Ahhhh, the joys associated with only one hour of American Idol. The pace! The talent! The lack of filler! They can’t waste five minutes making us watch a bad singer argue with the judges, because that’s roughly one-ninth of the whole show!

Anyway, kids, this is it. We’ve finally made it. It’s the END of the line for Idol…auditions. No more will we have to wonder before a performance if the artist has any chops at all. We may still cringe at times, but that’s only because someone is having a bad day or is surrounded by people who don’t bring out his or her best. No more will we be subjected to the worst America has to offer, those wretched, screeching, tone deaf individuals who Fox exploits for cheap laughs! Until next season, of course. But let’s not focus on that right now.

Ryan Seacrest welcomes us to Oklahoma City with the gusto of a man who knows his traveling days are over, at least for this one of his 422 jobs. It’s our last stop in the audition process, and roughly the ninth location that specializes in country music. Maybe it’s for Keith Urban, maybe it’s for Scotty McCreery or Carrie Underwood (both of whom made appearances during the audition shows), but it’s certainly not for me. Not my cup of tea. But we’ll see what America thinks in just a few short weeks. 

American Idol isn’t dilly-dallying tonight, and neither am I! Let’s get started.

Singers to Remember

Karl Skinner auditioned as a part of the Idol Small Town Bus Tour, because he had no excuse once the bus rolled in a few blocks from his house. When Ryan asks what he does in Joplin, Missouri, he says he lives there. Follow up question? Are you married? Answer: Yes, I am married to my wife. He says the question, “Do you want to impress the judges?” is redundant, because that’s all he wants to do. Then he asks the judges if he’s allowed to move around, because if he’s not moving, it’s stale. Summary: I LOVE this guy. His voice is definitely a bit all over the place, but it’s certainly not bad. As for entertaining? Yes, please.

Nate Tao is the Asian Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He is an American sign language teacher, and both his parents are deaf. He jokes about how when he started singing, they weren’t receptive, probably they didn’t know if he sucked or not. He wants to go to Hollywood so they know he actually has some talent. And some talent he has. P.S. Randy, that comment about him looking like he should be doing your taxes or be a doctor is actually a bit racist. But we still love ya, Dawg.

Halie Hilburn is a ventriloquist, and she brought Oscar the bear to duet with her. At least she calls herself crazy, so I don’t have to. Her cowgirl singing voice is actually really pretty, and she, er Oscar, also yodels. Once she puts the puppet down, she does some solo work that actually qualifies as good, so we’ll see her again, sans bear. The best part of the audition is how Keith damn near loses it over the dummy (your pick). I have to admit, though, I chuckled at the post-audition skit with Oscar sitting on a stoop holding a can of spare change and a “Will yodel for food” sign. 

Kayden Stephenson is 16 years old but looks like an 8-year-old Justin Bieber. He suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, which sadly means he has a life expectancy of about 35. American Idol has always been his dream, so he auditioned as soon as he was eligible. He’s got a sweet little voice, and the judges say they feel inspired. He’s all smiles and tears when they send him through, and I’m not going to be the first one to say something negative about this kid. 

Page 2: The Worst of the Worst in Oklahoma City >>

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Bill King

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Emmy-winning news producer & former BuddyTV blogger. Lover of Philly sports, Ned, Zoe, Liam and Delaine…not in that order