January 30, 2009

American Idol Does Louisville

Okay, so this is super, super late because of family stuff and the fact that a jackass co-worker gave me his nasty cold cooties, which kept me feeling puny all last weekend and Monday (a day that I chose to take off from work before I got sick). Anyhow, I am happy to report that apparently American Idol got my memo about 2 hours being bogus and no match for my Zyrtec because we are down to one hour. Idol is in Louisville, home to the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs and a whole bunch of people who want to tell you how to properly enunciate Louisville. No, it's not "Lewis-ville". It's not "Louey-ville". It's "Lewl-ville". It's a Southern thing. Trust.

I already have very little hope for this episode if it's an hour long and we must spend the first 10 minutes debating on the proper way to say Louisville. Get some good old Kentucky Bourbon and no one will care.

So here are the judges and Paula is decked out like a naughty librarian, with "serious" hornrimmed glasses, her hair pulled back messily and a high necked blouse. What the . . . ?

The first girl up is, in true Idol fashion, toast. Her name is Tiffany and she's about as annoying as I find her name. She tells the camera, before her audition, that if she doesn't make the cut, she's going to college. And she's perfectly fine with that. Which you know she won't be, so get ready for the meltdown. Tiffany is so bad, in fact, that Randy laughs out loud. A total Simon move. Simon doesn't even know what she sang. Do any of us? Simon suggests that college is a good idea for her and she should never, under any circumstance, choose a career in the music industry. She gets a unanimous "no" from the panel, goes outside and then immediately loses her shit. She complains about how she doesn't fit into the Idol mold - - no kidding, genius, they want people who can sing on key - - because she's not a nerd or a freak. I'm sensing this is a slight dig at my Cookie, who was a self-professed word nerd and any sympathy I may have had for Tiffany goes out the window. Get thee to your local community college, Tiff.

So the next girl up Kara recognizes. Apparently her name is Joanna something or the other and she was at A&M Records at one time. Oh fuck! Not another Carly Smithson situation. I am calling for disqualification right now because before I even hear this chick sing, I know she will be passed thru. Simon actually welcomes her to Idol, which he has never, ever done before in the history of this show - -another clue that she will be passed thru - - and she responds with a "thank you . . . I think." Ha! Was that a kick to Idol or what? Is this a step down from working with A&M? So Simon gets his panties in a bunch and asks what we are all secretly dying to know - - what happened with her record deal at A&M? Yes! Yes! So Joanna says nothing and Simon says something about it being everyone else's fault and this crazy chick agrees! I love this! So Joanna says she is going to sing "We Belong" and damn her, anyway, she's good. All the judges give her a pass, with Kara adding more than her usual "I like you! I really like you!" by sympathizing with how rough it's been for Joanna. Ummmm . . . okay.

Next up is some dude named Mark Mudd . . . yes, Mudd. His great, great, great, etc. grandfather was Samuel Mudd, the doctor who patched up John Wilkes Booth's leg after he shot Lincoln. Mark informs us that he's been in something like five car accidents, nearly died like five times. I'm thinking that this guy is a walking death trap and I wouldn't want to be within a file mile radius of him but he is just ignorant (or ig-nert as they say in the South) enough to think that makes him deep or at least very, very special. Mark hopes that his lifelong bad luck (and apparently that of his family) will change with his Idol audition. Uh oh. Not a good sign. Also not a good sign is what Mark is wearing - - chain wallet, cell phone in a holster around his waist, studded belt and a western shirt. Urban Cowboy returns! Mark is effing horrible. Looks like that Mudd family luck (or lack thereof) will hold. Paula, being Paula and generally living somewhere over the rainbow where it's all puppies and kittens and unicorns and Valium, instead of telling Mark he's horrible tells him that maybe this isn't the competition for him. Simon, being Simon and prone to shoot said puppies, kitties and unicorns, says "Like what? Wheel of Fortune?" Which would be funny except for the fact that I think not only would Wheel of Fortune probably be too taxing for Mark Mudd but that with his luck, he would probably get his arm stuck while spinning the wheel, dragging him from his contestant post and very nearly strangling him as the wheel made it's rotation, and thereby giving him a sixth cheat of death. So Mark gets a round of "nos" from the judges and he moseys off into the Lewl-ville sunset, but not before telling the panel to "take care" and "be careful". The judges immediately overreact and perceive it as a threat. They need to remember that Mark Mudd comes from a long line of people who are apparently not blessed with good luck and saying "be careful" is probably just as common to them as "How are you" and "See you" is to the judges. (Not to mention that his family can't very well say "Don't get yourself fucking killed.") So after some discussion over whether or not Mark's "be careful" is a threat, he is allowed to leave and Paula, somewhat seriously, proclaims that she is flying out of Lewl-ville that evening.

To offset the weirdness that was Mark Mudd, a dude named Brent Keith Smith is up next and he's a traveling musician. Assuming that he actually makes money as a traveling musician I would say this audition should be in the bag for him and it is. He's not mindblowingly good or bad - - although Simon thinks his song choice was ridiculous. So this causes an inter-panel fight between the judges and poor Brent Keith Smith looks about as confused as the rest of us feel. Is he in or out? Is schoolmarm Paula going to break up the children fighting? Is Simon arguing with Kara because he feels his HBIC position is threatened? Some of these questions may never be answered but we do find out that Brent Keith Smith gets a Golden Ticket!

Then comes a whole random bunch of truly bad people. Some weird chick who is singing an unbelievably horrid version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as if she's on helium. Honestly, I had no idea what she was singing until she got to the title of the song and I think even Paula, with her Vicodin and Vodka goggles is aghast. Some person named Obi-something or the other who may have been hitting the same helium container as the Rainbow chick. Really tall guy who is attempting to eyefuck the camera to distract from the fact that he can't sing. Weird guy wearing a pink belt that I just don't get. Rotund guy with a really large belly who is attempting to sing "Billie Jean" while performing Michael Jackson dance moves circa 1984. Ouch. Are there really people walking our earth who are so desperate to be on tv for 15-30 seconds that they will degrade themselves to this level? And why aren't we studying them further?

Next up is a dueling pianist. No, really. As a former piano player myself, I am inclined to like this guy - - until he says he self-taught himself about four years ago. Screw you, dude. Anyhow, he's pretty good and he tears up like a little girl when he gets his Golden Ticket.

It's one of the Geek Squad that Tiffany from the beginning of the show was harping on. Nice! This geek is named Ross and he is apparently a linguistics major. In fact, he's working on putting some kind of order into the Chinese language to help non-Chinese speakers learn it easier. I don't know about you, but I have no idea how he is accomplishing that and I think my head may explode if I think about it any further. I am not alone in this thought because, not surprisingly, Paula looks just as confused and uncomprehending. So Ross is not just the brainiac kind of Geek, he's also a Goofy Geek. Who thinks he can sing. Probably even scarier than imagining Ryan Seacrest's closet is Ross the Geek's singing voice. It is deep, deep, deep - - remember the guy last season who auditioned with an incredibly low version of "Swing Low Sweet Chariot"? This is what Ross the Geek sounds like while "singing". Paula offers Ross a sip of her (ahem) "water" because she thinks that may help his voice. Paula, darling, all the vodka and valium in the world isn't going to help. So Ross begins sipping right from Paula's straw!! Paula looks puzzled and then totally grossed out, while Ross not so helpfully informs that he has a Bachelor's Degree in Physics and made the Dean's List three times but apparently isn't smart enough to realize that you don't drink after someone you don't know. So he sings again and he's equally as horrible but Ross being the Goofy Geek he is, leaves happily minus a Golden Ticket. But not before singing a song to the camera about how he screwed up. Awesome!

So Day One in Lewl-ville wraps up with 10 Golden Tickets being handed out although we only saw like maybe 4 of these people because Idol tries to be all crafty by holding some things back, like we'll watch these people we didn't hear in Hollywood. And damn them, they're right. I will, at least. Is it just me or was there a disproportionate level of godawful people tonight

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