So who's going to follow Ruben Studdard as the next American Idol? Me? You? You, Lieutenant Kaffee? Last week showed us a whole host of people who will definitely not be the American Idol, but could compete for The Keith, the small gold trophy annually given to the worst singer in the whole competition. Will we have more folks added to that list after we burn through L.A. and San Francisco? Mild suspense!
Los Angeles. Home of the stars and "On Air with Ryan Seacrest." 10,000 people turned out for auditions at the Rose Bowl. You know, I visited that stinky encampment one day and it was hot, baby. Although it was out of character for me, I complained a lot about how sweaty I was and how nobody knew I was a big celebrity, even after I told them exactly who I was and what I did. Now I know how Charles Nelson Reilly feels. If you're wondering exactly what I did in Pasadena and just how a cheap, self-serving plug feels, check out this video clip here.
After 10K was whittled down to lessK, the judges took over. First up, James Lin, singing Queen like Biz Markie. Awesome. Then we get two more bad singers, including a guy who loves saying "Blue Moon," and L.A. is off to a wonderful start. At this point the judges are very, very, very exhausted. They absolutely destroy young Nicole Crook, who heads outside in tears. So, mom is crying and the baby is composed? A reversal! Nicole starts a trend of the waterworks and we get more and more and more crying. And then one girl is told she's "musical wallpaper," which...I...which...I don't know what that means. Is it good? Sounds bad, I guess.
Back from a break and the contestants can't believe nobody has made it through yet. Wait! Are you saying that L.A. might be full of untalented people who are delusional about their abilities and chances of success? No! Some super-talented, unknown young director should make a movie about this. And if that idea's no good, make a movie about Bao Diet Nguyen's parents coming to America so their boy could be a pop star. Or make a movie about a woman in a dashiki and her dog. Many potential storylines.
Wrapping up the first day in Los Angeles is Matt Rogers, a former offensive lineman. I watch football every week, so I can really relate to this guy. Matt sings better than Plaxico Burress catches, so he's got some potential. He made it. Touchdown! Horrible cliché!
Day two and still no Paula. This would've been a perfect chance for the show to call me in as a guest judge, but I'm starting to suspect that the show's producers actually hate me despite my assumptions that they love me. But they probably like me – and everybody else in the world – more than Tomomi Tamura, who is...well, just plain bad. Later, Dreah Hancock says she'd buy a Ford Thunderbird with her Idol winnings. And a case of Coca-Cola. And an AT&T Wireless phone. And a six foot party sub from Subway. And some Herbal Essences shampoo. And...I think that's all of them. Dreah bills herself as a '50s throwback, so if she wins, get ready for sock-hops to storm the nation again.
Next up is Rodrigo Cortes, who wants to reach everybody out there with his voice. Admirable goal. Simon asks Rodrigo what he would do with the money if he won. I'm hoping he'll buy a shirt with longer sleeves, but Rodrigo claims with a million clamarinos, he'd become more of a philanthropist than Joan Kroc. Rodrigo gets the bootizy, and he thinks it's because he fumbled the Q&A session. Hopefully he'll make up ground in the evening wear portion of the program. By the way, "clamarinos?" "Bootizy?" I should stop trying to make up new slang. Or, as the kids say, slangadangdang!
So we're still in L.A. where, as always, it pays to be a cute female. Or at least not to be Michael Recon, dog tag wearer. Michael is shut down, leaving him to search for answers in his wispy mustache. The guys aren't doing so well today. Will Gtoe Washington III turn things around? Well, no. But here's the more important question: are there THREE Gtoes out there? Jefferey Dingle, no relation to Lieutenant Jim Dangle, tries to stem the tide of bad dudes. Bad dudes! His extra long sideburns and pleasant voice put him over the top. Outside, Gtoe III sees that Jefferey made it through, leaving him to wallow in self pity and the consolation of Gtoe II.
Now break out the clam chowder in a sourdough bowl, it's San Francisco! Paula's back and she brought a snappy little hat with her. Hey, I've ridden that cable car before. Why? Because I'm a big, stupid American tourist. Wheee! First up in the City by the Bay is Michael, who goes a long way in perpetuating the stereotypes most people have about San Francisco. So what if Michael can't sing? He can always get a job as Adam Goldberg's stand in. Next up is Victoria Elliott, who I'm guessing doesn't dress so flashy for her job as a prison guard. Speaking of which, it's back to cell block D for Miss Elliott. Her spiritual and fashion guru, Mr. Jack, gives her some tough love. "You need it. You can do it. You have to feel the fuzzy fedora!" Then security kicks them out. I can't believe Mr. Jack's advice didn't work out.
Back from a break and San Francisco is oozing with confidence. But not talent. Kenneth, Aaron and Joshua, you are all dismissed. That brings us to Katie Webber, whom I deem the early leader for my Ryan Starr/Christina Christian psycho crush. I didn't have a clear cut candidate last year so I'm looking to rebound this year with a creepy vengeance. Katie, I love you! Hopefully this crush won't end in fear, humiliation and disappointment like the others did. Moving on, we have William Hung. Oh, don't be so immature! Billy Hung, he's not so good. Back to C.A.D. and Berkeley's engineering program for him. Although if he builds bridges like he sings, we're all gonna die!
So that's California. And that's the fourth straight recap I wrapped up with "So that's..." Why bother thinking if you don't have to? Tomorrow it's Hawaii, which, if you haven't heard, is a really nice place to visit.