Welcome to Hollywood -- Or As Close As We Could Get to the Hotel Where We Got A Good Group Rate

This year's American Idol Bad Auditions Tour is over -- a resounding success: ratings are up, Rosie is appalled, Paula is lucid. Time for "Idol" wannabes to head to Hollywood.

Exactly 172 would-be pop stars have made it to Hollywood, show host Ryan Seacrest tells us.

Only, the auditions appear to be going on at the Orpheum Theatre, in downtown L.A. Clearly, "Idol" producers subscribe to the Hollywood-as-state-of-mind argument.

This year, twice as many women as men made it there, Ryan tells us.

And yet, when this week's "Idol" is over, the producers have promised, judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson will have whacked enough women to wind up with exactly the same number of male competitors as female. Why? They're trying to judge 'em -- not breed 'em.

First up: The Women

"The large number of girls is going to make for a brutal round of cuts," Ryan warns.

"Inside the theater the pressure is palpable," he says.

Has "American Idol" ever used the word "palpable"?

Will Ryan say "verisimilitude" before this season is over?

The first six women perform. Then they are lined up on stage. Then Simon guns them down: "You're all going home. None of you are any good."

"Shocking -- all six girls are out!" Ryan tells us, in case we're too slow to have figured that out. And yet, just a second ago he expected us to know what "palpable" meant.

The next six sing. Then they're lined up on stage; only two survive. Among those downed: Rachel the military chick whose husband is serving in Baghdad. She tells the camera she wanted to get as far as she could for her husband.

Ditto Porcelana, who trained like Rocky Balboa for the competition, and Sarah, who ran away to audition in New York City.

Happily, Baylie Brown -- the city girl stuck in a farm girl's life, who Simon said was "Commercial with a capital C" -- makes it through.

"Did they cut too many on the first day?" Ryan wonders, totally contradicting his earlier blather about having to send home a boatload of chicks. Even Ryan doesn't listen to his own blah, blah, blah.

Day 1 ends with Nicole Turner fighting with her stage mom over her song choice. Turner sings the song her mom wanted her to sing; the judges are not impressed and send her home. Stage Mom then gets up on stage and tells the judges her daughter sang the song to please her, adding "I don't know if I can ever make it up to her." Geesh, should've thought of that earlier, Nicole's Stage Mom.

Day 2: The Men

Annoying 19-year-old repeat competitor Brian Miller tells Ryan that it's "an emotional roller coaster" for a guy "as young as I am" to make it to Hollywood twice on this show -- which makes us want to see him cut.

Nice Navy guy Jarrod Fowler, from the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, sings the "You Raise Me Up so I Can Stand on Mountains" song -- which makes us want to see him cut.

Surprisingly, both our wishes are granted, leaving us just one wish.

This brings us to the infamous Group Round. Ryan promises us "drama" which means "cue up the pictures of the women contestants."

Day 3: Group Day

Simon tells contestants not to forget the words to the songs they've chosen to perform. This is shorthand for "you're about to see lots of contestants forgetting words to the songs they've chosen to perform."

That includes, most notably, Baylie Brown, who may have been Commercial with a capital C but who got Flustered with a capital F by the drama that flared up between her two singing partners -- those Paris Hilton/ Nichole Richie-esque BFFs.

Minutes later, Jason "Sundance" Head forgets the words to his group's song, and Simon says he sang through his nose and halfway through the performance turned so red he looked like he'd been boiled. And yet, he sails through to the next round. Even "Sundance" doesn't get it, telling the camera he'd better start doing something right or they're gonna cut him. Unless, that is, he's a guy and they've got too many chicks in the competition. Then he's pretty safe.

Shots of Simon, Randy and Paula looking at remaining competitors' snaps. "She's cute," Paula says. "We've got to lose more girls," Simon says.

Singers are divided into three rooms, signaling the start of the annual Judges Enjoy Holding Contestants Out Window by Ankles segment of "AI."

Paula takes Room 1. She prattles on about "interesting moments," "near fatal moments" and "you are all aware how many rooms there are, correct?" She finally hauls them in with "Congratulations!"

Randy takes Room 2. "We should just put you out of your misery now, right? I'm really sorry to say...that you guys are going to see a lot more of us!" That Randy -- a window dangler with a sense of humor!

Lack of soundproofing is a total bummer for the wannabes in Room 3, who have heard screams of joy coming from Rooms 1 and 2, and know it's the end of the road for them.

"It's the end of the road," Simon tells them.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  February 14, 2007; 12:04 AM ET "American Idol"
Previous: Idol Lessons | Next: The Miracle of Sundance Head

Comments

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I love me some Seacrest! I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: Firsty McFirsterson | February 14, 2007 11:10 AM

I love me some Seacrest! I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: Firsty McFirsterson | February 14, 2007 11:11 AM

I love me some Seacrest! I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: Firsty McFirsterson | February 14, 2007 11:11 AM

I love me some Seacrest! I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: Firsty McFirsterson | February 14, 2007 11:21 AM

Um yea, what Firsty said, repeatedly.

Another one we wanted to see cut? The crying guy. My mom isn't supportive! She never hugs me! She never says she loves me! It is sooooo hard being me.

Posted by: ExCap | February 14, 2007 11:31 AM

I've never watched American Idol before, but I've been hooked this season by Sanjaya. If he doesn't make it through to the next round, I'm not watching.

Posted by: Arlington Resident | February 14, 2007 1:38 PM

Did you notice that one of the two girls who got cut when "Sundance" got through was the girl who had her "Grammy Moment" with JT? Not good enough for AI, but hey! she got to sing and dance on national tv on Sunday night - not too bad!

Posted by: Betty | February 14, 2007 2:05 PM

Does anyone know if the girl with the weird facial expressions is still in it? And is she cured?

Posted by: question? | February 14, 2007 2:16 PM

Shouldn't people be cut based on lack of talent, not ownership of ovaries?

Posted by: Fiona | February 14, 2007 2:27 PM

Hey, I felt SORRY for crying boy, who kept calling his mommy. It's clear his mommy only loves him now because he's on TV. And didn't she hang up on him when he told her he was cut? That's motherly love for you.

Posted by: Washington | February 14, 2007 2:51 PM

"Does anyone know if the girl with the weird facial expressions is still in it? And is she cured?"

She got cut.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 14, 2007 3:05 PM

"Did you notice that one of the two girls who got cut when "Sundance" got through was the girl who had her "Grammy Moment" with JT? Not good enough for AI, but hey! she got to sing and dance on national tv on Sunday night - not too bad!"

Are you sure its the same girl???? Robyn Troup?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 14, 2007 3:06 PM

Yup - same girl - I only noticed because they showed her name and it took me a second to figure out why I noticed it (felt a little pathetic at the same time!), but yup, same girl. Pretty funny.

Posted by: Betty | February 14, 2007 3:27 PM

I'm getting bored with Idol already. We need some real drama!

Posted by: Mo-Mo | February 14, 2007 3:27 PM

So did the opera chick get cut too?

Posted by: Mo-Mo | February 14, 2007 3:28 PM

So did the opera chick get cut too?

Posted by: Mo-Mo | February 14, 2007 3:29 PM

Why is this show being discussed in 2006? Why not talk about Barney Miller or Moonlighting or Laugh-In? I'm not in middle school, therefore this discussion is meaningless.

Posted by: Bethesdan | February 14, 2007 3:55 PM

The fact that Sundance made it through makes me think that AI is rigged. The Colombian girl should have been cut a loooong time ago. And the girl with the husband in Iraq should not have been cut. And lastly, where are the ugly girls with beautiful voices? I know they are out there! Why is physical beauty a criterion for females on AI, but not for males?

Posted by: disputatio | February 14, 2007 4:09 PM

"I'm not in middle school, therefore this discussion is meaningless."

Yet the topic is meaningful enough that you read the blog AND post comments...in 2007!


Posted by: Anonymous | February 14, 2007 4:12 PM

"The fact that Sundance made it through makes me think that AI is rigged."

Wasn't Sundance in room three? I think they put a fork in him there. He's done.

and yes - too funny that Robyn Troup was cut. She mentioned it on Access Hollywood but made it sound like it was her choice to leave AI. Something about "when Justin Timberlake calls..."

Posted by: Anonymous | February 14, 2007 4:16 PM

"Why is this show being discussed in 2006? Why not talk about Barney Miller or Moonlighting or Laugh-In? I'm not in middle school, therefore this discussion is meaningless."

If it's meaningless, why post in the chat?

BTW, news flash Bethesdan, it's 2007, not 2006!

Posted by: K | February 14, 2007 4:24 PM

I am now rooting for that heavyset guy with the big frizzy hair who was funny enough to be a standup in the auditions round. He was with the group of four guys singing close harmony who all got through the group round, and I spotted him in the 2nd room of Tuesday's cut. I think he's this year's Clay Aiken/Taylor Hicks - non-conventional but super voice and stage presence. If he makes the top 24, I'm votin' for him every week.

Posted by: Peggy | February 14, 2007 4:59 PM

I totally agree, Peggy! That guy is awesome! Great voice, adorable but unconventional looks and a heck of a sense of humor. He's already my favorite.

Posted by: Razorgirl | February 14, 2007 5:11 PM

How is the fat dude "adorable"? Although I rather see him there than that stupid kid that's always crying to his mommy. Grow a set already. Good thing he was cut.

Posted by: Ummm... | February 14, 2007 5:36 PM

Q) Why is physical beauty a criterion for females on AI, but not for males?

A) Because even the women don't want to see an ugly pig sing.

Posted by: Mr. Meoff | February 14, 2007 7:24 PM

Peggy, I'm with you. I LOVE the curly haired dude, and since he made it through, I'm voting for him all the way. My favorite female is the former-backup singer. I love her voice, and she seems so sweet.

Not a fan of Antonella. Hope her *itchy comments yesterday come back to bite her in voting.

Posted by: SLC | February 14, 2007 11:16 PM

Like I said yesterday "The fact that Sundance made it through makes me think that AI is rigged."

If Sundance is in the final 5, I will never watch this show again.

Lakisha is the best singer by far.

Posted by: disputatio | February 15, 2007 12:04 PM

Like I said yesterday "The fact that Sundance made it through makes me think that AI is rigged."

If Sundance is in the final 5, I will never watch this show again.

Lakisha is the best signer by far.

Posted by: disputatio | February 15, 2007 12:04 PM

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