Charleston: A city in South Carolina, the Friendliest City In America, a wondrous dance, a delicious Chew. And, perhaps, the home of our next American Idol. Ryan "sure [is] glad y'all could join him" there. Of all the lovely cities in the American South, I can honestly say I've never once considered Charleston. Based on the screaming-crowd B roll, it is a town full of beautiful people. Whether or not the fact that they've decided to play "Let's Get Retarded" over the intro package signifies, I cannot say, but one person who speaks well of the place is the adorably young married professional Oliver Hymen (?), whose totally pregnant wife just went into labor, cruelly ending his dreams like an amniotic tsunami. Perhaps he'll be back. I certainly hope so, he's great.
Not great: Rayshard! (27, Atlanta.) Imagine young Michael Jackson's hair on the black Clay Aiken -- and it's the kind of Clay Aiken fan that is proud of the resemblance, and it's the kind of audition where the resemblance is, sadly, unreal. He sounds ridiculous and gay and -- to quote Randy and Paula respectively -- "over the top" and "theatrical." Simon compares him to the classic "cruise ship cabaret" and even wonders if perhaps a magic trick would not have been out of place in the performance.
Next up: Gross, foulmouthed cornpone waitress DeAnna Prevatte (26) from Albemarle NC, just like Kellie Pickler. Whose video for "Red High Heels," we see, is totally adorable. Who knew? She curses at the judges hideously about the Sunday-morning buffet crowd, horrifying everybody, and gets aggressive and weird with Simon right out the gate. She sings "Fancy," which as you know is the best song ever written about whoring, and a big favorite of mine. She is not a good singer, although it doesn't sound too bad, but sometimes a silk purse is not on the horizon, and this is one of those times. "You're a little tiger, aren't you?" asks Simon, and then she explains how she has strange capitals in the middle of her name. He describes her performance as "angry," and gives a straight-up no, as do the other two. Simon promises if he ever finds himself at her restaurant, he won't overload her workload, and she shoots daggers that actually scare the shit out of him for once. You know what's cuter than regular Simon? Almost nothing, correct, but I will say that Simon at a loss is just slightly cuter. Randy's like, "I hope that she doesn't wait for you in the parking lot," and Paula thinks about how she can get a gun into the girl's hand without getting fingered.