American Idol: Deep In The Heart Of Texas

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The more audition episodes we have to endure on American Idol, the more we wish that they’d just condense them into one two-hour special and then zip right into Hollywood. Dallas was, with the exception of Neil Patrick Harris and backflipping Todrick Hall, yet another episode that dragged, but there was definitely some talent in the Lone Star State.

5. A Vision In Pink

The beauty of recapping these early stages of Idol is that so many of our favorite moments can consist of really cringe-worthy, bad contestants. Like the perpetually peppy Vanessa Johnston, a vision in Get In Shape Girl pink workout gear who would not let anything get her down. After Simon Cowell told her she was his worst nightmare, she reasoned “That’s okay because at least you’re dreaming about me.” This chick’s glass is certainly half full of whatever crazy potion she’s drinking.

4. The Kid In The Hall

Todrick Hall was a contestant that thoroughly impressed us because he’s one of the only auditions we can remember that showed off his voice, his writing and his personality, and his original song totally didn’t suck. The song, which was actually about the American Idol audition process, isn’t going to reach “Pants On The Ground” levels of fame, but it was pretty awesome, and so was Todrick’s backflipping that he showed off after getting through to Hollywood.

3. Randy’s New Math

Someone must’ve told Randy Jackson that in order to remain fresh and relevant, he needs a new catch phrase for season 9. Ladies and gentlemen, that catch phrase is “One billion percent.” We’re struggling to find one golden ticket recipient that hasn’t gotten Randy’s approval without a billion (or sometimes a million) percent approval ratings. That’s some impressive math.

2. The Silent Jonas

Neil Patrick Harris, along with Katy Perry, is one of our favorite guest judges this season because he wasn’t afraid to disagree with the regular judges when he visited on Day 1.  And how can you not love a guy who starts the show by saying “My goal is to shatter the dreams of thousands”? While Katy butted heads with Kara DioGuardi, Neil seemed to clash the most with Simon and had no problem expressing his frustration with him. Day 2 in Dallas, however, gave us Blank Slate Jonas, otherwise known as Joe. Um, did this guy say more than five words? Is he anything besides a pretty face? (We’re old, so is he even the cute Jonas? That’s Nick, isn’t it?) These guest judges are so hit or miss for us – and next week we get Victoria Beckham again, which wasn’t as entertaining as we hoped during the first go around, so maybe the second time will be the charm.

1. Our Picks

Our favorite contestant of the night was Lloyd Thomas, the dock working father of two who was prone to exclamations like “Oh my Lord Jesus goodness!” who, after singing some Stevie Wonder, got sent to Hollywood. Dave Pittman the Tourette’s guy feels like he might be this season’s Scott MacIntyre, but we’ll reserve judgment until we hear him sing again. Erica Rhodes, the Barney dominatrix, was just…wow. Props for the, uh, props. We guess. Not our favorite audition, but memorable nonetheless.

Next week we visit the mile-high talent in Denver. Owing to the altitude, Randy may want to adjust his approval accordingly and take his percentages down a notch.