American Idol
Auditions: The Best Of The Rest

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Jacob Clifton: C- | Grade It Now!
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Have Circumnavigated Globe. Am Still Unable To Locate My Baby.

Next week: Hollywood! It's going to be awesome as usual!

But it turns out that "next week" is not "today"! How sad. Instead, here's some more of the crap that you didn't even care to watch for the last three weeks, that even the show didn't find interesting enough to show you in the first place. It's gonna be loud, and it's gonna be stupid, and you're going to wish you hadn't watched it. This...is American Idol.

Lots of people auditioned in the country last summer. Sometimes it rained. Sometimes they had giant circus tits. Sometimes they were gender-estranged. And sometimes, just sometimes, they were mentally impaired. Meet Luke Reeder (26, Hollywood...Florida! Fakeout!), who is developmentally disabled, is wearing one of those baseball caps with the bushido flap in the back from the days of "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," is obese, and additionally cannot sing. Isn't that hilarious? I love that we just started with that shit. Simon is depressed by all of this, and calls him "mad."

Then there's Victor Villegas (18, Grand Prairie TX), who is a person of interest because he, apparently, can't sing very well. Yes, you heard me right: sometimes, don't be afraid, but sometimes, people audition for this show American Idol, and occasionally it turns out that they are not quite suited, ideally, to be included in this particular kind of competition. He sings badly for awhile, and the judges are bored, and Simon's hairy chest, and Randy baa-ing like a sheep, and Paula drunk.

Meet Amy Davis (25, Lowell IN), who has a quite a body, a kinda rough story about a single mom with six kids, and a friendly voice. Her grandmother is Japanese, and she sings "Blue Bayou." Simon likes her, even though she gets reedy and weird a few times, but Randy and Simon agree that with less nerves and a little training, her potential could go crazy. They let her through, foot-long dangling earrings, and she thanks them and leaves. And that's the point that Paula informs her she is through.

Tiffany McCampbell (21, Anderson IN) is already the saddest thing I've ever seen before this shit even starts. She looks like one of the Jackson brothers, square jaw and tiny mouth; she's wearing a homemade church dress; and now she's dancing in slow motion to the music of God, and doing bizarre vocal warm-ups. She prays in front of other people, which weirds them out. She tells the judges that her voice came from God and they make fun of her. Intensely. She sings "Hallelujah," some song about magnifying Him that I've never heard, and they laugh at her and her ill-fitting outfit and her untrained, kind of awful voice. It goes on and on, forever, and it's insulting and disrespectful and gross, because it's clear that religion is all this girl has, and she's doing right by it, and that's neat. But I mean, is this a sign that we're not afraid of the evangelical right anymore? Because that shit would not have flown -- for anything! -- in the days of Clay and Ruben. It simply wouldn't have happened. Did all the copies of Left Behind and VeggieTales and Bridges Of Madison County get bought? Did all those people accidentally buy The DaVinci Code and become Satan worshippers? I'm very confused. If I went back to the theatre today, would The Golden Compass suddenly be sucking less? Is it possible we're not pandering anymore? Because I have been holding back. Just you wait, America.

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American Idol

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