American Idol
Mentally Ill Is The New Hilarious, Part III

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Mentally Ill Is The New Hilarious, Part III
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Tuesday

Tonight we're going to both Cleveland and Orlando. Which is weird, because of all the boyband guys in previous episodes. I mean, isn't Orlando where they grow them? There was some kind of thing where half of the Florida people got flown to New Orleans after last summer's hurricane, I think, so who knows where we actually are at any point tonight. But who cares? What matters -- this week -- is that we will actually see people make it through to Hollywood, rather than just hearing about them later from Seacrest as they whiz by so fast you can't consciously remember them.

And speaking of Seacrest, he spins some boring information about how back in 1952 ("about the time Simon was a teenager"), a radio DJ ("like myself," as though it helps his image to remind us of that) named Alan Freed coined the term "rock and roll" to describe the "new R&B sounds that were exploding at the time." Making Cleveland the heart of rock and roll, I guess. Except rock and roll sounds nothing like what it sounded like back then, and we are not going to be hearing anything like rock and roll tonight, and Seacrest is using terms like "R&B" completely without regard to the current context. So basically, due to something that doesn't exist anymore and has nothing to do with something else, from over half a century ago, we're now in the heart of rock and roll, Cleveland. But I mean, what else are you going to call it, the heart of Howard the Duck? It's Cleveland. "So is the heart of rock and roll still beating in Cleveland?" Oh, Ryan. Sometimes I weep for you.

There were fifteen thousand auditioneers in Cleveland, so they were in a stadium, but then there was a big storm, and everyone got put down in the tunnels to "sweat it out," according to Ryan. Ew. So they're all cramped together and snitty, and this one bug-eyed guy complains, "They got a hotel in St. Louis, they're getting one in DC -- but we get a stadium! It's a conspiracy!" Ah, entitlement. I do love it. Too bad you're being forced to be here doing something voluntary, not to mention stupid, and aren't being treated like a king. Too bad you can't count to 15,000. Too bad 14,999 other people have created a conspiracy to audition for this show, just to fuck you over. Or maybe he's joking, I can't tell because he's a bit wild-looking.

We will be joined tonight by hip hop legend LL Cool J, who is possessed of six straight multiplatinum albums, and has been in over seventeen films, although that has nothing to do with anything. Ryan is just going on what the fact checkers gave him, because he doesn't know who LL Cool J is. Weird mix of numbers coming at you and pictures of LL looking fine. "But will he send anyone 'Back to Cali'?" Okay, that's funny.

The first girl up is crying before she even comes in, for no damn reason. This'll be good. Meet Jaclyn Crum (16, Gahanna OH), a tiny bit off, but pretty sweet, very silly, spaced-out girl. She's very cute. She immediately starts telling Paula how much she loves her, and then begins to sing. There's a nice tone to her voice, kind of smoky and cool. I'm way too pretentious to know who Joss Stone is, on the record at least, but that's who she sounds like. "You look scared to death," they tell her, and yeah. They really like her voice and think she needs and deserves training. LL brings up Joss Stone, because he's keeping it real and is not pretentious like me, and says that American Idol would be a good place for her to make her start. Randy likes her, but doesn't think she's ready, and Paula votes her through so that she can prove him wrong. Then Simon gives the final yes and she comes shooting out the door screaming like a bat; it's startling and almost inaudible. Then she cries again, still for no reason. Yeah, she's 16. She'll calm down one day.

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American Idol

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