Come On Feel The Illinoise! American Idol Hits Chicago


Yeesh. Last night’s American Idol bordered on tedious, no? Or maybe we, like the judges, just have no patience for an abundance of wacky contestants over genuinely good (or even terrible but entertaining) ones. As Simon Cowell put it so concisely, “This is a complete and utter waste of time.” Over 12,000 people showed up for the Chicago auditions and only 13 left with golden tickets to Hollywood, that’s how crappy the talent was, and the judges themselves couldn’t even fake their enthusiasm. But at least Shania Twain proved herself a capable and compassionate judge, even if she did like yanking her own drawstrings (not a euphemism). And hey, we also got a weird cover of the Growing Pains theme song so there’s that.

5. The High Talker

What was the deal with all the high singers? Clearly they weren’t there to make a serious attempt, as evidenced by their presence in all of the “Terrible Auditioner” montages, many in their very best Halloween Outlet attire. But when someone like Brian Krause, who served in the Army in Korea and claimed to have entertained his fellow troops, does the worst impression of Tiny Tim, a man whose voice is intolerable already, and then truly seems surprised when he doesn’t hit it off with the judges, it just makes one worry. Maybe this is how his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is manifesting itself. We saw The Hurt Locker, we know how combat can mess with people’s head.

4. She Do Impress Us Much

Of the three guest judges so far, Shania Twain is our favorite. Her comments were actually music-related, even when she made them sound dirty (see contestant John Park and his “nice bottom end” for evidence), and she was composed and thoughtful. It pains us to realize we are applauding and agreeing with the taste of a woman who once wore a leopard print bra/suit ensemble, complete with its own built-in hood.

3. Sweet Charity

Of the three contestants we really liked last night, our favorite is the one without a sob story. Sorry! We have no heart! While we look forward to seeing where Katelyn Epperly (the one whose dad abandoned her family) and Paige Dechausse (the one with the asthma) go in this competition,  we liked Charity Vance (the one whose parents cut hair out of their living room) the best. Charity, at 16, had an unconventional voice and an Ugly Betty-inspired salon-home we’re kind of obsessed with.

2. Stop looking at us, Kara!

As we mentioned, the show wasn’t without its sob stories last night, but usually when a contestant’s life is especially tough, they get to go to Hollywood and for at least a week of their life and have full use of a mansion with stainless steel appliances, something we’re still holding out for. But last night seemed like a big downer in general, not only did one contestant openly weep in front of the judges after getting the boot, but they even made Brian the Veteran look a fool, which is especially harsh. The only thing that could have made the episode worse is if Kara DioGuardi kept awkwardly making eye contact with the camera to try and peer into our living room and/or soul. Oh, wait. That happened.

1. Dr. Feelgross

Chicago might have been the land of Yes, We Can! but Oh! No, They Didn’t. And the one who especially didn’t for us was the overly wacky Amy Lang. Amy was a triple threat in that she had a talent for annoying us in three ways – first with her terrible cover of Aretha Franklin‘s “Dr. Feelgood”, then with her reliance on her wacky boob tricks (she calls it “boob flexing”, Kara and Randy Jackson called it “boob boxing” – boob-tato, boob-tahto) and finally with her fake-fainting that made us wish for a brief moment that she really had passed out and would be unable to complete her audition. But folks, she was just acting! And with that, she took her four “No”’s and went home to practice more tricks in the mirror.

Tomorrow, Orlando and everything that Magic Kingdom has to bestow upon us.

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