American Idol 7 Episode 1

It’s that time of the year again, when everybody gathers around the TV and watches the same show. All the while shaking their heads, saying “This is stupid,” yet refusing to change the channel. There’s no trainwreck like an Idol trainwreck. Who’s with me for two hours of primarily really bad singers, which may or may not feature one or two people with some hint of talent?

We start off in Philadelphia, and the crowds are bigger than ever (and probably less talented).

Joey Catalano, having dropped 200 pounds, has an improved outlook on life. He sings Maroon 5, Sunday Morning. He’s not the next Idol, but he’s got a good voice. As expected, Simon’s concern is image. Regardless, he gets a unanimous ticket to Hollywood.

Next up is a guy named Yuka (just going with his nickname because I have no clue how to spell his actual name) from Egypt. He loves American music and wants to love a girl from the hair to the nipple. The first thing the judges have to do is figure out his name. They can’t. He considers American music to be the Bee Gees. Bomb of an audition. Shocker.

Melanie Nyema was a backup singer for Taylor Hicks. She sounds better than Taylor, but I’m not expecting much. At least steal some of his dance moves.

Tour guide James Lewis says his voice is unique, new, and different. Uh oh. He sings Go Down Moses, in a really, really deep voice. Not sexy deep. Just weird deep. There’s snorting coming from the judges. He plans to return next year and try again with more contemporary songs. Yeah, because song selection was the problem here.

Junot Joyner doesn’t get a backstory, but he has a great voice. He gets through to Hollywood. Jonathan Baines has similar success.

16-year-old middle linebacker Temptress Brown is up next. She’s going to break Seacrest’s bones if he makes her mad enough. I say go for it. She says she’s doing this for her mother, who’s in a wheelchair and has various other health problems from being severely overweight. After this build up, they yank the rug from under her. She’s not even close to getting through. The judges escort her out in an emotional exit.

Mark Hayes does an impression of crickets chirping before his audition. It’s not long before we hear that sound again following his audition.

We’re getting a dose of Udi. He believes he can dance like MC Hammer and sing like Barry Manilow or Frank Sinatra. He’s doing it his way, opening with the line “And now the end is near.” Simon says he’s nuts, tuneless, and slightly disturbing.

Alexis Cohen marches to the beat of a different drummer. A drummer on drugs. The wacky look isn’t too over the top, but the personality is out there. Simon says her performance is all a bit possessed. They suggest a 60’s cover band. Compared to some of the people, she’s actually not that bad. She says Simon’s a “big fat bad word.” This doesn’t last long because she knows that if you flip out, give the bird, and swear a lot, you’ll get on TV for sure. Then she gives a performance, obviously trying to get a part as an extra on a horror movie. Not hiding her true intention, she says she’s going to be an actress. Seriously, why do they give these people who quite clearly are there for camera time all this attention?

Single mom Angela Martin is there for her daughter, who has Rett Syndrome, and she wants to see her walk and talk when she grows up. Her large family is there to support her. She sings Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered, and she sings it quite well. Simon wants her to lose some of her bad habits from her band, but she’s definitely going through. Based on her voice, story, looks, and attitude, I think it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing quite a bit of Angela.

Alyse tries to deafen the judges. Teresa as well has seen too many past Idol seasons where screaming girls went far, as has Brandi.

Milo Turk, who’s well over the maximum age, has a public service announcement. The name of his song is No Sex Allowed. Don’t worry, dude. No chance of that happening for you anyway. In Britain, they call it creepy. They call it that here, too.

Kristy Lee Cook lives in her family home (a log cabin), kickboxes, and cagefights (but not with Jell-O). She sold one of her horses to pay her way to Philly. She sings Amazing Grace. This is yet another person with the potential to go far. Once again the total package. Plus she’s got three names.

What does Ben have under his cloak? It’s an outfit that shows more skin than we care to see. Paula’s biggest concern, though, is his chest hair. If he waxes it, he can come back. Why? Just… why?

Paul Marturano wrote a love song for Paula Abdul. Something about stalking and cross dressing. Get a restraining order, Paula. Simon has security escort him out. Paula says it was nice meeting him.

Stay-at-home mom Beth Stalker (nice segue) is next. She sings Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered. Nice older sounding voice. Simon says no because he doesn’t think she’ll stand out (he’s right, but she’s still good enough to go to the next round), but the other two let her go through.

Ben’s back, having fully waxed his upper body. He sings Don’t Cha, or at least the first few words, until Simon kicks him out.

Chris Watson wants to sell a lot of records after he dies. That doesn’t help Simon any. He sings Follow Me by Uncle Cracker. Another one to watch as the season progresses.

Christina Tolisano is obsessed with Star Wars (to the point of wanting to name her kids based on the Star Wars universe) and believes that will buy her a free pass through to the next round. She sings Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me. Paula stops her at the ear piercing part. She takes the rejection as a judgment against the way she looks.

Nanny Brooke White doesn’t watch R-rated movies, drink, or smoke. She sings Like a Star. Very sweet, likeable person with a good voice. Simon hopes to bring her over to the dark side.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of American Idol 7 episode 2, which airs Wednesday at 8/7c on Fox.

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