American Idling | 09.03

american-idol_sm.jpg"I left my cardiovasectomical unit in San Francisco"







GENERAL OVERVIEW: I know San Francisco—in fact, I am San Francisco; and I know San Francisco deserved a better audition segment than what was cut-and-pasted together last night. The truth is in the KKKKara pudding when she said in the first five minutes of the episode, "How could you not have sex with San Francisco? I would gladly leave my heart there. My virginity too, if I still had it!" No, she didn’t really say that. But she thought it. I am sure of that.

So why were the better auditioners featured last night so underwhelming? Of the 12 golden tickets, only four merited screentime? Couldn’t the producers have spared us two hours of Phoenix AZ-zzzzzzzz and given another hour to the eight others from San Fran going Hollywood or bust? I can only hope that among the batch of the Invisible Eight, there is a David Cook waiting for a chance to smoke the competition, because it won’t be:

  • Tatiana Del Toro, who is able to offer good vocals if her ego and blind trust in her psychic don’t get the best of her. The upswing is a win for Tatiana is a win for the underserved laughing hyena community. (I recall reading somewhere that this cycle is going to house the finalists in one house instead of accommodating them in a hotel, dorm-style. They’re living arrangement will be documented a lá Real World, which means viewers will probably be privy to a few explosions and breakdowns through this season. If that’s true, and Tatiana makes it to the finals, buckle your seatbelts, bumpy night, all that yada yada…)
  • Adam Lambert, who gets this episode’s Simon Cowell Back-Handed Seal of Theatricality. KKKKara, in her tangent to becoming the most greatest of improvements to the show, further relegating Randy Jackson to a bag of outdated catchphrases and redundancies, sensibly put into perspective that this part of the competition is to find the best voices, not nitpick on style and execution, which appropriately would be kernelled out during Hollywood Week. Yeah, Simon dude, just because we begged you guys to take down the freak volume a few notches or three doesn’t mean we want AI to offer a non-medical approach to insomnia.
  • Jesus Valenzuela, whose vocals weren’t amazing—decent, but nothing to write home about, owes his trip to Hollywood on his cute-as-buttons sons. Even KKKKara couldn’t resist. "I am not gonna make these kids sad," she said and gave JV the thumbs-up. Paula Abdul, for her part, offered to share her Scotch and soda, but made it very clear to the boys that they were only allowed to drink the soda. In any case, with or without the rugrats, mission accomplished for JV.

Grandmothers, blindness, dead spouses, tornadoes, bikinis—American Idol is not pulling out any emotional stops this season. All that’s missing is a sick mother and his all-sacrificing son. No, wait… Ah!

  • Kai Kalama, who gave the most impressive audition of the evening, quit sex cold turkey to care for his mother whose ailment presently escapes me. Oh, it doesn’t matter! It’s his mother and she was not doing well and he forewent pleasures of the flesh to make sure the woman who brought him into the mortal coil was cared for, end of story. Do we really need to hear him sing? Okay, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," great. Here’s a Golden Ticket, now shuffle him out so I can thump my chest and ululate softly.

Hystrionics aside, not all these Lifetime Channel stories are destined for happy endings in Hollywood. Also, there is no Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny is pure chocolate nonsense, the Tooth Fairy sleeps in the master bedroom, and Elvis is dead.

Signing off in San Francisco, aka Baghdad by the Bay, aka the Barbary Coast, aka Rice-a-Roni Land, but not aka Frisco… | Alan Quisimorio

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