on us all! King Tut misses the cow! And Amanda bawls like a cow in labor experiencing difficult delivery! (Memo to whoever listening and in the authority to do something: please, please, please, PLEASE stop the painfully staged and stilted arguments between King Tut and Miss Paula after every other scene. PLEASE MAKE IT STOP.)

Next is a man in uniform. Naturally, Sleazie hits on him with the corniest line he can think up. This guy, Brandon Groves, is a deputy sheriff somewhere in West Virginia. The fact that he then performs James Brown's I Shot The Sheriff excruciatingly badly suggests to me that he's here for a laugh rather than for the competition. He just repeats the line "I shot the sheriff, but I didn't shoot the deputy" again and again but he's not funny enough to warrant the obvious "So shoot me instead!" response I could have given. I chuckle though at how the judges deliberately keep quiet when he expects them to stop him so he is forced to repeat that line again and again until he comes off a total buffoon on TV.

Derrick Dupree and Sleazie are on the streets getting people to comment on Derrick's singing. Hmm, haven't I seen this crappy filler scene taking place in the previous seasons without fail? Not funny anymore, that. Meanwhile, Christine Davis wears a prom dress that gets mistaken as a wedding dress by the judges, prompting more staged "arguments" between King Tut and Randy Randy over King Tut's sneered "Is that what you people in America wear as prom dress?". Christine launches into Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On, a song that she really shouldn't sing unless she is certain that she can make that song very special as everyone is tired of that song by now. Since she can't, she's given sent packing. Randy Randy and Miss Paula then have another contrived argument with King Tut about how mean he is. Yes, yes, I get it, King Tut is mean. Honestly, stop with the bad acting already! Sleazie jokes that everytime King Tut sees a wedding dress, that person has lost him. He's not speaking from experience, I hope. Then again, pictures of him getting cozy with John Stamos on some beach surfaced recently so what do I know, hmm?

Sleazie and Derrick on the street... zzzzz.

Blake Boshnack comes in dressed like a green Statue of Liberty and sings in a warbly tone that gets him sent packing ten seconds into his performance. There goes another joker who wants to be on TV. I hope he can sleep easier now. He should work on being a little better at masking his smile when he's trying to look shocked and hurt at being cut, however.

Derrick returns for a second round of filler moment. I hope he gets enough money from the producers for subjecting himself to this. I don't know what he's singing and the judges don't either. He doesn't sound any better, in fact, he sounds more nasal than ever. King Tut thinks that Derrick sounds like he's possessed by the spirit of some six-year old. Derrick tells the camera that maybe he's not as good as he thinks he is but he's hoping and hoping. Eric Lawhon's grandmother says that she will pull King Tut out and beat him if that man doesn't allow Eric to become the new American Idol. Does she know that her antics on TV will only get poor Eric beaten up in the special school playground? Where is the love for Eric, grandma? Sleazie says that he's aroused by the idea of King Tut being hurt and I think this is the first moment of honesty from him. Eric is predictably nasal and off-key - he sounds like an old woman, actually - and is told by King Tut that he sounds like an auntie after lunch. Don't ask me what King Tut is saying. Maybe he's reliving some traumatic family picnic experiences in his past. Sleazie and Eric's grandmother then accost King Tut in a staged confrontation that I won't waste time recapping because it's all staged and unbelievably lame. Poor Eric is so getting beaten up at the special school playground though.

Meet Leah and Brooke Barrettsmith. Actually, I'm more interested in that cute guy standing behind them in the queue but that's just me, I suppose. The two sisters are from some town in Illinois and a check on Google reveals that they are Christian music performers. Oh great, they are trying to pull that Cattle Underwood "But sirrah, I'm really an innocent country farmgirl wearing no underwear!" stunt while masking the fact that they are more experienced in performing than they let on. They show off the "infamous four-way stop sign" in their town, although I'm sure that these wholesome Christian darlings are not suggesting anything naughty about the sign. They get more pointless pimping where they run around and going "Whoa, we're so cute, wheee!" before singing and getting sent to Hollywood. What, you are expecting anything else after all the money the show put into making pimpage clips for these two ladies? Still, they sound pretty pleasant on the ears so I think I can live with them as I can live with Cattle Underwood.

"I live and breathe music! I'm here to win it all! I have what it takes! The drive, the ambition! The talent, definitely! I've been singing since I learned how to talk!" says Yvette Gomez. Predictably, she sounds like she's parodying an opera performance and King Tut compares her singing to a cat being boiled alive. Yvette looks like she's boiled alive judging from her expression as she's sent packing. More contrived King Tut and Randy Randy banter ensue as Yvette insists to the camera that she has what it takes and one day she will make it.

Okay, the cute guy standing behind the Barrettsmith sisters is next and upon a closer look, I change my mind about him being cute. It's that cheesy necklace he's wearing, the cheesier manner he lets his shirt unbuttoned down to the middle of his torso, and the fact that he looks like he's auditioning for the kind of movie that features him running around naked all over the place. Oh, and he looks like he needs a bath really badly. Zachary Smits is his name and he's seventeen, which means that he will either grow a decent fashion sense in a few years or he'll only develop worse taste in tackiness and cheese and become the next JD Adams. Either way, he doesn't sound too good but because he looks like the kind of guy that little girls dream of as they experience puberty and beyond, the judges let him through. I'm flabbergasted by this development, I tell you. Hopefully there will be better pickings in the hunk pool. Miss Paula can keep this guy. "Seventeen? I like you!" she says and I advise her PR person to have a nice long talk with her about watching the words that come out of her mouth. Sleazie asks Zachary how Hollywood is like (translation: will Zach play the casting couch game?) and Zachary hopes that it will be sunny and he can close his eyes and think of Kewpie when he has to undergo all those private auditions with Miss Paula, King Tut, Uncle Nigel, and who knows who else.

Jessica Nelson sings and looks like the reanimated corpse of the third season's Scooter Joan Hart. She gets the cut despite being cool enough to feature some bleeped words in her song and spends some time after bleeping to the camera about what bleeping bleeps the judges are. The sad thing is, she's genuinely upset. Meanwhile, another young lady talks about how people always say they are unique but when she sees the Top Twelve, she always find someone on the street that sounds just like them. Is she talking about Josh Don't Tell, Fatt Gross Bowel, the Pen Salesman, Carmurp, and Rank Sinatra? If so, I agree heartily. Jessica rants to the camera some more. The other young lady talks about how you should be unique if you tell her that you're unique. Who is she? The stand-in for Miss Paula should Miss Paula finally experience her nervous breakdown? Jessica rants some more. Miss Thang meanwhile says that America doesn't select the Top 32. She's probably talking about how crappy the judges are in selecting the Top 32, I suppose.

Then out the door comes another young lady who is excited because she is going to Hollywood. This lady says that the judges love her performance of Beyonce's Work It Out and she has an unique voice and all that. Miss Thang asks her to demonstrate how unique her singing is and in a weird moment of editing, Miss Thang is next saying that she doesn't want to hurt Miss Work It Out's feelings but she thinks that Miss Work It Out is nothing special. Miss Thang wants everyone to know that she is going to say how she feels about the show (is she Trenyce's sister or something?) and she also wants all to know that she sounds better than Cattle Underwood. Miss Thang says that Miss Work It Out probably feels the same way too but keeps quiet because she doesn't want to lose votes. Miss Work It Out says that she thinks Cattle sounds real good. She wants Miss Thang to show her how Miss Thang can work it out. Miss Thang then performs an ordinary version of Chain Of Fools, causing Miss Work It Out to question incredulously whether Miss Thang thinks that she sounds better than Miss Work It Out here. Miss Work It Out tells Miss Thang that she's got nothing to prove anyway because the proof is in the paper (the acception slip) before walking away from Miss Thang. Huh, what is that all about?

Sleazie reveals that eighteen wannabes get through on the first day and now let's move on to the second day. Gosh, how much longer do I have to recap this episode? I feel like I've aged three years watching the show.

An unbiased Fox news coverage of the crowd at the stadium opens the second day part of the show. Yup, the crowd is still big, the people keep coming, and they all have the Pavlovian tendency to cheer and wave and show their tongues at the camera whenever they see one directed at them.

David Radford brings his mother along with him to the audition because bringing your mother if you're a typical teenybopper idea of cute is a surefire way to get the hearts of those church-going Baptist ladies with their fingers on the telephone flocking to cheer you on. Just ask Kewpie. And even Bo Bice. Mention your mother and these ladies will love you and overidentify with you and call you their son even as they want very badly to be your lover. Still, David looks like he's a cool guy pretending to be a boy next door. He must have packed away his crack and condoms and replace them with Frank Sinatra CDs and those mittens his grandmother knitted for him because he promises to be a crooner and he is going to make the friends of his grandmother feel like they are thirteen again. He sounds so contrived and affected but he gets to go through to Hollywood because let's face it, he'll get the girlies and their mothers dialing frantically and the money coming in for everybody. Gotta keep those hearts greased with throbbing feverish desire while the wheels of commerce keep going round and round, doncha know. On the bright side, the judges don't even bother to pretend that they are letting him through because he's talented.

Crystal Parizanski and her mother look like they are both left too long in the brickmaker's oven. King Tut is fascinated with her suntan and Crystal hilariously mistakes his asking her about her suntan with his asking her about the song she will be singing. King Tut finds the image most bizarre for a sixteen-year old. Crystal sounds like a mess in her performance and I cringe at some of the really painfully obvious botched moments. They don't want her to go on but King Tut can't resist the opportunity to wonder about Crystal's image and wants to see Crystal's mother. When he sees the woman, he chuckles that he now knows where Crystal gets her inspiration for her image. Crystal tells Sleazie outside that she doesn't think that this show is that important to her and she will go on to do... um, something.

Now it's all about hats. People wear funny hats to the auditions, weird hats, ugly hats, and more hats. That crying rejected cowboy looks pretty cute when he's not crying. He should let me know what reality show he will show up in next because I may just be tempted to tune in if he promises to show plenty of skin. Then the show focuses on Stewart Benyamin who has this woolen black cap with a large pink feather stuck on it. The guy pretending to be asleep on the seat next to Stewart molests him while feigning surprise when he "wakes up". Hmm, I may just try that trick in the next season should there be enough cute guys showing up to audition. Zzzz... oops, sorry, dear, I grabbed you there thinking it's a pillow, hee-hee! Stewart says that his father produces song and his grandfather is the Assyrian Elvis Presley. He has his doubts that King Tut will like his outfit - so why wear it then? - but he intends to show them that he can sing well. He sings in a very ordinary manner something in his native tongue and the judges turn him down. Randy Randy makes fun of his outfit and Miss Paula wants his hat. Stewart leaves them his dignity.

Next, another funny foreigner to make fun of, a woman from Ukraine named Yuliya Matus. Her Bohemian Rhapsody comes complete with deranged stripper body movements and unsteady too-breathy singing. I think she actually yawns at that part where she goes, "Mama, my life has just begun!" The judges send her packing and King Tut thinks that she will be sexy only in Fatal Attraction 3. (There's a Fatal Attraction 2?) King Tut also blatantly hints that Yuliya will go far in a different kind of Hollywood industry although he doesn't actually go so far as to specifically say what kind of industry that is. Don't want to alienate the viewers with too much naughty talk after all. Poor Yuliya cries to the camera as she obviously doesn't understand why the judges called her unique and interesting when they subsequently sent her packing back to Ukraine. She doesn't get it, the poor darling, and now I feel so bad for laughing hysterically at her "dancing". I'm sure Eurovision will appreciate her brand of uniqueness better than American Idol, so don't fret too much, Yuliya!

Ding, ding, did someone order an extra helping of twins? This time around it's the Simmons twins of Joshua and Jared. I don't know whether they are auditioning for American Idol or Cornball Twink Festival because they proceed to come on to Miss Paula when performing Superstar in a "solo duet thing" way. The singing is unimpressive and forgettable but I have to laugh at their painfully cheesy "Look at me, Miss Paula, pretend that my eyes are my huge tumescent phallus straining with desire for your luscious paradise!" expressions and the way they hold on to Miss Paula to suggest that they would personally hold a Chippendales show for her with extra cheese on the side. I think my hair turned purple just seeing the whole extremely cheesy stunt of the two brothers. King Tut hits the nail in the head when he wonders whether the two brothers will be considered good if they walk in individually without the twin gimmick. "Sixteen years old! Way to go!" says Miss Paula. Talk to her, Miss Paula's agent, talk to her now.

Finally, the day is winding down and the procession of creaky notes and contrived "I wanna be the new William Hung" antics are coming to an end. But wait, there's one more: the very hyperactive and psychotic Dave Hooper who claims to talk to animals and goes barefoot. Um... I don't know what he is singing and I don't know whether he's putting on an act or not because I'm busy blinking in dazed fascination at his face. He's geeky, he's too thin, he's seriously smouldering sexy-hot in a smoking-nerd-hunk manner, and I'm entranced by the sight of the waistband of his underpants. He's going to Hollywood by the way and I suddenly feel that I haven't wasted my two hours watching this show after all. Miss Paula says that she's sending Dave on "for her own reasons". If her PR agent is watching the show, contact Miss Paula now for Miss Paula's sake. Sleazie wonders whether the judges are crazy. I wonder whether I've gone crazy. I am finding Sleazie super hot in this episode and I want to be the floor that Dave Hooper's bare feet are trampling on. It is times like this that I am glad that I don't use my real name when recapping this show.

In other news, fifteen people make it through on day two, making it a total of 33 people heading for Hollywood from Windy City. The show closes with a montage of bad performances of Patti LaBelle's Lady Marmalade. Many of them are obviously deliberately bad for the sake of the camera especially those drag queens but the overall effect is actually hilarious, especially that trailer trash Barbie dingbat Crystal as she tries several times to imitate Christina Aguilera's shriekfest crescendo in the recent cover version of that song. All in all, a pretty boring episode that nonetheless manages to become really hysterically amusing in the last half hour so it's not an entirely hopeless time-waster of an episode after all.


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