American Idol
Auditions #1: Savannah

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
Savannah Smiles

Ryan introduces a whole montage about how the ladies are into Steven Tyler, complete with a montage of him flirting with auditioners and their grandmothers. I had no idea there were still so many fans of those Spitting Image puppets. Anyway, it just serves as an intro to crazy-eyed Erica Nowak, who informs us, "Steven Tyler is my future ex-husband." She's not sure she'll be able to control herself in front him. Once she enters the audition room, Randy pours gas on the flames by encouraging Steven to hug her. Which he does, getting his ass grabbed in the process. Erica jokes that she's ready to go home after that, but then she sings "Super-Duper Love" by Joss Stone anyway. Yeah, she should have quit while she was ahead. Randy also gets a hug and an ass-grab, and Erica gets to leave happy.

Ryan comments about Steven and Randy's "liberal" behavior with "pretty girls" in the room last season. And right on cue, here's an NBA dancer named Brittany Kerr, who comes in looking like a sluttier version of Carrie Underwood. Steven says yes before hearing a note. She also sings a Joss Stone song, at least well enough to overcome the disadvantage she faces as a result of being smoking hot. The guys both give her a yes, and even though Jennifer doesn't think Brittany's ready, she's through to Hollywood. Gotta keep the teenage boys tuning in, after all. And their dads.

We get a brief recap of some of tonight's 'standouts, some of whom I've already forgotten. Then we meet a Missouri galloot named Phillip Phillips, Jr., who works in his dad's pawn shop. How colorful, especially when they play the theme from Sanford & Son. His dad, Phillip Phillips, Sr, marvels on camera about how amazing it is to see his son succeed. Especially with the handle he hung around the kid's neck. Phillip, Jr. is the last one of the day, and he comes into the audition room carrying an acoustic guitar, while Mrs. Phillips flirts with Ryan out in the waiting area. Phillip sets his guitar down to sing a growly, tempo-free version of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition," which is bold and original and I really don't get it at all. The judges seem to dig it more than I do, and they even invite him to pick up the guitar to do something else. And then -- get this -- he does a bluesy, solo-acoustic version of "Thriller," of all things. I'm glad they asked him to sing again, because that's actually pretty cool. It's like seeing Dave Matthews trapped in the body of that kid who plays Willard in the Footloose remake. They gush over him for a while before going through the motions of a vote and unanimously, unsurprisingly, sending him on to Hollywood. Yeah, I know it's early, but I think we have a frontrunner. Ryan tells us that 42 people got through from the Savannah auditions, and it seems like we see all of them for about three seconds each. "We came! We won! We saw! We are!" Randy misquotes as they get up from the Savannah judges' table for the last time. Jennifer, voicing the thoughts of a nation: "What?" So much for Savannah. Tomorrow: Pittsburgh. This wasn't nearly as bad as I feared. But again, it's still early.

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American Idol




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