American Idol – Episode 9-8 Review

Tonight’s the final audition episode and they swap the time to 9 p.m.? Fox is luring us into watching Human Target. I’m not completely complaining since it stars Jackie Earle Haley, the greatest troubled teen actor of all time. In the ‘70s, he ruled cinema as Kelly Leak in the various Bad News Bears movies. He recently stole the show in Watchmen. What is worth a complaint is how the end of the show isn’t family friendly. Jackie Earle Haley goes cold blooded in shooting a guy. Who at Fox thought this was a great “lead in” moment for a family show? Little kids watch American Idol. Why traumatize the youth of America with homicide? Although it shows what it feels like to have your superstar dreams shot down by Simon.

Ryan promises us that the biggest audition tour is coming to a climax. But where will tonight’s episode take place? Ryan brings back footage of General Larry Platt doing “Pants on the Ground.” Simon predicted it was going to be a hit. We get to see all the youtube performances of the song. Why isn’t Platt on the show? He ought to have a chance to compete. He’s the new William Hung. There’s talk of choosing the wrong songs destroying hopefuls. We see the judges get snippy of material.

Jessica Furney does a major suck up in selecting “Footprints in the Sand” by Leona Lewis. The song was “co-written” by Simon and three other people. Posh quizzes Simon about his songwriting, but he’s evasive. From what I gather, Simon basically saw the Christian poem and hired the other guys to write it. He got songwriting credit for “discovering” the poem. Is that really songwriting or just softballing? There’s no real author of the poem so it’s fair game. This is Jessica’s second try after flopping last season with a frumpy look. She’s rather pitchy at times. But since she’s putting royalty money in Simon’s pocket, the four judges are all smiles. She gets through to Hollywood. Ryan promises they saved the best for last, but Jessica wasn’t that good. This episode appears to be cobbled together from the various audition cities. Odds are this is being done to highlight the kids that did well during Hollywood week that are strangers to us. Outside of numerous sob stories, there’s yet to be a singer that has made me want to see them sing another song with a band.

Amanda Shectman is a girl in Boston singing in a goofy voice. She seems ready to be the next Jeff Dunham. Her audition sounds rather Nora Jones. Kara doesn’t think she’s connecting with the song. Simon feels connected to her. Does it have anything to do with her short skirt, high heels and low top. Even after the non-connection talk they make her beg and be dramatic. Simon gets dramatic and finally says yes. She’s going to Hollywood. She gives a tearful acceptance speech. Save the crying for the round when you get to go on tour.

There’s a montage of people who brought their instruments who couldn’t sing them. Lee Dewyze does the usual Joe Cocker. Crystal Bowersox breaks out the Janis Joplin. Both get to go to Hollywood without strumming their guitars. We get a montage of fake outs when people emerge from the judging room.

This episode is just a hodge podge mess. Did someone last week run into Simon Fuller’s office to announce their home schooling math skills made them an episode short? Why did they hold back on these people during the real tour stops? Couldn’t they have picked an 8th location? Maybe they could have split up the Cowboy Stadium episode so half the people auditioned in Dallas and the others in Fort Worth?
Here comes a montage of people who keep coming back to various auditions knowing they can make that simple adjustment. Simon gets nailed by a girl who swore he said during her last audition that she would remember her. Later he gets obsessed by a girl’s suntan.

Lacey Brown returns after getting shot down during the sing off with Megan Joy last season. She does “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” It’s got that quivery joy. She’s eyes locked on the judges. Randy likes the tone of her voice. She’s through so she can get another case of dream stomping in Hollywood.

Stephanie Fisher is back for her 7th try. Her idol is Posh Spice. They both don’t eat the same things. She’s got a short skirt and bad fishnets. It’s like she’s auditioning for world’s worst strippers. She does “Fever” and it makes my ears sick. Simon swears she can’t sing. The contestant blames it all on nerves for being so close to Posh Spice. She butchers a Motown hit. Why did this girl get put on a “best yet” show? Posh gives the girl a boney hug. Kara joins in the compassion session. At least she didn’t get dragged out by security.

There’s a montage of 16 year olds that don’t stink up the room. Rachel Hubbard, Thaddeus Johnson, Genesis Moore all get golden tickets. Ryan mentions that we’re going to see more of the overlooked faces that we’ll be seeing in Hollywood. Even though the 24 finalists have leaked out, I’m not going to spoil the fun. Although right now there’s not that much fun on this leftover episode. This is like when junior high would have vegetable soup that consisted of anything not cooked and sold over the last week going in the pot.

Now there’s a focus on the athletes that tried out for the show. One woman claims to be the female version of Bruce Lee. “Big Kahuna” Adrian is a 6’8″ manflower. The guy is huge and only 17. He can’t dunk. There’s a high school basketball coach crying. He does a falsetto version of “I Can’t Help Falling In Love with You.” Kara thinks there’s a small school boy trapped inside you. Simon thinks he ate the child. Randy does a “Yo, Adrian” with his no. Kara thinks he should try something else. He says to call him for other work. Perhaps Ryan needs a bodyguard?

Big Guns Michael Lynche has an Aaron Neville voice. Hard to hear him singer over his biceps. Kristen Chenoweth can’t get enough eye candy off him. He gets 4 year votes. Nobody is going to be elbowed out of the room.

Didi Benami remembers her dead friend. It carries over for her selecting of the Beatles’ “Hey Jude” for her emotional attempt. She keeps closing her eyes, but I think it’s to avoid staring at Avril. Kara gets her to cry by saying she sang really well. Randy liked her range. Michael Jackson’s kids appreciate the royalty payment. She’s going through to Hollywood even with her small yes from Simon.

There’s now a recap of the contestants that have already gone through. Aaron Kelly talks about his crummy childhood. He sings “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. He sounds like Billy Ray Cyrus singing through a potato sack. Simon thinks the mums will like him. Really? Randy sees the kid as shy. He gets 4 yes votes because he’s adorable. He ponders being a role model to kids. Lose the shell necklace before you dictate fashion to kiddies.

Kimberly Bishop has already been shown as a loser in an earlier montage. Way to blow the dream early. She strangles Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl.” Simon claims he would have said yes, but the others have already said no. Really? What was the point of bringing her back to show us “The Best Yet” quality?

Shaddai Harris gets raved by her mother as having a gift to sing. She does “Falling” by stretching each note through a wringer. Simon swears he can’t hear the song anymore. It’s been ruined. She wont hear no. She blocks out the voices by singing Michael Jackson. She’s booted away.

A happy montage has each town’s contestant welcoming us to their audition. Hope Johnson is supposed to be the prize find of the night. She was raised poor, but didn’t know it was poor. She would bring home school food to feed her brother. She sounds much more country than Taylor Swift. She’s got a Dolly twang to her. Kara swears they’ll remember her. Randy thinks she needs to work on completing the phrases. Simon like her because she’s cute. She’s also wearing a short skirt. She should be the next Kelly Pickler at worst. Did she ever smuggled home calamari from her school lunch?

Ryan swears this is the best season ever. Over 100,000 auditioned and 181 were selected. We probably heard from 82 of them. There isn’t even a fun trainwreck awaiting in Hollywood like last year’s Tatiana Del Toro. It’s looking rather bland in the selection process. Hopefully someone will be a complete drama queen to keep it interesting. Ellen is teased as not being the new Paula. She’s rather critical with a strange Poker face as she criticizes. There will only be 12 guys and 12 girls at the end of Hollywood week.

Next week’s schedule will have the first Hollywood episode on Tuesday at 8 p.m. (eastern time). It’s only an hour. The Wednesday episode comes on at 9 p.m. after Human Target. If you have small kids, you might want to turn in right at 9 p.m. else the kids might wonder why Kelly Leak is killing another scumbag.

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