Tuesday, January 15, 2008

American Idol 7: It Begins

Ah, finally. After many, many months of kissing a bunch of other reality shows with one eye open, I'm back in the arms of my true love.

You may recall that, last year, I only started recapping AI when it got to the Top 12. After much thought, I've determined that that schedule wasn't socially or intellectually debilitating enough, so I'm in for the long haul. My slow death starts a little something like this...

The first day of auditions kicks off in Philadelphia, also known as the City of Brotherly Love or the City With Just As Much Crime and Filth as New York But Without As Much Cool Stuff to Do. Simon even broke out his one white shirt for the occasion. Hopefully he won't get any cheesesteak drippings on it.

Kicking things off is Joey Catalano, who tells Seacrest that he lost over 200 pounds. He didn't lose his bad taste in music, as evidenced by his choice to sing Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning." He does sing it well, but it's not hard to top that turd, Adam Levine. Suddenly, eight minutes of the show are gone. They spent the whole first segment on this guy because of his weight-loss story? I go out of my way not to watch The Biggest Loser and crappy, made-for-cable empowerment movies. Take this to Dr. Phil and give me more Simon.

Next up is Youkaa, who can only be described as the Egyptian version of Yakov Smirnoff. I love this country! I love American girls! I love-a da music! I have sexy face! I love Bee-Gees! His performance of "How Deep is Your Love" just felt like a missing scene from Borat, even though I haven't seen it...and now I don't want to. Paula reaches new heights in insincerity when she refuses to just be honest and tell the guy he can't sing. She just tells him that she "appreciates him." But not the same way that she "appreciated" Corey Clark.

Here comes some chick who sang backup for Taylor Hicks. She's good. But if Aaron Neville's backup singer couldn't win last year, Taylor Hicks' backup singer doesn't have a shot.

Now, a guy named James Lewis is saying that his voice is similar to Eddie Vedder's. Oh, this should be good. First of all, he's a costumed tour guide so you know he's not right. Secondly, he opts to sing "Go Down, Moses," which isn't exactly targeted toward teenybopper record-buyers. Well, they would be entertained by the title for a few minutes. Anyway, this won't really make sense to anyone not in New York, but when this guy sings he sounds like that one (supposedly) homeless guy who always gets on the train and gives that same loud, robotic speech about collecting food money for the shelter.

The first of many montages focuses on people who sing to extremes - too high, too low, too loud, too soft, too monotonous. No real "best of the worst" break-out stars here.

* * * * * * * *

Junot Joyner comes in and announces that he's singing "The Blues" by Elton John. I'm thinking this must be a new song until I realize he's talking about "I Guess That's Why They Call it The Blues." Despite his aversion to long song titles, he sounds pretty good. I wish they would've let him sing more because I'd be interested to know if he can actually decipher the line that sounds like "dust out the lemons inside."

More guys are sent through, including José Whatshisface, who sang "Unbreak-o My Corazon" and a boy-bandish dude who I immediately dubbed "McGellin" and then just as quickly forgot about.

The made-for-TV drama picks up again with big-hearted and big-boned Temptress Browne. Her mama's sick, she sings the Dreamgirls song badly, she cries, Paula and Randy hug her like she's their little girl who just got rebuffed by the cool boy at school and then all three judges escort her out to the lobby to join her family. I keep waiting for Ty Pennington to show up and toss a sledgehammer through the audition room wall. What gives with all the sob stories tonight??

And from the Famly Channel to Cinemax after dark...as the judges head back to their room, Simon's nipples are noticeably large and erect. Oh please let him change into one of his black shirts soon.

* * * * * * * *

Mark Hayes can make really cool cricket sounds, and after he speaks his way through "White Christmas," you can...oh hell, the sound effects guys beat me to it. Crickets.

Some doofy Indian guy named Udgeet shows up wearing the standard jackhole uniform - black shirt, black pants and a thick gold chain. I think this guy has tried to pick me up before. Like every Saturday night throughout my 20s. He sings like a robot, and for some reason I find him kind of amusing. When he can't seem to grasp what the judges mean when they say "no," I decide that he's either a complete moron or the greatest deadpan comic since that chubby kid from Superbad.

The next montage features horrible singers murdering Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," and as we head into the next commercial break, I've forgotten Simon's earlier, slightly disturbing display of moobage, and I'm right back in love again just like Jeffrey Osborne. Speaking of - why doesn't anyone ever opt for "On the Wings of Love" over the done-to-death "Ribbon in the Sky?"

* * * * * * * *

After the break, we meet Alexis Cohen, who looks like the love child of Ace Frehley and Jem, and she is truly outrageous. She's an Allentown native who is under the impression that Bon Jovi sings "Allentown" and that she will some day be a vetenarian. I was expecting her to completely suck, but she pulls out kind of an awesome scream-through of Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love," channeling her inner drugged-out Grace Slick as best she can. None of the judges really say anything bad, just that she would be better suited to fronting a '60s cover band than competing on AI. Her stunned silence only lasts until she gets out the door and then she just goes apeshit. Most of her profanities are directed at Simon, who she feels is "so snug." She also lets the world know that she's "going to go for actressing" now. I suppose if that doesn't pan out, there's always vetenary school. Maybe she should look into becoming a notarary while she's at it? Actually, since her rambling exit speech was nonsensical and full of empty promises, I think she should consider a career in politics. She could be presidentress one day.

Angela Martin is a pretty girl with a sad story, so guess what? She makes it through to Hollywood! She sings well but Simon calls her on her cornball stage presence and suggests that she "de-weddingize" herself. He must have been talking to Alexis between auditions. I'm learning all kinds of new words tonight.

* * * * * * * *

For the second hour, Simon goes for the grey shirt. The nips are finally under control!

Milo Turk, a middle-aged dude who looks like the nerdy guy from Bachelor Party, pointlessly auditions with an original song called "No Sex Allowed." He kind of sounds like Wall of Voodoo - if they ever decided to sing odes to chastity, or anything other than "Mexican Radio."

Following that goober is Kristy Lee Cook, a gorgeous all-American girl with an all-American name (wearing an unfortunate, white trashy shirt) who sings "Amazing Grace." Ladies and gentlemen, I give you this year's Carrie Underwood. If she doesn't make it through to the Top 12, I will be amazed like Grace, yo.

Paula talks some disgusting guy in a belly dancer costume into waxing his chest for no reason and another montage gives us all a glimpse of more weirdos and pissed-off rejects dropping F-bombs.

* * * * * * * *

The biggest weirdo, Paul Something-or-Other, freaks everyone out with his original stalker/cross-dressing love song to Paula Abdul. Ok, I take back what I said about the deadpan Indian guy before. This is the guy who tried to pick me up every Saturday during my 20s. I do have to give him props for coming up with the line, "If she were a bathtub, I would caulk her," because that's pure gold. K-Fed wishes he could think up that shit. Simon had security escort Paul away from Paula, out into the lobby where he was free to prey on all the vulnerable, unchaperoned, crying teenage girls.

In a brilliant segue, we go from a stalker to Beth Stalker! She looks a little bit like Scarlett Johansen, so I'm surprised when Simon says no. Oh, she's 28. Too old for Cowell. Well, ancient or not, Randy and Paula like her and out-vote Simon to send this non-threatening Stalker to Hollywood.

Chris Watson wows everyone with his voice and his cute, dreadlocked looks but he totally deserves to not go through just for the fact that he is singing an Uncle Kracker song. He goes through anyway.

Only two girls are left - Christina, a Star Wars geek with Princess Leia buns and all, and Brooke, a beautiful blonde from California. Any bets?

Neither the force nor the voice is with Christina. Unfortunately for her, her only hope, Obi-Wan, didn't get her holographic voicemail in time to make it to the judges' table, so she is sent back to whatever planet she's from. (So I know a few references, but I'm not that much of a geek to remember where Leia was from. And I'm too uninterested to Google it.) Her sweet, supportive grandparents greet her post-rejection and she treats them to a string of obscenities. Nice. You kiss Padmé Amidala with that mouth?

Brooke is certainly no nerd (even though she claims to have never even seen an R-rated movie) - she's a nanny. Oh, I bet the wife she works for loves her. Come to think of it, Brooke looks a bit like a young Rebecca DeMornay with curly hair. She makes it through to Hollywood, and I'm sure she's already planning to kill Paula so she can steal her job and sleep with Simon. Get in line, honey.

More of this madness tomorrow.


deadspot said...


Um... I mean... I too have no idea where Princess Leia is from.

cube said...

I came here early to read your review and, once again, you didn't disappoint. Spot on, girl.

deadspot: it's Alderaan.

The Guv'ner said...

Except Philly has WAY WAY more crime than NYC which is one of the safest big cities in America. SO THERE. :)

I cannot bring myself to watch A.I. I have never watched it and I just can't make myself. I don't know why. I'm the same with every reality show except I shamefully did watch that crap with Bret Michaels where he gets to do the horizontal tango with an assortment of skanks with tattoos and inch thick eyeliner in the name of finding love. I'm not proud of this.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Simon's nipples react to whatever shirt he happens to be wearing? Man, I have got to start watching this show.

Tanya Espanya said...

I hate the sob stories. Remember last season it was I live with my paralyzed father after he shot my mother or something.

Okay, so you lost weight, you are enormous, you're retarded, you have a crummy kid, you're weird and living in ONE ROOM with your mother and assorted animals...get lost!

You're right about wondering where Ty is. Maybe they can start a new show for weirdos.

And really, the names some of these people use...Temptress?!

Caulk off!

pistols at dawn said...

Wow. Nice Wall of Voodoo reference, but I'm still feeling better than ever about never watching this show.

Shelly said...

Jem and the Holograms! Yes! That was the best cartoon ever!

BeckEye said...

Deadspot - That sounds vaguely familiar.

Cube - Thank you...for the kudos and the nerdery!

Guv'ner - Now, Bret does NOT do the horizontal tango with those girls. It's the unskinny bop, silly.

Barbara - They react to my moods as well, but he's not aware of that.

Tanya - I know, it's a talent competition. Their life stories have nothing to do with whether or not they can sing. I don't mind learning a little something about everyone's personalities, but enough with the Lifetime dramas.

Pistols - Oh? I've heard a rumor that Steve Perry will sit in as a guest judge.

Shelly - It was never really my bag. I guess I wasn't that outrageous of a kid.

The Randomness said...

i with u all the way! You didnt dissapoint....neither did your first love ;-) I cannot make up my mind on who is worse Princess Leia or the "We are Brothers" dude. I guess he had a lot of love to give.... i mean adoration

Bubs said...

What a perfect summary, and perfect commentary. I was so happy with this first episode.

Happy Villain said...

All I can say is that I'm so happy you're not covering the second Rock of Love. Some pop culture I am better off without.

Udi said...

I tried to pick you up? Where? When? Who wrote this?


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