To quote church lady Tiffany McCambell from Wednesday night's "Idol," "Praise God!" The final audition episode is upon us, and I could not be any happier.
Wednesday was the standard "best of the rest" show, where they take all the random leftover footage and try to turn it into something substantial (kind of like how they made the "Gimme More" video!). The most telling moment of the show came in its final minute, when Ryan Seacrest wrapped the audition process with misused punctuation that made him sound thoroughly bored. "Those were the auditions for this year and they never disappoint. [awkward pause] Do they?"
Actually, yes. So let's celebrate the final ho-hum audition show of the season by handing out our last crop of awards.
The Carmen Rasmussen "Cute Girl" Free Pass: Amy Davis
Amy Davis grew up dirt poor. So poor that she apparently couldn't afford a proper shirt for her "American Idol" audition. But that probably worked to her advantage, because the low-cut lingerie-like top distracted Simon from her "Blue Bayou," which was mediocre at breast, I mean best. Oddly enough, Simon later passed on the "theatrical" Cardin Lee McKienny despite a similar "Hollywood or bust" plunging neckline. Randy and Paula vetoed Simon's "nay," so expect to see Cardin and Amy sharing clothes during Hollywood week.
Most Unexpected Brittenum Brothers Reference: The Lane twins
As bronzed bombshell Ashley Lawing introduced us to her meathead boyfriend(s), Chris and Cory Lane, I jotted down in my notes, "opposite of the Brittenum twins!" (I also wrote down, "And they still won't let gays marry," for some reason.) I quickly got the impression that the threesome's combined IQ was lower than that of Ashley's puppy, Panda, so I nearly fell of my couch when the twins burst into a rap song and name-dropped the Brittenums! Cory may have forgotten the lyrics, but at least he's pop-culture savvy.
Despite Ashley playing both Lane boys, it was Panda who accompanied her into the audition room. I suppose she was hoping the adorable 6-week-old Pomeranian would soften up the judges, and it almost worked. Simon turned to mush as he pet Panda, but he still saved enough venom to spit "excruciating" after she finished singing. (Her incredulous "Excrucia-ing?!" and, "Is today opposite day?" reactions were priceless.)
The Lakisha Jones "Big Girl, Little Personality" Trophy: JoAnne Borgella
Mo'Nique fans (and, really, who isn't a Mo'Nique fan?) might recognize JoAnne Borgella as the winner of "Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance." Considering she has Ms. 'Nique's stamp of approval, I was shocked at how little personality the plus-size model showed in front of the judges. If things don't work out for her in Hollywood, I wouldn't be surprised if she ended up on "The Biggest Loser," given JoAnne's reality-show history.
The Josh Flom "Go Learn a New Song" Medal of Honor: Alesha Stelzl
Every season, it seems like the judges ask one person to quickly learn a new song after his or her initial song choice bombs. Last year it was raspy-voiced Josh Flom (the "rockin' out to Abba" guy) and this year it was Alesha Stelzl, who underperformed a Celine Dion tune but got a second chance thanks to Paula's observation that she sounded like Dolly Parton. (I thought she sounded more like post-cocaine Stevie Nicks.) Alesha learned "Islands in the Stream," while young viewers learned where that "Ghetto Superstar" hook came from. In a strange coincidence, Alesha's mom looked like a chubby Dolly Parton. Zany!
The Rip Taylor of "American Idol": Joshua "Jay Smoove" Moreland
I'm of the opinion that there's never enough confetti in the world, so when Jay Smoove sprinkled his fairy dust all over the floor, I was hoping he'd get a Golden Ticket. I didn't even mind that Smoove's original song "Beautiful Lady" was rendered unlistenable thanks to his overactive melisma. (In my favorite quip of the night, Simon deadpanned, "That was catchy!")
The "Screw You, Wilford Brimley" Prize: Randy Jackson
Anyone else catch Randy Jackson's diabetes PSA during a commercial break? I think Randy should pronounce it "diabetus" like the Quaker Oats guy does. In fact, I think diabetes should just be renamed diabetus because it's much more fun to say.
The Gina Glocksen "Second Time Around" Award: Chikezie Eze and Danny Noriega
Chikezie and Danny flamed out in '06, but both came back bigger and better in season seven. Chikezie crooned a Luther Vandross jam (while sounding like Aaron Neville) and Danny belted "Proud Mary" (while sounding like Fantasia). It's hard to believe that the uber-confident Noriega succumbed to stage fright last year, but that nugget certainly carries a nice bit of dramatic tension as we enter into Hollywood week.
What did you think of Wednesday night's potpourri? How funny was that montage showing Simon mispronouncing names? Were you freaked out when a mini-Hayden Christiansen popped up on the bottom of the screen during JoAnne's audition? And were you surprised that Simon clearly didn't know how to use a broom?