American Idol Recap: Tinseltown Travesty

I figured we were at least a few years away from the day that Fox would randomly bump American Idol from its regularly scheduled time slot, but tonight, the unthinkable happened. I flipped on my TV at 7:59 p.m., and the following programming information popped up on my screen:

Real Famewhores of Los Angeles
Thurs 02/03 at 8p, 60 min
New, HD, “Episode 1,” (2011), The desperate, the deluded, the depressing, and the deranged attempt to validate their existences by stepping in front of a TV camera. A teenager blithely throws away his chance at a college education, a young woman invokes the wrath of God, and a possibly mentally ill man dances. TV-GS (Gold Shoes), TV-HS (Head Scarves), and TV-GH (General Hootenanny). (Reality)

Okay, naturally, I’m being as melodramatic as ever about my favorite TV show. But you’ve got to admit that the sixth episode of Idol‘s tenth season felt less like a pit stop for the world’s greatest singing competition and more like a journey into the septic tank where Los Angeles flushes its tired and poor excuses for entertainers.

Sometimes I wonder about these people, these folks who’ll suffer all kinds of indignities in exchange for their 15 minutes — or even 15 seconds — of fame. But, really, they’re just a product of the times. Heidi Montag, despite a total lack of discernible talent, continues to make a living as a “singer” and “entertainer” instead of being forced to work in a cubicle or retail shop (like a normal human) or Siberian garbage barge (the way God intended). “Snooki,” the poufy-haired, frequently inebriated “star” of Jersey Shore, is now a published author! Heck, you can find Idol‘s season 9 breakout jokester, Gen. Larry Platt, on iTunes.

The moral of these L.A. stories, of course, is that the rules governing fame and fortune in our modern times are as capricious as the trajectory of those little plastic balls that determine who wins Powerball every Wednesday and Saturday. So why not get your screen time whenever and wherever you can? Why not treat the entire Idol production as if it were a local TV news reporter you can stand behind while you goofily wave to mom?

That certainly seemed to be the preferred tactic of Hoboken, NJ’s Tynisha Roches, who brought a hat, a microphone, and some insane-looking bangs to her audition, but forgot to carry a much-needed crib sheet for the lyrics to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” Of all of tonight’s “joke” auditions, Tynisha’s was the funniest, if only because her blissful cluelessness kept inadvertently deflating her delusions of grandeur. “I’m definitely a musician, I just know it!” she declared hopefully, then later told the judges she had three albums “ready to be composed.” (And if you believe that, I’d like to sell you patents on the next three blockbuster pharmaceuticals that I am all set to invent in the future.) Still, any singer who can drive Randy from the room for a minute can’t be all bad.

I was less amused by the long and labored audition package for Matt “Big Stats” Frankel, the guy who claimed he’d worked with Chaka Khan, at first because he seemed like the kind of dim bulb who didn’t realize he was the butt of the joke, and later because the dude broke into a rendition of ” Jenny From the Block,” a pretty clear sign that he wasn’t taking the process seriously.

Victoria Garrett, on the other hand, wasn’t joking even a little when she indicated “God brought the auditions to L.A. for a purpose,” then tackled “Now Behold the Lamb” with the kind of tremulous bleat that’s native to slaughterhouses. Can you imagine God catching up on a DVR backlog on Saturday afternoon and discovering such an egregious use of his name? Cue: Storm clouds gathering ominous over Victoria’s home. (Girl, you should’ve paid attention to His last cease-and-desist Tweet!)

God might also want to think about sending a couple lightning bolts directly into the booties of buddies Isaac Rodriguez and Daniel Gomez — the better to shock them into the harsh realities of 2011. The former — if he’s to be believed — dropped out of college in order to pursue a never-gonna-happen career in music, and failed to tell his mother, who was taking obvious pride in her son’s academic achievements (but has clearly never heard him sing in the shower). Seriously, buddy, you’re going to sacrifice a four-year degree for a chance to prove you can sound like one of Alvin the Chipmunk’s cousins on “Build Me Up Buttercup”? Oh what will become of today’s youth?

At least in Isaac’s case, though, the kid has a better-than-tenuous grasp of his own emotional health. I’m not sure the same can be said for possibly 59-year-old Cooper Robinson, who is possibly from Arkansas, and possibly has some mild-to-moderate mental issues that became more and more agitated the longer his segment dragged on. Cooper entered the audition room tonight looking like this year’s answer to Renaldo Lapuz — leather pants, knee-high boots with bells, and a feathery hat worthy of Kentucky Derby Day —  but there was plenty of deeply uncomfortable, nonspecific anger wrapped up in his shtick. Ending the episode with the rantings of a sad, confused old man shouting he’s going to “be in your bedroom, your kitchen, your closet,” etc., isn’t really my idea of a good time. How about you?

Anyway, in the midst of so many brutally bad auditions, we did get to see five singers advance to the Hollywood round of the competition. Let’s see if we can recap their “journeys” in one or two sentences apiece:

* Mark and Aaron Gutierrez (pictured, top right) | Foppish brothers brought a powerful Glee-like vibe to “Lean on Me,” but they might’ve missed their long-lost triplet when that delivery guy brought a plate of orange cheese to the judges.

* Tim Halperin | Yet another two-to-one vote goes in favor of a Golden Ticket, but methinks J.Lo said yes ’cause he crushed on her as a kid, not because she crushed on his singing voice.

* Karen Rodriguez | What hath the MySpace auditions wrought? A woman who can easily render Whitney’s “You Give Good Love” virtually unrecognizable by throwing in more runs than the Boston Marathon.

* Heidi Khzam (pictured, top left)| Boot the belly dancer, save the world! (Or something like that.) Then again, is it wrong that a small part of me would like to end season 10 with the wave of a magic wand and a win for someone with such a spectacular pop-star surname, talent be damned?

What did you think of the Los Angeles auditions? What did you think of J.Lo’s bleeped and salty use of “balls” in her critique of Justin Carter tackling Madonna’s “Secret”? Were you also disgusted by he talent-to-oddity ratio? And what to make of the fact that Idol tonight kicked off with the faces of a a bunch of reminders of the Brett Loewenstern, Lauren Alaina, Casey Abrams, Robbie Rosen, Jacee Badeaux, Chris Medina, Paris Tassin, Jordan Dorsey, Thia Megia, Travis Orlando, and Scotty McCreery, and Jackie Wilson?

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. Tek says:

    This episode was baa-aad! It’s like the car wreck on the highway hidden by dense smoke. One minute your cruising along listening to Ryan Seacrest and some vocal talent and the next you plow right into a bunch of twisted metal and mayhem. Last night was like David Lynch movie about a talent show. I was waiting for Kyle MacLachlan to wander through as Agent Cooper, trying to find out who killed American Idol. The one sliver of hope was the great but over the top perky brothers, and that wasn’t much to go on.

    • PopVulture says:

      I agree – worst episode of the season. Back to the mean-spirited vibe that I was so happy had been gone thus far.

    • Micaela says:

      Was the worst episode ever on Idol..! I’m really excited about Hollywood week though.. I hope HW will feature a lot of Scott Dangerfield!

  2. Maria G says:

    This is all a set up for the worst carnage we’ve ever seen in the history of Idol, as Hollywood week begins next Thursday. I actually asked Nigel Lythgoe on Twitter how bad the carnage would get, and he didn’t reply. It’s gonna be (to quote Steven Tyler) “ba-a-a-ad!”

  3. Carlito says:

    Last night, with the exception of the Gutierrez brothers, was AWFUL!!!! But I will say that I am still pleased with Jlo and Steven Tyler. Tell me, where is AI going? In the dumpster?

  4. duranmom says:

    You know it was a bad audition episode b/c Ryan didn’t even mention how many golden tickets they gave out. Maybe it was just those five?????

    • Cy says:

      I noticed that too! And incredibly, considering they couldn’t even find a sob story to pimp amongst the gold ticket winners, it may really have been just those 5… @_@;

  5. albert says:

    Well, they changed things up. All this season has been alternating good audition, commercial, bad auditions, commercial, sob story audition, commercial. This week, no sob stories. And bad auditions followed by bad auditions. The other change up was with Heidi. Usually they show up the judges patter to entice something like a belly dance (which the judges obviously asked for) and then there was the surprise that she was decent enough to get a golden ticket. I’ll admit that like Randy and Steven I was swayed by her gorgeousness.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Can’t say I was shocked: methinks if you already have discernible talent – and you are in LA – you’ve been “discovered”. And I’m sure that those seeking the limelight to display their talents wouldn’t stoop to auditioning for American Idol and thus compromising some inflated standards that they’re holding on to.

    The Gutierrez Brothers were fun, but that’s all I can really muster up about the LA auditions.

    • LiLa says:

      Except that Adam Lambert who had been trying to get “discovered” wasn’t until he showed up on Idol. I’m guessing that among the real talent in LA are a whole lot of non-talented, delusional wannabees and many of them showed up to the LA auditions. Time for Hollywood Week!

      • PopVulture says:

        I adore Adam, but he was sort of already ‘discovered;’ I think he was already working on Broadway when he entered the competition, right? Not to take anything away from him, but he wasn’t exactly flipping burgers.

        • GinaBallerina says:

          Fellow Adam adorer here!

          I believe he was part of a touring company production of “Wicked.” He was an understudy and part of the ensemble. Not exactly Broadway.

          I am so, so happy he did not think himself above auditiong for Idol. : )

          • John says:

            Um, ensemble and covering the male lead in the Equity touring company is a pretty freaking good place to be in a theatre career. It’s not like he was driving the tour van or working at a tiny little regional house. Adam, by many theatre folks’ standards, was making it, had seriously honed skills and was operating at a high level. All of this is to his credit. But Adam definitely wasn’t suffering.

      • Teresa says:

        Other idols from LA: Katherine McPhee and Allison Iraheta.

        I’m not sure where Kat auditioned, but Allison went to San Francisco. Maybe if you are somewhat professional, it makes more sense to audition in another city with the hope that you’ll stand out more.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Did anyone else notice the edit of Steven Tyler’s comments during Karen Rodriguez’s clip? It was comments from two different days, mashed together to sound like they were from the same audition!

    • Alison REid says:

      I noticed something was off too. he starts off wearing just a T…. and mid-sentence – POOF! – his jacket magically appears. I’m surprised that it was edited this way and the producers let it go. Plain sloppy. Good catch Elizabeth!

  8. SybilT says:


  9. Ellen says:

    Last night was painful. How many people go to Hollywood? Is there a set number?

  10. Ellen says:

    Yes, Elizabeth I noticed that too. Not a good show at all.

  11. darclyte says:

    One of Michael’s former co-workers over at posted a “behind the scenes” view of the LA auditions, and he claimed that it wasn’t quite as bad as shown on tv. He also mentioned one really big guy who made it thru to Hollywood who wasn’t shown and was perplexed as to why he wasn’t.

    I don’t know if it was the worst ever, but it was the worst episode of Idol this season, the worst in a loonngg time, and perhaps ONE of the worst ever. I actually fell asleep and woke up at 2:30 in the morning. I just now went back to watch the rest of it. The few who got through were mediocre at best, other than the 2 brothers who both were good. The thing about them though, kind of like the broken up couple from last week, is that they’re better together than separate. I’d bet that there have been people who’ve made it to Hollywood that we haven’t seen who were better than anyone they showed last night. The episode was a waste of time.

    Going back to the “apology” on Wednesday’s show, it was a joke. Ryan Seacrest and Nigel both admitted to it and while Ryan laughed about it, Nigel told people who were upset to get themselves a sense of humor. Also, the “apology” was supposed to be for Steven’s “Hellfire and save matches, **** a duck and see what hatches” comment, which they showed AGAIN last night. Rerunning that comment (which was funny the first time) was just another lame part of a bad episode.

    You’d have to think that the people who they showed again, (particularly the “Simply Red” looking guy, the girl {Lauren?} pimped by Nigel as “Kelly Clarkson” like, and Fraggle Rogan,) must be considered favorites to make the group that viewers will vote down to the Top 10 or 12 that make the “big stage.” Seeing Lauren (I think) again showed again why I don’t see her as the next Kelly Clarkson. She forced out that “big note” and it practically came across as a yell, not a note. Kelly would have hit the note without it sounding forced or yelled.

    • Amy says:

      Can’t believe they have another round of auditions in San Fran…That big guy is probably on that episode. Of the parts of last nights episode that I watched, they alluded to “saving the best for last” Just because they are in San Fran doesn’t mean some of the stories & auditions weren’t from other places. Reality shows tend to skew reality.
      Count me as one that doesn’t think Lauren’s voice is that great, pimped or not.

  12. Allison says:

    Yeah, this ep was definitely a joke, and a waste of time. I pretty much treated it as background noise while doing other things. I think the producers basically scripted the ep as a joke, and the prevalence of fame whores in LA just made things that much easier. It sounds like next week in SF they’ll actually focus on talent again, which is good.

    But I gotta say, this audition round has been pretty lackluster. We haven’t even had any borderline/trainwrecks to pass to hollywood and love to hate, like Tatianna or Bikini Girl or Norman Gentle. In other words, no “personalities” have emerged (for better or worse).

    And the talent that has made it through seems to range from non-descript and forgettable, to “sob story with an extra dose of pimping” (cough*Chris Medina*cough). In short supply are the memorably talented people who just came with a dream to make good music. Might I remind idol that very few past year’s winners or stars actually had much of a sob story.

    • Teresa says:

      Has anyone with a sob story made it to the finale on Idol? I guess maybe Fantasia and Crystal’s stories qualify, but I don’t remember them all that sobby. They both had children. That’s not exactly sad or (obviously) unusual.

      It seems like a truly dramatic backstory can get you to Hollywood and can get you deep into the finals — but when it comes right down to it, America usually prefers its winners to have talent, imagination, and determination.

      I wonder what would happen if Idol decided to go in the opposite direction. What if, instead of focusing on personal tragedy, they focused on accomplishment? What if we saw more stories of contestants pounding the pavement, playing small gigs, giving to the community, etc? Or would we find that boring? Would people really have rallied behind Kyle Einsley?

      • GinaBallerina says:

        Actually, if you listen to Crystal’s song “Farmer’s Daughter” it alludes (well, more than alludes, I guess) to her being abused by her mom while growing up. So she truly had a sob story, she just did not share it. Same with David Cook and his brother having cancer. People found that out from the internet, not from David directly volunteering the information.

        I guess the difference is, winners and runners up can have a sad story, they just don’t share it.

      • maggie says:

        Sorry, that would be boring. Give us talent, not backstory.

  13. Ghost of Kellly Clarkson says:

    Enough already! On to Hollywood Week so we can cull out the pity votes and focus on actual talent.

  14. Finian says:

    300 or so wannabes headed to Hollywood week – is this so we can have an entire episode of first day meltdowns and tantrums when they find out they can’t hack it? I never thought I’d see the day when Randy looked like the voice of reason on the panel – his no votes have been pinned to those with pleasant but forgettable voices or lacking the stones it takes to navigate the more intense part of this competition. too many lightweights headed to Hollywood, and I fear that some who might have been worth working with will depart because they fall through the cracks while we’re forced to watch others who never had a chance.

    • PopVulture says:

      I don’t mind Randy’s “No”‘s, but I can’t stand his rudeness. Looking away, laughing during auditions, covering his face while people are singing. Just some base-level manners would be awesome, dawg.

  15. Suncatcher says:

    I knew Nigel couldn’t go an entire season without reverting. Maybe he was throwing a bone to that small percentage of viewers who tune in just to watch the psychos who have been denied thus far in S10?

    Nigel, please use the following in the future, where applicable:

    “WARNING! The following show contains insanity, clothing malfunctions and the oddest behavior that you may find disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.”

  16. PopVulture says:

    I think I saw a flash of Adam Lambert in the opening credits – are they showing all the successful alums now, instead of just the winners? Hooray!

  17. Kim says:

    First and foremost, Idol is a TV show making loads of money as such. Although there have been some adequate singers put through, not one is a “superstar”, a label I abhor.

    To paraphrase what John Wayne Shulz’s mom said, it’s giving the kiddos from small towns the opportunity to do the thing they love. I liked the woman and she made me laugh when she was worried her son was leaving without his golden ticket.

    I watch Idol for that. I don’t watch Idol to see pathetic people made to look even more pathetic. I’m certain many are the butt of jokes every day of their lives. Idol is not high school. This isn’t Mean Girls. Besides, the mean girls lose in the end. Being mean is wrong,something that should be grasped by the age of reason. Maybe one of these poor souls will do a CARRIE on them. Now that would make for some good television.

  18. Jess says:

    This was the worst episode EVER….That insane guy freaked me out…Hollywood week please, I’ve had enough of auditions.

  19. Pam says:

    Ugh! What an awful show! The old man at the end, I hope, is just an actor. Because otherwise, it was just sad. If Karen makes it past Hollywood, she needs to cut back on the runs. Just sing and forget the vocal rollercoaster, please! I enjoyed the brothers at the end – they seem like they really have a lot of fun together and they definitely sing well together. I think that the one who’s a teacher (Mark?) is the better singer, tho.

  20. Yo says:

    That was godawful: I played Scrabble through it the my growling dog kept attacking the TV screen. I’m just glad I was not forced by occupation to recap the episode. The producers really think their audience will tune in next week?

  21. Sharkey says:

    Except for the obligatory sob stories and obvious pimping of certain contestants by the producers, I’ve really been enjoying this season, not missing Simon AT ALL. I think that many of the contestants we’ve seen are very talented. HOWEVER, last night was just abysmal. It validated the use of my DVR. I think I watched a grand total of 10 minutes. Instead of the old TV program “Name That Tune” where contestants would say “I can name that song in 5 notes,” my criteria for skipping a performance is “I can hit fast forward in 5 notes.” A complete waste of time. Let’s just hope last night’s program was an aberration and not a preview of coming attractions.

  22. CMJ says:

    ok, so yesterday I said I wanted to see more people crushed by the panel. This is not what I got. I got hacks looking only for a few minutes of fame. The “producer”? He wasn’t worthy of a nano-second. His slot could have been filled with 2-3 successful auditions. I want a mix, and I’d like to see some who lose on a 1-2 vote.
    I also like the first round of Hollywood where the judges may say to themselves, “what the heck were we smokin’?”

  23. cd says:

    I just find it more and more depressing that journalists are no longer required to proof read their material. Still, I do usually love your work Michael.

  24. Chris says:

    Last nights episode was the worst I’ve ever watched. Way too much time on the “funny” bad auditions. I noticed that bad edit with Tyler, jacket-> T-shirt-> jacket in a split second. Shoddy Nigel, just shoddy.

  25. Sally in Chicago says:

    I’ve been saying this all season long — they have to fill the quota for the Hollywood hotel rooms. Remember? They need the “going home” room and the “staying” room. That’s why some of the really good are given tic to Hwd along with the really bad.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Is there a “crazy contestants quota” of which the rest of us are unaware?

      Is there an “annoying contestants quota”?

      Is it just me, or are Sanjaya and Bikini Girl looking good right now to anyone else? I think I would have done handsprings across my family room if either one of them had appeared on my TV screen last night!

  26. mawmaw of 2 says:

    I KNEW there had to be something positive come out of the show last night. It was your recap, Michael. Thanks for giving me something to enjoy after watching that …I don’t even know what to call it!

  27. MaryS-NJ says:

    What a waste of an hour. Good grief.

    – I liked TIM HALPERIN (for my daughter’s happy squeal at his pleasant voice and cuteness…and because I’ve heard some of his pretty nice pre-Idol music) but he came off as a bit cocky. I don’t think KAREN RODRIGUEZ was overrun by, uh, runs as much as some of the others (GUTTIEREZ brothers: I’m lookin’ at you). I think she has one of the most controlled and prettiest female voices I’ve heard in any of this season’s auditions.

    But, wow, what a parade of delusion and unfunny gimmicks. The last guy scared me and they just kept the cameras rolling as he fell apart. I thought he was going to hit somebody at the end there. Really, not cool. Matt’s buddy seemed to be autistic or something, did anyone notice? I thought he was a waste of time. Clueless New Jersey girl was a put on…I hope? She was funny for about a minute but really who cares about this field of bad auditioners who will never make it to Hell Week. No wonder they took the time to higlight the genuine talent they found in earlier auditions for anyone who was turned off by the steaming pile of poo that was left in LA.

    I hope San Francisco takes it serious. I’m sick of the auditions already and it’s time to cut the 2/3 of auditioners who got by on the judges’ sympathy (pity?) and shouldn’t have ever been put through.

    Still loving the judges, including cranky ol’ Randy. He’s no Simon but I think will settle into the role of blunt-spoken elder while Jenny and Steven take turns being the good cops.

  28. nich says:

    The old man at the end, the one who was clearly out there mentally, made me so uncomfortable. I hated Randy’s laughing like it was some big funny joke. I feel like Randy wants so badly to be the Simon this year but in his eyes being the Simon means being a straight up jackass.

  29. Sunny says:

    People, L.A. didn’t have any more rotten auditions than any other city. Idol just chose to package it and shove it down our throats that way. Out of thousands at each city, there is probably the same amount of good and crappy singers. It all depends upon what they want to feed us, and what they leave on the cutting room floor, or save for later episodes. People aren’t really that naive this long into the series, are they? (commenters, not our beloved author.) :)

    That said, I should’ve turned off at the half hour mark, when the die was cast. Color me dumb not to, but to hold out hope for SOME reasonable facsimile of talent.

  30. Linda says:

    Watching this episode made me realize how much I miss Simon Cowell, and how the producers of Idol failed miserably in their quest to find judges who were anywhere near as interesting and entertaining. They should have just pulled the plug on the show, rather than subject viewers to the baloney that is being served up by Tyler, J-Lo and Randy. Thumbs-down to this entire season.

  31. sumwhut says:

    when idol is trying to save itself and build an audience why do they want to marginalize groups of people with blatant ridicule? so far they have gone after the boy scouts, the christians, mentally ill/ homeless people, the obese and the unattractive. it can be uncomfortable to watch at times.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      there is nothing wrong with Christians or Boy Scouts on American Idol. They just need to be able to sing!

  32. Ariettty says:

    Great recap, Michael! Someone should scoop up adorable Isaac for a Blue’s Clues type show. His energy, good humor, and smile were infectious. Even though he couldn’t sing a note, I loved his personality.

  33. Katie says:

    I thought the “Human Tornado” package bordered on cruelty. Instead of wasting all of that time exploiting someone who is clearly mentally ill or on crack for a cheap laugh, they should have shown more successful auditions. Or some auditions that were borderline (2/1 vote). Last night’s episode was just awful.

  34. TinCan says:

    “And what to make of the fact that Idol tonight kicked off with the faces of a a bunch of reminders of…”

    I kinda feel the same way about your top 20 leaderboard — way too early to invest in learning any names. So many golden tickets and we have seen only a small sample!

    I look forward to Hollywood week.

    Question, How can I be notified (like EW does) when you post a new video?

  35. darcy's evil twin says:

    You’re traveling through another dimension — a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of insanity. A journey into La-La land, whose boundaries are that of…wait, there are no freakin’ boundaries. That’s a signpost up ahead: turn the channel while you have the chance, because your next stop is: the American Idol Crazy Contestant Twilight Zone, a la “the City of Lost Angels” style!

    Good grief, I almost missed the sob stories last night! That would have been better than the contestants. Did someone leave the door open at the local asylum?

    Okay Slezak – I love you, but do NOT put General Larry Platt’s name in the same paragraph with Heidi Montag or “Snooki”. Ever. Again. In fact, don’t mention them in the same column. General Larry Platt was original and had talent, albeit limited.

  36. Idol8Fan says:

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

  37. Samantha says:

    That’s why I stopped watching American Idol years ago! They let ridiculous people through to the judges for a little “entertainment” at the expense of the contestants, and who knows how many talented people are left outside so that these idiots can make a fool of themselves on national television.

  38. ErixN says:

    I think it just shows how bad the auditions were in Los Angeles. I think the last time AI went to LA (or at least in the area) there were a lot of crazies there as well. I also remember the judges commenting on that then as well.

  39. marie says:

    Horrible show last night. So much for the encouraging season start: we’re back to the freaks, loonies, and the meanspiritedness that accompanies them. Hiss, boo!
    Have not had time to read all comments so sorry if I’m repeating anyone – actually, I’m not sorry, because this is important: Idol producers, please DO NOT feature poor Cooper Robinson in the finale! I fear they may be planning to do so, but seriously, he’s NOT Renaldo Lapuz or Gen. Larry Platt, each of whom performed a genuinely amusing original song with some real entertainment value. Mr. Cooper offered only a half-baked James Brown impersonation. More importantly, Lapuz and Platt seemed like generally well-adjusted guys (if a touch deluded in Lapuz’s case), whereas as Slezak notes, Mr. Cooper’s demeanor suggests the possible presence of some mental / anger management issues (I can understand why Jennifer was hesitant to leave the audition room alone!). Really, this unfortunate fellow seems troubled, and is NOT a candidate for a lighthearted, fun-poking production number on the finale show – PLEASE, JUST DON’T DO IT, IDOL PRODUCERS! We haven’t had such a candidate yet this year, and if we don’t, so be it, the finale will be none the worse for the absence of a joke performance.

  40. Cy says:

    Yeah, what an awful show… Those brothers were cute, but I feel like they should just get into the pop business as a duo act now, w/o Idol.

    I guess the Los Angelinos either thought there was too much competition in LA to audition here (and went to other sites, like Adam Lambert did in season 8–up to San Francisco), or Tinsel Town was too jaded and decided that Idol season 10 was toast w/o Simon and didn’t bother auditioning. Either way, what a horrific night…

  41. Leigh says:

    Someone on this panel, please SOMEONE, become the voice of reason and stop sending through mediocre contestants to Hollywood. They have sent fifty or more through in each city (except LA – actually a no. was never announced) and I remember in seasons past where less than 20 went to Hollywood. What are they going to do with all these no talented people once they get there?

  42. Jonathan says:

    Frankel’s CD has ten tracks on it, half of which are credited to him. There’s an expanded MP3 version w. 45 tracks, the first of which is by his mother. Did someone say “vanity project?” I think Jonah Hill’s character made better music in “Cyrus.”

    Chaka Khan appears on a track by someone called “Shy B.”. At least this guy has some microphone skills (unlike Big Stats), but I wonder if she really sang on the track or if they just managed to get a sample cleared.

  43. Jonathan says:

    Oh, crap, am I gonna be beefin’ with Frankel now? I gots to get me a bodyguard!

  44. Jonathan says:

    Sorry for the double post.

  45. Maddog says:

    Justin Carter did make it through to Hollywood and he told me there was a lot of talent that day. Steven and Randy LOVED him and J-Lo had one bad comment and THAT’S the comment they air. Nigel actually got “Secret” cleared so that they could air Justin’s Audition… The episode’s editor made some really unusual choices. Maybe we’ll see more of Justin in Hollywood.

  46. Brian Dunkleman's Shrink says:

    I mean this with total sincerity. Tynisha Roches was/is a man, yes? She has a prominent Adam’s apple and there were characteristic Nigel jokes about “going down” in her package. (Her video package.)

  47. Jessica says:

    Not impressed with the last 2 weeks. Really seems I’m only watching it for the judges. Besides 2 country guys and a glimpse of Andrew Fenlon no one else has stood out to me. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see how they do. I actually always liked Randy but his “what show is this?” over and over and over again is getting annoying.

  48. PinBox says:

    Totally pissed me off. Boo! Hiss!
    There went that hour of my life which I can’t get back.
    If I want to see mentally ill people I can drive past any street corner in my city. I want to see talent when I watch American Idol, period.

    – Tasteless
    – Talentless
    – Tactless

    :-( :-( :-( :-( :-(

  49. The Gutierrez brothers were part of a Christian boy band called GB5. Google “GB5 official”.

  50. sherimoonzombie says:

    Good lord, that show wasn’t even worth airing. It was just boring. Not a single singer I’m interested in hearing again, and even the bad auditions were painfully boring. The ONLY enjoyable moments came from Steven Ty’s comments and a couple of the faces JLo made. Pretty sad show when the only entertainment is coming from the judges.