American Idol
Auditions: Birmingham

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Jacob Clifton: B- | Grade It Now!
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Watergate Still Kind Of Bothers Me
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Seacrest dips into a weird non-native Queens place deep inside telling us how some people "cwall" Birmingham "Idol Country," due to the storied Alabamian preoccupation with the adoration and propitiation of golden calves, mutant M&Ms, and the patron gods of high school football, Daterapius and Homophoboton, with a meaty mix of sacrifices ranging from transfat-laden fast food and Dixie Chicks CDs flambé to the upper range of your classic jerkies: beef, venison, libertarian. Also, though, because of Bo and Ruben, and "of course, Taylor." That phrase is at the bottom of so much that is wrong: "Cervical cancer is on the rise due to an uptick in STDs, and of course, Taylor Hicks." Ryan says this year, they figured out that they should just go to Birmingham directly instead of taking part in the national joke that is this show, where a newly minted crooning pothead with gross dad flab and a whole snooze-inducing trashy family story would be waiting and ready to be our next American Idol. Sadly, this did not happen. More sadly, we're spending an hour in Birmingham anyway.

Since so much talent has come from here, we thought, "Why not come to them?" And then proceed to pretend there is no talent here, because that's how Audition Month (month) works. The Mayor of Birmingham, who looks like a very nice homeless person, calls his town "the place where Idols are born," and Moses delivers just then a mighty bitchslap, and dude's like, "I'm the Mayor!" Paula looks totally cute, Simon's totally sweet to everybody, Ryan giggles in the voiceover about how Simon changed into a black sweater, and everybody cheers the judges as they arrive. Why?

Erica Skye (19, Auburn AL): Stripper dancing and talking I don't understand -- is she speaking English? Did she put something in her mouth? Was it pharmaceutical? Am I being hateful toward Alabama or toward the motor skill-compromised? I remember I had trouble understanding Bo sometimes too. She says she's studying "biological science," which...? And that she hopes to do something "in the dental field," and in addition to sounding either high or like she has a softball in her mouth, she also sounds like she's going to cry, all the time. Which is how it is, in Alabama, like all the time. Or so Oprah has taught me, through her many books. She's cute, I mean, this girl is cute, with wild hair that says "I'll totally make out with you, thanks for asking!" and makeup that says, "I look fifty!" Her impenetrable accent goes away somewhat while she's singing, but that doesn't help, really. She sings "Unchained Melody," which as we all know was written and first performed by Leanne Rimes, and it's almost there? But it's not really there. Randy is embarrassed for her, and he wigs out with Paula about how loud the girl is.

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American Idol

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