S10E6: One thing is for sure, the L.A. auditions were definitely the opposite of the Austin ones. Instead of a slew of boring, yet decent singers, we saw the absolute worst of the worst. By the end of the episode, I found myself afraid to go outside because I’d surpassed my quota for crazy and looped back around so many times that my brain was starting to melt. I guess that’s what you get when American Idol starts accepting auditions from MySpace. Yep, this is the episode where they finally did something with those internet auditions they’ve been pushing since late summer. Too bad all it did was prove that the Rupert Murdoch-owned (hello, shameless self promotion of the Murdoch empire) dying social networking site can’t even get a jump start from an endorsement on the show that has millions of Americans watching intently every time it hits the tube. There’s a reason The Social Network wasn’t about Tom Anderson.
“Talk about delusional people.” –Randy
“Well, this is L.A.” –Steven
First up was the initial sign that the volume on my television should have been on mute and should have stayed there for most of the episode. Victoria Garret showed up onscreen touting that God brought American Idol auditions to L.A. specifically for her so she could win. Yes, because God has favorites, you’re one of them, and American Idol is clearly his first priority. Has this girl ever even seen a newspaper? There’s really shit going down out there; God is not worried about Idol. Trust me. With an intro like this, we knew she wouldn’t be good. Her voice was just painful, yet Steven is taking his spot as the new Paula very seriously and took a moment to tell her that her voice was “sweet.” Yeah, if by sweet you mean one of those ridiculous jalapeño lollipops with a dead cricket in the middle.
“It lacked balls.” –JLo
To give our poor ears a rest, the next contestant sang like a human – a rare occurrence during the L.A. auditions. Tim Halperin sang a beautiful version of “She Will be Loved” that lacked a bit of power (or balls) – did anyone else notice how close his name is to Jim Halpert, or am I just obsessed with John Krasinski? Don’t answer that. Anyway, Randy tells the cutie pie “nope,” leaving the deciding vote on JLo’s shoulders. It also happens that Tim’s been in love with Lopez since he was a young boy, and here we go again; Idol lets someone’s idol be the one to save their ass. Is it Hollywood week yet? This is becoming obnoxious.
Of course Tim had more balls than Justin Carter, whose name happens to be a hybrid of monumental late 90s pop music royalty. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, you should get reacquainted with Google. Try it. "Late 90s boy bands." Go.
“It’s almost like you’re relatively tone deaf.” –Randy
Yeah, it’s almost like that. Idol continued its couple-happy trend, but this time with two best friends. One half of the duo, Issac Rodriguez, has been duping his poor mama (and himself) by dropping out of college to be the next American Idol. It actually broke my heart to see his sweet mother bragging about her son being in college. Both Rodriguez and his friend Daniel Gomez were some of the worst singers we've seen all season. What I want to know is how they’re best friends but Gomez let Rodriguez drop out of college with that awful voice. Usually tone-deafness only applies to hearing your own voice, but there’s something wrong when you can’t tell someone else is off key. Yikes. Someone needs to get some of those balls JLo was talking about and reiterate Randy’s instruction for neither of them to ever sing again. Ever. (Pardon the crappy recording below.)
“I’ve had the pleasure of meeting other artisses.” –Contestant
Now for the MySpace folks. There were two yeses from this bunch; Karen Rodriguez from New York who apparently sang to Lopez once on TRL and Heidi Khzam who wiggled her way to a golden ticket. THIS IS NOT AMERICAN RUMP SHAKER. Randy and Steven need to keep it in their pants and stop voting for these hot girls with zero talent.
Now for the moment we all anticipate from the second we learned Idol would be using MySpace for auditions. Tynisha Roches wasted 400 bucks to fly out to L.A. from New Jersey to stumble through the words to her own “Frank Sinatra Tribute.” Not only were her creepy fake eyebrows and intense bangs scary, she was just plain crazy. She wouldn’t stop singing and ended up chasing Randy around the room until he wrested her mic (which she brought from home) away from her and called security. This BS went on for far too long; we know this girl is just egging it on, let’s not reward her okay?
“I’m a freelance music producer.” – Contestant
“Who do you produce?” –Randy
“I produce for millions- uh, a bunch of artists.” – Contestant
And this is where the competition dove head first into plain old overdone exploitation of delusional people. Maybe there’s too much sunshine in L.A., because the crazies are out in full this episode. One of the craziest is MSFP, or Matthew Scott Frankel Produc...ing. This guy was not only delusional about how cool he was but also the fact that he was (not) a famous music producer and his ability to rap as his “Sasha Fierce” character: Big Stats. His rap name may as well have been T1-83 Calculator. Big Stats? What’s your signature rap? Compiling the number of people who are dumb enough to believe you’re really being serious about this? Needless to say, the dude couldn’t sing or rap and Randy’s truthful commentary left him bitter. “(Randy) You and I are beefin.’” Something tells me Randy’s okay with that.
After MSFP practically burned down the stage with his mad crazy rhymes, we got to suffer through a montage of more insane people attempting to communicate with dogs through song. One guy pulls his pants down; another girl pulls a muscle doing the splits. Of course, if you got all the way to the end like I did, you know it got so much worse.
“It was god-like, the way you guys sing.” –Steven
He’s definitely being a bit hyperbolic, but compared to everything else that came through Los Angeles (which, if you remember correctly is a city FULL of talent, supposedly) was so dismal that I’d have been praising the lord for these guys too. Brothers Mark and Aaron Gutierrez mark the only “couple” audition that hasn’t been so sickeningly sweet that I wished I’d swiped the barf bag from my last flight to California. They sang a duet of “Lean on Me” and everything about it was completely adorable, down to their cleverly matching outfits. Let’s just hope they’re just as adorable when they each sing solo or it’s sayonara for these dudes.
“My name is Cooper Robinson and I’m here to take your city from ya.” –Contestant
I didn’t think there could be a worse way to end one of these episodes than with another tear-jerker, but I was wrong. In the vein of the “hey look at these assholes” show that seemed to take over the entirety of the L.A. auditions, Idol ended on its most demoralizing note yet. In an attempt that I can only guess was a failed attempt at finding the 2011 version of “Pants on the Ground” guy, who was genuinely funny and knew he was on the show attempting to become a YouTube sensation, Idol brought Robinson into our homes to make fun of him and make the rest of us incredibly uncomfortable. He was clearly not in the best mental state, donning Mardi Gras clothes and attempting to channel James Brown while shouting complete nonsense. At one point, Ryan Seacrest ran from him. Not only did this go on too long, but it made me feel like an awful person for watching it.
I already question the idea that the show deludes people into second auditions only to show tear them down once they meet the judges, but this was just sad. Auditions are always the most monotonous part of this show, but they just solidified themselves as the most disrespectful and distasteful part of the Idol process. Hollywood week can’t come soon enough.