Film and TV

Idol's Louisville Auditions Provide Viewers With Job Ideas

So, last night, American Idol took its tone-deaf dog-and-pony show to Louisville, Kentucky. But, really, does it matter where we were? Louisville was the same as Phoenix, which was the same as San Francisco, which we all know is going to be just like Tuesday's show in Jacksonville. There's the horrible singing, there's the amazing singing, there are the horrible outfits, the infighting among judges, and the heartwarming stories of auditioners who save puppies from burning buildings and/or work at soup kitchens in their spare time and/or call their mothers daily just to tell them they love them. Maybe I'm getting jaded, but the whole thing just feels a bit . . . stale. And, apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks so -- Idol's audience is down 10 percent so far from last year.

One interesting thing about Louisville was the professions listed by many of the auditioners. There was a high school graduate (which I never realized was a profession, but good to know), a parts inspector, a toothbrush company employee, a pizza server, an ice cream server, and a crazy old lush -- oh, wait, that was only Paula. Zing! Other highlights (and lowlights):

Why do some auditioners, upon hearing -- apparently for the first time, because their friends and family are a) completely tone deaf, b) drunk, c) way too nice -- that they suck, insist on making things worse by dissing the show and the judges? Tiffany Shedd, whose parents are on crack if they actually think she has any singing talent, told the cameras after the audition that she would "never watch the show again and then proceeded to sing another song to prove how good she really was, something about "pee on the swingset." At least that's what it sounded like to me.

Gorgeous Joanna Pacitti rocked Pat Benatar's "We Belong" and, apparently, already has experience in the music industry. She apparently has enough of a following that she has her own Wikipedia page (and they don't just hand those things out like candy, y'know).

Mark Mudd, whose great-great-great-great grandpappy (it's possible I'm missing a "great" somewhere in there) fixed John Wilkes Booth's leg after he shot Abraham Lincoln, told the judges to "be careful" after they gave him the Idol equivalent of the middle finger and sent him packing without a ticket to Hollywood. "That's not a normal thing to say to somebody," Paula told Mr. Mudd after he muttered the quasi-threat. Dude, if Paula Abdul tells you you've said something abnormal, you know you're a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

Dear Lord, was Paula wearing freaking lingerie on day two of auditions? Wait. Yes, yes she was.

Matt Giraud, the dueling piano player, was good-looking and had a good voice but, according to the judges, needs to believe in himself, or, as Randy put it, needs to "get his swagger on high." Sometimes I wish Randy was my dad so I could have gotten nuggets of wisdom like that when I was growing up.

The ultimate "Oh, snap!" of the night occurred when Rebecca Garcia sang a Carrie Underwood song. It was bad. Like, really bad. Kara looked down at her notes on Garcia and noticed she was voted "most humorous" in high school. "Oh, I get it," Kara said, apparently thinking the audition was a put-on. "It's all starting to make sense now." Oh, but the audition was, in fact, not a joke, and Garcia started to cry. "Hit me now," Kara told Paula, apparently feeling bad about the gaffe. And you know it took all of Paula's self-restraint not to lean over and bitch-smack the crap out of her. It's bound to happen sooner or later.

And, of course, there was the requisite, end-of-the-show heart-wrenching story, this one about Lenesha Young, who grew up living in poverty and wanted to break the cycle. She was adorable, had a great voice, and sang her own surprisingly good song. Do I see a Top 10-er before us?

Nineteen golden tickets given out, the auditions move to Jacksonville on Tuesday. Let's hope something crazy happens to liven up what has pretty much been a snoozefest so far.