American Idol

Episode Report Card
Joe R: C | Grade It Now!
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Seven episodes of auditions. Seven episodes of the good singers not even mattering (and half of them not even showing up on TV). Seven episodes of the exact same thing happening except in different cities (or, you know, not different cities, depending on how much San Fran can get faked up to look like Austin). I understand how the ratings aren't exactly complaining, but seven episodes is a long time to go without forward motion in the plot. Which makes me think that the perfect meta-commentary would be an AI audition round on Mystery Friggin' Island.

So Ryan's Boston VO starts out with some cops dishing about American Idol (as they are no doubt wont to do). Round Cop theorizes that the next Idol will have to come out of Boston, because they've got the World Champion Red Sox (only not so much anymore), and the World Champion Patriots (again: not really, no). So that's 0 for 2. But I'm sure if they had asked Curt Schilling he'd have told them something awesome about himself they could have used. Anyway, a jump cut to the upcoming Clay Gayken audition serves to prove that cops don't know anything about this show and takes us into the credits.

Boston, like every other damn city we've been to, consists of road signs and stadiums full of screaming idiots. It's the usual drill of landmarks and yahoos, which in Boston's case means, like, Paul Revere and "wicked awesome!" Oh, and rain. Can't hit up the northeast without reminding everyone how we get actual weather from time to time. Vegas. Simon actually debases himself enough to make a Boston Tea Party joke, like he's an actual British person and not a permanent resident of the Federated States of Whoever Signs My Cheques.

Okay, so we're taking a moment to address what the judges are wearing today. Simon has on the usual: black ribbed tee, long sleeves scrunched up, not as vacuum-sealed tight as in past years because his body isn't quite cooperating like it used to, and jeans. Everybody's wearing jeans, that's so not the point. Randy is swimming in a sea of argyle, the likes of which Duncan Kane has only dreamed. It's almost hypnotic. As for Paula…words fail me. After dropping the ball terribly last week when asked to describe the sartorial bliss that was Mecca Madison, I knew enough to ask for help this time. So here's Jacob with a recap of how Paula was dressed in Boston: "She is wearing a teal ribbed sweater with bandoleros that looks like it would fit Randy. Maybe they are not for ammo, but in fact inflatable in some way. For safety. Her hair looks very, very cute, though. Like that girl who was on Life Goes On, when she did that show where she went to the country like Dr. Quinn. Then she was on ER but got stabbed all to hell."So it would seem that the entire New England Patriots organization evaporated, condensed, and then fell as rain all over James Yokley, Jr. (23, Lynn MA). And it was an acid rain, too, or else how do you explain the jeans he's wearing? James has nicknamed himself "Ghost," even though the chyron will eventually disagree. Ghost is thugged-out and patriotic, and also a whiter shade of pale, which I don't even think is all that notable anymore in 2006, since there are officially more thugged-out white kids than thugged-out black kids in America. Which is why this whole Kanye West trend of popped collars and fratty "I just discovered Ray Charles and he was awesome on In Living Color" trend is so fantastic, to me. Anyway. For as hard as Ghost projects, he's actually really meek when he gets up in front of the judges. He marble-mouths a lot, but what he says boils down to, "I know you guys don't go for rap music, but I think it's beautiful, and I'd like an opportunity to show you that." And he can't say "melodic." So, of course, he raps this one line over and over again about "them soldiers from the U.S.A.," and at one point Paula turns to Simon and places her hand over her heart, which was probably a nod to the patriotism of it all, but could also be read as affection for this poor clueless kid. The judges like him enough to let him try actually singing "Lean on Me," and as Paula notes, it's not as horrific as you'd expect it to be. But it's still bad. Bye, Ghost! You're everything that usually annoys me, but I liked you!

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American Idol




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