Season 2: Come to My Window

Sorry folks for missing the last few audition episodes and the preliminary round bust-up between Kimberley "Kimborlee" Caldwell and Julia DeMato the Tomato Screecher. Thanks to TCS5's stinginess and inability to preempt Wheel Of Fortune, I missed two of the four previous episodes because they just don't show them. I missed the remaining one because my video recorder was possessed by evil and refused to cooperate with me.

So I am starting over on a clean slate. I have no idea who most of the freaks on the show are, and I don't honestly care to find out. Also, be grateful that you aren't watching this show in Singapore. TCS5 nominates its own in-house Teeth That Ate Belgium to do those "we'll go on a break, don't touch that remote!" snippets, and gawd, Jean Danker must be a very ugly walking kewpie doll whose head contributes to half her body mass. Also, during the show we have people SMSing their messages at a scrolling blue bar at the bottom of the screen, obscuring the names of the contestants and whether Ryan Sleazebag is having an erection when he's molesting Charles Grigsby.

Only on this show we can see the start of Ryan Sleazebag's Infidelity Show. He's so cheating on his Ricky Martin with Charlie here, as we shall soon see.

Before the credits start, Ryan Sleazebag stands in the middle of a crowd of eight. These eight are tonight's contestants. They are special people. Not that kind of "special", but special because out of 730,000 freaks that auditioned for this show, only 234 are sent to Hollywood, and now, only 32 make the final cut. These eight are the first of the four groups of eight that will entertain us as they try desperately to sing, beg, sluttify, and mesmerize their way to being a manufactured pop confection. Ah, kids. They are so stupid. Lots of teeth, blond and dark straight hair, and a token Chubby Body to balance out the disgusting plastic perfection of Manufactured Satan Pop. King Tut Simon, the ball's in your park.

The credits. Is it me or the whole credits thing look like a cheap pinball game?

Ryan Sleazebag is wearing a loose white shirt today. After tupping over six jars of Brylcreem Extra Strong Hair Gel over his dirty brown hair and waxing his lips with candlewax, he resembles someone who has just gotten out of making hot sweet love with Ricky Martin the night before. He points to the tacky Full House set around him and says that they have actually put more money into this set this year. I look at his wardrobe and think, "Ain't that the truth!"

"It's a good thing then that he just breaks people's gaydars and not those cheap tacky lights they are demonstrating," my hubby sniffs. "I think I've seen better production sets in an RTM concert." (Note to non-Malaysians: RTM is the cheapo-government run TV station with tacky cheap sets you have to see to believe.)

Look, there're our lovely judges sitting at their Where Ye Be Judged table. King Tut Simon, who outside the show walks shirtless beside an equally shirtless Sleazebag in the beach, gives Sleazebag the evil eye. Sleazebag probably wishes it is just he and Simon in that room, naked and sweaty and Charmaine Miss Paula and Randy Randy will just get lost. King Tut says that Sleazebag is alone. "Naturally," Randy Randy cracks in. King Tut announces that he wants to be nicer to people. Charmaine Miss Paula scoffs at that. King Tut is in a good mood today. Maybe JD "Just Do" Adams had given him a personal audition earlier where that disgustingly boybandesque lad has demonstrated his true vocal prowess and deep breathing ability. Maybe. As we shall soon see, JD really wants to do Charlie Bigboy anyway. Everyone wants to do Charlie. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The contestants gather in the Red Room where one by one, they walk out to do their thing in that tacky space-Age room of Talent Suck. This time, they can also bring their family members along to sit in the Red Room. That way, everybody from mothers to grandfathers get humiliated as well. Fun for the whole family.

Sleazebag asks how everybody is today. Fake Pepsodent teeth flash as everybody says how good they're feelin' today.

Kimborlee, a favorite among the judges and many viewers I meet online, goes first. She says that her outfit costs less than twenty bucks. Girl, you've been paying too much. Sniggers burst out among us Giggles as she declares that she is going to sing Melissa Ethridge's Come To My Window. It's a great song, but when she says that she hopes Mel Ethridge will be proud of her, heh heh heh. I like her husky voice, but Kimborlee's choice of song really kills her in my opinion. She lacks Ethridge's husky but soaring vocals that glide over the high notes smoothly. Kimborlee is just husky, and my ears bleed as she tries to hit the high notes. It's like listening to a cow experiencing a difficult childbirth. Dramatic hand actions - the Wrist Twirl of Urgency, the Palms Out And Up As You Reflect On My Important Songwords gesture, the Beating My Breasts With Love-Hastened Urgency drama - will surely make Celine Dion proud, but I have a feeling that Mel Ethridge's heart will expire at the thought of doing such dramas on her shows.

Randy Randy loves it. Charmaine Miss Paula compliments Kimborlee for her "beautiful looks" and voice. King Tut says that Kimborlee is really good and she has never sounded better tonight.

I don't get it. She just ruined a good Ethridge song. Oh wait, we're talking about American Idol 2. Duh. Now where were we?

Kimborlee runs to the Red Room and hugs her mom. Sleazebag places his left leg on the sofa, knee poking at Kimborlee in a "I'm virile! I make love to hot women!" gesture that fools nobody, and chit-chats sweet inanities with her. Is that a drop of gel dripping off Sleazebag's hair?

He asks for a commercial break and invites us viewers to call in and comment whether King Tut is overpaid to sound off. If you ask me, the only person overpaid here is Sleazebag. With his Ricky Martin fetish and embarrassing Rico Suave slick, he's like Grease all over again, only with extra grease in the hair, naturally. I can just picture him and King Tut doing a John Trevolta and Olivia Newton-John "YourdaonedatIwantooh-ooh-OOH! Come feel my grease lightning!" in tight leather jeans and... I think I feel ill.

Next guy, the Token Fat Guy, Patrick Fatson, sorry - sorry! - Fortson. He is a victim of his father's greed, the father forcing poor Fat Son here to put out a gospel tape when the boy was just seven. But of course, if Big Fat Daddy expects to be the new Big Daddy Jackson and Fat Son the new Michael Jackson, he'd had a lot of reality checks waiting to be shoved up his big fat gob. We get a flashback of King Tut telling Fat Son that the boy doesn't sound as good as King Tut expects. (Think big fat guy with a voice filled with the blues, and then think Fat Son being anything but that.) He storms to the Talent Suck stage in a black suit that makes him look like a walrus masquerading as Pimp Daddy.

"Oh my God, he's actually a woman!" I exclaim as he/she breaks into a perfect, eeriely on-key rendition of Toni Braxton's Unbreak My Heart. Or maybe Toni Braxton is the new Milli Vanilli and it is Fat Son doing the actual vocals all along, I don't know, but eek! Lots of Deep Forceful Clenching Eyelids and Hands Waving Gestures, and the camera thoughtfully closes up on the mouth that swallowed Godzilla in one gulp.

He has a nice voice... for Toni Braxton. Creepy!

Charmaine Miss Paula loves his voice. Randy Randy loves his voice and outfit (and is probably hoping to ask for the tailor's number for his own suits). But King Tut... well... "The outfit sucks, sorry." The choice of song, he adds, is also terrible (I agree). God help American Idol, he goes on to say, if they put Fat Son and his suit on the CD cover.

Lo, and but who comes on but Fat Daddy himself. King Tut: "With respect you should've swapped outfits." I love this man. I want to have his babies, if Sleazebag don't mind. Fat Daddy insists that King Tut will be making fifty million dollars off the "great artist" (referring to the boy) and people will choose to buy CDs not because the boy looks good on the CD art.

I hate to break this to you, Daddy, but people have not bought CDs for more trivial reasons than what the guy is wearing. Like when the guy sounds like Toni Braxton right down to the shaky way they both sing the last notes, for example. People want to sleep easy. Besides, there's already one Toni Braxton who's not doing too well already. Your boy is redundant unless he gets a new sound, kicks off his greedy Pimp Daddy, and hooks up with Puff Daddy instead.

The beautiful, thin, aerobicized other freaks in the Red Room hug Fat Son. "You look great," they say, the same way cheerleaders will tell the acne-ridden fat girl that they love her, it's just that she could bloody well have lunch at a different table, thanks and get lost.

JD "Abercrombie And Me" Adams is next. They say he's hot. He knows he's hot. I think he's not, especially with that mop of pubic curls on his head. I also say the last thing we need is a boyband lead singer gone solo without even joining a boyband first. Okay, there's a farmer-boy bulk to him that I find rather appealing, and he looks like Joaquin Phoenix when the lights are dim, but that boy is coasting on looks. So what if he is related to two presidents of the United States (Georges Bush Senior and Junior, perhaps?)? His singing is bland with little hints of character, his black outfit is predictable, and he seems to look as if he knows he is so hot, aren't you hot too, and don't you want to make love to him all night long - hell, he would too if he can make love to himself! Um, no thanks. The squinty-eyed stretch-the-high-note drama mama thing doesn't endear himself to me any better, especially when the particular note is flat and weak.

But Charmaine Miss Paula loves it. Randy Randy mentions that JD did a Stevie Wonder song and I do a double take. I didn't even recognize that flatly performed song as a Stevie tune! King Tut again hints that he is in lust with JD ("You look like an American Idol"), the White, Asexual, Anglo-Saxon Protestant Teenybopper that millions of rabid preteens will go ga-ga over, but he says that JD doesn't sound like one. JD is just okay.

I agree. Here's a thought. JD can take off his shirt and be my pool boy. If he loves to sing, hey, I'll also set up a Community Theatre thing where he can perform in a nudist version of The Lion King. But I won't be surprised if this guy ends up in a Fox or Warner Bros teenage TV show. Now that Dawson's Creek is canned, maybe we can have JD's Creek?

So far things are pretty mediocre. Then comes Lashundra "Trenyce" Cobbins. She looks like an extra from one of Ja Rule's rare PG music videos. She says that she got fired when she qualified for this show because the employer thought she'd be off soon anyway. Aww. I love her voice. I love her song, even if she is obviously working on her vocal cords like mad. (Watch out, girl, you don't want to sound like Kimborlee on the high notes.) But equally distracting is her Deadly Pointing Fingers At The Judges. But hubby likes how she swivels those hips.

I like her. She's the best so far.

Randy Randy? "So very, very, very nice." She has energy. He's impressed. Charmaine Miss Paula? Unbelievable, she says, Trenyce's energy "woke us all up". She's in love with Trenyce. Ooh. King Tut hates the song but he says that Trenyce sings very well.

Back in the Red Room, Trenyce's sister tells the world that fie what King Tut thinks, she loves the song. What did she say to Trenyce before the latter performed, Sleazebag asked. Well, sis tells Trenyce to have the confidence and have fun.

I don't know about anyone, but watching Trenyce, I've had fun.

Sleazebag asks for a commercial break. No doubt he needs to go.

Back from a slew of advertisements, now we have Moesha Denton. She looks like one of those gals from Blaque. She sings LeAnn Rimes' How Do I Live, again one of the many contestants who choose songs that are completely wrong for their voice. She also points to you and you and you while wriggling the wrist of the other hand in some Grand Gesture of Deep Pontification At How Important My Song Is. Zzzzz.

Charmaine Miss Paula loves the tone of Moesha's voice but isn't sure if that's Moesha's best. Randy Randy flat out says he is not impressed. King Tut announces that Moesha walks in here a loser and walks out a "So what?" Someone from the Red Room (mom?) shouts that Moesha is already a winner. Huh? That's like telling the kid that got bullied in the park that he has done a good job. Always the brownnoser, Charmaine Miss Paula tells King Tut that they (the folks in the Red Room) know that Moesha has a nice voice, to which King Tut dimisses outright. Who do they know, he tells her. They're in a competition and they damn well want to win this thing. Translation: insincere schmucks in the Red Room today.

In the Red Room, Sleazebag asks Moesha if she believes that she can improve. She says yeah, she can.

Next, Bettis. He hopes he doesn't fart, burp, or trip. What he should hope is that he can sing, because he sure can't tonight. Swivelling legs and hands waved high in the air aside, that man's voice is just this side of croaksville when it comes to charisma and carrying a note. His voice is listenable, but so bland and of limited range. Go home, Rico Suave.

Randy Randy doesn't enjoy it at all. He finds Bettis out of tune and he can't wait for Bettis to be done with. Charmaine Miss Paula is disappointed. What happened to her? The Vapid One is back. King Tut, always one to say it straight, tells Bettis that he's blown it. Big time. Thank you and bye.

In the Red Room, Bettis' scary sister is crying and ripping a new one in King Tut before hugging Bettis tight and whispering something I didn't catch and don't want to catch. She rails that the judges' opinions are just that, opinions. In this case, these judges also play a part in selecting the wild cards in the finals, so yeah, you silly woman, their opinions do matter in this case. Your brother blows it big time, so pack up and go home, the both of you. Bye!

Charles Grigsby is next. My gawd. It's Raul Julia's eyes on Will Smith's face in an outfit right out of Kris Kross hell! Loose baggy patchwork-motif shirt over a plain gray undershirt, a baseball cap - it's the Fresh Prince from Stale Aire! He also does a Stevie Wonder song but he does it better than JD "Pornboy Creek" Adams. He has a nice voice, but I'm sorry to say that outfit blindsides me so much I can't pay much attention to him. The judges all love him crazy, even King Tut. Salvation Army wants those clothes, dude - can 'em. Now.

We meet Charlie Bigboy's family. Sleazebag is sitting really close to Bigboy, and Bigboy doesn't mind at all.

Cut to Coke exploiting these freaks. Patrick wrote a song and these eight freaks make a video of singing it while holding Coke bottles, complete with the Coke foaming and spurting off suggestively towards the end. In case you're wondering, it's JD and Bigboy holding these bottles. Talk about coming out on national TV. These guys have guts. So when's the wedding?

Back to the show. Sleazebag says that there have been drama behind the scenes, but now Julia Tomato and Kimborlee have made up after the spat that I never get to catch and don't care about anyway. It's Tomato's turn now. She's falling out of her red blouse. Sleazebag leans close to her as he talks about the Tomato-Kimborlee feud, but since he's gayer than Erasure, he's not fooling anyone. Again.

Tomato's song complemented her voice, and she sounds very good actually. But she overplays the drama, with those breast poundings, nostril flarings, pointy fingers - dial it down, lady. The Sweetpeas love her. King Tut thinks she's one of the better singers and asks her to give Kimborlee a big hug for him.

How dull. I am missing those freaks in the audition episodes already.

In fact, the Sweetpeas are just horribly dull today. They love everything and if they don't, it's still lovely and good. I suggest we shut the judges up and just have them use their fingers to express their opinions. Thumbs for good, a shake of the wrist for so-so, and the birdie for get lost and die, you talentless loser. How's that?

Well, that's the end of the first show. Now it's the half-hour show time of the second episode this week, where we shall learn if the American Idol 2 people can still fill up half an hour worth of showtime with nothing but insincere babblings. And then we...

Yikes! Who let the walking braindead neanderthal Joe Millionaire gigolo in here! Oh my god, Evan "Stinking Caveman" Marriot looks like Fezzik the Giant after a massive liposuction disaster - get him out! Sleazebag, ever the cheatin' female dog, bends over to whisper to that creep. Whisper what, I don't know, but I think poor Ricky Martin has just been cuckolded - again.

In the second show, Sleazebag now wears a brown jacket with white patches at the front over a faded blue Superman shirt. Look, it's Clark Kent on Gay Pride Day. Charmaine Miss Paula tries to impersonate a lifeless ghoul today, and unfortunately, she succeeds very well after what seems like a massive liposuction cum botox cum collagen lip disaster followed by a few ugly bitchsmacks on that bony face. And is that a hibiscus on her hair? The whole get-up is like Goldie Hawn's Lips on a vacation in Hawaii.

To fill the time, Sleazebag introduces a video footage of JD "The Presidents' Shame" Adams throwing a party at his place for the Losers Eight to watch the previous episode. Cue lots of people weeping at how amazing they are on TV, look ma, I'm on tee-vee, I'm a star, a staaaaa-aaaah now, aw aw sob sob sob. Oh spare me.

Then we cut to the Talent Suck studio, where on the couch Sleazebag is noticeably pulling away from his leaning closely over Charlie Bigboy. Ahem. Even then, he takes his time in removing his hand from Charlie's back. Or at least, I hope the hand was just on the boy's back, for poor Ricky Martin's sake. Sleazebag mockingly puts on an annoyed front that he wasn't invited to JD's talentfree egomania orgy.

Anyway, realizing that nobody cares, we just want to know the results, he announces that everyone here is in agony ("Just imagine Randy sitting on you." - gosh, is it just me or is Sleazebag propositioning Randu Randy as well? Eeeeuw!). So here's the cut:

Trenyce - out. Hey! This is ridiculous. This gal sang better than the overexposed Kimborlee or the pedoteenbopper JD! Bring her back, damn you!

Fat Son - out. Bettis - out. Moesha - bye.

Julia - in. Kimborlee - in. Hey, what's this about these annoying overrated girls overshadowing Trenyce? I am now banking on Frenchie to blow the both of you annoying bimbettes out of the water.

Now, it's down to JD and Bigboy. They hold hands tightly as Sleazebag looms over them. I notice that JD's shirt opens down to the middle of his torso. Maybe Sleazebag lent him that one. Finally, the result is out, and to my relief, it's Bigboy! Bigboy won over JD! You Americans have taste after all. From holding hands, the two guys JD and Bigboy now hug each other so hard, it's like a gay Benetton love story - awwww. Sleazebag throws his hands around Bigboy's shoulders from behind and hug too. I'm sure his crotch pressing against Bigboy's butt is an innocent gesture of true friendship.

Pan to the judges. The Sweetpeas have initially predicted a Kimborlee and Fat Son combo, while King Tut of course chooses the JD and Kimborlee, WASP Kiddie Porn Superheroes, to qualify to the final three today. How about wild cards? The judge can choose two contestants that don't get chosen by the audience to advance to the final ten. (In case you're new, eight finalists, two from each episode from now on, will be chosen by the audience - call NOW and vote! - and two more by the judges.) Not today, King Tut says. The Losers Five on the bench aren't good or original enough. "Us and America expect better," he says.

Now we have three. Which two will be chosen to advance to the finals? Drum roll... ta-da! It's Bigboy! Now I'm shocked. I thought Kimborlee, the most talked-about one, will be the one chosen by the audience. Sleazebag immediately places his hands on Bigboy's shoulders and pushes the boy in front to sing his song. Same song, same expression, same note. I don't think "range" and "improvisation" are this kid's forte. At the back, at the Winner's Stools, I can see Tomato clasping her hands to her chest, touched, apparently, by Bigboy's song. Or maybe Bigboy has a hot butt, I don't know. Kimborlee, immediately seeing the camera on her, quickly clasps her hands in an exact replica of Tomato's gesture. What a shameless fake camera ho.

Finally, he's done and he gets up on the Winner's Stool. Kimborlee immediately grabs his hand and announces, "Great choice, America!" How do you spell Kimborlee's name? C-A-M-E-R-A H-O.

Okay, so who's going home now, Kimborlee or Tomato?

But first, ad break. Sleazebag wanna grind the Bigboy. We should give them some privacy.

And now, we're back from this show's painfully prolonging a non-happening show. America chooses... Tomato! Wow, I'm shocked that Kimborlee gets the collective birdie of the audiences. Tomato too sings the same song, same note, same style. We see Kimborlee crying at the back, and Sleazebag whispers to her - what is he whispering? Asking for make-up tips, perhaps?

Then we have Kimborlee singing. It's not the end, she says defiantly, before launching into that same old Come To My Window song. But - ah, see, she improvises. She gets the Losers Five and the Winners Two to sing along with her in a rousing finale to an otherwise mediocre episode. I find myself singing along, and in that moment, I am actually dismayed that Kimborlee isn't advancing any further. If anything, she has one thing the other two seem to lack: showmanship. And yes, in that moment, Mel Ethridge may just be proud, watching Kimborlee work her audience. I wonder why she doesn't show this part of her earlier.