Season 4: We Are the Champions

Hurrah, it's the last bad audition episode of the season and it will be held at San Francisco. Yes, this is the last episode where to be gay is still okay on this show. Ryan Sleazebag stands before the Golden Gate Bridge wearing something he stole from Philo Koughie of The Amazing Race. Oh, Philo, surely he couldn't be that drunk? People are gathered at the Cow Palace and the camera pans on them. They cheer obligingly and mug for the camera. I wonder where I can get that T-shirt one guy is wearing - it says "I'm Not Hung" and I really like that in so many levels. Some guy tells the camera that he's going to be either an Idol or the new host of the show. What, he's going to sleep with either King Tut or Uncle Nigel and he's not picky about both? Sleazebag isn't worried though because he knows some tricks that can keep King Tut happy enough to keep him around.

The guest judge for this episode is the Alien Queen herself, Brandi, the first successful result of a genetic experiment to fuse the DNA of ET and the DNA of a human being, and sometimes the Brandi the Alien Queen is a pop star. She introduces her children to Sleazebag and these children don't look too impressed with what they see. At their age, their idea of a cool guy is probably a purple dinosaur that sings. Sleazebag begins the tribute clip by pointing out that Brandi the Alien Queen is younger than sixteen, the minimum age for the contestants of this show, when she started out in the music business. Remember when Brandi and Moonica duetted on that silly song The Boy Is Mine and everyone was trying to convince the world that those two women hated each other's guts and would gladly murder each other, given the chance? Those were the days, really. Now, Moonica is probably waitressing at Burger King's while Brandi is guest judging on an American Idol bad audition episode. I guess we can now safely say who the victor is and the victor is everybody who was so sick and tired of those two overexposed pop tarts during the The Boy Is Mine days.

The first joker of the day is some weirdo named Albert. He doesn't seem to blink. Maybe he is born without eyelids, hmm. He and his sister spend a lot of time trying to convince the camera that Albert is the next big thing so naturally he's going to crash and burn. And that's what he does with his creepy rendition of Wanna Be Starting Something, which is what he should be singing if that "something" is spontaneous bleeding of one's eardrums. He sounds like a dog barking out a song. Brandi seems at loss as to whether she should humor this guy or just vomit all over the table like she clearly wants to, Miss Paula of course enjoys it because she has the voices in her head to cover the cacophony that is Albert, and the two male judges cut Albert down flat. As King Tut tells him, dogs have personality too but that doesn't mean a dog can sing. Both Albert and his sister insist to the camera after Albert's rejection that he is a great singer and one day, The World Will See. Tough talk, sis - maybe we should will really get Albert sing at her wedding or her funeral one of these days. Let's see how fast she will change her tune then.

Next is a guy who is most likely a mole because at the time of writing, some online folks manage to connect Matthew Miller to some comedy act. He professes to adore Kelly Cluckson and sings in an eerie, feminine falsetto that, while not as creepy as Patrick Fortson's Toni Braxton impersonation in the second season prelim rounds, is simultaneously hilarious and cringe-inducing. Again, Brandi looks horribly disorientated. I think she has just realized what she has signed up for. She and Miss Paula look at each other and go at the same time, "Oh my God!" King Tut tells Matt that he sounds like a woman. Matt says that he has been mistaken for a skinny black woman before by some lady who listened to him with her eyes shut in some church. Yes, that is a very likely story. King Tut tells Matt that Matt has to decide on more important issues like his gender. How silly - doesn't this man know that a man can make lots of money dressing up in women's clothes and singing on stage? Someone revoke King Tut's Big Gay Queen membership card now. Matt says that if he's a skinny black woman, he'd want to be called Shakiki. Miss Paula, whose voice resembles a nasal wheeze of a robot on her CD, tells Matt to try emulating some male singers for a change.

So here we have American Idol judges telling gay kids to go to hell, fat women to starve or get lost, and mentally handicapped children to believe that they are special even as the show sets them up to be jokes! Those poor impressionable teens watching this show are going to be so screwed up at the end of the season.

Some joker comes in with a mohawk and sings about being an elephant. Um, yeah.

Sleazebag talks about San Francisco being the place where Tony Bennett loses his heart both "carelessly" and "irresponsibly". I hear he managed to lose a few illegitimate kids in that city too, although as usual, you people shouldn't be quoting me on this. Why is he bringing up Tony Bennett? Because we have yet more aspiring crooners on the show, as if the pedophile-Methodist-housewife-bait Rank Sinatra hasn't taught us all a valuable lesson in the previous season. Meet Jamie Koehler who dedicates his I Left My Heart In San Francisco to his dead uncle. He also keeps crying like some watering spout. On top of that, he looks like a seal dressed up in my husband's clothes that survived the burning frenzy twenty years ago when he realized just how uncool his clothes were. Ross Williams sounds exactly like Rank Sinatra and his There I Go just goes on and on in a dreary, repetitive, unimaginative manner. They are both going to Hollywood thanks to the other three judges overruling King Tut's skepticism.

Losers montage is up next, featuring, among others, a Michael Jackson wannabe (PSA: children aren't put in this world to share your beds). Why are all the Michael Jackson wannabes congregating in San Francisco?

Elizabeth Pah is next. She is dressed up like a prostitute at the end of a hard work day and sounds like it too, come to think of it. The only reason why I'm convinced that she's not a prostitute is because she wears bracers. She belts out I Have Nothing, screams at the camera that she is going to be a star (like Jenna Jameson?). She focuses her dubious charms on the male judges exclusively. Miss Paula doesn't like the way Lizzy Skankguire dresses but thinks Lizzy deserves a second chance. As for the men, they think she looks like a stripper so they put her to Hollywood. Sometimes "penis" and "predictable" are seemingly interchangeable.

Sleazebag appears to talk about stage mommas on the show. Cut to the stage mommas and their children in question, including a particularly gruesome pair where the mother pretty much kisses her daughter with tongues and all. Yucks. Some mothers are crazy, insisting to other mothers that their children are better. Others are honest, admitting that their children can sing... "sometimes". The camera also shows the mothers of Adam (from the second audition) and the Logan sisters (from the first and fifth auditions) because they want to force the entire family of these contestants to move out of shame. The montage ends with Leandra Logan singing something that aptly enough has mostly "No, no, no!" Everyone else having the misfortune to be the same room with Leandra can only watch in horror while her mother looks on approvingly.

Meet Justin Clark. Or more specifically, Justin Clark's mother. Justin manages to go to Hollywood by sounding like some O-town reject and his mother overreacts so much that she screams, squeals, hyperventilates, and finally falls into a faint. When Justin gets cut, he can start by suing his mother for embarrassing him on TV and killing his chances of coming off as halfway sane on the show.

Michael Garcia looks like one of those guys who are destined to spend the rest of their lives living in their parents' basements, flitting from one low-paying job at a supermarket to another, while watching TV and dreaming of being a star. Well, today he decides to make things happen by dressing up like the "tough one" typical of any boyband. He still looks like a supermarket bagboy, unfortunately. He can't sing too, even more unfortunately, forcing Miss Paula to announce that she has to "abandon" the judges for a while and Brandi to announce that she's going to do the same. Outside the audition room, poor Mike tells the camera that he thinks he should just stop singing and go now. That poor dear. I hope his shift manager gives him a raise as an act of mercy.

Next is an actor and comedian who pretends to be a contestant, Chris Noll. Since I really don't want to encourage jokers to use this show to further their ten seconds of fame (not that there is anything wrong with that, really, but these jokers generally suck at being funny and Chris is no different), let's just move on.

Ah, Nadia Turner. She has big hair, great voice, and I like her. She is going to Hollywood, where she will no doubt lose out to some dorky kid who can't sing but appeals anyway to Bible Belt housewives and their Stupid Little Daughters.

Victor butchers Bring Me Up Buttercup in a manner that will make one really believe that doing that to one's buttercup will really make one blind. The judges count one, two, three, and simultaneously tell him, "No!" Awesome. He then launches into a bitter tirade about how losers can get through but someone as "talented" at him can't, blah blah, until King Tut offers him $50,000 if he can get a Number One hit within the next six months. Victor tells the camera that King Tut promised him $100,000 if he does what King Tut challenged him to and offers half to anyone who signs him up as an artist. Sleazebag explains Victor's bluff to the camera, which spoils the joke because if you have to explain things, then things aren't funny anymore.

Next is some young lady named Jessica Murphy. She won't be so interesting (faintly in tune, overreach at the high notes, the usual) if the show doesn't make a fuss about her telling her trailer trash family and the camera things that King Tut obviously didn't tell her. Like how she says that King Tut thinks that her voice is great when king Tut says that she needs to work on it. Or how she says that King Tut thinks she is especially talented for a sixteen-year old when all he said was that she has plenty of room for improvement since she's only sixteen. You get the idea. Finally she starts thinking a little about the things she is saying and begins to wonder why King Tut and the other judges rejected her when they supposedly praised her singing talents sky-high. It's quite sad, really, that she is stupid enough to tell stories when she should know that they have everything on tape and will not hesitate to use her own foolishness against her. I don't even have the mood to make fun of her because she comes off as so pathetic to be caught fibbing like that on camera. Well, Jess will have to look for her pink pony elsewhere.

Chris, another self-proclaimed cruise ship singer, comes in, rattles off his accomplishments which alerts anyone who has seen any bad audition episode in the past that the iceberg is right ahead for this particular ship, and then launches into a song that sounds as good as how a bulldog would sound if we start pulling off hair from poor poochie's stomach one by one using a pair of pliers. When asked by the stunned judges (who put on appropriately exaggerated facial expressions for the camera), Chris reveals that he sang on a cruise ship for only six months. King Tut says that the ship must have needed plenty of lifeboats in that period of time. Poor Chris, who unfortunately looks like yet another sad, poor geek who has his delusions shattered on TV, walks out looking really downcast. Look at the bright side, really, he lasted six freaking months on a cruise ship singing gig. Maybe it was a ten-month cruise and they tossed him overboard around the sixth month.

Ivan butchers Queen's We Are The Champions with his shaky high register and then acts like some drama queen who will just wither up and die if he doesn't go to Hollywood. King Tut calls him a karaoke singer who is good at imitating accomplished singers but the other three judges think Ivan sounds just like Freddy Mercury and send him to Hollywood over King Tut's protests. Outside, Ivan brags that King Tut is right about him but hey, he is going to Hollywood, haw haw haw. He does know that he will have to make the cut during the workshop to qualify to the preliminary rounds, right? And this is one area where King Tut is the overlord and master of everybody, right?

Another loser montage follows. Do they need to show me this? The ones going to Hollywood are pretty bad already. Anyway, the highlight is this young lady who can sing quite decently but she spoils everything by wearing a cow suit (complete with udders) and squeezing those udders at the relevant lines of the song Hold On To My Love (you know, the part that goes "Hold on to my love" - squeeze, squeeze). I think that is really funny in a tacky, too-obvious manner and I would have sent her to Hollywood anyway but I'm not the judge. The judges aren't amused and send her packing. Oh, Bessie, leave the udders at home the next time, okay?

Hello, JP Molfetta. Yes, the other half of the angry twins is back. Now that his twin brother Rich is going to Hollywood, he thinks he can have a shot too. And that shot is labelled "Drop dead, fool" and aimed straight at that shapely bottom of his. Okay, he's quite cute and he has even colored his hair a lighter shade of Sleazebag in what must be a desperate attempt to appeal to King Tut's visual palette. Because JP is desperate. Desperate reeks from his weary eyes when he humbly concedes defeat to the judges' ribbing of his angry outburst after the twins' first rejection. Rich comes on to talk about how the twins are individuals who shouldn't be lumped together as one but then they show this clip about those two twins singing together some generic boyband songs about girls in their home studio. Wait, am I supposed to see them as one package of generic hotness or as separate individuals? Back to desperate JP, he is wearing tight shirt and pants - not that I am complaining, of course - and sings an overly dramatic version of Secrets, complete with melismas and dramatic notes. Only in this case melisma translates to "off-key" and dramatic notes are more appropriately "painful high notes". Miss Paula wavers, saying that JP is not good enough. (Translation: "Under the table. Meet me.") Brandi says yes. Randy Randy says no. King Tut calls JP desperate, which he is right about. JP proves his point by mouthing pleadingly to Miss Paula to say yes and reminding Randy Randy that Randy Randy liked him previously. But the answer is no. Well, the Molfettas have received their wish about being seen as individuals. They will now be known as "One who got in" and "One who didn't".

Poor JP keeps repeating to himself, "No. They said no... no! They said no!" No one seems to be waiting to celebrate with him like they did with Rich, poor guy. He presses his forehead against the wall and moans to himself. He tells the camera that he has mentioned previously that he would jump off the window if he didn't get through but well, he has changed his mind now. And then he goes off to knock Rich unconscious and Fed-Ex Rich to Tibet so that JP can take his identity and his place on the show. Just kidding, people!

Sleazebag summarizes the episode in an attempt to convince people that there is actually a point to this show. 32 people went through to Hollywood. Next time, the show will be spending some quality time detailing the antics of some of the jokers in the workshop session (kinda like Fame Academy, come to think of it). The highlight, as usual, seems to be blonde bitches ripping each other's hair extensions out. When all else fails, always resort to catfighting females to bring on the drama, I suppose.