Coming back from the ads, we go back to the beginning of the day, with the 10:30 start time and the local media circus that allows American Idol to show its viewers what a big deal American Idol is. Then we meet 16-year-old tap dancer Gabi Carruba, who interviews that she's more excited to meet Ryan than anything else. In the audition room (which seems eerily quiet to me after the auditorium auditions of The X Factor), Gabi's so b-side she asks the world-famous judges for permission to run over and hug Nigel Lythgoe, who's lurking off-camera. That done, She sings "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5, making Steven make that sideways dreamy/farty face she told Ryan she was hoping for. They love her. Three yeses. So far not a lot of drama this season.
Montage of some more decent singers, like Brianna Faulk, Neco Starr, Molly Hunt, a very bluesy blonde named Elise Testone, and a bunch more people who are going to Hollywood and whose names we may or may not ever see again. The judges tell Ryan it's going great, and Ryan tells us from the riverfront that so far everyone has gotten through, making one of their best starts ever. Not that either he or I have the time or the inclination, respectively, to research that right now. Now that he's jinxed it, it's time for Jessica Whitely, 19 years old from Ohio, to sings "In This Song" in a loud, piercing Fozzie Bear voice to crush the fuck out of that streak. When she's done, if I thought that audition room was quiet before, it's now tomb-like. After a long, long pause, Randy declares it "awful," and she gets a unanimous no. But her exit line seems to strike terror into the judges' hearts: "See you in Texas." And then the editors give us a little side-by-side comparison of the original recording and Jessica's vocal faceplant, because horrible people are funny.