(The complete night in one post, filed while watching.)
Well, we're back for another night of ''Idol.'' I am once again tuning in a little late, but will catch up via DVR.
It's Seattle, and it doesn't take long to mention grunge -- and rain, the latter coming down on the contestants. Based on the teasers, I am expecting a fair number of train wrecks. Perhaps not 9,000, but some. After all, this is the train wreck portion of ''Idol.''
Oh, someone borrowed the Apollo Creed outfit from the guy last night! A recidivist no less, who came in a different uniform before. Singing ''God Bless America.'' Oh, mercy. Maybe people should rethink the whole Uncle Sam thing.
Next: What looks like collagen as product placement. ''Gonna deliver the hotness,'' eh? With gum, no less. (Hey, Paula got off a good line!)
No delivery here. A line for a sampler: ''Opinion don't mean nuttin'.'' At least she knew how to work the door.
More shots of rain. Audition bickering. Tears from contestant, followed by her saying she has a cold. Which does not explain her singing. Paula sympathizes. Randy and Simon are convinced she's just bad. ''Tone deaf,'' says Randy. Simon gets blunt, Randy laughs -- and Paula rises to the defense of -- what? Colds? Bad singing? The auditioner fails to get the message from Simon and Randy.
A medley of screeching, from both genders, setting up a scary-looking performer who strikes me as deliberately goofy -- wanting some screen time based on being funny. The mom's look makes me even more suspicious. And the ''Daria'' voice. Oh, well, she got on TV. Oh, goodness, she's singing Pussycat Dolls. And I don't buy this for a second. Not wacky, not funny -- and SHE GOT ON TV.
Half-hour done. Hey, did you know it was raining during the auditions? Interesting to use a Milli Vanilli tune in a singing competition.
Oddly garbed guy, another replayer, two previous auditions. I think I used to have that sportscoat. In 1974. Thomas Daniels, 21, Troutdale, Ore. Not great, not bad, but he goes to Hollywood. Evidence that Seattle is not thrilling the judges. And Thomas is giving Paula ''goosebumps'' ... And there's a dog!
Another dog, and I'm not referring to the contestant. Although that milkmaid outfit isn't a wowser. But in the audition she declares herself ''fluffy.'' Bearable singer until she decides to kick it. Loses the judges.
We are 39 minutes into it and my family is pointing out to me that they must love me very much to sit through this. Especially since they had been watching some of this before, so they're sitting through it a second time. Yeah, they love me.
Pointy-haired guy doing some scat and beats. Blake Lewis, 25, Bothell, Wash. Not a terrible singer, I suppose, but the song's not sending me. Good enough for Hollywood, the judges conclude. But I'd kick him off for saying ''Seattle, represent!''
Teaser promises some good singers coming up. Please!
''Welcome back to the talent vacuum that is Seattle,'' says Ryan. Simon later adds that it's one of the worst days the show has ever had. Good cheer all around. Competing sibs in the wings. Sis -- Shyamali Malakar, 19, Lacey, Wash. -- has some possibilities but no breath control and weak on the high notes. ''Nothing unusual,'' says Simon, but Randy and Paula are letting her through. Brother -- Sanjaya, 17 -- also seems to struggle for air, but he has a decent Stevie Wonder sound. Judges think he's better than sis. Hello, Hollywood 2.
Rounding the turn into the second hour...
Simon bait: Singer butchering ''Unchained Melody.'' The judges know what's coming, it seems. They're delaying the singing with some bored chat. Then the song. Randy and Paula sway, waiting for their colleague to snap. Simon holds back. We wait for him to rise, the sun glistening on his scales, and leap out of the water to snag the lure.
At last! ''What the bloody hell was that? ... One of the worst I've ever heard ... Almost non-human.''
More flops. Last contestant of the day. Paula is verrrrrrry alert to Rudy Cardenas, 28, North Hollywood, Calif. Randy perks up when he says he's doing Journey's ''Open Arms.'' Paula's alertness is vindicated when he proves good. Simon displeased. Paula wants to remain alert. Randy casts the deciding yes....
Medley to ''Bad Day.'' Shouldn't they have a new rejection song for the new season? And on to a break, and then another day in Seattle. Somewhere my new podcasting buddy Malcolm X Abram is clearing the blood out of his ears. (We'll be chatting Thursday.) Simon has told the local media that the auditions are bad. It does not appear that things will get better. In fact, we've added bad dance moves to indifferent vocalizing. What's worse, Simon being blunt or Paula and Randy laughing at the guy? The show is feeling especially sadistic right now, especially with the ''God Bless America'' guy following. Paula offers some pap about ''always believe in yourself,'' but the singer wasn't on the show to teach the audience about belief.
Oh, for pete's sake, there's still half an hour to go. I am in pain. I have no respite. I want snacks. I hereby vow not to write another line until I hear a singer I don't hate. This may be my last line...
Well, aside from noting the question marks they put next to the age for the Hicks-y hairdresser. And how efficient security is on the show.
OK, so I didn't hate the tall Anna Kearns, 20, Wichita Falls, Texas. But ''Respect'' is another one of those songs that doesn't tell you much during auditions. Still, Hollywood makes some sense -- although at some point they're going to have to deal with her towering over other contestants -- not to mention Ryan needing that apple box to interview her. Paula is already laughing at how she'll look in the groups of three in Hollywood.
18 minutes left! Snacks snacks snacks ... Jordin Sparks, 16, Glendale, Ariz. Overdramatic but not stinky. Oops, shouldn't have gone for that high part. Still, no-brainer for Hollywood -- even if Simon thinks she's too, well, nice. He's forgetting that nice people do finish first on this show.
Winding down into the contrived medley of bad vocals on the same song. And, while there have been some decent singers, I haven't heard anyone remarkable in almost four hours. The family, still patiently watching, has had the same view. Teaser now focusing on bad singer after the break. And there he is, complete with stalker music. Just what he wanted -- to be turned into America's Creepiest on national TV.
''Bohemian Rhapsody.'' From America's Creepiest to Clip-Show Regular for this and all future seasons. ''Don't sing about it, just be about it''? And did we miss the witchy-looking singer somewhere, or was she just ... decoration?
On to Memphis next week. I love Memphis. Real singers in Memphis. Great food in Memphis.