Season 2: What about the Children?

How nice that there is no explanation given at all this week about Frenchie Davis' disappearance. Even if we consider that this lady is too large in more ways than one to be overlooked, it is most insulting that they replace her with Iguanita Barber, Virgin Keith's slightly more talented ugly sister from the backwoods. All in all, a blah episode made enjoyable only by the drama and the Evil Tirumvirate, not the (bland) level of talent in this episode. That and the revelation of next week's Jokers Wild round which completely steals the show from a square-jawed marine guy whom America gladly bends over in the shower for. Sssh, Joshua Gracin, we don't tell, don't look, don't see - it's all good.

Today, Ryan Sleazebag has on black shirt with ugly yellow stripe-thingies down the front of his shirt. It is like witnessing an ugly and smelly freak from high school getting a Botox injection and massive face-lift before attending a high school reunion. Maybe this guy needs to clear out his closet or something. There is a large "1963" right where his much-abused left nipple is. Maybe that's the year when he first did it with Ricky Martin. Or maybe that's the year he is born. Okay, he says he's 26. If so, Catherine-Zeta Jones is also in her early thirties and I'm still beautiful, perky, and all round babe. Or maybe 1963 is the number of times he played the Amazing Human Pinata. You know what, all this speculation is giving me nightmares. Let's move on.

He asks the audience if his equipment is okay. He means his voice. I think. You know what, let's not dwell on Sleazebag's equipment. I'm sure it's fine and they all love it, but me, I am giving myself nightmares.

The Evil Tirumvirate is lovely today. Charmaine Miss Paula is especially sober and animated today - the camera even pans a close-up on her face once, woo-hoo! Sleazebag mocks King Tut for the latter calling Livvy Oliverie a fat cow last week. He has the nerve to cover King Tut's mouth as he introduces Miss Paula who looks radiant for once in red. She asks him to cover King Tut's mouth always. Upon which Sleazebag unzips his pants and - kidding, people. Randy Randy is wearing red too, looking like an overripe strawberry. Sleazebag offers Randy Randy a hundred dollars if he can stop saying "dawg" during the show. Or maybe he asks Randy Randy to call him a dog, I don't know. King Tut and Miss Paula like the idea and express it loudly, and Miss Paula goes as far as to lean back into King Tut's personal space. These people can't seem to make up their mind whether to hate or like each other. It must really be love, because I can't imagine the producers believing that there is any sane person out there who wants to see a Moonlighting show starring these two.

We follow Sleazebag into the Red Room, where he lean against a cute guy before walking towards the couch. Somewhere else in town, Ricky Martin flings the TV out the hotel window. Oh Ricky, why do you suffer this way? Dump that hussy, dear!

Anyway, the first contestant is Sylvia Chibiliti. "Tonight, America, I want you to vote for me," she purrs, before showing America that they need to enrol her into an ebonics enunciation class ASAP. She sings Didn't We Almost Have It All, or rather Dink We Almoth Havth It Allth. Maybe she realizes that she has problems enunciating, so she tries to compensate by pushing the vowels through her already maximally-flaring nostrils at the highest volume possible. It sounds as if she's screeching her tuneless way through a brick wall lodged in her nose. "I kanth! Endth!" she shouts dramatically, and hubby and I almost kill ourselves laughing. This is hilarious! The high notes are flatter than flat and the girl is obviously shouting at the top of the voice, damn the piano man, full torpodes ahead! "Dink we almoth havth it alllllll-th!" she ends.

Beautiful. I hear the alley cats screeching in a chorus of approval.

Randy Randy asks her if she's nervous. She responds by saying she feels good and she's feeling her song. "'Feeling my thong'?" King Tut cuts in. Randy Randy tells her that she is good, but she gets sharp towards the end. Her pronunciation is off. Miss Paula, looking stricken at having to be harsh, tells her that she is beautiful but she oversings the song. She tells 'ylvia 'ibilithi here that 'ylia has a nice, dirty sultry voice but dang, that girl is oversinging it. King Tut remarks on 'ylvia's remarkable resemblance to a singing ventriloquist's dummy. He says that she shouldn't shout, and that when he watches her on the monitor, he realizes that her mouth moves in a way that suggests she is overaccentuating her words. She disagrees and walks away. In the Red Room, she tells Sleazebag that obviously the three nincompoops outside have never been to a "Black church" before. Which church, 'ylvia, the Holy Mother of Suck?

Next is the first ever real man on the show: Chip "I'm not corny" Days. No twink, no overwrought ballerina, no whiny drama queen, just a no-nonsense guy. At last, a whiff of testosterone on the show. For a while I am starting to believe that testosterone has gone extinct. Sleazebag is sitting with a distance away from Chip - maybe he's intimidated to come onto this guy - but he turns quickly to ogle at Chip's butt when Chip walked towards the performance stage.

He does a no-nonsense rendition of a standard R&B ballad (A Song For You). Yes, Chip, 10,000 people are watchin', but damn, dial down that hand gesture thing, man. No wonder they call you corny during your audition. And not that hand thing - it looks as if you're washing windows while singing. The voice is decent, but the performance, while passable, is a bit on the blah side even if there's an abundance of "Look at my hand!" dramatics.

King Tut, commenting that Chip's performance is "interesting", lists down the negatives first. The sweater is ugly. Chip looks while singing just like how King Tut will look while sitting at the dentist's place. The positive? Chip sings better than Creepy Rickey. (Newsflash: Chuckie the Doll sings better than Creepy Rickey and is sexier too.) However, King Tut fails to get a grasp on Chip's personality. He gets this vibe that Chip just walks into this show and delivers the song without any expression. Randy Randy agrees. There is no emotion. Where's the connection, dawg? Miss Paula, thinking that such harsh criticism will cause Chip to commit suicide, quickly adds that she is certain that he is capable of it.

Sleazebag tells Chip in the Red Room that he loves Chip's voice. Now all Chip has to, he suggests hopefully, is to show America the personality. Chip, unused to Sleazebag's ten thousand ways to propose a rendezvous in the back room, nods seriously and says that okay, but he will have to find it first, maybe by "digging deep". I think Sleazebag almost died on the spot in excitement when Chip says "digging deep". Somewhere in town, Ricky Martin hurls their 12th anniversary photo (matching Xeroxed buttcheeks) out the window. Incidentally, hasn't Chip just admitted to America that he has no personality? And he wants people to vote for him? Maybe he needs to find a clue along with the personality.

Chip's scary-eyed mother or sister gives him flowers. Sleazebag leans closer on the couch while pretending to sass him, going as far as to actually tap Chip's shoulder. But Chip, personality-free, remains oblivious to the man's blatant advances. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

Iguanita Barber is next. And she thoughtfully reminds everybody why she will not be here if Frenchie hasn't posed for naked pictures by cheerlessly murdering What About The Children? in a tuneless, high-pitched caterwauling screamfest. This girl has to be heard to be believed. "Whaddabout da chil'run!" she will shriek again and again in between drawing very audible deep "ssssssstttt!" intakes of breath! Those huge thick lips opening wide as that banshee voice of doom just flow like a river of blood! Those dramatic hand gestures - slap it, girl, slap it! "Whaddabout da chiiiiiillll-runnnnn!" The children are dead, Iguanita. They died from bleeding eardrums thanks to you.

No tune, not even close to decent breathing techniques, just screeching at the top of her voice, she has inflicted the final humiliation on American Idol after they handled the Frenchie incident so badly. They may as well grab three alley cats and whip them on stage - heck, maybe these cats will sound better than Iguanita.

But the best is yet to come. Here is the complete transcript of her conversation with the judges:

Randy Randy: Thank you very much, Paula, what do you think?
Miss Paula: I'm seeing a lot of oversinging. You know, I feel again, once again, subtlety is key.
Randy Randy: Cowell, what do you have to say, man?
King Tut: That was not good.
Iguanita: It was not good?
King Tut: Juanita, Juanita, Juanita. I mean, you really chose the wrong song. I don't know if you were aware, but behind you there was a screen full of flowers.
Iguanita: Well I think America chose the wrong judge.
Randy Randy: I like her, wait a minute! Let her talk, I like her!
Iguanita: How's it the wrong song?
King Tut: Because it...
Iguanita: I'm singin' this song to America. I'm axin' them what about the children. How is it the wrong song?
King Tut: Well I think America will be doing that (puts hands in ears)
Iguanita: I don't think so.
King Tut: It has nothing to do with the sentiment of the song.
Iguanita: I think you're doing that, because you don't know singin'. You're doin that.
King Tut: Juanita, I have ears.
Iguanita: You don't know, you don't know what you're talkin about.
King Tut: Juanita, it didn't suit your voice.
Iguanita: How didn't it suit my voice?
King Tut: Because it didn't sound very good.
Iguuanita: How didn't it sound very good?
king Tut: Because you sang it.
Iguanita: Whatever, whatever.
King Tut: You just asked me a question.
Randy Randy: Wait a minute, wait a minute. The song was cool, all that was cool, you just didn't perform it that good. That was the problem really.
Iguanita: What was wrong with my performance?
Randy Randy: Dude, I mean half the notes you didn't quite hit.
Iguanita: Dude. I mean you don't really know what you're talkin about either.
Randy Randy: I don't know what I'm talking about either?
Iguanita: No.
Randy Randy: Awww, come on.
Iguanita: You don't know what you're talkin' about either.
Randy Randy: Why you think that I don't know?
Iguanita: Because!
Randy Randy: Do you even know who I am?
Iguanita: Do you know who I am?
Randy Randy: Yes...
Iguanita: I'm Juanita, I can sing. I made it this far. Do y'all know who I am?
Miss Paula: That's right, that's right.
Randy Randy: Do you know who I am?
Iguanita: Okay, y'all don't know who I am. I hope y'all find out who I am!
Randy Randy: I hope America does, thank you.

Her equally creepy mother tells Sleazebag that Iguanita "pulled it off". Yeah, she pulled off a superior performance as a delusional, spoiled talent-free drama queen. Go home, Iguanita, and stick to terrorizing the neighbors from the shower.

We have already seen two drama queens and a personality-free robot. Next is Patrick Lake who thinks that he can use the "I'm rock and roll" excuse to never wash his hair or dress better than a WWE reject who stumbled onto the show by accident. It's quite sad that this rock-and-roll reject believes that Bad English's When I See You Smile is a prime example of his purportedly favorite music genre. I've heard better from drunk college boys. Also, this guy isn't very camera-friendly. He looks as if he's leering drunkenly at the audience. If he's the new American Idol, a massive cosmetic surgery marathon will be in the contract.

Randy Randy thinks that Patrick chose the wrong song and that the poseur is shouting rather than singing the song the way it should be sung. "I don't know, man, it doesn't quite work," he concludes. Miss Paula says that it is refreshing. King Tut announces that it's a mistake bringing Patrick here. Patrick is like a sheep in wolf's clothing. I agree. That guy probably still lives at his parent's basement and watches WWE reruns all day long while sniffing his armpits. Miss Paula disagrees. Patrick cuts into their arguments saying that he is in the right show - this is American Idol and he will let the audience speak. Wow, that is so democratic, Patrick. Now slink back to the trailer home. What makes you think America will want a rock American Idol anyway? Rock is dead. Aerosmith sold out, the Osbournes sold out - dead, you hear, Patrick, dead!

Back in the Red Room, his sister squashes her butt on the couch. Patrick says that it's all about the rock and roll, it's just that, um, vacant stare in his eyes as he mumbles about how there is only a piano. Yeah, only a piano. Cry me a river, bob - when you know there is only a piano and you then proceed to choose a song that won't work on the piano ("Dance!" - Jennifer Fuentes) you have only yourself to blame. There are rocks in your brain and rolls of adipose on your waist, but there is no rock and roll, dude, just a sad guy named Patrick Lake. Rock on, man.

Nasheka is next. I think she could use some conditioner and shine to her hair. Still, a pretty lady who unfortunately sings like an emotionless wood. Still, her voice is fuller than any other contestants so far and Open My Heart doesn't highlight her voice in an unflattering way. She is alas shouting the high notes towards the end, going sharp because she's so clearly straining to hit them.

Randy Randy finds the singing great but he senses no connection or emotion. Miss Paula agrees about the voice and asks Nasheka to work on the showmanship. King Tut remarks that Tamyra Gray can carry that song, but Nasheka can't. The song is "too old" for Nasheka but he is sure that if she gets into the top ten, she will perform better with a better choice of song. Nasheka disagrees with the Tamyra comparison, saying that their voices are different, and she will be complaining even when she sits with Sleazebag in the Red Room. "I take that back," King Tut finally responds. "You sound fantastic."

What the heck, so far she's the best. I'll vote for it, but damn, the phone is too far away from me. Bummer.

Josh Square-Jawed Marine Gracin is next. He doesn't look impressive, although that square bulldog look can be cute... for a dog, that is. His indecision whether to go pop (read: boring ballad) or country (read: boring ballad) further lowers him in my estimation. But then he starts to sing, and I come awake. Not bad at all - he's Edwin McCain's less irritating brother! I hate hate hate hate that song but Justin doesn't make me want to take a rusty hot poker and stab myself from left ear to right ear. He's not as good as the Hairless Kewpie, of course, but in this wretched episode, I'll take all I can get. Hottie! Winner!

Randy Randy loves it. Miss Paula remarks that Edwin McCain himself will be proud. King Tut asks Josh about what he will do if he is asked to head off to sea during the finals. The dim lightbulbs in Josh's head flickers. "Um... I'm a Marine. I'm a Marine... um... Marine... yadda yadda Marine." Taking pity on this man, King Tut draws the wretched conversation to a close and claps his hands instead.

Built like an outhouse, dim as a lobotomized bull - how can a woman resist?

In the Red Room, there is an evil gleam in Sleazebag's eyes as he nudges his left knee against Josh's right thigh and leans his body closer to Josh. It's like watching a prologue scene to a gay military porno movie and Josh actually seems to be enjoying it, which makes me wonder if there is a lot more about the Marines that those guys aren't telling and showing. Somewhere in town, Ricky Martin hurls himself out the window.

We go to a weird montage of this week's Eight talking and acting stupid before heading for a commercial break. It's a bizarre montage. These kids are really strange.

Next up is Ashley Hartman. She looks like a walking talking live Britney Spears action figure, but I really have no heart to be petty and mean because this lovely girl turns out to be very nice. Her really shrill and painful rendition of Touch Me In The Morning will be wretched but thanks to Ignuanita, Ashley comes off only as "not that bad". It's bad, she's awful, but in this show, she's not that bad. I don't have the heart to compare her to Jennifer Wanna Dance With Somebody or Bettis Truly Awful though because she really takes the judges' brutal autopsy gracefully. Randy Randy says that she is beautiful and even Marilyn Monroe-like in an attempt to soften the blow before saying that her helium voice is not working for him at all. Miss Paula says that while the camera loves Ashley, the very girlish voice is never going to work. King Tut says that Ashley sounds like someone who should be singing on a crew ship and oops, the ship sinks. Miss Paula says that Ashley looks like a movie star.

In the Red Room, Corey Clark hugs Ashley and she tells Sleazebag that oh well, at least there are worse things in this world than being beautiful. Normally I would consider that statement shallow as a puddle, but she is wiping her eyes. And later, she demonstrates that she is really a nice lady, so I'll leave her be. I expect to see her one day on a soap though. She looks like the second coming of Farah Fawcett.

Sleazebag and Corey are flirting shamelessly on the couch. But damn, what is Corey wearing? He looks like the thing that walked out of a bad 1980s fashion showcase of the worst of Prince, Michael Jackson, and Milli Vanilli. What's with that jacket? That stupid thing on his head? I like his voice as he performs Foolish Heart, but my husband remarks that Corey sounds like a kettle whistle. Oh well. What I don't understand though is why the judges go crazy over this guy, especially Miss Paula who all but asks for table shag right there on the spot (she settles for a hug after gushing over him like... let's just say I feel embarrassed watching her, she's coming off really tacky). I also notice that Corey has a really big nose. Maybe he was the template for the creator/evolution (depending on what you believe in) when they created the toucan. No wonder that poor guy looks down at the floor a lot. He can stab someone to death with that bony thing if he's not careful.

Needless to say, Corey's parents and siblings dress up as if they are rejects from Five Star.

First part's over. Now on to the second part of the show. Who will be the next two in the Finals?

Back at the second part of the show, and this time Sleazebag is wearing a body-hugging orange T-shirt with the words "Beauty Qualifies Me" in the front. He also has on a pair of glasses and dark tight jeans. Yes, he's like that scary French tutor that offers to show the shy virginal boy in those arty movies what pénis énorme means.

He and the Evil Tirumvirate talk about bling-bling. King Tut, out of touch with modern American music - which is why he is judging a show called American Idol - wants to know what bling-bling is. Miss Paula points at her breasts and declares that these are real bling-blings. Oh, she means that locket she is wearing? By the way, Miss Paula looks like an air stewardess today. Randy Randy points out that his watch is a bling-bling.

Thank you, people, for making bling-bling sound like an obscene thing. Bling-bling you, Sleazebag.

Sleazebag invites Iguanita to throw a Greek tragedy, but that spoilsport says instead that she loves King Tut, she just doesn't like his opinion. King Tut says that he loves being abused by women, giving Sleazebag a dirty look and confirming that Sleazebag is indeed a power bottom to be reckoned with.

Patrick Lake insists that he won't change his image ever. (Yeah, like that would endear him to the 19E people that run this show - moron.) No, he doesn't want to slash King Tut's tires - that's Chip's idea, Patrick just wants to spike the wheels.

Chip says that he still can't find his personality.

Sleazebag announces that he can see the Botox on King Tut's forehead melting so he'll be announcing the results now. Wait... that's really Botox on King Tut's forehead, right? Right?

Josh Don't Tell and Corey Vanilli are in, predictably, but to my dismay, Patrick Lake got in over Nasheka. What the heck? How did this happen? I also like how Corey is running his hand up and down Ashley's arm when the results are read - can we say "muah muah smoochies"? - but Corey's constant looking down is annoying. What does this pretentious dipstick think he is? Iguanita, to my disappointment, doesn't scream "You don like mah chil'run?" and proceed to claw out King Tut's eyes when she's given the cut. What a waste. I would have loved to see 19E's faces when America deliberately crowns Iguanita the American Idol. Now that would be classic.

Of the three, Patrick gets the cut, thank goodness. Josh gets the most votes - attention, soldier! Sleazebag openly places his hand on Josh's brawny shoulders and then move that hand down along Josh Don't Tell's spine and Josh's expression shows that he really doesn't mind this at all. I bet Sleazebag is wishing that there is a shower facility they can both get into right now.

After Josh finishes his song, King Tut promises a twist that will shock America more than the twist in Joe Millionaire. Yeah, like the twist in Joe Millionaire is so shocking, ooh. What's the twist? Next week's Jokers Wild round will see four non-32 contestants making their way back to the show for a second chance at the limelight! Interesting, really - by bringing back the four anorexic-looking girls, the judges are pretty much admitting that they have screwed up somewhere and let some good ones slip through the cracks. At least, I hope these ladies are really good and that they don't bring them in just because the ladies fit the anorexic bimbette stereotypes perfectly.

Also next week we will see Kimborlee (surprise - not!) and the Hairless Kewpie (gee) and - now this is really surprising - Trenyce. I like Trenyce and thought it was ridiculous that dull Tomato got in instead of her, so I really welcome her second chance at getting a slot in the Finals. Not that I think she has a chance: the judges will definitely go for Kimborlee while I know the thousands of rabid Kewpinites out there will annoint Kewpie the audience's choice. He'd better be, or I fear that America will be ripped apart the next day by thousands of enraged and hysterical prepubescent girls out for blood. Rounding off the Wild Cards are Chip and Nasheka from this episode. Now that is really a surprise, I didn't see these two coming as the judges seemed underwhelmed by their performances. While Iguanita sulks, Ashley is obviously delighted when Nasheka is announced to be the Wild Card, and their hug seemed genuine. Ashley really comes off like a nice lady, awww.

Ah, but there's one more truly shocking twist, King Tut promises, but we'll have to wait until next week to learn what it is. I hope it's not he and Sleazebag announcing their coming out. We all know already.

Corey sings as everyone moves to stand stupidly by his side, and Corey just stands there and sings to the camera lifelessly. That ugly strawberry shortcake hat, that hideous Milli Vanilli reject outfit - shudder. Dull planks like him actually make me miss camera hogs like Kimborlee. Double shudder.