I hate politics. I do not align myself with the Republicans. You won't find me fundraising for the Democrats. The Green Party is a joke. Ralph Nader is a punchline. I simply cannot stand politicians, period.
But tonight, I'ma luvin' me some George Bush.
I may not agree with all his decisions, choices and moves, but God love him, tonight, by virtue of his State of the Union address, he kept American Idol to one hour.
And considering how truly awful and subpar tonight's episode was, that's enough to make me run on down to the ranch in Crawford and lick the cowpatties off his boots.
Quite frankly, I'm confused. How can a show we all watch because of its ability to showcase the bad, have been so ... oh, I don't know ... bad?
But, since we all endured the torture that was this evening's show, I shall endeavor to pull some witty observations out of my rear for you.
Ryan opened the show with geographical amnesia: "Where am I? Is it Paris, Italy, New York, Egypt, Rome, Camelot?"
I can tell you it was definitely not that last one. Camelot had that whole, "don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief, shining moment..." thing going for it.
Las Vegas has that whole "let everything that happens in this spot, dear God, let it be forgot...especially that one brief moment with the shiny hooker..."
Ahhhh, yes, Las Vegas - adult playground, home to legal prostitution, phony Eiffel Towers, pyramids, and $2 Lobster Buffets.
Sadly, this round of auditions stank as badly as those mounds of seafood... and those legal prostitutes.
As I write this, I'm still stymied though. For a place referred to as The Entertainment Capital of the World, where were the entertainers? Where was the talent? Where was Mikhala Gordon?
First up was a Rastafarian, and I don't know which was worse, the waist length dread wig or the Ja-fake-an accent. Alexia "Dylon" Lincheta, 23, bounded in and performed a little American Idol reggae - not that there really is such a thing. Sadly, the usher from Bakersfield, California couldn't hit a note if Bob Marley was loading the gun for him and he was told to "go back to da island". Wigless, accentless, he weeped for the cameras, "I should have came as myself and not as a gimmick." Collective DUH from the congregation, mon...
I do believe this is when I paused the TiVo and downed a huge shot of rum.
Maybe I drank the whole bottle because I swear I saw a fat clown walk in and walk right back out of the audition room?
Then I began in earnest to wish I were drunk, for Bobbie May, the zaftig psychic from Season 4 auditions, reappeared like a bad LSD flashback. Only, thank God, she did not intend to sing, rather she is now a Psychic/Manager for her kid sister, Erica Davis, 17. Erica, fond of magenta hair dye, began to make the judges see red - the audition was a bust - but I'm not certain if the truly low point was having Bobbie stand next to her while she sang, or when her lyrics included "a circus of fleas". Either way, I join Simon in begging them both, "PLEASE don't come back again."
Oh, Bobbie did say. "I do have predictions for Season 5, but I feel like keeping them to myself."
I'm sure she'll share them with us just after the final show...
Next up, a "breath of fresh air", as Ryan called her - Mecca Madison, 18, a belly dancer, singer and student who had gold glitter around her eyes and a giant pubic hair stuck to her cheek. She got her ticket to Hollywood, but I definitely recommend a little wax job before she boards the plane...
Ryan Hart, 18, came in next bragging that, "The judges have never even heard my kind of singing."
That's always a good sign.
He made a great initial impression when the first word out of his mouth was "f*ck". Then again, that word came out of my own mouth when he began singing and Linda Blair sprang out of his body spewing pea soup. He not only wins the Linda Sharp Award For Audition Tourettes tonight, but also a trophy for Best Exorcism on National TV.
(By this point, I was missing the ghetto-fabulous antics of Rhonetta Johnson something terrible. I need some more rum.)
Heather Ward, 28, a guidance counselor at the local correctional facility, came in wearing the remnants of a grass skirt leftover from the weekly Luau Lockup. Red Neck Woman seemed an odd choice of song, but it was just that oddity which earned her two yeses and one no - the equivalent of a Get Out Of Jail Free Card in Idolopoly.
Ahhhhh, Venice. Home of canals, Harry's Bar and Pepe' the Gondolier. Ahhhh, the Venetian Hotel, home to cement canals, lots of bars and Jason Andino, 23 (aka Pepe') the gondolier. I've been to the Venetian more times than I can count and have always been impressed with the singing of the gondoliers as they float through the hotel. I guess the acoustics help alot because once in the audition room, Jason and Pepe' couldn't hit the right notes with the judges. Hmmm, maybe next year they'll let him bring some water, a long stick and a funny hat in with him. I'm sure if he sang to Paula in a gondola, she'd give him a golden ticket, or at least offer to hold his stick...
By now in the show, it was apparent that Idol Vegas was truly sucking desert sand because they dedicated an entire five minutes to the unwanted, untalented folks of seasons past, who turn up each year like bad pennies and Simon's black tshirts.
Highlighted in this riveting segment, was JC Gray, the dude with Bette Davis eyes from last season, who had scared the bejeesus out of Simon. (Note to auditioners: Look in the mirror. If what you see staring back has the potential to cause night terrors in young children - don't audition.) Sadly for JC, not even a stylin' mullet could save him this season. He was told NO before he even opened his mouth.
(Insert repeated use of AI logo and profanity BEEP here.)
By this point, we needed help in a big way, and in lumbered Anthony Andolino, right on cue. This was a big boy - in fact, he was a photo negative of Ruben Studdard. I wasn't so much distracted by his weight (seriously Anthony - we are talking health issues here, not mere aesthetics), however, as I was by the backstory about how he and his girlfriend have 75 animals. 75?!? I can barely keep up with the poop from one puppy.
Sadly, screeching your song at the top of your voice doesn't make it sound better and Anthony was shown the door. It was at this point, the editors lost a serious amount of respect with me. Simon's comment that, "We couldn't afford the food bill." was completely unnecessary - it should have been left on the cutting room floor.
Then again, this was the Las Vegas auditions and they needed something to help fill the hour so they could collect their $600k for each 30 second commerical.
Ally and AJ came in next - wait, sorry, they're not Asian ... Oh, ok, these are the Pearson twins, Maureen and Marnelli, who shared a single pair of shorts - seriously, could their hotpants get any smaller? The twins sang "Dreams", then received triplet No's before dissolving into fraternal quadruplets, Tears, Sadness, Snot, and Angst.
David Mandzak, 18, made a brief appearance dressed in a striped tablecloth, singing As Long As You Love Me, but they soon ended it when it became apparent from his grunting that he was pooping his pants.
Padding the commercial clock even more, the producers did a take-off of CSI, only this was Criminal Singer Investigators. They should all be arrested for subjecting us to this lame crap - we expect MUCH more for our Idol devotion than a guy in a lime green shirt singing and doing sign language, a gender confused man performing the hula in Levis, a dude who sounded (and appeared) to be having sex with himself, and someone who personified the song she sang, "I Like Big Butts".
"I cannot lie" either, sweetheart - this was just a bad night for AI. I mean, when viewers are looking forward to the sound of "Hail to the Chief", you know something is really wrong in Idol-land...
Next in the parade of shame came Haggai Yedidya - "Proud To Be An American" in his multi-flagged shirt, and what appeared to be two pairs of jeans sewn together. I loved his enthusiasm for America, I mean I like it here too, but that's not enough to make me want to see him show up in Hollywood.
Princess Brewer, 22, "blunt and sassy", compared herself to Aretha Franklin. She then began to sing "That's What Friends Are For" and it quickly became apparent she has none, for surely, true friends would have informed her she cannot sing a note. I would suggest Princess hide in her castle because after that audition, Aretha is likely looking to wack her with a "blunt, sassy" instrument.
Talk about sucking hind tit....what did we do to deserve another montage, this time just a series of weirdly dressed, vocally challenged contestants (as if that's special)? I was quickly singing along with them, though, and meaning it, "Go on, now GO. Walk out the door. Just turn around now, you're not welcome anymore."
And what THE hell was that half man/half woman thing right at the end? I swear, by that point, things were so bad, I was hallucinating.
This led to a revival of the musical "Hair". Someone wake me up - this nightmare won't stop!
Finally. FINALLY. Last up was silver haired, 29 year old, Taylor Hicks who had Best Buy salesman written all over him. Asked why he was there, he said simply, "I want my voice to be heard". I have to admit, I cringed, in fact, I think I flinched and began to weep, expecting more abuse at the hands of the AI producers, but then Taylor sang. Sure, his movements closely matched Ray Charles when his hair was gray, but Taylor's singing was not bad at all. Seeing that the day was over and there was a surplus of unused golden tickets, the judges gave him one.
In all, only ELEVEN people made it to Hollywood, proving that those Chamber of Commerce guys really did come up with a great slogan for their town, "What goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas."
And may I just say, THANK GOD.
Tune in next time as Idol heads to Austin, Texas, where - God help us - the slogan is "Keep Austin Weird". In light of that, you'll have to excuse me now, I need to go restock my supply of rum...