When American Idol premiered on Tuesday night with its Boston auditions, we were proud of our hometown. But um, Atlanta had way more talent last night, huh? Within the first fifteen minutes they let about nine people go through. Also within the first fifteen minutes we got an amazing glimpse of Ryan Seacrest’s former self as a kid in the ATL. That right there was worth the price of admission. A few more gems that made us glad we watched are ahead, as well as an actual heartfelt defense of Paula Abdul.
5. The Elevator of Shame/The Elevator Of Winners
The Atlanta auditions took place on the 27th floor of a hotel which means each contestant had to ride up alone, audition, and then ride down 27 floors to deliver their good or bad news to their waiting throngs of supporters. When it was good news to deliver, the contestants enjoyed a grand entrance. When it was bad news, like the blonde girl whose entire high school marching band, a few drum majors, and some Pop Warner cheerleaders awaited her return, it was deliciously painful to watch. It was just plain uncomfortable to watch crazy contestant Lamar Royal get escorted down the ‘vator after he went off on the judges and said “Mary J. Blige can’t sing a f*cking lick, and who the f*ck is Kara? I wish Paula was here!” Funny you say that, Lamar, we were just thinking that…
4. A Noticeable Absence
Allow us to go off for a second about how, even if you’re judging people, you needn’t be a total a**hole. Obviously Paula Abdul is no longer with the show, and sure, it’s only the second night into the season, but let us just say that her absence was truly felt last night at the judges table because there was absolutely no one with compassion up there. What we first took for the four judges laughing and playing around with certain auditioners was actually just straight-up rudeness. Mary J. Blige was a welcome presence after the wisp of Victoria Beckham blew away, but when she laughed in the face of contestants and then Kara DioGuardi covered it up by saying Mary was very upset and crying…um, could we be any more eighth grade? Simon Cowell has made a reputation for himself by being abrasively honest, but we don’t think he’s ever mocked anyone this way before. Paula would sooner let these people go to Hollywood than endure any criticism at all. We miss that.
3. Dixieland Represent
So, y’all, we’re going to admit something private: we saw I Know What You Did Last Summer in the movie theater. And ever since then, anytime we want to imagine a stereotypical country bumpkin, we just close our eyes and think of a barefoot Anne Heche with a phony southern twang and the faint sound of “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” following wherever she goes. There seemed to be a lot of that bumpkin-ness on this episode, from Vanessa Wolfe, who’s never left her hometown of Vonore, Tennessee, and bridge jumps for fun and even said the word “aeroplane”, to the guy who nearly died three times and was laughed off the stage by Mary, Jesse Hamilton. Speaking of Nearly-Dead Guy, what the crap was with the “Cheap Dramatization” reenactments during his segment? Let’s never bring those back.
2. A Moratorium On BFFs