American Idol
Bo Bice is the New Clay Aiken, Part II

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Bo Bice is the New Clay Aiken, Part II
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Props to Jacob for setting the bar high.

Tuesday

Did you know that North Carolina is the state responsible for Clay Aiken and Fantasia Barrino? Ryan Seacrest would like to remind you of that. He also brings up how every American Idol contestant who has ever been worth a damn in history has emerged from the south. So this year, AI decided to take the search right to the fertile breeding grounds of Greensboro. And who do we see as the first ambassadors of the Greensboro auditions? Some dude dressed up as a fireman, a girl dressed as Rainbow Brite, and Rhonetta goddamn Johnson (who we'll get to later, a lot). First impressions, Greensboro. Can't make 'em twice.

As several pan shots would have us believe, a million bajillion people lined up to audition for Idol in North Carolina. Paula expects to find some talent. Randy makes like Paula and pretends he doesn't know where he is. Simon gets flowers, and Ryan gives him the voice-over equivalent of a yank on the ponytail. So, you know, it's Tuesday.

First into the audition room this week intros herself as "Sabrina…the teenage witch." See, here's where I wish Simon would just pull his "Next!" card and send her away. She acts all aggro-flirty with Simon but he's having none of it. So Sabrina Oakley (26, Greensboro NC) has no other recourse but to sing "Lean on Me," badly. She sings the same way she flirts, actually, which is with great volume and bluntness. Simon calls her on her "Jerry Springer" quality, which is not untrue, though Sabrina takes offense…with great volume and bluntness. You see what I mean? Lady's consistent, I'll give her that. Simon and Randy banter about how drunk you'd have to be to find Sabrina's singing appealing, before Paula calms them down long enough for the triple "no" to send Sabrina on her way. As she walks out into the lobby (and with the door behind her still open, I think) Sabrina announces that Simon is an asshole and relays the Springer comment. Which, naturally, gets a good laugh out of the peanut gallery, and Sabrina gives a peeved look, and I suddenly get the impression that the entire universe is being controlled like marionettes by the AI producers. Is everybody just resigned to playing into this pre-approved script of serving yourself up on a platter for FOX and America? Hi, this is my first year watching the audition rounds, by the way. ["I was gonna say. Just drink the Kool-Aid, it's easier than begging for a coffee." -- Sars]

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American Idol

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