American Idol
Auditions #5

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B- | 1 USERS: B-
YOU GRADE IT
Putting the "Long" in "Long Beach"

Tonight's second hour of Long Beach auditions are being held on board the Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach. As usual, we open the sequence with a shot of some local DJ talking about the auditions coming to town, the local DJ in this case being Ryan Seacrest. Conflict of interest! People are shown converging on the boat, causing nightmare traffic all over town. Ryan, Keith and Randy show up for the day, but Mariah's still stuck in traffic and Nicki is at the rehearsals for the American Music Awards, as illustrated by some cheap-ass bit of Monty Python-esque animation. Today's first contestant pretends not to be disappointed at facing two dudes. This would be Shubha Vedula and, of course, she's got to endure some lame comments from Keith and Randy about her name before doing "Something's Got a Hold on Me" quite well in fact. Then they make her endure some talking to the empty chairs of the absent judge, before giving her their two yeses and then talking about her name some more after she leaves. I'm sure it's all quite fresh and new to her.

Mariah finally shows up, dressed for the Oscars and then we transition to the men's room, where a very nervous zombie calling itself Brian Martinez psychs itself up. Apparently the bathroom thing is actually part of his story, as he comes out and tells the judges that a producer heard him singing in the bathroom and advised him to... try out for Idol. What, he didn't sign him on the spot? How awesome can he be? Keith tweaks him for his nervousness before letting him sing "You'll Be in My Heart." Which is when we learn that if a producer tells you in the bathroom to audition for American Idol, he does not mean it as a compliment. Randy and Keith quiz him a little bit about that alleged encounter before sending him on his way. "This wasn't a good experience for me," Brian interviews. Or any of us, really. I hope you're happy, music producer from the bathroom.

A guy named Matt Farmer rides in the backseat next to his adorable daughter, Cadence. Outside the audition room, Ryan gets Matt to tell him his backstory, which starts with an IED in Iraq, a photo of an upside-down Humvee with its back end blown clear off and the word he got from the doctors that the brain medication Matt would have to take would render him sterile. And yet here's little Cadence, repudiating that prognosis with her very existence. So of course Matt carries her right into the audition room. The judges let him talk about the tattoos on his arm memorializing his fallen comrades, and then he sings "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke. He's a good singer, but I'm even more impressed with how that two-year-old stands quietly next to him and doesn't try to wander off or interrupt like mine did at that age (and let's face it, still does). The judges like him too, and give him three yeses. And then he and his wife are cute with their daughter some more. So his wife is there? Either he was pandering by bringing his daughter in the audition room or Cadence doesn't like her mom much.

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American Idol

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