American Idol
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You Don't Have To Go Home, But You Can't Fame-Whore Here

Randy tells us that he's amused by all the contestants who tell us how they've made friends with everybody here, and how they're all "family" now, and he doesn't believe them because it's a competition and all. Yeah, but maybe they're referring to the cameramen? Ryan reminds us that we actually do have part of a family here -- brothers Jesus and Noel Roman. Although, in separate interviews, they come off more as Cain and Abel as they promise to do whatever they have to do beat each other. Jesus even suggests he might "cut [Noel's] throat." Figuratively speaking. I hope.

Prior to the start of the group auditions, Simon has some words of advice: "Don't forget the words." Heh. He reiterates it. Randy repeats it. For some reason, Ryan declares this advice to be "sarcastic" and intended to "psych them out." Granted, Simon does have his sarcastic moments of psyching people out, but I kind of think he really, really doesn't want them to forget the words. And where the hell is Paula? Hmmm...we haven't seen Alan yet this morning, either. Suspicious, I tell you!

The first group is the three guys from Hawaii -- Sonny, Jonah, and Clifford -- singing "Up on the Roof." They're okay. They have really nice harmonies, but whoever is singing doesn't stand out much. It sounds like they're auditioning to be back-up singers. Clifford still sounds like Michael Jackson -- when he was ten years old. It's so creepy and wrong, like he's possessed by the spirit of a dead child who can't be laid to rest until he fulfills his dreams of being a young celebrity. And of course, they end with that harmonized singing of "Honolulu" that they probably spent hours on. I'm getting really tired of that crap. Yes, you live in paradise. And I don't. Quit rubbing it in my face. Bastards. Randy likes it, but points out that the harmonies were better than the lead singing. Paula says that the harmonies were beautiful and fun. Simon thinks they were all "reasonable" and "okay." Jonah declares that this is a compliment from Simon. They all say "Mahalo" a lot, which I think is Hawaiian for "milking it."

Oh, let's all bask in the reality-altering glow of Michael Keown's self-love. He and his group say they wish they could have gone first in order to "set the pace." His eyebrows migrate around his forehead as he tells us that if he doesn't win, he's sure he'll still be in the "top three." In some other interviews, he marvels at how nice his own name is, and how it looks and sounds so good. He looks at us and stage-whispers his own name, spreading his hands expansively, imagining it in lights. I have a feeling that people laugh a lot when they're trying to have conversations with Michael, from which he probably incorrectly concludes that people think he's funny. We cut to the group sing, where Michael sounds boring and smarmy, and then forgets the words. Ha ha! There's my old friend, Schadenfreude. The other two guys in the group are named John Praetor (he's the balding guy in his thirties) and Matthew Metzger (who is young and pretty). They're all terribly bland and dull. The judges are bored. Randy says it was terrible. He says it was like a bad cruise-ship performance, and he's drunk and doesn't know what's going on. Paula's about to chime in, but then Michael interrupts to say that they've seen him "a lot better." Yes, but you suck now. And you really weren't that good before. Paula says they weren't great. Coming from Paula, that's the equivalent of what Simon says, which is that they were "Ghastly. With a capital 'G.'" He says that there was no star quality or "edge," and adds, "I expected you to end with a wink." Ha! He totally nailed them. Simon concludes his comments, but Michael doesn't want to let it go, because he doesn't want them to forget for a moment that they thought he was good before. He tells them that he doesn't want to be judged solely on that song. See, he only wants to be judged when people like him, but not when people don't like him. That's perfectly reasonable, isn't it? Simon says that Michael probably won't be alone in hoping he's not judged solely on his group performance today.

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American Idol

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