Do you think American Idol purposely timed this Charleston audition episode to air in the same week as all the political intrigue currently permeating the great state of South Carolina?  I can tell you, for a certain fact, that I have never been to South Carolina and I know less than I should about the state.  In fifth grade, I did a state project and my state was South Carolina (not my choice, clearly) but all I remember from that is SC’s state fruit is the peach.  I’m not even sure if that’s true, though.  Anyway, hopefully we’ll get some fine down South talent on tonight’s one hour episode of Idol.  During the episode, watch for FOX to relentlessly pimp The Moment of Truth, their new controversial game show which will premiere after Idol tonight.  Do you love being uncomfortable?  Then, The Moment of Truth is for you.  I’ll be here throughout the hour, giving live updates as the episode goes along.  Feel free to chime in with your thoughts below.

So, I watch Idol on a NYC Manhattan feed and I just saw the greatest commercial ever.  It was for a local scratch ticket called “Bada-Bling” and it combines Bling and mobsters.  I can’t even explain it.  Just use your imagination.

Charleston was recently named friendliest city in the country.  Who votes on these awards?  I call B.S. 

We’re going to hear a lot of nice Southern drawls tonight.  For this, I am happy.

A dude in a suit was supposed to audition first, but his wife’s water broke.

Raysharde Henderson is unemployed and from Atlanta.  He calls himself a complete nut.  He says people call him “the black Clay Aiken.”  Umm, isn’t that a paradox?  He’s got a mean afro too. He’s way over the top, but he’s got a real good, high voice.  The judges think it’s too over-the-top.  He gets nos from the auditions.  Give Ray-Ray a chance, dammit. 

DeAnna Privatte is a Kellie Pickler wannabe.  She’s also a waitress and from Kellie’s hometown.  One big difference – Deanna is not charming or really hot.  Deanna curses up a storm, so I kind of like her.  This is like Ray-Ray’s audition, way over-the-top.  Simon calls the performance angry.  It certainly was.  Three nos, but they’re not brutal about it. 

Oh, Kate Hudson and Matthew McCougnahey.  So charming.  Don’t think I’ll be seeing your movie, though. 

So, this girl in this drug commercial got super high and had a discriminating photo taken of her.  Man, high school was hard, huh?  I wonder what the picture was of. 

Crystal Ortiz and Randy Stark are an item.  They met on the American Idol message boards.  Randy considers himself and Idol message board guru.  As far as message board gurus go, Crystal could do worse, I suppose.  They come in for a joint audition.  Randy has a baseball cap and a pony tail and is terrible singing.  It gets worst when Crystal starts singing.  Randy gives advice on the message boards about auditions.  HA!

Michelle and Jeffrey Lampkin are a brother sister duo.  Jeff is especially flamboyant.  They’re dropping a Celine Dion/R. Kelly joint on us.  Really?  Celine Dion and R. Kelly sang a duet together?  That doesn’t seem right.  Does Celine have a fifteen year old sister I don’t know about?  Anyway, they’re actually pretty good.  A little out of tune at points, but not bad.  They both make it to Hollywood.  These two are ridiculous, but I like them. 

It’s a montage of terrible singers.  One has a nasty teenstache.  So does another one.  Charleston – Recently Voted “Teenstache” Capitol of the World. 

Amy Catherine Flynn is a sixteen year old, captain of her high school dance team.  She’s a leader!  She also preaches chastity.  Don’t have sex, don’t drink and don’t do drugs.  She says “whatevs” in her first sentence in the audition room.  Simon asks to hear the abstinence speech.  We hear it and, I’ll tell you what, I’m not convinced.  She sings some Aguilera.  She’s OK. Voice is powerful enough, but she has some pitch issues.  Simon thought the song was too big for her.  Agreed.  He also says that a lot of people will find her annoying.  Also agreed.  He says yes, so do the rest.  She’s through. 

Last contestant of the day: London Weidberg, a hot 24 year old blonde, born and raised in Charleston.  She lost her dad to cancer three years ago.  She put her singing on hold to care and spend time with her father.  She sings some Billie Holliday and kicks its ass.  She’s damn good, I thought.  Paula and Randy say yes, and she’s through.

15 people from day one are heading to Hollywood.

These new Oreo commercials are dumb.

Day 2.

Lyndsey Goodman is an Air Force pilot.  She flies C-17’s which are bigger than a football field.  Intense.  She’s cute, too.  She kind of looks like Amanda Kimmel from the last Survivor season.  She’s only OK at singing, though.  She might be a little nervous.  Her voice is big, but she was a bit out of tune.  She doesn’t make it. 

Aretha Gardner is named after Aretha Franklin.  We’ll see if she’s got similar pipes.  Simon is amused by her bust size (Hint: large).  The Whitney song she sings is too big for her.  She’s not awful, but it’s good enough.  Simon says the singing was terrible.  I wouldn’t go that far.  Aretha is ridiculously arrogant, though. 

Joshua Boson sings some Jennifer Hudson.  Besides his awesome bright red pants, the audition is a train wreck.  Points for enthusiasm, though.  He goes on an America Idol Sucks tirade.  You are crazy, sir. 

Charleston has been terrible in terms of talent.  We get shots of lots of people crying on their way out.

Oliver Highman, the dude whose wife had a baby on day one, comes back to audition.  He’s pretty good, but his voice cracks on one of the high notes.  He does too much falsetto.  Simon and Randy don’t like it at all.  Paula is nicer – they all say no, though.  Afterwards, they bring his wife and baby on.  Awwwww.  Baby’s name is Emma Grace – solid name. 

That is all.  23 people make it through to Hollywood from Charleston.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)