American Idol
Auditions: San Antonio

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Forget The Alamo
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Ryan Seacrest wearing his little pale pink plaid button-down while standing in front of the Alamo is just about the cutest thing you ever did see. Like he's our tour guide today, only he'll be telling us things like what General Santa Ana was wearing, and whether Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie were really friends or just super-fake to each other's faces. The requisite "Remember the Alamo" reference having been laid, we're free to delve into the opening credits: "DA-na na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na..."

Ryan calls San Antonio the "last stop on our audition tour," and the hordes of sleeping wannabes represent the collective weariness we the audience feel as we enter into this, the seventh mind-numbing audition episode. And then it's morning, and everyone's awake and screaming and moving around, and it's like Dawn of the Dead, only you probably couldn't get away with sniping these guys from a rooftop. Probably. The "Rawhide" song cue lets us know that, yes, we're actually in Texas. The judges arrive -- Paula in a very pretty polka-dotted dress -- and Ryan's voice-over makes some sort of excuse for Simon, saying he was jet-lagged after flying in from London. I'm not sure Simon's behavior tonight is any weirder than normal, so I don't know why we needed that disclaimer, but okay.

First up is Bryan Kyrish, who looks vaguely like Tom Sizemore before his life went to shit. He's a hulking figure, even if you totally can't see his legs at all because he's wearing camouflage pants. He says he's not intimidated by the judges because "Paula, Randy, and Simon put on one leg...in their pants, same as everyone else." Indeed they do, Bryan. Indeed they do. There's a very slight, but very real, sense of menace hiding behind his eyes, and he reminds me specifically of a person I grew up with, the kind of person who you were really glad never had access to firearms as a high-schooler. He says people compare him, vocally, to "Billy Idol, Ozzy, AC/DC," so, you know, what better outlet for him than this show? "I want the judges to feel my energy, feel my fire." He does scary break-dancing moves, including a scary worm, in the interview anteroom, and then he scares the hell out of Ryan Seacrest by just...being. Seriously, it's the weirdest thing, because he seems happy and nice enough, but you can totally see it in his eyes. Inside, he tells the judges that he entered a "mock American Idol competition" and he won the grand prize. There a couple different ways you can take "mock" in that sentence, though once he starts singing, the choice becomes rather clear. It's just a lot of yelling and intense eye contact, over and over. He drops violently to his knees a couple times, causing Paula to recoil. He's "singing" Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell," so he does the requisite fist pumps. Paula and Randy join in the fist pumping, because it's fun, and aerobic exercise will be good for both of them, for very different reasons. Bryan's fist-pumping gets more and more scary, and then he's just...done. Just stops cold. Paula asks if it hurts his voice to scream like that. No, it doesn't. She then asks if it hurts his knees to crash down on them like he does. Again, no. I love that Paula is more fascinated by him than anything. Her fight/flight response has never worked quite right. Simon sums it up as a whole lot of screaming without any melody, so it's a no for Bryan.

Outside, it's more weirdness, as Ryan notes that Bryan was probably not the best fit for ballads. He laughs, "Can you imagine singing a love ballad?" Bryan says he actually can, and then he and the crazy eyes propose a duet between him and Ryan. Bryan says something about "Beauty and the Beast," but when he starts singing, it's an Ozzy Osbourne song. Ryan, back to being afraid again, balks at singing along. He gives Bryan the arms-length handshake and sends him on his way, before exhaling the exhale of a man who's just dodged a bullet.

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American Idol

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