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'American Idol' judges call D.C. native Austin Bisnow 'annoying'

"American Idol" hopeful Austin Paul, better known as Austin Bisnow. (Michael Becker)

What's better than a local-boy-makes-good story? Local-boy-makes-bad ... on "American Idol."

Poor Austin Bisnow. Good-looking kid, okay voice -- and a certain special quality the judges loathed from the moment he walked into the audition.

"You come across a bit ... cocky," Kara DioGuardi told the 22-year-old D.C. native, a long snapper on the University of Colorado football team, on Tuesday's broadcast.

"Um, I think you could be a bit annoying," said Simon Cowell.

Is that a "no"?

What was it about him? In a brief video bio, the toothy Landon School grad touted his songwriting skills, joked that his teammates "are jealous because I don't have to do that much and I still have the fans," and said making it to "Idol's" Hollywood stage was No. 42 on the list of things to do before he died. (What's No. 41? He drew a blank.)

Don't get the wrong impression, said his Web publisher dad Mark Bisnow. "Austin is the sweetest, nicest, saintliest kid you've ever known," he told us. "He's always being playful."

Seems there's a lot of editing and mind games that go into the auditions you see on TV. Of the 9,000 hopefuls who turned out at the Denver auditions in July, only a tiny fraction were seen by the VIP judges. The senior music-composition major (billed as "Austin Paul," since the NCAA bars players from trading on their gridiron fame) was one of the few pulled aside by producers to advance to that round; in between, they lavished him with attention -- sending a camera crew to his campus -- and gave everyone a pep talk before walking into that room: This is your chance, fight for it, own that room.

So Bisnow got out there and SANG! "Some day I'll fly-y-y-y, some day I'll soa-oarrrr," he crooned in a husky falsetto, "'Cause I'm bigger than my body gives me credit for."

Guest judge Posh Spice didn't like the way he touched his pecs while singing: "I got a bit itchy from it."

Said DioGuardi: "We're doing you a favor. A guy like you needs to be a little less confident."

"It's a tough balancing act to come across as confident but not arrogant," Bisnow told us Wednesday. No hard feelings: He'd try out again next year, and "I'd try to come across way more modest." During his round of day-after radio interviews, he said, listeners gave him props for being an okay guy: "They were like, we thought you were going to be annoying and stuck-up."

By The Reliable Source  |  February 4, 2010; 1:03 AM ET
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In defense of daughter met Austin at American idol tryouts in Denver and introduced him to me.. My impressions were ALL positive. This is an extremely polite and kind young man with wonderful career goals, with HUGE amount of love and respect for his family, music and football. He is FULL of life, CONFIDENT in his abilities..and couldn't be further from arrogance.. and he actually has a beautiful voice..think his ONLY mistake was the song choice.

If my daughter came home tomorrow and told me she was marrying a person of his character I would be thrilled..

Love you Austin! Keep your head up and follow your dreams

Posted by: rainylake13 | February 4, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

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