American Idol
The Road To Hollywood

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The Contestants That Editing Forgot

Okay, how did I wind up agreeing to recap the good auditions? It's like getting stuck with the one episode of ER where nothing shocking happens in the last five minutes. Sigh.

Muppet-Boy begins tonight's festivities by promising that, tomorrow night, we will actually see the beginning of the dreaded non-audition portion of the season, also known as "the part dominated by forum bannings." It's always interesting when you start a show by saying, "I swear to God, this is the last time you're going to have to watch this kind of stuff." Tonight, though, they're going to keep it up with the auditions for one more tiresome night, and show us some of the finalists they haven't gotten around to showing yet. I think they're looking to avoid another Kelly Clarkson fiasco in which the winner rises up from obscurity such that when she hits the final thirty-two, everybody's left going, "Who?" Muppet-Boy promises some "fantastic unseen auditions," as well as some that are just too weird not to put on TV. Also, there will be some horrible auditions, of course, epitomized by the guy they show right here singing "I'm Too Sexy" with a French accent while spanking himself. Wait, are they saying he didn't get through?

Hey! It's Liquid Metal Man or Woman! With extra words! Like Road! To! Hollywood! This must be a super-special episode!

When we start the show proper (if the word "proper" belongs in the same recap as a guy spanking himself), Muppet-Boy says that the national auditions are over at last. We have gone from stadiums filled with desperate attention-seekers to only the 117 very most desperate. He points out that we've already seen some of the lucky ones...now, we will meet some more.

Our first case study is Elizabeth LeTendre, who introduces herself to the camera by lying on her back and lifting her foot over her head so her leg is lying on the ground beside her ear. That is...gross. You should respect your limbs enough not to make them do things they're obviously not comfortable with. Anyway, Elizabeth vows to puke as she waits in line, do we get to see that part? Of course not! Unfair! She applies lip gloss and blows kisses, which is really not too promising, unless you're auditioning people for the part of the little "ladies first" girl in a stage revival of Free To Be You And Me. When Elizabeth gets into the audition room, she explains why she's there in part by describing herself as "quite charming" in a way she might convince me is genuinely ironic and gently self-deprecating if she hadn't done the foot-over-her-head thing or blown so many kisses. Anyway, she sings "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." The first held note takes about a beat and a half to settle on a single pitch. She's good, but I am skeptical about vibrato in all but the best singers, as you know, and she has it in spades. She also breathes quite a lot in the middle of phrases. And, finally, she is yet another who has obscured a beautiful melody with unnecessary flourishes. Randy, feeling my pain, gives her a flat no. Paula says yes. Simon says that Randy, in addition to losing weight, has lost his hearing. Simon, you see, liked her, because she's young and hot, and Simon thinks that means you have a good voice, as we all know by now. Elizabeth sucks up to Randy about how good he looks as Simon laughs at the hilarity of his own joke. Simon declares Elizabeth "great." I find it fascinating that Simon will let a girl like that go through with no problem, but other girls, he declares to just be typical "types." I found Elizabeth's smoky, breathy, high-school-talent-show thing to be adequate, but nothing special. She certainly didn't sell the song, in my opinion. She, like a lot of girls her age, sings every song like it's about somebody breaking up with you at the prom. Paula interviews (wearing another sample from her Pimp Hat Collection) that she liked how Elizabeth was "confident without being cocky." A quality I would have called "cutesy without being interesting." Asked by Muppet-Boy outside whether she expected to get through, Elizabeth stage-whispers that she did, which is fine -- nothing wrong with confidence -- but which is not as aggressively adorable as she thinks it is.

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American Idol

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