The Amazingly Bizarre: "Eccentric," 24-year-old half-man/half-panther, an argument against stem-cell research with a "fire equaling three men," inspired by mostly the banned part of the "Black Or White" video, the demons in his head, and scary Europorn. Eric Mueller (23, West Covina CA) is nasally up in his nasal, crazier and crazier-looking as he goes on, sounding like a busted lung. Third comes Compton's own Sparkles and Darold, a totally gross couple who met at a bus stop inside the movie Friday. Sparkles sends Simon into an unprecedented wiggle-fit by threatening him with fellatio, first by subtle implication -- and then by offering to suck his dick.
The Merely Uninteresting: Some awful girl and her slutty mom begging for a golden ticket for twenty minutes = low point. Plus, Sholandric Stallworth, who's like a creepy baker from a Disney cartoon who harbors a magical secret, if Disney cartoons knew what black people were. He loves Julio Iglesias, but most of all he loves screaming the words of "If Ever You're In My Arms Again" like a maniac.
The Heartbreaking: Phuong Pham, the only person to ever make me cry on this show besides Constantine's mom. She also makes Ryan Seacrest cry, and if you think that's easy, we're obviously going on different dates with Ryan Seacrest. Sherman Pore (64) shoves Paula down a k-hole so darn fast with his story about how his desire to be on the show kept his "lady-love" alive...until two days before the audition. It's sad, he's marvelous, and he can sing too. A surprisingly uplifting moment of hope in the desolate wasteland that is this show.
The Actually Good: Nineteen hopefuls make it through, including Alaina Alexander, 24, whose spirit has been broken by L.A., despite her mega-watt hot boyfriend, until Simon and Jacob fall in love with her, revealing her true destiny as an adorable shoo-in. Brandon Rogers, "by far the best" in L.A. per the judges, is a sparkplug body with a smooth, slightly weird voice. He's sung backup for Anastasia and Xtina, but science has proven you can't get the gay by osmosis. Don't despair, ladies! Brian Miller (19, Placentia CA) failed out last year in Hollywood, I didn't remember him then, and I don't remember him zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz09dfwj
Katharine McPhee sings that Jacob-hating song of all time, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," as we look at the crowds of LA and remember nutjobs from other auditions this year, and think about how Kat was from LA, and remember how she rolled around on the stage sometimes when she sang. Ryan, off the tip not only of the song but also his outstanding gayness, points out that "Sometimes what you're looking for might be in your own backyard." Since the show tapes in LA, you see. This blonde girl half-heartedly attacks the camera: "Take me to Hollywood! Even though I'm already from here!" Heh. Ryan talks about how the "biggest stars in the world" are already in LA, over a shot of his darling little star on Hollywood Boulevard. Off the tip not only of Olivia Newton-John's presence but also his obtrusively overwhelming gayness, Ryan describes the judges greeting her as "three beauty school dropouts" being joined by royalty from the non-magic land of Oz, or whatever's gayest. He mentions specifically the Xanadu anthem "Magic," and the "pop sensation," "Physical," which is where I learned about the whole dudes-kissing concept in the first place. She sings, all emo right up with her giant face in your face, the Grease song of being hopelessly devoted, and today with the judges here is her state: she is wearing a cute brown tee that reads it is what it is, and the face above it is...also what it is. Which is to say that, of all the permanent expressions one might bring to the American Idol auditions, "mild surprise" is a pretty good choice.
Martik Manoukian (24, God Knows, USA) is "very firey," he says, with "fire equalink three men." He then spreads "the love" all over Ryan's personal space, and very intensely tells us his fortunes: to be athlete, and to "get into actink as well," modelink, to be author, singer-songwriter, choreographer, producer and composer. He then reaches out with one fiery paw and scratches at camera like a great cat. Specifically a panther. He spends a lot of time hissing and meowing like a cat, I should mention that up front. And he wants to be called "Eccentric." I don't think this will be a problem.
"When I was fourteen-fifteen, I was kitty-cat, but now I am full-grown panther." He makes a succession of creepy, horrible faces at the camera and continues to have perhaps the least memorable face in the history of the universe, despite or possibly because of the myriad other issues at play here. He tells us that -- I guess man-panthers? -- have three moves: The Eccentric Move, which is where you apparently pretend that you have lockjaw and cannot operate your joints, but must dance like b-boy nevertheless, as if your life depended upon it. There's the Panther Crawl, which is self-explanatory and mind-numbing, and finally the Flash, where you swipe out at faces and cameras and growl like a giant fucking idiot. He explains, in case we thought he was just being a poseur and trying to look cool by doing these things, that the Eccentric, Crawl and Flash are not created for entertainment: they are him as a person. I don't know what the fuck he means by this, I just know he's tiresome in the exact same way as Margaret Fowler. He informs us that he is the "most exciting entertainer on planet Earth," and heads inside. Where he nearly proves himself right.