American Idol
Mentally Ill Is The New Hilarious, Part II

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: D+ | Grade It Now!
Mentally Ill Is The New Hilarious, Part II
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!


Welcome to New Orleans, home of crawfish, drag queens, nighttime magic, and breakdowns. Especially those Seacrest-specific: "Let's break it down: first Kelly, then Ruben, then of course Fantasia." Whew, I'm glad he broke it down for us. So what he's wondering is, "Could the next American Idol be [in New Orleans]?" Short answer: No, sorry. Long answer: the next hour of your life.

In New Orleans you might find trolley cars, Bourbon Street, the French Quarter, and Mardi Gras… Thanks to Ryan for explaining it all to us. (I thought my description of New Orleans, one of the few cities in America I've actually been to, was lame!) Then there is a freaky, freaky slow motion shot of Seacrest throwing beads off a balcony at an unknown, unseen figure. I feel all of a sudden like I'm in Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil and the deeds are unfolding and sins will be visited on the people. There's lots of pointless, boring footage of lots of pointless, boring New Orleans folks. Like, there's a girl eating a hot dog. That's it. Not doing anything weird or cool or loud or interesting. Just hungry, and having a hot dog. WOOO! So yeah, lots of that, and lots of shots of lots of people pronouncing "New Orleans" in lots of different ways.

Gene Simmons will be joining us, unfortunately, and because the 86 billion people apparently watching this season are like 14 years old, we have to talk about who he is exactly. Now, I don't care who Gene Simmons is, because I fucking despise him, so if you really care to find out, that's what Google is for. We then have a collectively weird moment where there's a short video of Gene Simmons and Simon Cowell utterly making out as Seacrest asks in voice-over, "What would happen to our contestants when the rocker with the world's longest tongue and the Brit with the world's sharpest tongue got together?" I don't know, but I'm fairly sure it's a [funny joke goes here]. I'm so bored with the prospect of the judges judging, Gene being there, auditioneers from New Orleans. I can't be bothered. And even by sitting here doing nothing but telling you how I'm opting out of this, I'm still funnier than what they come up with: a superimposed crappy graphic of some KISS makeup over Simon's face. Which is better than, I don't know, them licking each other. But we'll get to that soon enough.

David Brown (19, New Orleans, working the whole Mercutio vibe hardcore) walks in, and Gene is so convinced that he himself is a badass that he totally starts talking out his ass before anyone can even say hi -- he's like somebody's irritating dad who just assumes everybody wants his opinion first and foremost. But then I guess that's what happens when you spend fifty years getting blown every night by groupies. Even if they're KISS groupies, which is shudderiffic, but anyway I imagine it takes away your real reality just as much as any non-stop ass-licking rock and roll ride. Anyhow, David Brown is lovely, he has great manners, and he sings awesomely and naturally. Gene Simmons is still the boss of everybody on earth, in his own mind. David sings Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" perfectly and beautifully and they all spaz out unanimously, Randy going so far as to say that David is the best person so far to audition for Season Four, and I agree, maybe. I'd know for sure, except we've seen so few of the audition-round winners that I don't really have the necessary information. Because the point of all this is not good singing, it's laughing at people for being something other than what we're used to being sold. More irritating horrible Gene Simmons. Where the eff is Mark McGrath?

Introducing Bobby Barfoot (26, Fayetteville, NC) involves Seacrest debasing himself by signing an autograph for a little boy who throws it on the ground because he thought Ryan was Clay Aiken, and Ryan says it's not the first time that has happened. For shame. Everybody knows that Annette Bening is the new Clay Aiken. But also, for shame anyway, because this is dumb, and the only good thing about it is how it postpones Bobby Barfoot. Who when he does appear looks like a hobbit who does drag shows on the weekends. Honestly, that's the only way to describe it. Well, like a bullfrog too.

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American Idol




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