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 "American Idol"
Previous: Cowell Quells Critics | Next: Idol Lessons


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When is the Post going to add this blog to the list on the home page?

Excellent review as always Lisa.

Posted by: Dsmac | February 7, 2007 8:37 AM

I love that you watch so I don't have to...this is so entertaining

Posted by: omni | February 7, 2007 10:07 AM

I'm pretty sure they sometimes have 28,000.

Posted by: mark | February 7, 2007 10:09 AM

Even better than "He needs to go back to British" was Jasmine's family holding the "Jasmine, Are American Idol" sign.

Posted by: Tmac | February 7, 2007 10:13 AM

""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!"

KABOOM! The sound of my jaw hitting the desk in astonishment. This made my day.

Posted by: 23112 | February 7, 2007 10:46 AM

I have never watched American Idol, not one episode and don't plan to in the near future (I have a thing about reality tv), but I love, love your blog.

Posted by: dym | February 7, 2007 10:52 AM

Actually, I believe she first said he "needs to go back to French"

Posted by: steve | February 7, 2007 12:40 PM

`I have never watched American Idol, not one episode and don't plan to in the near future (I have a thing about reality tv), but I love, love your blog.` We are but baby birds, and Queen Lisa is our parent bird, consuming, digesting, and regurgitating Am-Idol in a more palatable form. Its quicker and easier and probably tastier this way. We little snarklings can only voice our gratitude.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 7, 2007 1:00 PM

I have loved your writing since the day I called to correct some trivial inaccuracy I spotted in your column, eight or nine years ago. Forgive me for that because you now make me smile every day.

Posted by: Vandelay | February 7, 2007 2:02 PM

I love your column but have had to stop reading it while riding on the Metro. The spontaneous outburst of laughter was scaring the other passengers. Keep up the great work and (since I refuse to watch it) thanks for following "American Idol."

Posted by: Carole d.c. | February 7, 2007 2:05 PM

I can't believe that some of you don't watch American Idol! It's like watching a train wreck in progress. The best part is when the auditioner comes out of the room in tears and the family consoles the auditioner by telling him or her, "I don't care what Simon says. You ARE a star."

I'm constantly amazed at what a massive delusion some of these people are operating under.

And yes, occasionally, the is a cutie who can actually carry a tune.

Posted by: shelly | February 7, 2007 2:41 PM

American Idol is the only reality show that I watch (aside from Cops)and this was a good summary of what happened. I am also blown away by how delusional some of these people are. I bet they never heard a negative word from their families while growing up. Have to get back to work and so I'll get back to American:)

Posted by: aow0526 | February 7, 2007 3:37 PM

Isn't there anything else on tv right now? I do enjoy reading your stuff about tv but I hate the idol. sigh.

Posted by: oy | February 7, 2007 4:06 PM

As always, Pookie, thanks for the recap. And thanks for pointing out "Incredible Hulk" cousin; has there been a better TV moment in the past decade? It was the Reality TV equivalent of Babe Ruth's famous "Called Shot", where he pointed at the bleachers, then crushed it out of the park (I know, it's a sports analogy, but work with me). And it was pretty nice that the "Bruce Banner" cousin could sing. I love love love the trainwreck, and the snarkfest that follows, but having someone who actually GETS IT play the situation to the hilt, with running commentary, no less, was poetry.

To bad that, now with auditions over, I won't be watching again until next season. Oh well....

Posted by: VoR | February 7, 2007 4:40 PM

Thanks, Lisa, you nailed it - another LOL funny episode. I'm with all the others who are sad to see the auditions coming to an end. I'll stop watching when the voting starts.

BTW - I think Steve is right, she also did say "Go back to French."

Posted by: cpw | February 7, 2007 4:58 PM

Lisa, you and Tom Shales are a gift to viewers.

Posted by: institches | February 7, 2007 6:10 PM

Jacob Tudor is a good friend of mine. yes he was not very good, but it was not his stile of music really... he did that peace for the show. but the fact that they let the segment go on air is the reason i don't watch TV. It was humiliating for him. they should be ashamed. I know allot of very sucsesful people who modled carers after Kurt Cobain and Axl Rose, and your insinuation that he has no future just makes you a bad person.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2007 8:11 AM

To the comment re: Jacob Tudor, people that go on show should know what to expect by now. It's the way Idol works and why it is such a tremendous success. If he really can do better with another style (which I doubt), than he should have sung that. They like originality, remember (as long as the people can actually sing)? That's what gets you noticed above all the others.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 14, 2007 1:32 PM

I think that the Rebel Yell guy must have won a mock-BILLY-Idol competition. He left that little detail out.

Posted by: Matt | February 15, 2007 1:27 PM

I am tbe rebel yell guy.IF there was a mic And music you would know the real deal check me out at my space music bryan kyrish and hear my demo. You'll know whats up

Posted by: bryan kyrish | February 16, 2007 2:19 AM

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