It’s the last audition round before we move on to Hollywood, and thank God for it. Speaking of God, this evening’s show comes to us from Oklahoma City, where Texas goes to die; the hopefuls are lined up by 5:18 AM, because there is nothing else to do there. The episode leads in with a montage of people chasing their hats, but I think Miller’s Crossing taught us everything we need to know about that phenomenon. There’s the usual montage of the judges emerging from limousines with sour-faced security guards; I really wish they’d dispense with these. I mean, I get it — I know what this show is about. But for Christ’s sake, times are hard. Anyway, Mariah Carey is wearing a glitter disco top from Plato’s Retreat circa 1979; Randy Jackson sports one of those jackets they give you at a restaurant if you show up in something that doesn’t measure up to the dress code; Keith Urban has simply stopped trying; and Nicki Minaj is dressed like the world’s most stylish Foot Locker employee.
Karl Skinner of Joplin, Missouri is the first contestant, a DJ Qualls like-a-look who got in via the Small Town bus tour; he strongly resembles the kind of person you usually meat on buses or at bus stations. He is a “pizza chef”. At first he sings a James Brown song and it is some nonsense, but when he picks up his guitar and sings some of his own material, it sounds vastly better — actually, it’s a shocking turnaround that you almost never see in the early goings. The gang lets him through and suggests that he might be the new Ryan Seacrest, which is ridiculous, because everyone knows that when we need a new Ryan Seacrest, we just get one from the cloning vats where the original was developed. After a montage of me snoring, we get Nate Tao, whose parents are deaf; he makes the sensible observation that they were concerned about him auditioning, because if he sucks, they wouldn’t know enough to tell thin.
The next contestant is (a) named Hailie (b) a horse trainer and (c) a ventriloquist. That’s all that need to be said about her.
A montage informs us of how nice Oklahomans are, which might come as a surprise to anyone who knew Richard Lee McNair, Joe Schillaci or Donald Eugene Webb. This leads into the appearance of she-hulk Zoanette Johnson, a terrifying creature in a gold jacket and an Alley Oop vest who shakes her ass in front of the camera for ten minutes and then sings the national anthem, badly. Obama’s America, everybody. Zoanette is pretty great, though, in terms of being a crazy shook-up freakazoid; when the judges are deciding, she’s all “Hurry up, y’all, I gots a lunch date.” This makes me love her at once, but I’m also kind of afraid she might die.
Another crying montage. Grow up, people, it’s just a televised singing competition. This ends up in Anastacia Freeman, crying her over-mascara’d eyes out, boo hoo. The judges hate her, which is hard to figure; she’s not great, and she flips and howls all over the place, but she’s not substantially worse than several other people they let through. The real fun comes when she explains how God, through his servant Phillip Phillips, commanded her to go on American Idol; there’s a cheesy “dramatization” of this, which, I mean, I don’t even know what to think. Yeah, it’s dumb, but it’s not any less dumb than a bunch of other Jesus shit they let past on this show without a snotty comment. Anyway, who cares, she’s done, and on her way home she throws a fit in which she claims, among other things, that she’s heard Nicki Minaj worships the devil. Gosh, I wish that were true.
Caden Stevenson is a 16-year-old kid in a 12-year-old kid’s body. He’s the big sob story of the night: he is “inspiring” because he has cystic fibrosis. I wonder if he will get in, ha ha! His story depresses me beyond belief; at one point, when he gets on, he says “God put me in a position to make this happen. Yes, he did, Caden, by giving you a terminal disease when you were only a child! Thanks, God! Anyway, he is hella charming, I’ll be sad when he washes out which I guess is the point or something. To emphasize how seriously Idol takes these misery goats, immediately after Caden, we are treated to a drag act starring Steven Tyler in a dress and huge fake boobs that honk when he touches them. Time for suicide!
Join me next week, or don’t.
Mirrored from LEONARD PIERCE DOT COM.