GET IN HERE!"
Idol alum Jim Verraros scampers in, eager to
assist in helping me understand the really weird reasons why
this show is how it is.]
gives with this only being week three and I'm already
tired of these awful audition episodes?"
really don't know."
Me: "NOT A
GOOD ENOUGH ANSWER."
think because the over-dramatic story lines are just getting
to the point of exhausting. I mean, I was one
at the time, but I was on the first season, so it was
OK. Now, it's just like every other contestant is a
victim of something. Ugh. It would be nice to
show some focus on a talented individual who just walks
in, is nice, sweet, personable...and can sing. Give
them the camera time. It's like, if you want us
to connect with the contestants, spend less time on
the ones that aren't very good."
"Right. Yes. Thank you. You may enjoy one gumball
from my American Idol promotional gumball
machine.... I SAID ONE!"
backs out of the room like people do when they're in
the presence of someone like Prince Charles.]
And because I
like the Jim Verraros philosophy of focusing on
what's awesome instead of what's
miserable, and because I'm really very upbeat
and life-affirming and find myself really dragged down by
things that aren't excellent, I vow to make
this recap of the week's three episodes one big
long loving list of love items. And by list I mean list,
because, seriously, three episodes in one week
covering four cities' worth of auditions is enough to
make a man question his reasons for liking anything.
Thankfully, though, this is the last week of auditions. When
they're over the show becomes a more coherent and
entertaining narrative of suffering and shame. Wait,
sorry, I mean triumphant song-based thrills and dreams
that come true with sparkles and makeup and sexy,
sugarlump-enhancing neoprene garments.
This week they go
to Jacksonville, Fla., and then Salt Lake City and then
New York City and then San Juan, Puerto Rico, over three
nights. So here is my entire recap, which will right
now become a list of things that give me love
1. I love when
they flashback to Randy's Journey hair, which is the
first thing they do on the Jacksonville episode. It
never gets old. And I don't mean that in the
same way I say that "What a Wonderful World" never
gets old. Because then I was lying. I REALLY mean it when I
say that Randy's Journey hair never gets old.
In fact, I wish that the '80s trend in
African-American hairstyles of shaping it into whatever
geometric design tickled the wearer's fancy
would make a comeback. Those were great times for hair
in this country.
2. I love what a
cesspool Florida is. Think of all the great things
it's given us: inspiration for Flannery
O'Connor stories where entire families are
slaughtered by drifters; really weird insects; awesome bands
like Morbid Angel, Obituary, and Deicide; and that
episode of the best show on TV, Metalocalypse,
when Nathan Explosion becomes governor of the state
and it descends into a fiery murderous no-laws-ever zone.
Also 2 Live Crew. Also the Backstreet Boys.
3. I love white
guys who think they're black. Like this guy
auditioning who pops in and pretends he's Blake
Lewis and sings a Marvin Gaye song and does the
wiki-wiki-wiki noises. Xtreem Aaron, sitting next to me on
the couch, looks up from his Facebook profile, where
he's decided that he just wants to join as many
"fan" groups as possible (he's now an
official fan of tacos, air conditioning, Twix, and
Charlotte Gainsbourg), and says, "I hate this
kind of energy in a person."
4. I love it when
Paula Abdul eyeballs young male contestants like
they're the meal for which Corey Clark was a mere
appetizer. She does it to the wiki-wiki-wiki
5. I love knowing
that I can despise someone instantly for a colossally
bad first impression. Like the girl who auditions with
"Superstar" ("by Karen
Carpenter," the twit says, wrongly) and turns it into
a happy-time jamboree. I've talked about this
butchery almost as much as I've talked about my
distaste for the word surreal and for men in those
little tilty fedoras, but it bears repeating again:
IT'S A SAD, LONELY, NEAR-SUICIDAL SONG. SING IT
LIKE YOU HAVE SOME LYRIC-READING COMPREHENSION.
6. I love
watching people kiss dogs on the lips because it's
gross. Some guy takes the dog of the
"Superstar" over-singer and frenches it.
7. I love
montages of crying people. Here's the first one of
the night. So many excellent tears.
8. I love pot
stickers. Seacrest mentions to one auditioner that while
she's in there singing badly for the judges that
he's going to show her friends and family where
the free drinks and pot stickers are. If that's
what you get for showing up, then I'm going to
audition in 2010.
9. I love
supernerds who get edited weirdly to make them seem even
weirder. Not that I want the supernerds to be embarrassed. I
just like it when the show tips its hand about the
editing. They show this one guy singing
"Walking on Sunshine" horribly and you think
that's what he's singing for the judges.
But then later in the episode you realize that that
was the song they made everyone sing so that they can have a
montage of people singing "Walking on
Sunshine" like goons.
"VERRAROS, WHERE ARE YOU?"
carrying a pot of hot PG Tips tea for my refreshment]:
"Yes, Mr. White?"
Me: "How were you
edited? Were you treated fairly?"
JV: "I think I
was edited to be exactly what they wanted me to be. I
was a character, a role that needed to be filled. I wasn't
all sweet all the time...and I had some lousy-ass
auditions when it came down to Hollywood week, and I
even told Simon off at one point, but all of that was
left out. So, did they edit me in a weird way? No, more like
in a 'safe' way."
Me: "And when
will Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds be available
JV: "Any moment
Me: "That will be
all. Get me some pot stickers."
10. I love savvy
contestants who already know that buttering up Kara will
make life a lot easier for them. I also love the weird
fake-out of the judges sending away this Kara
butter-upper until she's prettier. No, really,
they do this. Then she comes in later and has some makeup
on. WHOA, SHE IS SO MUCH MORE BETTER AT SINGING
11. I love it
that everyone's new favorite version of
"Imagine" is the one that leaves out the
naughty atheistic lyrics. Because really, why not just
fuck John Lennon's corpse-skull right where the
bullet hole is? You should. It's what God would
12. I love guys
in big hair-smushing doo-rags singing Third Eye Blind
songs. Then I love it when they plead and beg for a second
chance to sing the shitty Third Eye Blind song. Then I
love it when that same obnoxious guy pushes away his
own mother when she tries to comfort him after the
judges say no. "Don't touch me," he
says. Then I love it when Seacrest presumes to tell
him how to talk to his own mother. "You don't
say that to your mom," says Seacrest. Ha. When
you're in deep, nasty fame-need, YOU TOTALLY
13. I love when
my husband gets all gay-rights-y and says horrible things
about the entire population of Salt Lake City (the second
night's audition location) and then in the same
breath explains the plot of Buckaroo Banzai to
me and makes an exception to his Utah-hatred for
"Crazy Horses." Then I love it when we pause
the TiVo to sing "Crazy Horses"
together. [He's making me add that he actually said
that he likes the Salt Lake City people who protested
against Prop. 8. But whatever, any non-fool would know
that that's a given.]
14. I love the
nerve of Osmond spawn who won't just use their family
connections and decide they need to muscle out some actual
nobody for a spot on this show. That's what
just happened, right after the judges tried to make it
seem suspenseful by inventing fake criticisms to
softball lob at him. He's going to Hollywood to
battle gay marriage!
15. I love
Randy's new crazy leopard-spot shoes. They look like
props from The FlintstonesinViva Rock Vegas.
16. I love the
big bear who shows up in a pink bunny costume. He hugs
Simon. I want a hug from this guy too. Can the show just fly
him to Los Angeles and let him be in the audience all
the time? He'd be way better than Crying Girl.
Put him on a podium. Let him dance.
17. I love the
tattooed divorced girl with the wiggly Blossom Dearie
18. I love the
commercial that shows a clip of Kelly Clarkson's new
song that I like a lot. I forget the title. Something
about "sucking life with you."
She's great all the time.
19. I love the
kid who appears to be made out of yellow sponge cake. One
minute he's all gung-ho for helping to plan his high
school homecoming and then, the second he gets his
gold ticket, he's spazzing out like,
"Awesome!! Fuck Homecoming!!" I also love how
he sings a song by Raffi and calls it a soul song.
This makes the husband say, "And after this one
he's got a blues number by the Wiggles he'd
like you all to hear. Geez. This show. They want a
glass of milk, not another Fantasia. They don't
know what to do with the one they have." This makes
me pause the TiVo and get on YouTube so I can watch
the clip from last season of Fantasia performing her
nutjob single "Bore Me (Yawn)" and turning the
entire studio upside-down like a tidal wave of
amazingness. There's nothing about that woman I
20. I love
another crying montage. I especially love this montage of
crying people because one of them brought a ventriloquist
doll along. If they could only make the doll cry too,
then this crying montage would be the best of all
possible crying montages.
21. I love
orphans. They got one tonight. She has interesting hair,
full of braids and string and charms and candies. She
also has dirty feet because she's always
barefoot. I love people who are not me getting
ringworm from their filthy dirty 1970s porn feet. I love
people who live the dream and express themselves in
song and with hair.
22. I love that
when a female auditioner compared herself to Mariah
Carey, Simon said, "So you're a talented
23. I love the
opening of the New York/San Juan episode that shows
Seacrest ringing the bell on the Stock Exchange.
That's because, and maybe you were unaware, his
13th job is being a commodities broker. It's
really easy for him because he can do it on his laptop while
driving and fixing himself a power smoothie. His
clients say he's the best in the biz.
24. I love it
when people quit their jobs to go audition for this show
and they can't sing a note. Then I love it when Randy
says, "Singing is not your skeez,"
because that's a mysterious thing to say.
25. I love that
Constantine is everywhere. Here he is hugging some guy in
Puerto Rico. "That's not Constantine,"
says the husband.
is. Look at that gross long greasy hair. His
trademark," I reply.
It's a Constantine-alike, but it's not
Constantine," the husband assures me. But I
know that it is, at the very least, a new Constantine
that the old one built in his tax-free, San
Juan-based, Boys From Brazil-inspired
eugenics lab, an upgraded version of the man who can
simply do public appearances wherever the career takes
26. I love
confusional judging moments. Like why they reject the fat
girl in the tight pink dress for singing somewhat
shrilly when they've already sent WAY worse
people through. This one can definitely outsing Bikini
Girl and last week's Tatiana the Mental Case. Simon
hates fat people. Prove me wrong.
27. I love the
girl who wishes she could sing naked. I hope she gets to
do this at least once during the season. She got a gold
ticket, so it's a tantalizing
28. I love
commercials for Hell's Kitchen where the main
screaming guy is having an aneurysm and yelling shit
like "SPAGHETTI LOBSTER!!!" but you
never know why.
29. I love the
joke-auditioner who shows up as the human iPod with a lion
hand puppet singing "Circle of Life." The
husband says, "Nice ass on that
30. I love the
last joke-auditioner who can really actually sing and they
send him through after he mocks Simon and Seacrest for being
fags and then busts out a really sweet "Amazing
31. I love a
third and final crying montage.
it. That's all I love right now.
Next week? HATE!