American Idol L.A. Auditions: Worst Ever?

Long-standing fans of American Idol don’t expect a home run with each and every episode, but did we really deserve the bat to the stomach that was tonight’s Los Angeles audition telecast? Over the course of an hour, we saw a sad and tawdry collection of desperate famewhores, deluded wannabes, and one possibly mentally ill maniac. If Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson could barely feign amusement with the proceedings — while raking in millions for the privilege –I’m not really sure why Nigel Lythgoe & Co. didn’t work a little harder to stop the rest of us working stiffs from flipping the channel to The Vampire Diaries or Community or The Big Bang Theory. (This isn’t even delving into the options available to the millions of us who are constantly looking for extra time to read.)’s American Idol Leaderboard: Top 20 Contestants from the First Two Weeks of Season 10!

Anyhow, if you’re one of the smart folks who tuned out somewhere between”Chica Chasing Randy” and “Guy Who Claimed to Work With Chaka Khan,” feel free to come back to in the wee small hours for my full episode recap. And while I get going on recounting the many crimes committed against music tonight, you should feel free to hit the comments section and let out a little bit of Idol-related fury. What did you think of the L.A. shenanigans? Did anyone amuse you? Or strike you as a legitimate contender? All must be revealed!

What’s more, if you have some strong thoughts or opinions on anything you saw this week on Idol — pertaining to judges, contestants, trends or conspiracy theories — and you’d like to share them on the next episode of TVLine’s new Idol-related Web series, Idoloonies, email a paragraph or two to (and be sure to include a contact phone number). We’ll be selecting a handful of readers each week to join me in cohosting the Webcast via Skype or iChat (to tape on Friday afternoon). We’ll also be choosing a Twitter Question of the Week, so don’t hesitate to fire your best shots to me @MichaelSlezakTV. Be sure to tag it #Idoloonies!

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  1. Sam says:

    I loved that Brett Lowerstien and Casey Abrams were in the opening montage. Pretty much guarantees a spot for both in the Top 20, no?

    • I would think so. It also was a signal to us viewers that we wouldn’t be seeing anything close to that in the upcoming episode. When the brother Guiterrez and maybe the MySpace auditioner are your best contestants of the night, you know it isn’t a good night. Probably one of the worst set of auditions ever.
      Plus the producers didn’t even have any sob stories or emotional packages. Meaning they don’t really want to spend the time and energy on these contestants that will most likely not even make the next cut.

  2. Kim says:

    I am so over Randy Jackson and the way they exploit these mentally fragile people makes me sick. Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez still have compassion and class. It’s really, really sad.

    • Amy says:

      Not just Randy, what was with Steven Tyler w/ the first audition. He was baaing and being very Randyesque, but it was awkward & rude to that girl. At least she didn’t chase after him. I ffw’d through 1/2 of the show. Enough with the crazies. I don’t even like them in the montages at the end of the season…except for the Clay Aiken look-a-like. That was awesome.

  3. Jules says:

    L.A. was so bad.. I can see why they sent the Gutierrez brothers through without making them sing solo (like they usually do with all the couples who audtion together)… it reeked of desperation on the producers part.

    My beef with this years long list of mediocre singers going through is that I think the judges have no spine (and I think the talent pool is weaker in the last couple of years which = less legitiate talent to send through). I’d rather see mediocre singers from small towns get the free trip to Hollywood than some of the boneheads they let through these past weeks just because they whined and cried their way to get the votes to Hollywood.

    p.s. Steven Tyler is awesome!

  4. darcy's evil twin says:

    Exploit the mentally fragile people? Heck, tonight I felt as though they were exploiting ME!

    Slezak’s title nailed it – “American Idol L.A. Auditions – Worst ever?”


    • Kim says:

      And that’s the heart of it. You know when you’re being exploited and can simply change the channel. These people have no idea.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        But I didn’t change the channel. I kept watching, thinking it would get better! And then, it was over, and I looked at my husband and said, “it just got better”!

  5. Lindsey says:

    Yeahhh. I watched The Vampire Diaries. I’ll watch Idol on Wednesdays, but I don’t care on Thursdays. Especially when they’re going to get to hour long results shows that need only be 30 min.

  6. kt says:

    That was pure torture tonight. I’m not even going to say any more on the crap-fest that was LA auditions, cuz it’s not worth my words!

  7. Anna says:

    It’s crap like this that makes people skip the entire audition round. Idol should just weed the costume wearing wackos out before they ever hit the audition room, and edit out the rest.

    • darclyte says:

      I don’t know about worst.episode.ever, but it was certainly ONE of the worst. I actually fell asleep. Waste of time.

  8. Angela says:

    Michael – first of all I’m freaking glad to have your recaps to read after the shows again, cannot believe I didn’t hunt these down sooner! That being said…LA was horrific. I cannot believe how bad it was…or that I actually WATCHED it. I have to admit I’m a bigger fan of the judges (well, two of them) than I am the caliber of talent this year. Maybe the ones we didn’t see so far will show us what we’ve missed? One can only hope!

  9. Adam Leonard says:

    Easily the worst American Idol audition night I can remember. The brothers were the only guys I remember getting through though I think at least one other did. An absolute waste of my time.

    • Mel31602 says:

      In all a grand total of five people got through. The JLo fan from childhood, the belly dancer, the Latina Myspace auditioned, and the brothers

    • AWMc says:

      yea the brothers were seemingly good and the first girl they showed from the “myspace” auditions, thats about it the rest was fast forward…what a waste. but i am liking tyler and jlo more. also apparently next week is the “best” so maybe itll make up for today@

  10. Ang says:

    American Idol just didn’t do it for me tonight. There were some seriously DELUSIONAL people tonight. Wasn’t even funny b/c it was sad. Highly disappointed. It’s as though the producers received feedback from people that watched the previous weeks’ episodes and this particular focus group requested more crazies like in past seasons. Well, the producers overcompensated with this episode. Please no! I’ve been enjoying actually seeing more talented singers who receive the tickets rather than watching the nut jobs. (Although I do believe they’ve sent many to Hollywood for a free vacation rather than a real shot at the title. Oh well, at least some regular folks can benefit from the excessive commercial breaks we sit through.)

  11. Toia says:

    The hour wasn’t a total waste of time. I caught up on my twitter feed, checked facebook, cleaned out my emails. I also spent time looking in the app store. I found a lot of cool app’s the show was a train wreck. Really they could have not shown it and we probably be better for it. Of course I wouldn’t have gotten to spend all that hour with my IPad.

  12. eilo says:

    yay, slezak! i agree w/ the chris medina situation— not as bad as Gokey… I don’t want his fiancee to be exploited either… i guess we should all just go back to Chris’s performance which I feel is really great— hopefully Fox doesn’t use their situation too much just to sell votes;p

    • eilo says:

      oops, started with the second video… and no, i’d rather watch your vids than watch the whole show for now but i’ve gotta say… i’m rooting for the accountant, the white house intern and the young cowboy… haha, still don’t have their names down but hopefully, they’ll get through to the finals when i’ll be watching=)

      • eilo says:

        and yeah, randy has to go… his vocabs hasn’t improved any in the last 10 years… hmm after slapping the intern’s face he should really get a move on;p

  13. cjinsd says:

    Thank you for watching so I don’t have to waste my time…one perk of being a west coaster.

  14. Mel31602 says:

    It’s a bad sign when the best part of the night was the mother of that guy not knowing he dropped out of school. I especially liked the touch of the producers putting a question mark next to “college student” for his occupation.
    I wonder why they didn’t say at the end how many people got through to Hollywood. Is it because the number was low? Or did a lot of people get through and the producers wanted to hide that so they could just focus on the freaks for one episode?
    Even those who did get through were only okay. The brothers were my favorite but that might be more because of their personality than their voices.
    Finally I agree w the first commenter that the intro guarantees that Lauren Casey and Brett will make the live shows. Casey and brett aren’t really my thing but I’m pulling for Lauren- all the backlash against the producers pimping her makes me like her more- she did not asked to be pumped like that. And I was happy to see a glimpse of Robbie rosen in the intro package too

    • sara says:

      she didn’t agree to having her cousin being dragged into the room? She didn’t agree to her entire family being dragged into the room while she sang a duet with Steven Tyler? Okay then. This girl was clearly all for the (grossly overdone) pimping.

      • Mel31602 says:

        Have you ever seen anyone NOT bring their family in when asked? She also did not ask to be mentioned by Nigel Lythgoe in every interview or ask to be the last audition of her episode…

        • sara says:

          she didn’t have to agree to letting her cousin be exploited. You don’t a problem with it, great. I’d prefer the title go to someone who actually works for it, not have it handed to them on a platter because they happen to be 15.

          • Mel31602 says:

            It’s not just because she’s 15. There have been plenty of other 15 yr olds so there must be a reason Nigel is pimping her. Maybe she gets even better in Hollywood

          • sara says:

            I get it. You’re related to her. eye roll. She really isn’t as good as you seem to want her to be.

  15. sara says:

    I cannot believe they pimped Lauren again. Again. Again! make it stop!!

  16. Cate says:

    Tonight was the worst ever. Screeching microphone girl. Randy the infantile cartoon character. James Brown’s mentally ill brother. The auditioners in between who got golden tickets were certain HW cannon fodder. Steven was the only saving grace of the entire evening. He held his tongue and composure when all around him was at a fever pitch. I was not looking forward to him joining the judges but now I can’t imagine him not being there. Keep it classy, man.

  17. ErixN says:

    I felt bad for the judges tonight. Especially the last guy that scared everyone. Why was he let through?

  18. Marta says:

    It honestly was like one of those “Best of the Worst” episodes they do some years at the end of all the audition cities… just when we thought they were going light on the joke auditions this year- ugh. It seriously makes me pissed as an avid Idol fan.

  19. christa says:

    I am so over randy right now… only 20 min into the show and i want to mute him every time the camera starts to move his direction… i know Steven is not the best but him and Jenifer are at least decent, maybe if it makes it through this year they will get rid of randy!

  20. Jason says:

    Worst ever? YES! But doubly so, because the producers SEEMED to promise they weren’t going to do this again, this year. It’s incomprehensible to me — why do they go to such lengths to CHEAPEN their own brand? If the whole thing is a joke, what does that say about the hard-working, gifted people who have won/competed in the past? This whole audition set of shows should have been designed to show that winning Idol is tough — REALLY tough. That the competition is fierce from the beginning, and that only the best get through.
    Instead, they made a farce of it tonight. Let’m have it, Slezak. You can’t say anything bad enough about tonight’s show.

  21. DJ says:

    It was so bad tonight. A total waste of an hour. The “good” singers weren’t that good, the bad singers weren’t funny, J-Lo was wearing something on her head that made her look like an old silent film star, Randy was mean, Stephen wasn’t as funny as usual, and you could tell they put that guy at the end to be this year’s pants on the ground, and that didn’t work.

  22. MichelleR says:

    Blech — I can’t think of one contestant who wowed me. I have no patience for the unfunny delusional people, and I can’t laugh at people who are crazy or borderline special need. Just because they lowered the age doesn’t mean they should lower the maturity level. The fact that we as a country have turned our attention to bullying means that AI should perhaps get on the bus.

    The shows have been pretty good, with the questionable moments being at a manageable level, up until tonight. I get why the stereotype of L.A. is of out of work performers. I know they did some sort of video audition, but they were just in NJ and a good portion of the contestants tonight seemed to be from there — why didn’t they audition there?

    Randy’s bitter because he’s third banana. Simon might have been more popular than him, but they were known for he same show, and Paula was more known to people of my generation than the contestants’ generation. Now he has to deal with being the judge people are least awed by and he seems unable to let the others fully handle a rejection.

    But I got some reading done and love my Kindle for moments like tonight.

  23. Tuzo says:

    American Idol L.A. Auditions: Worst Ever?

    Yes. That is all.

  24. Claire says:

    Where were all the struggling singers? I guess the bars are a lot safer than the looney bin of an audition room!

  25. Jason S says:

    Yeah the audition rounds have become very very tedious without Simon. At least he added some comedy and levity to the proceedings. I think without Simon they should just skip auditons all together and have a longer Hollywood week to see mostly the good people. Make it more a reality show in beginning like Making The Band used to be.

  26. susan says:

    Okay, this evening was not a total waste for me. I did get a truly LOL moment when after that horrific James Brown performance, Steven Tyler said, “You are never going to get bit by a snake.” Just a few weeks ago, I wasn’t excited about him being a judge and now I don’t know if the show would be okay without him.

  27. Snsetblaze says:

    This idol was so bad that I watched it in 15 minutes.

  28. holly says:

    I could hardly make it through the first half hour. It was so dissapointing. Just like Randys gold shoes..

  29. pat says:

    This is why I record all idol episodes and watch them an hour after they air. I was able to fast forward through so much it only took 15 min to watch the entire episode.

  30. Street23 says:

    Too bad they used the “apology” gag to open Wednesday’s show — they should have saved it for next week to try and win our forgiveness for wasting our time tonight. This is about the point in every season where most of us start getting tired of the auditions and are ready for the real competition to begin… and they give us an hour of THIS? Why risk the still-somewhat-tenuous goodwill that they’ve built over the last three weeks? Bad move, Nigel & Co. Bring on Hollywood Week, stat!

  31. McComment says:

    Slezak is forgetting something. Past seasons auditions = 95% crazy / deluded / joke contestants + Simon’s sarcastic comments. For the past 9 seasons we were watching mostly terrible auditions.

  32. malc b says:

    I can’t believe that after ten seasons the producers still lean so heavily on the buffoon parade. And I can’t believe that people still actually want to watch this nonsense. Does anyone really believe that folks like the “Human Tornado” and “Big Stats” Frankel really made it past several rounds of pre-auditions and are truly in contention for a shot at winning the competition? It’s a insult to the viewers and a waste of time to put these morons in front of the judges. It’s a further shot to the groin to add a lengthy backstory video that takes up half the show. American Idol should have should have their own Gong Show style spin off called “American Idiot” that could showcase all of these attention whores and clown school rejects. I’m sure all of the hillbillies who tune into AI just to see these jokers would eat it up.

    • Suncatcher says:

      @malc – I am still laughing. “American Idiot” – PERFECT! They can put all their cutting room floor sweepings there. Nigel? You reading this?

  33. Anyonmous says: now has posted those that did make it to Hollywood in the LA auditions. 26 contestants got the golden ticket and are all absolutely phenomenal and some of those you will be seeing in the top for sure.

    American Idol kinda ripped off these contestants by making LA look like mostly all were jokes. There was great talent that they choose not to show for some reason.

    Check out those who did make it through on the Idol website under LA Auditions Road to Hollywood!

  34. Carlito says:

    Couldn’t agree more – terrible!!!

  35. DogBoy says:

    Anyone who has followed Idol over the years know that the show is roughly broken into three parts:
    1) Auditions: buffoonery + backstories;
    2) Hollywood week: melodrama + proof some had no business being there;
    3) the singing competition: for the Final 10-12 handpicked by the judges with at least a half dozen who didn’t make it and should have, and with at least one overly cute girl or boy who got thru for some reason other than singing talent (and will make it thru 5 weeks of voting miraculously.

    Any questions?

  36. Suncatcher says:

    Worst ever? #@*$& YES! Switch channels? I shot my TV – then myself. Twice. (Luckily, I missed).

    I had such severe flashbacks to Season 9 last night, I called my lawyer this morning and pressed charges against “Idol” for wanton torture in the 1st degree.

    Was LA THAT bad – or could Nigel think he had to share gratuitous garbage with us as in years past? Tell me AI hasn’t reverted!!!
    It’s pretty bad when the security guys have to escort the judges safely past the insanity still lurking in the halls…

    My lawyer has a restraining order against ME – from tuning into AI next week.

  37. Bob says:

    You all fell for the producer’s intentional grounding of last night’s show. Probably BECAUSE it was in Hollywood. What they didn’t show, and is coming out in the news today, is they kept many of the good people who received “golden” tickets off the show. Come on, you know by now that the auditions are the fluff of the season. Let’s just chalk it up as an experiment that failed. Keep those Ratings, ratings, ratings coming!

  38. phil says:

    what happened to this show? I’m done with it.

  39. S says:

    “Over the course of an hour, we saw a sad and tawdry collection of desperate famewhores, deluded wannabes, and one possibly mentally ill maniac.”

    Well, that is basically a microcosm of Southern California and LA.

  40. Sunny says:

    At 59, all I can say is: that’s one hour I’ll never get back and wish I could. :(

  41. Idol8Fan says:

    Last nigth convinced me not to tune in again until holywood week. It’s just a waste of time.

  42. Catherine says:

    What was that??? OMG, etc. Michael, you are right, THE worst episode ever! Not even funny enough for vftw!

  43. ladyhelix says:

    I will give them credit for not trying to stretch it into 2 hours. It could have happened.

  44. rebela3857 says:

    I have read all your posts, and like then, but; my problem is that I have only seen the first 2 episodes and have tried in vein to try everywhere there is to get the full length versions on my pc, but am totally UNABLE to do so…………..Does – or can anyone guide me telling me how to and where to go to see the last few episodes???? PLZ help this old woman out if you will???? Thank you so much, Reb

  45. Doedoe says:

    I really luv american idol and i luv to research the amzing history of it. I luv to sing and watch it. And it is one big dreams of mine is to appear on it. So 4 all of u writing bad stuff about it plz stop its not funny and it hurts me cause i really like this show.