The horrid voice-over guy informs us that so far, 158 have made it through the "harrowing" audition process. Now, we're in Atlanta and Nashville, doing more sorting. You know, wheat from chaff, cream from the 2% milk. Separating dirty, skid-marked underpants from the cashmere socks. Well, maybe cash-mink, and affordable cashmere substitute, now available at Target (!). I wouldn't call any of these contestants we've seen this far cashmere. VO Guy wonders if Atlanta will "produce another Tamyra Gray." You mean the contestant who should have won and was robbed? For Atlanta's sake, I hope not. I mean, twice in a row? I'd be bitter. Anyway, the final auditions, Nashville and Atlanta -- or "a double dose of southern comfort" -- are finally up. I'll just pour myself a...hmm, what goes with Southern Comfort? Oh, right. Ice.
So, 6,500 people camped out to audition in Atlanta. So, what, like, one percent of them could probably make it? I like those odds. Bring the pain. Simon walks in late, grumpy in a low-cut v-neck sweater (I can see his boobies!), and spreads his bad mood around like hot peanut butter on crackers. He says he'll be judging people not just on their singing ability, but on how they walk into a room, and how they react to the judges' critiques. Or as Gene Simmons likes to put it (and I don't mean to hot blondes), The Total Package. One more thing: No Paula. The nice one ain't here. What, does she not want to hang out with Jermaine Dupree and Ludacris this weekend? No Paula means this should be all nasty, all the time. Bring it!
First up is Nickie Nicholson, from Georgia. First off, change the name. To Jackie. Alliteration is not always your friend, Nickie. Neither is a shirt with sleeves so long and fluted they resemble piano shawls. She sings well, belting out a version of "Lady Marmalade" and impressing Randy and Simon. She makes it to Hollywood, or Studio City, or whatever they want to call it. They might as well say, "Welcome to obscurity!" Another southern belle, Jessica, earns a yellow sheet and, cheating out to the camera, tells "y'all" that the judges are "not that bad" and "if you walk in and be yourself, they will respect you." Hey, Jessica? What if you suck? If you just walk in and are yourself, and yourself sucks -- do you get respect then? Hey, Jessica? Shut up. The VO Guy talks over her and reiterates my two points by introducing Johnny Lee, a stout young man in a baggy blue t-shirt who is convinced that he will be a star one day. A SUPASTAH. Honey, you're fabulous, but this is a talent competition, not televised confirmation of what your momma told you. His song is "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." Simon says that's his favorite song, and Johnny launches in. He doesn't even get to the chorus. He's not entirely off-key, but he is truly awful. I think I hate him most for saying "moun'-ain." I hate when people drop consonants. He sweeps his hands from side to side like he's making a bed. Perhaps, his day job? Simon holds up a hand imperiously (like he does everything else) and says that was his favorite song. Johnny, leave the chateau. Johnny isn't daunted, though, and says he'd do it again. Johnny? Don't. Then he says he won't give up his dream, no matter what those judges say! Johnny? Do.
Enter our next metaphorical head on the virtual chopping block. Ooh, Omega. She's a dancer, or so she says. She calls this not an audition, but "performing." That's a good way to look at it. If you're not terrible. But what are the odds of that? She's in this rather unfortunate (and clearly homemade) outfit of black bell-leggings and a half-shirt with Burberry checks on the bodice and thigh, and those heinous-yet-popular sheer handkerchief sleeves. There's so much wrong with her outfit that it's almost not a requirement that we hear her sing. But it's not up to me.