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Simon Needs to Go Back to British

"American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest tells us 11,000 showed up to audition in San Antonio. Haven't 11,000 showed up in every city? Don't "Idol" producers know even numbers sound like guesses and odd numbers sound like estimates?

Bryan Kyrish says he's not afraid of the judges because they "put on one leg in their pants just like everyone else" or something like that. He claims he's an aggressive singer who won a "mock-Idol" competition -- expanding on the theme begun the previous episode -- you know, the one in which Simon discovered one of the awful auditioners had learned everything he knew about singing from Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson's How-to-Sing Like-an-American-Idol DVD. Kyrish sings Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell," screaming the "Mo! Mo! Mo!" bits in the song. Paula wonders if it hurts to scream like that. Simon pronounces it a lot of shouting without a lot of melody, wondering later what the person who lost the "mock-Idol" competition was like.

Haley Scarnato says she played in a wedding band. Paula wonders where she got the backless cat suit she's wearing. She says she got it from one of those "hoochie stores." She sings Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me" very well, which the judges acknowledge but they still hesitate because they're not so sure about the whole Emma Peel thing, saying she lacks the "unique factor." But they put her through anyway.

Jasmine Holland is next, but since the producers have already telegraphed her rejection in a promo -- she and her family give the traditional "American Idol" "you can kiss my [heinie]!" salutation -- we know she's going to be dreadful. She is, in fact but gets some of her own back when Paula asks her why she's so sad and she explains it's because "you all are being rude." Simon reminds her she willingly came to be judged; she snaps back that that doesn't give them the right to be so negative.

Outside the audition room, Holland's mom/aunt/whoever wonders how Simon can judge "American Idol" when "he's not even American."

"He needs to go back to France - where is he from?" the woman says.

Someone tells her he's British.

"He needs to go back to British," she says. Snap!

Time for the episode's only backstory mini-documentary (they're really saving on production costs this year). It's this year's pretty blonde country gal -- 16-year-old Baylie Brown. She says she's a city girl stuck in a small town. Her family has seven horses; she's afraid of horses. Her dad tells the camera it's hard for her to walk in the cattle pasture in her high heels. She tells the camera if she goes to Hollywood "I will be rot in my element."

She sings a Faith Hill song well enough but Simon is already smitten, calling her "one of these girls who is probably born to be a pop star" with great looks, a fantastic personality, and a voice that is not great but will be much better in a few years.

"You are commercial with a capital C," he says.

"Is that a good thing?" she inquires.

Here we go again!

As she leaves, Paula wonders why her own parents didn't name her Baylie.

After showing clips of auditioners humiliatingly trying to open the wrong door to the room - Paula calls it the theme of this year's "Idol" competition - we are treated to the most altruistic audition in "Idol" history -- heck the only altruistic audition in "Idol" history.

William Green.

Green has already been seen in teases, yelling at the judges as he exits the audition room so we know it did not go well. Green and his cousin, with whom he has lived since he turned 14, are both unemployed and they say they have everything riding on this "Idol" audition. Green goes first and sings "Amazing Grace" without actually hitting any of the notes; he sounds like a tape recording with a speed problem. The judges are pretty harsh, but he just smiles and tells them his cousin is better. As he leaves, still smiling, he tells the judges "Now I'm gonna walk out there and talk some trash -- but that's just for the cameras." Then he starts the yelling we've already seen. Simon cracks up. Please give this guy a show, "American Idol" producers.

Green's cousin, Akron Watson is indeed a better singer, but Simon pronounces him uncharismatic. Paula urges him to sing another song. He's more charismatic but doesn't hit as many notes. Still they send him through.

More bad singers, including one who says she sang for the mayor of Houston but, after she performs, Simon says it was "like some language I've never heard in my life." She's a music teacher.

Ashlyn Carr has a lovely voice, but does strange things with her face when she sings which causes the judges to say no, only they regret that decision and call her back to sing another song, which Simon says is an "Idol" first. She keeps her face thing in check well enough to be sent through to Hollywood.

Jacob Tudor is next but, again, we've also seen him swearing at the judges in promos. Plus, he says his idols are Kurt Cobain and Axl Rose, so we know his time will end on a bad note. Literally.

And, winding things up in San Antonio, Jimmy McNeal hits a home run with "Cupid" causing Simon to declare him "a little fun Ruben" as in Studdard, who won an earlier edition of the competition. During the family hug-and-scream outside, a little girl in the group seems confused so Ryan asks McNeal to explain to her what happened.

He says he's going to Hollywood.

"So?" she responds, which puts Ryan in stitches.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  February 7, 2007; 1:19 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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