Season 4: I Feel the Earth Move

Before I start, I have to warn you people that I am not a happy person after rewatching the tape of this show six times in order to put together this recap. So if I do come off as even more bitter than usual, it's not you, it's not me, it's the show. The whole bad auditions thing is quite amusing as a novelty in the first two seasons but by the fourth time the show flogs the dead horse, I'm bored out of my wits, especially when for this fourth time around they seem to have brought in busloads of crazy people from the nearest asylum for the mentally handicapped to bring on the fun-nay.

Someone is singing The Star Spangled Banner. Tamyra, is that you? That sounds horrible! That poor lass must have turned into some crackho in her bitterness that her career hasn't gone anywhere after her season except down the drain. She seems to have ballooned up in size too, although I always thought crack makes one thin. What happened to her voice? She sounds like someone who can only hit a middle C trying to go all the way to high C, only to have the whole building (and her impressive bosoms) vibrating in resonance to her shaky attempts. There is some sort of tragic irony, I suppose in how her last word of the song is "Brave". Wait, that's not Tamyra, phew, that's Leandra Jackson. Cut to King Tut who looks at her and then, when he realizes that the camera is on him, quickly shuts his eyes tightly so that Leandra's friends at the Slow But Happy Home can understand that Leandra is singing very, very badly.

Welcome to the show, everyone. Today, Corporate America, Fox, and 19Entertainment will honor a silent portion of American society: the dumb, the tone-deaf, the fat, the ugly, and the all-of-the-aboves. Thank you, Leandra. Here's a popsicle for you to suck on, get out of the way, you fat cow, it's now time for the credits. New golems, new logo, more shiny, and if Ryan Sleazebag has his way, more teeth, more height, more hot boys. I have no objections to the "more hot boys" part but judging from the show and the guys that get through, the definition of "hot" to teenaged girls and gay boys are different from mine. I want masculine, hirsute men with dreamy eyes and raw sexuality. They want hairless asexual frat boys with square chins that will never grow anything beyond a hard-groomed stubble. Sigh.

Aw, I miss Sleazebag's voice. Life hasn't been the same since they yanked off his talk show and in great timing too because he has just quit that Rick Dees show just to devote himself to TV. Aww, don't cry, Sleazie, don't break my heart, sweetie. He talks about Fantasia and Piggy Di Guano in the last season (where Fantasia won, causing the insane Kewpinities and Kellybeans to still clog up the online forums today insisting that Fantasia isn't the greatest because their precious Idols are the greatest) and then how everyone who has won this show has gone on to remarkable career highs.

I know Sleazebag has been in treatment for depression and what-not after losing his TV show and how he agrees to come back to the show in a huge effort to patch things up again with King Tut. Don't quote me because I am really, really sure that I just made up everything in the last sentence. I guess they don't have radios or TVs at Famehoholics Anonymous because if Sleazebag has heard the radio or watched the TV, he would know that the only time any of these outlets play the music or the video of the "successful" alumni of the show is when these opportunites are manipulated by the zealous fans of these so-called stars. So what if they have 23 Number One hits like Sleazebag says? Show me the stats, Sleazie, and I'll show you a franchise that becomes more and more estranged from the music industry day by day.

Sleazebag promises that this season will be more exciting, more colorful (oh, does that mean that they will let in more African American contestants into the Finals at the expense of tone-deaf middle-class whitebread frat boys and cheerleaders?), louder, bigger (does this mean that the finale will be twelve hours long?), and crazier (read: more white guys who can't sing so will just clown around instead). I'm looking forward to this season. Hurry up and get this whole crappy bad auditions thing done with and get on with the semifinals!

Sleazebag also explains that the age limit for contestants have been raised to 28. The show demonstrates that people between 25 (the old age limit) and 28 can be horrific as their young counterparts via a montage that they will show later in more detail so I won't bother with them here. Sleazebag, who I must point out is wearing a white shirt thingie that he must have loaned from Fabio, also says that there are more than 100,000 people auditioning in St Louis, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cleveland, San Francisco (this is to allow the 99,500 gay auditioneers to show up and audition without having to terrorize the good straight folks in places like Las Vegas and Cleveland), and Washington, DC.

At each city will be a guest judge. Sleazebag announces that Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray will be guest judging in Washington, DC (which is where this episode takes place). Other judges include, apparently, LL Cool J, Gene Simmons, Brandi, and Kenny Logins. I have a question: how freaking tragic is it that Gene Simmons - Gene Simmons of KISS - will stoop so low as to be a guest judge on American Idol? KISS is dead to me. Oh well, I'll save the rest for New Orleans. Hubby comes up with a possible reason why these tragic has-beens agree to waste their time on the show: there will always be stupid teenaged girls around the audition sites who will sleep with anyone who has even remotely been famous once upon a time, especially when these has-beens can produce some, er, stuff to share with them.

It is especially too easy to see Mark McGrath doing this. The camera pans on him, on his desperate eyes that are filled with awareness that he used to be famous and get to sleep with famous women but now he is reduced to trolling for dim-witted underaged schoolgirls, the tight corners of his lips as he tries so hard to remind the world that he was once called the sexiest man in music by some stupid magazine that may or may not be Rolling Stone, the way he eyes the female contestants hungrily because if he doesn't, he will realize that his "fame" is as good as gone forever and he may as well become some aging Hollywood overlord's pretty boy toy... poor Marky M. Some things just aren't meant to be.

The camera cuts to a bunch of women telling the world how hot Marky M is. I think it's stated in the contract somewhere that they have to show this if Marky M is going to be on the show. I don't know how flattering it is to be called a hot stud by women who either look like they're ingesting chemicals they shouldn't be having, women who look and talk like the daughters of mothers who ingested too much of those chemicals, or women who look and talk like daughters of mothers who ingested too much of those chemicals and are now also ingesting the same chemicals themselves. But I guess has-beens can't be choosers. (Hubby: "But don't you think it's truly the lowest of the low when someone like Mark McGrath has to dangle a chance to be in an AI audition in order to sleep with an underaged girl? Cool famous guys sleep with women because they can. If Mark McGrath can only get some by offering in exchange a chance to perform on a freakshow guest-judged by hasbeens of all hasbeens, yeah, he may as well kill himself and spare himself further humiliation.")

Someone butchers Signed, Sealed, Delivered. I think he's trying to imitate Fantasia only to end up doing Donald Duck instead. A pastor who will be a father anytime soon comes in, sings, everyone thinks he is nice and sweet, and with the patronage of Kewpie as well as the judges, he's going to Hollywood. Or wherever it is they are calling "Hollywood" in this season. Is it Glendale again? Where he will take up drugs, divorce his wife, worship the Dollar, and be really cool.

Some young lady sings Greatest Love Of All in a monotone. A woman with a huge chest flops around and mesmerizes the judges, especially Randy Randy, by showing that she not only has rhythm to groove to YMCA, but her breasts are like automated xylophones that can groove along too. Too bad she's singing YMCA. The only people who own a Village People CD nowadays don't go for things like big breasts, I hear.

Jessie Grazella looks like one of those nondescript city boys who wear rings on their eyebrows, listen to Eminem and Nelly, talk like "brothers" complete with that three finger gesture thingie those rappers love to do in their videos, and then announce that they are now cool and fly, yo yo yo, word to the brother, what-freaking-ever. He comes into the room. I suspect that a few "brothers" must have heard him trying to speak like Ja Rule and beat the crap out of him for fun until something in his head goes unscrewed because Jessie talks about how AI is some peace and harmony camp with everyone loving everyone. And then he announces that he singing Josh Groban's You Raise Me Up. Okay, so he doesn't want to be Nelly, he wants to be Josh Groban. I don't know which one is worse. He starts a few words and then... oops, he has forgotten the words and he can't get them back into his head no matter how hard he tries.

The judges really, really want him to go through because they really, really want a guy in the semifinals. Miss Paula really, really wants to shag him. King Tut, who really, really wants to test the waters and see what other fish he can catch, so to speak, now that he and Sleazebag have broken up, asks Jessie to go out and ask his friends to remind him the words to the song. What are the words to the song anyway? Something about wanting to be lifted up in a mountain and then walking on stormy seas, I think. How can you be on a mountain and still walk on the stormy seas? Oi. Once he has the words, he sings. And gosh, he sounds like someone is pulling out his tonsils with a pair of pliers. The judges can only stare at him, trying to find a reason to send him through, until Jessie sees their flabbergasted expression and starts crying. And by crying, I mean sobs and boo-hoos and everything. He is still weeping as he leaves without another word to the judges. Miss Paula calls after him, although she is lucid enough to stop herself from asking for a shag after the auditions. Not before the cameras, at least. Jessie tells the camera that he has, er, lost it or something, I guess because right now he can't even remember the title of the song he tried to sing. I think it's Tears Of A Clown.

This is followed by a bunch of people who forget their words. I'm especially annoyed by that lady who forgets the words to the chorus of Natalie Imbruglia's Torn. That is one of the best pop songs ever created in the history of music. It's about a lady who is bound and broken, completely naked on the floor. It has the best guitar riffs ever. Not-alie Imbruglia here has it coming.

Anwar Robinson comes on, sings something, and I'm sure it's nice since he gets to go to Hollywood but I'm distracted by his outfit which makes him look like a paper cutout of Bob Marley that someone has put through a paper shredder. Words like "pure" and "blow" fly from the judges, which makes this scene seems like it has plenty to do with cocaine production but these people just love him and his voice. After Kewpie, everyone wants to be pure and the next ugliest big thing ever.

Here comes Melissa Constadine. She looks like something that cat and the dog in the street has fought over, right after that something has fallen into the highway and is run over by trucks and cars, complete with scratches and burn marks. She either has climbed in here via the chimney that is too small for her or she has just escaped from a burning house after a successful rescue of six terrified cats that she held in her arms. Somehow, both possibilities seem equally unlikely. She also talks about herself to herself in front of the judges. Because she is obviously some addled crazed junkie or something like that, it's okay that this show has her singing first How Do I Live? (I don't know, Mel, I really don't know) and then America The Beautiful so that everyone can laugh at crazy people without having to worry about being seen as cruel. She tries to insist to the judges that it's not her fault that she sounds bad, that is, she tries to blame the choice of songs they are allowed to sing for making her sound bad. Not to be deliberately contrary, but I think she will still sound bad if they let her sing anything she wants. She then launches into Lisa Loeb's Stay (I Miss You), which I guess is something not on the approved song list, and she still sounds awful. The judges burst into laughter and she cries. Oh, Mel, don't cry. Maybe it's time to go into rehab. Who knows, maybe there's a cute fellow rehab kid, a music teacher perhaps, who will fall in love with Mel and they will clean up and get nice new lives like Tracy Chapman sang about in Fast Car and there will be a happy ending after all. Winning American Idol is not a happy ending, that is for sure.

Wait, Mel isn't done yet. "I'm crying because you know what? Not one of them, not one of them - NOT ONE OF THEM - said I could sing. I CAN SING! I wouldn't have made it this far, I wouldn't come here. I'm not like the stupid idiots who come here and want to sing," she rails at the camera, "I'm one of the good people that they cut. They have to cut some good people, I guess!" The camera cuts to some young woman who is standing near Mel and hence can't help overhearing. The young woman looks like she's trying to hold back laughter. Indeed, what else can one do but to laugh in a strangled manner at Mel's ridiculous rant? Doesn't she know that the people who decided which wannabes can sing before the actual judges always let past a few outright crazies just for the bad audition clip shows?

Some dramatic lady named Regina wails that she will die if she cannot express herself through her music. Some people express themselves by pulling down their pants and mooning people who walk past. Is Rebecca thinking of doing something similar with her music?

Here comes Derek Braxton. He says that singing is his life. Judging from his antics, I'd say boys are his life too. Ryan Sleazebag announces that Derek claims to be the nephew of Toni Braxton. Derek tries to sing in front of the camera and let's just say that if singing ability is any indication of the possibility of genetic inheritance, he is more likely related to Toni Braxton's broken dishwasher than the lady herself. He sings in a monotone and he overenunciates his words in all the strangest places. And then he walks into the audition room where he brags about his talent to the judges. Then he sings. How Could An Angel Break My Heart, he sings. Well, Derek, the angels don't love you because they have ears. I laugh when Marky M asks whether Derek is even singing in English because Derek sounds like he's making weird sounds of tentacled aliens trying to escape from behind a jammed UFO door. Randy Randy asks him to check his hearing, which isn't as cruel as you'd think because he's actually concerned that Derek may have hearing problems that prevent him from staying on pitch. What may be cruel though is he telling Derek that there is nothing well that Derek can do when it comes to singing.

Derek tells the camera in his exit interview that he is a survivor (of many things thrown at him whenever he starts singing, I suppose) and he will always be confident and sexy so a big whatever to the judges. Oh, and he wants the world to know that he can sing in English and Spanish because he is bilingual. He then adds a few cheap potshots to Miss Paula (which is too easy, really) and King Tut (which he says he intends to "represent" - represent what, I have no idea, unless it's the contingent of drama queens he is talking about) before saying that Randy Randy is a nobody because the records he produced for Mariah Carey and Toni Braxton are nothing to Derek. Oh, Derek, your aunt will be so hurt by that! Derek also calls Marky M a one-hit wonder, which is the only true thing he manages to say (by accident, hubby adds) and then announces to the world that he will have more platinum albums that Miss Paula, who has three. So Derek will have... eight! And then he gives the camera this creepily overly-bright smile before walking off.

Ten bucks he's actually trying to be over-the-top bad on a bet, a dare, or in search for a recording contract, Willing Hung style.

Lots of people butcher America The Beautiful in a montage of dreadfully dreadful. I have a feeling that this show will be a hit in the Middle-East. I really don't know why those people dress the way they do. Their singing is bad enough, but that guy who wears a shirt slit open at both sides with plaid boxers looks tragic, as if he doesn't sound tragic enough. And I think I still have the occasional nightmares of that lady in blue, latex, and hair laden with grime who sings a patriotic tune while grinding her hips like a burned-out stripper on stage until even her number tag falls off.

More bad singing, bad costume, Derek again, and more Derek. He brays like a camel when he laughs, by the way. Fat people, ugly people, people with crazy eyes, people with big eyes, people with big mouths, all coming my way. Laugh, people, laugh! This show attracts crazies! I wonder where these crazies go after they are rejected by the judges. Maybe they go and buy Kewpie CDs.

Poor Sleazebag. He looks so dismayed at having to share two hours of screentime with fat and ugly people. He wants to show King Tut that he is sober now and he will not automatically scream in uncontainable jealousy "Fat cow!" at the TV whenever Oprah comes on. He wants another chance to patch things up with King Tut. (Of course, if he can't have that, he wants another talk show, but since the talk show is out, he'll settle for King Tut.) Instead, he's forced to talk to Regina. Remember her? She's the one who will die if she can't express herself through her music.

She tells Sleazebag that she has hocked her "rings" to come here. Wait, how many wedding rings does she have anyway? Is she saying that she went on a marriage-and-divorce rampage just to collect rings that she can then pawn off to come to this audition? She then starts crying to Sleazebag. Maybe when she sees Sleazebag and realizes that instead of having to marry so many men, all she has to do is to sleep with one like Sleazebag did in order to be famous so oh, all her wasted time, sob sob sob. She says that she had $200 for those "rings" and now she is broke again. Since she will never get the rings back, she thinks she will die. The show cuts to her husband Mark. He looks like the bouncer at the Vegas chapel where she met her last soon-to-be-ex-husband who watches wrestling on TV while Rebecca sings on the karaoke. Man, I'd hate to live next door to them.

She sings Misty. She's not bad at all, pleasant in fact. But King Tut doesn't think Regina is cut out for this. Indeed, after seeing her like this, will anybody want to vote for her in the finals? I will if I can because I'd love to see her go over-the-top drama queen on everyone but I'm perverse that way. Marky M, Randy Randy like her and in the end Miss Paula pitches in her support so Regina is on her way to Hollywood. They bring in her husband who wishes Regina all the best and of course he wants her to go to Hollywood (famous last words of the first Mr Marilyn Monroe) so yee-haw, Regina is going to Hollywood. She doesn't have to die yet, thank goodness.

King Tut wonders who will be the next William Hung.

I cringe because I suspect that this will have to do with Marlea Stroman being really awful but to my surprise, she sounds really good. She sings a Bonnie Raitt song really well and because she is very good, the show cuts her off. Bad Marlea, not crazy enough to make people laugh - shoo, go sit in that corner. She is, by the way, going to Hollywood, although King Tut asks her to jazz up her style. She comes out triumphant from the audition room and her homies scream the roof down when they hear her good news. By the way, she is a single mother and says that Fantasia inspired her to try to be on the show. Since we already have an African-American soul momma among the winner roster, she of course won't go far on the show.

Sarah Mather sings Rescue Me while thrusting her hips back and forth mechanically without any regard to the rhythm of the song she is singing. It is as if someone has cut off Sarah Mather's lower body and replaced it with a battery-operated blow-up doll's. But because she is cute and young and pretty, they put her through. Marky M tries to hit on King Tut and the camera cuts away before a wildly screaming Sleazebag bursts through the door and rip Marky M's eyebrows off with his bare hands.

Quickly, the show cuts to a montage of more people they allow through to Hollywood. Screaming people, laughing people, solo celebrants, celebrants with the entire clan celebrating along, a bald girl who of course is too cool and therefore will get cut off soon for being uncommercial or something, and some girl in a pink fedora hat screaming at traffic before some color-blind granny mistakes her for her IRS guy and runs her down without mercy. Okay, not really, Miss Pink Panther just keeps screaming down the street. No hot guys though, alas.

Meet Aven Moore. He's... purple. Seriously, he's purple. When he sings, I close my eyes, shudder, and think of Barney. Even Miss Paula, who is normally too coked or Bottoxed up to show any facial expression, snorts out a giggle. The song quickly breaks down into a single word, away, which Aven just screams out again and again. "Aw-aaaaaa-aay! AWA-AAAAA-AAAAAAAAY!" He then decides that he has enough breath to sing one more time. The judges can't send him packing fast enough.

Sleazebag then launches into how this show attracts more voters than the American elections. Hmm, I always thought that this is because of two things. One, many of the voters of this show are not eligible to vote in the national elections and two, many of the voters of this show are frenzied and galvanized into action by the deluded belief that by making the latest stinkbomb Pretty Boy Next Door the American Idol, the said pretty boy will show up at their doorstep and marry all of them. I don't think I've ever seen anyone who wants to marry John Kerry or Dubby, have you? Sleazebag then says that like the elections, America must choose wisely on this show ("Thank you, America, for another four years of Dubby!") or "surprises" will happen, Sleazebag says knowingly. I have newfound respect for Sleazebag. He just outed himself as a Democrat even when he's hosting a show on Fox. That requires testicles, I think.

Ooh, someone is being electrocuted! His hair is flying all over the place and he is screaming in agony. Wait, he's actually singing. Dang. His name is Constantine Maroulis and he claims to be in a rock band and therefore he will bring something "special" to the show. Cut to him screaming some more like a psychotic chinhuahua. He's more famous for playing a horrid Roger on an off-Broadway production of Rent, and feedback from Rentheads, I gather, is unanimous in how much he sucks. Dude, when even star-struck Broadway faghags who can forgive the awful storylines or ridiculous premise of Rent can't stand you... And then he shows up for the auditions looking like a typical boyband member. It will be cool if he is actually the frontsman of a real rock band but Constantine is actually a lighter shade of matchbox twenty minus all semblence of pitch and tune. He sings in a very ordinary manner, which gives credence to to those claims of how his One Song Glory is more akin to One Man Butchery. He hopes that his band will forgive him. Sleazebag wonders how his band will react at Constantine "selling out". I'm sure they will understand. Constantine will be sleeping with many, many silly underaged girls and if these bandmembers (soon to be ex-bandmembers, I'm sure) are lucky, he'll let them have the fat ones.

Two young ladies are next. Their footages are interspersed together, making me wonder whether they are separated Siamese twins or something. Bimbo #1 says that she's "thirty-flavors" and Bimbo #2 says she always wears "preppy stuff". They sound like they're in a MadTV parody of an adult film audition. Baskin-Robbins says that she is crazy, insists that she is crazy, and to prove it, starts dancing around the room as if she has a wasp stuck in her underwear and she doesn't know what to do. Preppy says that God puts her on earth to sing and when she fails the cut, she gets down on all fours and opens her mouth wide. She has the right idea to make it big in Hollywood but she has the timing all wrong. Shouldn't she at least wait until there are no cameras around? This show wants to pretend that it's all about family values, after all. Marky M who must be really desperate says that Preppy is hot. Randy Randy agrees. Okay, he is desperate too. How sad must these men be if they have to chase after groupies in the American Idol genepool?

Baskin-Robbins seems to take it well when the judges tell her no, only to lose it at the doorway and start giggling (yes, giggling) about how she will sell zillions of CD and prove them wrong. She is still complaining when she walks out of the room. She nearly walks into the pillar because she is too busy scowling at the camera to go away to see where she is going. She blames the camera for this and then nearly walks into the wall. Meanwhile, Preppy cries to the camera and calls King Tut an "asshole". Since she is willing to kiss that asshole to make it to Hollywood, I don't know why she is complaining.

Brian is next. He is, I quote Sleazebag, "a hip-hop dance instructor, ballet student, and a janitor". Translation: he's a janitor. Don't laugh though, people, because in the clip where he is shown dancing with a mop in a bathroom, he is really good at his feet. He says that Miss Paula inspired him to dance, which is actually not that ridiculous because Miss Paula can dance. Just take a look at some of the stuff Miss Paula did. She made Janet Jackson come off a halfway decent dancer when Nasty Miss Jackson was still a cow with four left hooves back in those Control days! Maybe if there is some audition for Fame, he'll get in because he can't sing though. And worse, he has no money to make his way back home. The show cuts to him begging on the streets and a drunk giving him some money only to drop his bottle and curse. Brian feels aghast at having to take money from an obvious drunk and tries to give the money back but the drunkard just walks away. Well, at least the man is kind, if drunk. Sleazebag heartlessly compares Brian's shattered dreams to the shattered bottle on the street. He's the one to talk. Who's the one begging pitifully to King Tut to take him back only last night when King Tut was trying to attend the premiere of Manhunt: The Musical?

Are we done yet? No? Travis Tucker is next. He sings Isn't She Lovely? in a way that I guess is okay in the way a bleating goat sounds okay. Or maybe at this point I'm so numbed by this show that I can't tell what sounds good from what sounds horrific anymore. I suspect though that his flashing his abs have more to do with him going to Hollywood. Abs are cool but Travis Tucker looks ordinary so there is still no hot guy on the show, sigh.

Next is someone who looks like an accountant but chooses to sing Madonna's Hanky Panky, complete with self-spanking. Which is well if she doesn't sing like she's just five minutes from death's door. King Tut thinks she can spank well but isn't sure about the singing. Sleazebag, listening from behind the door, tighten his fingers furiously around his hairbrush. Somebody will be screaming for the paramedics tonight. Marky M and Randy Randy try to pretend that they know more about spanking than you and me. What, you can't picture Randy Randy wearing only an apron and big grin administering the riding crop on Marky M's bare buttocks?

Out goes Hanky Panky, in comes some guy who sings I'll Be There. He's decent until he starts reaching for that falsetto of his and comes off like... I don't know, overdosed on helium or something. King Tut says no and he seems to be the voice of sanity tonight when the other three vote yes. Next is a zombefied pale young lady who moans and groans her way through her song like every word is killing her inside. King Tut gives an exaggerated shudder for the camera. They send her out quickly and she is too zoned out to produce any noteworthy reaction to the fact that she has just been rejected on TV.

Back to Constantine. In a very staged "confrontation" between Sleazebag and Constantine with his bandmembers (the band name is Prayer For The Soul Of Betty, if you have to know), Constantine begins by pretending that he is a rock singer. Lots of stagy lights flying around as the silly bint throws his head and sends his hair flying around. Dude, real rock stars will rather eat broken shards of glass than to pour bottles of hair conditioner onto their hair like Constantine obviously did. Sleazebag has the Conty Bint break the news to the Betties. This is a much ado about nothing, really, because one of the Betties, looking vacantly at the teleprompter off the camera range, reads aloud in a monotone that anything that is good with the Conty Bint is good for them. The cameras depart and then the Betties kick away their guitars and drums, pull open the shades, pop Bring It On into the video player, and giggle as they push put their chests and sing along with the Torros while applying lipstick to each other's lips.

Some mental headcase with a headband saying 5.9% (the level of his sanity?) and a T-shirt with "Homie Represent" start stinking up the joint, doing what I think is breakdancing while screeching his lungs out what used to be Papa Was A Rolling Stone in at least five different voices. Miss Paula makes a funny when she compliments Homie Represent here for being sober. Homie takes his rejection quite well for a headcase though. At least, until he starts leaving chicken carcasses on King Tut's doorstep. Or is that you, Sleazebag?

Franchon Crews is a boxer and she is seventeen. She sings something not too memorable and is told to come back when she's older. They tell her she has plenty of potential so that she won't get mad and punch them out. John Zisa, whose claim to fame is that both his father and his grandfather have been mayors of Hackensack, New Jersey, sings something forgettable and bland and he's in. I don't know why. I guess there are slots under the "Male Filler" category that has to be filled somehow.

The joke of the night is Mary Roach. The trouble with this bad audition thing is that it is becoming harder to determine whether the jokers are pretending to be bad or they are genuinely deluded. In Mary Roach's case, she's supposed to have Asperger's Syndrome. Simply put, people with Asperger's Syndrome (or high functioning autism, as some people call it) don't think like you and me. They can think and function but they just don't fit in well with people because they think and see the world through their own point of view brought upon by the differences in how their brains and ours work. So if Mary Roach is genuinely someone with Asperger's Syndrome, what this show has done is to take a mentally-challenged kid and put her on the show as the main, highlighted freak show of the episode. That's pretty classy, huh?

Mary is wearing an eccentric but rather charming ensemble of low-rise jeans that show off more cameltoe than decency should allow with a red and white shirt. "I think I have a very unique vocal style. It's like pop-rock meets Broadway meets jazz and R&B. It's a very unique combination of all the three," she declares. She dances in the hallway, oblivious to the pretty princesses that are laughing at her behind her back. Sometimes ignorance can be bliss, truly. "I'm going to walk in like I'm confident," she adds. "You know - head up high, strutting my stuff, not too much strut though because that looks tacky." She smiles confidently. "I want this so bad, there's no way that I'm not going to get it!" And then, she reassures a girl seated beside her while they wait for their turn to audition to break a leg.

To the judges, when she walks in, she announces that she's changing her name to Guilbeaux when she makes it to Hollywood. Apparently she thinks that Gilbeaux has more "star quality". She adds that she has plans to go to a beauty school because she loves hair and make-up but of course she'll ditch those plans if she goes to Hollywood because she loves singing more. And then she sings I Feel The Earth Move and it is awful. She moans, groans, wheezes, and pretty much falls off the tracks when it comes to melody and pitch. When King Tut tells her that he'd give her singing "box out of ten" thought, she thinks she did "not too shabby" - an eight out of ten, at least - and insists that King Tut is just trying to annoy her by saying that she sucks. All her friends tell her that she can sing, she declares to the judges' open disbelief and derision. King Tut calls her voice "weird". Mary proudly says that weirdness is originality. "At least I'm not going to walk out of here crying like some people do, I'm going to walk out of here being like, hey, whatever!" she says and then adds that she has many other voices. Randy Randy wonders aloud whether she means the voices in her head.

She goes on and on before the judges, it's not even funny but rather, it's pitiful to watch. When Mary declares that she's going to go to beauty school when it's obvious that she won't be welcomed there any more than she was welcomed on this show, the show wants me to laugh but I feel like a lowlife who has just abetted the public stoning of someone who doesn't even know why everyone is so cruel to her. She then gets angry and starts calling King Tut, Randy Randy, and Marky M names and what-not, sparing only Miss Paula because she finds Miss Paula "sweet". And then she is off. I hope she finds some friends who will take care of her better than the people who allow her to come on to this show.

Finally, the show is over. As Kelly Cluckson's Breakaway plays in the background, Sleazebag says that 42 people made it to Hollywood and the show allows the world to catch brief glimpses of these happy, cheering people. Ah yes, Breakaway, the song where Avril Lavigne teaches Kelly to want to learn how to fly, which is why Kelly moves to another management. Or something like that.

Sleazebag is out. So am I for today.