Season 3: Stormy Weather

Oh look, there's Ryan Sleazebag, and lookee here, we're in Houston this episode for more discordant music from suckers for public humiliation. He is surrounded by screaming kiddies as usual. Bragging about how thousands of kiddies show up, he walks around and ends up standing before a spacecraft model in the space center to remind people that yes, we really are in Houston. He reminds me that Kimborlee Caldwell and Kelly Cluckson, the peroxide and dioxide of music, come from Texas and wonders whether we will find a trioxide this time around. Can you feel the excitement yet, people?

Credits. Shots of the wannabes lining up to sing to overpaid producers with dead-eyed "damn, someone send some casting couches here please" expressions to win a chance to serenade King Tut, Miss Paula, and Randy Randy. Sleazebag's dramatic voice-over comes on announcing a storm of "biblical proportions" brewing over Houston. A Fox TV news clip is shown to prove that Sleazebag is not talking nonsense - an understandable need as Sleazebag has proven himself pretty bad at facts, especially numbers - because Fox Network is undoubtedly the most accurate and trustworthy network in the world. But when rain starts to pour, it doesn't seem that biblical to me, which makes me wonder just how exciting Sleazebag's life must really be. The judges are here. I think Miss Paula has been raiding my mother's wardrobe for that strawberry swirl ice cream dress. The "newly slimmed down" (as Sleazebag says) Randy Randy takes up the mic and addresses the crowd about wanting to look for real talent and all that nonsense and the crowd is psyched up as a result. Randy Randy should have just told them to scoot off home. That or some of these people here must have merely wandered into the hall to escape the rain, because this episode's batch of auditioners are what barrelmakers look at for inspiration when it comes to designing the bottoms of their barrels.

First off, Markeis, a guy that walks in a slouch and looks two-thirds stoned. He walks in, spits into his palm and wipes the palm at the back of his jeans. King Tut sarcastically points out how excited Markeis is. Markeis, biting the bait, says that he isn't too excited as he has "one in four" chances of making it. I don't know what he is talking about, so don't ask. King Tut asks Markeis whether the guy would buy a ten-million dollar lottery ticket if the chances of winning is one in four. I will, but Markeis won't because he says that "it is not really my style". He tells King Tut that he is here because he just wants to see what would happen. King Tut announces that he doesn't even want to listen to Markeis - he's already saying no. Randy Randy agrees, wondering aloud why Markeis is even here. Markeis says that he's here to see if this audition would open doors and he would go somewhere with the American Idol title. Well, in a way, the door is opened, as the judges let him know clearly - Markeis can really go somewhere else now. Markeis seems unable to believe that they don't even want to listen to him and argues with the judges until Miss Paula raises her voice and announces that Markeis is disrespecting the thousands of losers out there that want so dearly to be where Markeis is right now. Markeis looks at her and asks why he can't disrespect those losers. Hmm, I like this guy now. Miss Paula shrilly denounces Markeis for wasting "everybody"'s time - as if my time is not wasted already. Randy Randy calls for security to escort Markeis out. Outside, Markeis asks Sleazebag how old Sleazebag really is because Markeis feels that Sleazebag looks like he's in his forties. Sleazebag tells Markeis that it's the sun. The sun, huh? I totally believe that.

Next is a big-sized guy, Lucas, who sings How Sweet It Is in a wobbly and high voice that runs everywhere like a misbehaving nose. The judges lob boogers at him, with all three judges unanimously proclaiming that Lucas simply can't sing. Then comes the unfortunately named Fookling Lee, a woman garbed in light blue and sporting a Medusa hairstyle. The judges, especially Randy Randy, are impressed when she tells them that her family are all trained singers and musicians and she has skipped high school to go to Harvard. She's apparently smart and she can play several musical instruments too. But can she sing? I have no idea what she is singing in that operatic-nostril-Chernobyl style of hers, but the noise she is making is horrendous beyond belief. She reminds me of the Blue Diva in The Fifth Element minus all semblence of tune. The way she holds up a limp-wristed hand and gives the judges the Stare of Petrifying Doom is so cool though. King Tut announces that she is one of the worst he has ever heard. But come on, she's funny. I have my first real laugh in all three episodes of this show so far. That counts for something... right?

They show a montage of some really bad singers whose awfulness defies description. To top it off, these people's looks aren't exactly the type to set a thousand ships sailing, unless we are talking about sailing away in the opposite direction. It's quite sad, when I think about it: ugly talentless people are humiliated but pretty talentless people (*cough* Carmurp *cough*) are celebrated on this show as "marketable".

Sarah Santiago walks up and in the tradition of moderately pretty young ladies with bad fashion sense and wobbly voice that believes that singing a Celine Dion song would make their voice stand out, she belts out a bad rendition of That's The Way It Is. It's not awful as much as she just cannot sing this kind of songs, especially not without any music track in the background and certainly not when her voice doesn't have the range. She stops and says that she is nervous. Can she sing again? No, the judges tell her quickly. Randy Randy says she sings like a ghost while King Tut calls her another tired synonym of awful. If it's not "ghastly", it's "terrible" or "horrible" or "awful" or "one of the worst singers I've ever heard" - King Tut isn't the most eloquent man around. Sarah launches into the song anyway like a trooper, and this time King Tut says that he is getting scared. In an interview, Randy Randy says that he finds it creepy that the storm seems to worsen when she starts singing. Miss Paula raises her hand to stop Sarah and to ask a question, but Sarah only pause before restarting her song again. Miss Paula can't help giggling as Randy Randy and King Tut demand and beg that Sarah stop singing and she just won't stop. Not that this scene is funny - I find it pathetic really, especially when Sarah in her post-audition interview insists to Sleazebag and the camera that she can sing, she can dance, she can act, and the show will regret letting her walk away because she swears that there is no one here that comes in a complete package like Sarah Santiago. King Tut and the rest will be so sorry when they see her CD hits the shelves, so there! I look forward to that CD. I bet they will have to pay me to take one home and I can sure use the money.

Sleazebag talks about looking for a star and the camera focuses on Steven, a guy with shiny big forehead and creepy white teeth. Steven looks like a walking Brady Bunch doll lathered with hair gel and his mannerisms come straight out of an Archie comic. His She's A Lady isn't as bad as it is so awfully smarmy and fake that insincerity drips from every note. He's the second coming of the daddy of all used car salesmen - all that's missing are a 1980s porn star moustache and him getting drunk and roughly grabbing a woman's butt in full view of her boyfriend or husband. Randy Randy announces that this contest is turning into a joke - welcome to the present two seasons too late, Randy - while King Tut, when asked by Steven as to how Steven can improve, tells Steven never to sing again. Steven thanks them meekly and walks back to obscurity.

Mallory is next. She butchers I'm So Excited, insists that she's good, bets with King Tut that she can get people to tell her that she's good, and nobody does so she's out. I think she's a fake like that stupid radio woman that comes onto the show and then boasts that she has made fools out of AI by behaving like an idiot. Now that's an achievement - acting like a fool in a show all about fools. Whatever. Next!

Montage time again. Rain! People running in the rain! Large-sized woman wearing a raincoat walking in the rain! The judges telling bad auditioners off! One is a "musical cheesecake" - something about being quite hard to work through and not wanting more when one is finished with it - another is ghastly. Then there's a montage of these losers fighting back. King Tut is a bitch, a bleeped word, another bleeped word, and a moron that can't see real talent, apparently. I groan - am I supposed to enjoy watching all this for five episodes in a row? "Two more episodes," I chant repeatedly to myself.

Sarah Silva manages to be the first to be shown given the pass-go card to Hollywood. She's not good - her At Last is watery and the notes are all wobbly, but compared to the previous losers, she's wonderful. King Tut says no, but the other two judges send her on to Hollywood. Next is Kiira Bivens, who is also not good as her I Turn To You is like a note-by-note inferior knockoff imitation of Christina Aguilera's performance. Her stage mom insists that Kiira will be a star one day. Run, Kiira, run - don't let your mother ruin your life. Randy Randy likes her. King Tut thinks that Kiira yodels too much - ironic considering how a certain yodeller last season has him to thank for making it to the Top Ten - while Miss Paula thinks that Kiira is "affected", a phrase King Tut openly agrees with. The judges argue, with King Tut saying that Kiira can sing at the top of the Swiss Alps if she makes it to the finals. Throughout it all, Kiira is gasping and sighing like a complete, overdramatic fake. Randy Randy says that Kiira can't help being "affected" because she's sixteen and sixteen-year olds tend to emulate their favorite pop stars ("I'm nearly seventeen" - shut up, Kiira) and they should focus only on her voice. Miss Paula calls Randy Randy a hypocrite for saying this. More arguments fly, culminating in King Tut leaving the table and Miss Paula running after him in a show of consolidarity. Randy Randy alone welcomes Kiira to Hollywood. To Sleazebag, Kiira says, with a big fake clueless smile, that Paula's calling her affected went over her head. Dumb, fake, and plastic - I hate her already.

Oh no, Miss Paula has fallen under the influence, oops, I mean, influenza! My husband suggested that she has probably did a quick survey of the males lining up to audition, decided that none of them could compare to Gigolo Al last episode, and promptly begged off to return to her hotel room where a lovely toyboy and an assortment of flu pills await. Sleazebag and some camera-hog auditioners feel that this is a shocking turn of events because apparently there is a memo passed around proclaiming that Miss Paula is these losers' "last defence" and I missed that memo. Some guy's carefully putting a wedding proposal to Miss Paula therefore loses his chance - although judging from his looks, I don't think he has any chance in the first place. Gigolo Al is right now thanking his lucky stars that Miss Paula didn't bail out on Atlanta. After some more bad singing, King Tut is interviewed where he says that he envies Miss Paula for once. ("Hey! That toyboy isn't as sexy as me!" an affronted Sleazebag is heard to gasp at this.)

King Tut says that he never expects someone to come close to topping off Fookling Lee, which is a cue for the show to introduce Lonnie. He announces that he is a dancer, singer, and who knows what else. Lonnie is a flaming queen, performance-wise, but it is just too bad that his voice is quite bad and he really overdoes that finger-snapping and jumping around thing. King Tut says that Lonnie is better off choreographing on a cruise ship while Randy Randy says that Lonnie is better off as Broadway. Will this show ever stop mistaking "Broadway" for "lousy singing"? Lonnie nods and seems gracious... until he steps out of the room and proceeds to lash and rant and snap at the camera at how horrible the judges are that don't recognize his talent, et cetera all the way to the elevator, where he pulls out a cellphone and begins again his diatribe to the unfortunate fellow at the other end of the line. This is segued into a montage of more people telling the camera just how much the judges suck and how stupid the judges are, blah blah blah oh just stop it already because this show is really become painful to watch.

George Huff is a very nice guy, which is quite disconcerting after the spoiled tantrums and delusional outbursts of the last few losers on this show. He is happy to meet King Tut and Randy Randy and is disappointed that Miss Paula isn't here. His rendition of You Are So Beautiful, which he sweetly dedicates to the post-stomach staple Randy Randy who beams under the attention, is sweet, passable, and for this episode, good enough for Hollywood. Randy Randy feels that George is a little too old-fashioned to be what they are looking for though and King Tut believes that George is better off singing at weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, "and funerals". Still, what do they have to lose? George is going to Hollywood.

An exposed fake singing in bad Charlie Chan accent is next. Let's just move on.

Cassie LaBeau has the nerve to sing Stormy Weather. Her two lines are enough for King Tut to stop her and send her to Hollywood. She can hold a tune, she looks like a marketable teen female starlet, why hesitate? I wish all auditions are as short as this one.

Roman's I Can Love You Like That is delivered in a perfect emotionless monotone. The judges shot him down after Randy Randy declares that the contest is cancelled, he argues with them, and sings (I Had) The Time Of My Life. King Tut leaves. After Randy Randy fails to silence him, he too leaves. Roman sings to an empty room. Lame. But the show is almost over, as Randy Randy and King Tut assure each other. Finally, Jonathan, a total fake that laughs as he throws water at King Tut's face. He is escorted out of the audition site by security and handed to the police, but King Tut refuses to press charges. Johnny has his fifteen seconds of fame, the judges have their thirteen singers that qualify, and I wish I am dead.

Next week: What-effing-ever.