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"Singing Is Not
Your Skeez"

"Singing Is Not
Your Skeez"


The first American Idol fan to interpret this Randy Jackson comment wins Dave White's gratitude for the next seven days.

Your Skeez" " >


[Season 1 Idol alum Jim Verraros scampers in, eager to assist in helping me understand the really weird reasons why this show is how it is.]

Me: "What gives with this only being week three and I'm already tired of these awful audition episodes?"

JV: "I really don't know."


JV: "I 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."

Me: "Right. Yes. Thank you. You may enjoy one gumball from my American Idol promotional gumball machine.... I SAID ONE!"

[Jim Verraros 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 feelings:

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 guy.

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. Nice.

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.


[JV enters, 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 on Blu-ray?"

JV: "Any moment now, sir."

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 NOW!

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 want.

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 DO.

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 voice.

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 don't love.

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 loony."

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.

"Yes, it is. Look at that gross long greasy hair. His trademark," I reply.

"Wrong. 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 him.

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 possibility.

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 guy."

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 Grace."

31. I love a third and final crying montage.

And that's it. That's all I love right now.


Your Skeez" " data-page-title="

"Singing Is Not
Your Skeez"

" >
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