I said it last night and I’ll say it again: the Birmingham auditions were the most disappointing American Idol episode of the season. And it’s not very close, either. The vibe I got from the episode was bizarre. Everyone was lucid and I felt like we were all stuck in some insane small-town horror film where everyone is so nice that it’s creepy. All in all, just the weirdest episode of American Idol I’ve ever seen. Here’s why: 1) Every single contestant who was given a verbal smackdown by Simon or Randy took it well, most of them even thanking the judges. Thanking them for what? If someone just told you you sucked at life, what on earth could you possibly thank them for? 2) The judges sent through to Hollywood a couple of contestants who really weren’t very good, especially a girl who probably only made it because of a sob story she told. 3) Paula mysteriously disappeared after the first day of auditions. Seacrest said she had some “family obligations”. Hmm, since when does “family obligations” mean “rehab”?
4)There was no conflict. Even the final contestant, who FOX had hyped up as the big flip out of the episode, ended up fine, with her even joking outside in the hallway with Simon and Randy. Here’s a rundown of the auditions from last night. Clueless Cute Girl: Nineteen year old kicks off the show with an ear-splitting rendition of Unchained Melody. She can’t believe it when the judges flatly deny her, so she starts singing another song. One of those, you know. It takes her a while and the threat of security before she vanishes. The Disney Character: This good-looking blonde girl speaks in this super-high pitched kid’s voice, but sings in a much-different and pretty solid voice. I liked her all right, but whenever she talked it was excruciating. Randy gave her a yes, and so did Paula, but mostly just to spite Simon. Tatianna McConnico: The seventeen year old can sing. With a voice beyond her years and a well-rehearsed but subtle performance style, I think Tatianna could go far this season. That Dress is Too Tight: A huge woman in a small, silly dress sings a horrendous version of a Whitney Houston song. Just awful, tough to watch. Bernard Williams II: A good, old-fashioned soul singer who I liked a lot. He’s unanimously through to Hollywood. Paula flips out for him, however, and generally acts unstable during the audition. The Yellow Blob: a 50-year old woman dressed like Big Bird trying to pass herself off as 26. Depressing and weird. She was a terrible singer. Unless this woman is legitimately insane, what the hell was she thinking? And why did they let her through to the judges? Nice Girl, Sad Story: Jamie Lynn takes care of her paralyzed father who shot himself in the neck after walking in on his wife (Jamie’s stepmother) sleeping with another man. A sad story indeed. However, that does not excuse the judges from allowing her to go to Hollywood. She was just all right, but I guess when you combine her looks and story, it was hard for them to turn her down. If she was fat and ugly, no way does she go on. Jack Osbourne Does Seal: The Jack Osbourne look-a-like had a dry sense of humor (that I actually found a little grating) that the judges enjoyed. He sang Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose”, which sounds like a unfortunate choice, but was actually pretty good. I think Chris is more of a novelty act, but the judges send him to Hollywood anyway. Like Rapunzel, but Not Good-Looking: Victoria Watson has let her hair grow since she was born and it now runs over six feet long. Some people may find that cute but, to me, it’s disgusting. Why so much hair? Just to say that you’ve grown your hair for a long time? Pointless. Anyway, she was mediocre. Nervous Girl: Maybe the worst singer of the episode. Nothing more to say about her, really. Brandy: Brandy was the token “crazy contestant” of the night. She wasn’t that crazy, unfortunately. After singing Like a Virgin (horrifically) she wondered if it was maybe the wooden floor that made her mess up. The judges got a kick out of that. So, she sang another song, this one worse, on the carpet behind the wood floor. This audition is notable because of the jubilant behavior of Randy and Simon. They seemed to actually be having a good time. Brandy was a good sport and continued into the hall with some good-natured smack talk directed toward Simon. And that was that. We’ll be back tonight and tomorrow with coverage of tonight’s sure-to-be-epic American Idol Los Angeles auditions. -Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer

Oscar Dahl

Senior Writer, BuddyTV