Before we get started to(day/night), I want to tackle a couple of pressing matters. The Social Security overhaul and the various forms of government in the Middle East. But since they take too long to discuss, I'm going to focus on San Francisco and Chris Wylde.
First off, citizens of San Francisco! I thank you for the many helpful emails pointing out that the Cow Palace is not in San Jose, as I assumed. See, I remember the Sharks playing in a building named the Cow Palace when they joined the NHL and thought it was same place. Since I don't ever do any research, I had no idea how wrong I was. Now that you have corrected me and I have changed my ways, all residents of Northern California can return to watching Sideways on a continuous loop.
Now, l'affaire Chris Wylde. I want to clear the air on this and defend Idol a little bit because some of things out there are insane. Before you think I'm just a paid shill here, keep in mind that the people behind Idol aren't my biggest fans and I don't really owe them anything. That said, this Chris Wylde fuss last week is absolutely INSANE. When he first came on, my first thought was that guy looks so much like Chris Wylde, it's bizarre. Then I realized, wait, that is Chris Wylde. I would've written much, much more about it because The Chris Wylde Show is one of the worst things to ever happen in my life, but I assumed get this that nobody knew who Chris Wylde was, so nobody would get the reference.
The next day, a few pundits whip it up into a storm and begin to question the legitimacy of Idol, wondering if they're doing it for the publicity, etc. Okay, first off, it's a televised singing contest. How much legitimacy does it need? Second off, how much publicity does a show need when it's the #1 and #2 show in the ratings every time it's been on for four years. Pundits, you're not exactly uncovering CREEP's Watergate break-in. Third off, if Idol really wanted to send a comedian onto the show for guaranteed laughs, don't you think they'd pick an actual funny person who can provide actual laughs? Chris Wylde doesn't actually fit this description. And fourth off, am I the only person who thinks that when a producer has seen 1,000 people pass their table in a single day, it's entirely believable that they wouldn't recognize comedy superstar Chris Wylde?
There. This matter has been officially settled. Now we can move on to the Hollywood round, and Chris Wylde can go back to being unfunny and shilling for home-baked pizzas.
Onto tonight's show! You may have heard by now that American Idol went to a bunch of cities this year for the auditions. Some of the cities were important enough to be capitalized, others are still saddled with lowercase status. But that's okay, because I like to MIX IT up! Ryan reminds us of how wet and wild the auditions were, and I'm just happy I'll never have to see Mary Roach ever again.
Now that they've made it to Hollywood, things are going to get harder, blah, blah, etc, etc. Yes, this is all crucially important. Some of the singers are people-people, some are stone-cold competitors. Others are just happy to see what a new city looks like. The talent is split up into two groups. One will sing today, the other will tour Los Angeles and get themselves matching sailor caps with their names ironed onto them. The singing group spends time choosing their keys. I don't know what that means. I got this job for my amazing comedy chops, not my piano playing.
At the audition hall, a girl proclaims that she's really nervous because there's a lot of good talent in the room. She also complains that she can't breathe very well because of the thing wrapped around her throat. But it completes her outfit, so she doesn't know what to do!
Out on the tourist bus, a bald contestant is thrilled to see the "Chinese Man Theater." Um, actually, that's the Mann's Chinese Theater. You see movies there, not tumbling acts from Guangzhou. But, you know, he's from out of town, so whatever.
Back in the theater, Carrie Underwood, being played by Reese Witherspoon today, is a blond farm girl. By the way, everybody in Checotah, Oklahoma wears jeans and a white t-shirt. Even to church. So don't make fun of her outfit, you callous jerks! She sings and so does Jaclyn Crum and Sarah Mather and it all sounds pretty much the same.
Tamesha Foote comes out and declares that she told her twin boys that she wouldn't be coming home until she's the American Idol. And so...she's cut. The good news is, her kids are going to learn how to deal with crushed dreams at an early age. The bad news is, they're also going to learn how to blame everybody else for their mistakes. So, uh, that's that. I guess her warrior blade earrings weren't enough to put her over the top.
Now it's time for the boys. Guys. Men. I don't know, whatever. You might say with the age range, this group goes from boys...II...men. Sigh. I don't know why I just did that. How will Michael Liuzza do? Is he destined for a life of singing "Happy Birthday" in Italian restaurants? Unforgettable...that's what you are. Super nervous and trembling...that's what I am. It's back to daSilvo's for Michael. Let me sum up Michael's Idol experience for you all. He waited three days in the heat and humidity of New Orleans to audition. He made it. He waited 2 1/2 months for the Hollywood round to come around, flew out to Los Angeles, (sorry, "Hollywood") and one day later is going home. That's it. Not exactly a story to save for the grandchildren. In fact, one could argue that Michael spent about 80 days to sing for 2 minutes.
The tour group is spending some time at The Grove, where you have about an 89% chance of seeing Mischa Barton. This has to be tremendously exciting for these kids. You have to come to the big city for that stuff, baby!
But somebody isn't enjoying their pretzel, and that somebody is Shunta Warthen, who got on the wrong dang bus this morning. There were only two busses at the hotel! She had a 50% shot at picking the right one with her eyes closed. And yet...here she is malling when she should be singing. After some stress, Shunta finally catches a cab. She's at least a 50 minute ride from the auditions
In the theater, Rashida Johnson has some bad news. She's come down with a cold and has lost her voice. Also, she has really small eyes. Rashida is from... South Ozone Park?! Is that an Antarctic science station we operate in conjunction with the Russians? Anyway, Rashida is through to the next round. South Ozone Park goes wild! While gasping for breath.
Hey kids, why do you want to be the American Idol? The money? The fame? Do you really like being photographed? What is it, exactly? Well, if you ask this group, they want to inspire the children to rise up out of the muck and...become famous as well, I guess. One girl is bold enough to declare that she wants to be an inspiration to all generations. You know, that's a heck of a goal, because it's pretty tough to inspire 80-year-olds. They're pretty much set in their ways. All they get passionate about is young kids and their baggy pants, and Reader's Digest stories about the curative powers of the lime. So, darling, your bland pop is really going to have to be special to get through to them. Good luck.
The time comes for Rich Molfetta to sing. For what feels like the 100 th time. It's pretty tough to succeed when all three judges hate you before you even open your mouth. He gets a unanimous no. Although I must say that both Molfetta brothers have the overly dramatic reaction to being rejected down pat. If only one could become famous for that!
Hey, Shunta made it! Hey, Nadia is still good-looking! Hey, Scott Savol's tiny mustache makes John Waters look like Edward James Olmos! Jeffery Johnson gets turned away by the judges, with Simon telling him that the world already has one Nick Lachey and doesn't need a second. However, if he wants to take on the intense burden of marrying Ashlee Simpson, he's more than welcome
Let's take stock of Regina Brooks' life. She has new hair. She doesn't have 40 pounds that she used to carry around. And she doesn't have her wedding ring anymore. Lastly, she doesn't have a pass to the next round because she's been cut. I hope Simon, Paula and Randy at least give her $100 each so she can get her wedding ring out of hock.
The next day, Group 1 heads out to the Hollywood sights and Group 2 heads to the auditions. Kicking off Group 2's singing, Patrick Norman sets the tone by getting rejected. But kudos to Patrick and Francisco Torres for taking their rejections with class. You don't see nearly enough of that these days. What's that? Tamesha Foote? Why do you ask?
Marlea Stroman says her success is in God's hands. So...God puts her through this round. The other group, meanwhile, is touring the set of The OC. Which means two of the guys should be fighting within seconds. Jaclyn Crum breaks down in tears because she never, never thought she'd get to see an actual television show set. Which is an amazing reaction considering that...SHE'S ON A TV SHOW RIGHT NOW!
Aaron Kelly balances out Marlea's performance by singing the Satanic version of "My Baby Wrote Me A Letter." And I tell you what, you put a beard on this Bo Bice and he'll look just like the caveman boom operator from that commercial I love so much. Briana Davis is up next. I've seen the kids dye their hair before, but her hair right now is the bluest blue that ever blued. She gets rejected, giving her just a little bit of that punk cred back.
Mikalah Gordon starts her routine off with a painful Barbra Streisand impression. It actually makes me wish I was watching Danny Gans onstage right now. Simon says Mikalah has to be the most confident 16-year-old he's ever met. I would've said "insufferable" but, you know, I'm not on TV. It seems that while living in Vegas, Mikalah has taken in A LOT of stage shows. Because she has the banter down pat. Very natural. Like a young Diana DeGarmo.
Meanwhile, Marlea has decided to quit, despite God's efforts to help her. Look, I don't know much about faith, but I find it almost impossible to believe that God mapped that out for her. Unless...He wanted her to realize how much she loved her son. Oh, the mystery! Even Talmudic scholars are stumped by this one.
Then a bunch of other people get moved on or rejected. Tomorrow, the kids yell at each other!