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DelusionFest '07
comes to a close

DelusionFest '07
comes to a close


It's week 4 of American Idol, and that means it's time to go to Texas and laugh at folks who say "y'all."

As a former Texas resident, I can tell you how Tuesday night's episode is going to go down. It'll be the cowpoke laff-a-lympics because TV means never having to scratch beyond the surface. There will be auditioners from tiny towns with funny names, there will be guys in cowboy hats, there will be pickin' and grinnin' as incidental music. They're in San Antonio (the line to make a done-to-death Pee-wee Herman/Alamo joke forms to my left), and the camera pans over countless unfortunate people sleeping on the nasty, germy ground. Now, I suppose being famous might have its advantages in life (air-conditioning, free sex from groupies, gift bags), but are any of them worth ringworm?

Actually, I don't know if you can get ringworm that way, so I went and consulted my good friend Chris, the one homosexual scientist I know, and asked him what amazing diseases and conditions could be obtained from voluntarily sleeping on the sidewalk. Here is his response: "Oh, you can get shitloads of stuff from doing that, just from all the bugs and mosquitoes. West Nile virus comes to mind. From being in close contact from so many potentially dirty people you can get norovirus, crabs, scabies, common cold, influenza. Then, if you're really lucky and end up sleeping facedown in bird poop, you can get histoplasmosis."

Thanks, Chris!

Right on cue the following stuff happens: The speed-cam shows the bleachers of the Alamodome filling up in a superfast way, everyone sings the theme from Rawhide together, dumb signs (themes: Paula will you marry me, Simon is a donkey, I spent too much money on a hotel room). I just wish one time there was a sign that read: "Will burst into tears at the slightest suggestion that I am not the musical equivalent of raising Lazarus from the dead. P.S. I am the total package."

As in previous weeks, I'm just going to cut to the results instead of rolling out a complete narrative. I promise those will begin next week when all the pee-yellow-ticket recipients fly to Hollywood and start fucking up their chances at staying there. Oh, look at Paula's really cute dress. The pattern is sort of a bunch of multicolored inverted hearts or leaves from a tree. It's kind of perfect on her. It's like she's the hippest librarian in town.

The Yeses (a.k.a. people who can sing and pretty white girls with big breasts):

1. Karen Lynn Gorney. Or maybe it's Susan Anton. Whoever she is, she's got on a one-piece combination halter top-pantsuit with plunging plumber's-crack back that screams, "On today's Donahue: herpes, the new taboo." She says, "I'm the age of 24," and I can't really put my finger on why that sentence makes me laugh so much, but it does. She sings a Bonnie Raitt song. She's a bore. At one point they show her sitting outside the judges' room next to a boy with architectural hair, like he bought a Fall Out Boy wig at Hot Topic and is wearing it as a joke.

2. Bailey Brown. That's her real name. A future pop-star name. She's a cute little blond thing from Krum. I know Krum. It's tiny. She lives in a house that has a barn nearby. There are horses and pigs. She has parents who have not yet shot each other (or at least not successfully). She reads magazines and loves fashion and can't wait to shake the dust of Krum off the shoes she bought last time her mom took her into the city for some shopping at Nordstrom in the Dallas Galleria. She sings a Faith Hill song, which is always a problem for me.

3. The Awesome Twins. Actually, the Awesome one is the one who can't sing. He gets his syrup on with a screwed "Amazing Grace" and takes his "no" from the judges with good humor, going so far as to tell them he's going to trash-talk them for the camera. He does this, with a near-frightening "DON'T MAKE ME COME BACK IN THERE AND TELL Y'ALL AGAIN! THAT'S GOOD SINGIN'!" This cracks up all the judges, and I'm very happily considering the possibility that when his cousin with the genuinely decent voice goes on to Hollywood, Awesome'll be there providing comic relief. The cousin gets his Hollywood pass. All is good. Until I discover online, a day or so later, that the cousin with the nice voice was once arrested for weed. So he's off. Dang. Stop this senseless drug war, America! Let stoned people on American Idol!

4. Crazy Cheeks. She sings well enough but pulls all sorts of nutty scrunchy faces and the judges dump her. Then they give her another chance (where she sings "Inseparable" but can't pronounce the title and says "inseparamble" every single time it leaves her lips) and she passes through by almost controlling the tics. The weird thing is that she's sort of humble and nervous at first, but when they give her the second chance and send her through, she gets all feisty and sassy like it was her birthright to go to Hollywood. Simon, during his critique of her, puts both of his hands on his chest and begins massaging his own pectoral muscles, effectively feeling himself up. Very strange. Anyway, the part 2 of this story, much like pot-smoking guy I just wrote about, is that after her audition this girl was arrested for putting sugar in her ex-boyfriend's gas tank. So I'm guessing she'll be out of the running too. Remember back in the day when the only thing contestants did wrong was pose nude on porn Web sites? Now it's all drug this and stalking that.

5. Baby Ruben. Sings "Another Saturday Night." Is great. From Waxahachie. Nothing more to say about him.

The Nos

1. Jasmine. Jasmine is unremarkable on every level, including her inability to sing. What's interesting about Jasmine is her song choice--she's the second person to attempt and butcher "Nobody's Supposed To Be Here," to the point of my partner once again asking what song is being sung, while Deborah Cox, hopefully watching somewhere, is laughing so hard that her drink shoots out of her nose. And the way Jasmine puts her contestant number on the belly-est part of her belly...what is with that move, anyway? Seriously. I mean, yes, speaking as someone who has been told that they have a "fetish belly," I understand that for people who are into that sort of thing you can't accentuate the gut enough, but this is American Idol, not bear night at the Eagle, so what gives? Outside the audition room Jasmine's family holds a sign that reads, "Jasmines Are [sic] Next American Idol." The judges can her and she goes out crying, and then comes the functional illiteracy that passes for familial support in the United States in 2007, as a woman I assume is Jasmine's mom says to Seacrest, of Simon, "He needs to go back to...where he from? French?"

"No, he's British," replies Seacrest.

"He can go back to British," says Mom.

2. The Shouting Guy. Shouting guy shouts "Rebel Yell." That's about all there is to say about Shouting Guy.

3. Wispy Facial Hair Guy. His only reason for being on camera is that he could be the older brother of Bug Eyes from Seattle.

Extra Stuff in This Episode:

1. "Other Door" montage of people slamming themselves into Other Door, including Simon and Paula. Damn, do I want Other Door to have its own show. I could sit and watch people walk into Other Door every week.

2. People Who Can't Sing montage. My favorite is the girl who clearly took voice lessons from Pootie Tang and sings "Black Velvet" in her own language. Here is the transcript of that moment:




kennyrogers electable pie

mamas bay-beeeuh

haaahduss-ovahs kooguuuhhhh you

luv myuhh tenduhhln

luv myuhh breyeneeyyyzzz

bocansayuuh hide-a-mooahh

overbeeee ohbays-whattamahh

bahvelvehhuhh little boyuhh myuuuhhh."

Then she cries.

3. There's a commercial in the middle of all this for something called "Weight Control Oatmeal." Yeah, I've got some weight control oatmeal for you; it's called oatmeal.

On to Wednesday's show...

It's a clip show, so we're treated to a few extra tenderly tedious moments with both Carole Bayer Sager and Olivia Newton-John.

The Yeses

1, 2, and 3. The Carhops. They're a trio, all pals, on roller skates and wearing waitress uniforms--coincidentally, holding bottles of Coca-Cola on their waitressy trays. Between the three of them they've bought all the makeup that M.A.C. can make. RuPaul doesn't use this much paint on his face in a month. Number 1 gets told "no." The second one is given a lukewarm "yes," and the third one, named Ebony, is kind of amazingly good. Paula gives Number 2 some "ease up on the rouge and lip liner" tips, and Number 2 shoots back, "Oh, motherly advice." Well played, Number 2.

3. Butchy Butch Cabdriver Chick. She has a lip ring and stringy hair and sings "Whipping Post" in a way that suggests she might be able to put both Shane and Papi from L Word in their respective places.

4. Paul Kim. He sings that stupid "If I Ever Fall in Love Again" song or whatever it's called by '90s R&B one-hit wonders Shai. But he does it well, explaining that he auditioned as a reaction to William Hung and because there are no Asian pop stars in America. Which is true. You can count them on one hand, going back to the 1950s. There was Miyoshi Umeki. Then there was Pink Lady. Then Puffy AmiYumi. And one of Michelle Branch's grandparents was Asian. And that's kind of it.

5. Speaking of Shane from L Word , here she is again, fuller-figured and presumably not a dyke, because after she sings "Black Velvet" (which, really, I swear, is like the lezbo national anthem or something), she runs out and leaps into the happy arms of a big bubba-ish lug of a man.

6. The Third or Fourth Effie White We've Seen So Far This Season. She sings "Think" and you can see the judges' hair get blown back en masse. Even Randy's, and he doesn't have any. And you have to wonder if all these young women have just collectively decided that "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" is just a bit too on-the-nose.

The Nos

1. The Glamour Don't. Has really painful red shoes on. Fails to sing. Says, "I can do this! It's who I am!" Cries. Paula says, "Cool shoes."

2. Nerdy Skinny White Boy With No Distinguishing Characteristics Other Than His Inability to Sing. I can't even really figure out why they put him on camera.

3. Edward Sanchez. Edward, a huge Paula Abdul fan, says, "I watched you ever since I was small, like I was 8 years old, you with the cat and everything, yeah like that." Edward is such a fan of Paula (and, by extension, MC Skat Kat) that he's even begun to mimic Paula's sentence construction habits.

3. W.E.S. This guy wears a hideously moob-enhancing shiny yellow smock and has teeth that are so jacked up they make Elliott Yamin look like the son of Beverly Hills' best orthodontist. He wrote his own song that begins with the lyric "You gotta keep fighting for your innocent love." The rest of the song is about having a dream and reaching for it. Taking it all the way. Stomping your feet until your dream appears. Grabbing for that big slice of pie. Shopping at the Shiny Gay Shirt Store.

4. The Guy Paula Had a Huge Influence on Who Is Not Already Edward Sanchez. This boy dances around like he watched his Flashdance DVD more often than "Straight Up" on VH1's We Are the '80s. Paula says of his moves, "I don't remember doing it quite like that." Of course, Paula doesn't remember much of anything between 1987 and 1993, but still, she's very sweet about this boy's nontalent and gives him a hug.

Extra Stuff in This Episode:

1. Outfits montage, including a guy wearing an incredible T-shirt with pictures of Randy's hair when he was in Journey. You've seen that hair, right? Like an inverted triangle of afro on his head. Truly amazing hair. I want that T-shirt.

2. Sort of explanation of the songwriting contest that's happening this season. Apparently, some amateur songwriter will be penning the dumb "Moment Like This" song for the winner.

3. Flattery montage, notable only for the chick wearing the "I Heart Simon" panties.

4. Day job montage: Ace Young used to roof houses. Pickler was a carhop, Daughtry worked in some kind of auto service center. Some anonymous guy announces that he's a hillbilly. Dude, that's not a job. That's a lifestyle choice.

5. Dancing montage. My personal favorite montage of the season so far, for two reasons. The first reason is the astonishingly hot cowboy-hatted guy who says "I don't dance." Those are his two seconds of airtime. But I need more. I replay him saying this a few times. I announce to my partner that this guy is my next boyfriend. Then my partner says, "No, he's mine." Eventually we agree on a plan to share him. That's the kind of compromise that sustains an 11-year relationship, kids. Keep that in mind. Meanwhile, Seacrest is shown not not-dancing at all. He leaps willingly into a group of women who are all getting down and shakes his pert, wiggly little buttocks. I think this is a good time to bring back the explanation of the various Types of Gay that I introduced last season in these recaps (still archived here, by the way, in case you're really bored at work and need something to do to kill time). Anyway, here are the Types:

Type 1 Gay: You live in the 1920s and you're exuberantly happy.

Type 2 Gay: You are something boring, stupid, or embarrassing, such as having your bumper covered in liberal-cause stickers, wearing Dockers, listening to U2, needing and/or giving cyberhugs to friends on MySpace, having all the seasons of Friends on DVD.

Type 3 Gay: The heterosexual man who waxes his back, plucks his eyebrows, has an eight-pack, and wears those awful little stripey gay shirts with skulls silk-screened on the breast pocket.

Type 4 Gay: You moved from your old city to a new one because you've already committed sodomy with every single other homosexual man in town. Twice.

Seacrest, whom I will officially assume to be heterosexual until conclusive proof to the contrary is provided by a reputable media outlet like In Touch, is always Type 3 Gay and frequently dabbles in the other Types each fresh Idol season. In this episode he crosses over into a brief flirtation with Type 4. Because really, check him work that caboose. He's done this before.

So anyway, for some reason they refused to bring back "The Hotness" for another look in these montages, and that makes me really sad. What am I supposed to do every week without "The Hotness"?

OK, show's over: 172 fame-hungerers are off to Hollywood. The last shot of the night, a preview of next week's episodes, shows a girl crying, "Why'd I even come here?"


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