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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Car Wreck of American TV

REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
These people mostly suck

'Idol's' Trying Times

By Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 17, 2007; C01

Early audition episodes on "American Idol" are the torture camp of show business.

We feel really bad about it.

But we like to watch.

Judges Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul are back with their bag of ego deflators. Only this time, Jackson is the bad cop, Simon is the good cop, and Abdul appears to be all sober and normal and obeying the Geneva Conventions. What fun is that?

Singing star/poet Jewel is guest-judging; she's sitting next to Jackson, who told the press a few days ago he thinks the guest judges are hooey and shouldn't be mixing it up with the three regulars.

The judges jump right in, bringing "Idol" wannabe Jessica Rhode to tears.

"I don't want to patronize you but it's never gonna work for you, darling," Simon sneers.

"I'm sorry but we're trying to find the best, and that was so far away from it."

"Oh my God!" Rhode wails.

"No way. Please no, please!" she begs.

"The good news is today you found out you're not going to be [a singer] so you can just -- move on," Simon says therapeutically while she weeps.

Rhode seeks comfort from her family outside. "I really thought I had it. I thought I was ready. They said I'm not even a good singer," she sobs.

Mr. Urban Amish, Troy Benham, follows. He's never seen "American Idol," does not own a "broadcast television setup in my home."

He sings them a song that involves spit dripping into someone's face. And roaches. We're not familiar with that tune.

The judges begin to lacerate him; he puts up a good fight.

"I didn't say I was great. I didn't say I was the best and I certainly didn't say I was the next American Idol," Benham says.

Next, Jesse Holloway walks out midway through his audition, saying he's "real nervous right now." He takes a drink and returns.

"Why did you come back into the room?" Simon asks. "When you left, for once we were on the same page."

Outside the audtion room, Jesse unloads, saying Randy "needs to wipe off the damned makeup he's got on his face."

Which is funny, because we were thinking that Randy was looking much prettier this season for reasons we could not explain. Thank you, Jesse Holloway, for providing answers.

"When was the last time Paula made a record?" Holloway continues, now on a roll. "They can kiss my [heinie]. They need to be fired because they don't know what they're talking about."

When I was in high school, I sang in my school choir. My younger sister took piano an voice. We love this. Most people have no clue that they suck. And some are unclear that this is a contest to spend a million on you. Dressing like Apollo Creed does not inspire confidence.

But what I like most about this is the way it shows how little people know about themselves and their abilities. Off key, out of tune, poor Jewel looked like she was being tortured. Most people have no idea of what it takes to b a professional singer. No idea at all.

And it's amusing to watch.

But you have to keep in mind, they do find a winner.

posted by Steve @ 9:58:00 AM

9:58:00 AM

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