'Idol' Does Dallas

We Watch So You Don't Have To

If, as Simon Cowell recently insisted in a phone call with TV critics, this season has produced the best crop of "American Idol" wannabes yet, why did he and fellow judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul feel compelled to send through to Hollywood such a pack of misfits and sad cases as they found in Dallas?

Like the guy who's been collecting his fingernail clippings for seven years, carries them around in his pocket, tells the producers about them in his bio information and offers to share them with show host Ryan Seacrest? Shouldn't they instead have sent Brandon Green to Dr. Phil?

On last night's show, the judges seemed far more creeped out by the guy who is saving himself, and his lips, for his wedding night -- he's never even kissed a girl. Okay, it was pretty cringe-inducing when Bruce Dickson showed us the gold key he wears around his neck that fits into a gold heart his dad wears around his neck, which Dad says he will give to the Right Girl on Junior's wedding night. Sending Bruce to Hollywood, where he'd be sure to be at least kissed, and spend some quality time away from Dad, would have been an act of kindness.

"You guys have some advice?" he asks on his way out. "Kiss some girls," Randy suggests.

Speaking of acts of kindness, overcaffeinated Kayla Hatfield got the thumbs up, seemingly because of her ability to survive the car crash that cost her half her face and still be happy. But her rendition of a Janis Joplin tune was pure karaoke.

When Brandon the Fingernail Hoarder offers to let Seacrest take a closer look at his "collection," the host says, "Part of me is sick; part of me is scared." But the Howard Hughes-ian Idol wannabe promises Paula, Randy and Simon that if he becomes the next American Idol, he'll be a "positive influence," unlike "these other celebrities," including Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, he says.

Speaking of Britbrit, Kady Malloy, one of a steady stream of pretty blonde Idolettes destined for Hollywood this season, does a dead-on impression of America's Favorite Pop Mess, which impresses the judges mightily. "Of all the people we've seen so far this year you're the best. I've got a feeling about you; you are super, super talented," Simon gushes.

Another pretty blonde, Jessica Brown, is a stay-at-home mom with two adorable little girls, and a weakness for crystal meth, and an arrest record. (Who says the "Idol" producers have nothing new up their sleeves? This season they're exposing the competitors before TheSmokingGun gets around to it!) But, Jessica says that, just like that tune we wish former "Idol" winner Carrie Underwood had never sung, she let Jesus take her wheel. And now, she wants to go to Hollywood for a music career -- because the whole single-mother-blonde-singer-in-Hollywood thing is working out for, say Britney, we muse, coming full circle.

And speaking of Underwood, Alaina Whitaker, yet another pretty blonde, who bills herself as the chick Carrie Underwood looks like, gets unanimous thumbs up from the judges, though Simon tells her she's not as good a singer as she thinks she is. Oh snap!

Back to Misfits: Kyle Ensley is this season's Semi-Charming Nerdy Boy Who Hasn't a Prayer and Who Will Quickly Get on Our Nerves. He wants to run for governor of somewhere, or become an "American Idol" winner, and blushes his way through the Queen number "Somebody to Love," which is sufficiently charming/ironic it gets him a ticket to Hollywood. But only after Simon asks him, "You wouldn't do what Clay Aiken did -- do weird things with your hair and wear red leather jackets?" Kyle assures him he has no weird-hair or red-leather-jacket aspirations and he heads off to Hollywood.

And hunky farmboy Jethro -- a.k.a. Drew Poppelreiter -- is leaving behind the back 40, with which he says he has a love-hate relationship, to take his very first plane trip to Hollywood.

Winding up "Idol's" Dallas two hours of my life I'll never get back: Renaldo Lapuz. Lapuz is dressed to emulate Liberace attending a costume party as messenger god Hermes: white-marabou-collared silver lamé cape, white-feather winged hat with Simon's name spelled out on it because, Renaldo explains, Simon is "the sun, he's the light, he's the rain, he's all the elements of the planet."

Renaldo sings his own composition, "We're Brothers Forever," which is dedicated to Simon:

I am your brother
Your best friend forever
Singing your songs
The music that you love.
We're brothers
To the end of time,
Together or not
You're always in my heart.

By the second chorus, Randy's up singing with Renaldo, Paula's bumping and grinding in front and Seacrest is looking bewildered; Simon's looking bemused. Sadly, all three judges nix Renaldo's "Idol" run. Undeterred, Renaldo addresses Simon:

"Simon, you are a great person. You give [a] chance to everyone to sing to the whole world. Thank you. You are heaven-chosen to . . . give [a] chance to any talent -- for free of charge."

By Lisa de Moraes  |  January 17, 2008; 7:48 AM ET "American Idol"
Previous: 'American Idol' Treacles In | Next: 'American Idol': Been There, Seen Them


Please email us to report offensive comments.

That Renaldo part was pretty funny. The highlight of the evening.

Posted by: Justin | January 17, 2008 10:22 AM

I wonder if Renaldo's song will make it on the Billboard Hot 100.

Posted by: Irish_Ed | January 17, 2008 10:48 AM

WHat happened to that Bailie Brown girl from last season? Wasnt she from Texas? Did she audition this year? She was great, but got mixed up with the NJ skanks who derailed her in the group round.

Posted by: Mike | January 17, 2008 1:23 PM

I've already downloaded his song to my iPod. ;-)

Posted by: Renaldo for president | January 17, 2008 1:23 PM

i love ya

Posted by: jade | January 17, 2008 2:27 PM

At least they know ahead of time that Jessica Brown has an arrest record!

But I'm sick of the "Queen For A Day" profiles of some of them.
I don't care if they have a hard life!
I just want people that sing well or really, really awful!

Posted by: Unindicted Co-conspirator | January 17, 2008 2:34 PM

A guy in his late teens/early twenties who has never kissed a girl because of a pact he made with his father is gay. There is simply no other explanation. The father wears a heart around his neck to give to Ms. Right, who the kid doesn't even intend to KISS until they're married? Can you imagine Bruce Dickson bringing home MISTER Right? Father would never approve. He's hiding behind his father's pact like some men hide in priesthood to avoid the terror of his father's disappointment. I feel bad for him. His relationship with his father is not going to end well. Like Berta said on "Two and a Half Men": Life's a much happier place when you figure out if you're the pin or the cushion."

Posted by: LLL | January 17, 2008 3:56 PM

Pookie, why are you spending two hours watching AI? You could breeze through it in probably a little over an hour by TiVo'ing it. Watch Stewart and Colbert either at 1:00a or at 8:00p the next night on those nights. You'll minimize AI life-loss (AILL) and still get your column in on time.

Posted by: Upper Marlboro | January 17, 2008 4:06 PM

i am really disappointed in how randy, paula, and simon treated Bruce Dickson. I really admire him for what he is doing and this that is awesome that he has chosen to save everything for that one girl. I know of prople who have made that same decision and they are in no way gay. It is his decision and I don't think he should be laughed at by all of America for it.

Posted by: Kelly | January 17, 2008 10:00 PM

why would you marry someone you've never even kissed? I'm not saying you have to get down and dirty before the wedding night if that's how you wanna do it. But no kissing? are you joking?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2008 4:06 PM

I eagerly await Renaldo's album

Posted by: Dave | January 19, 2008 3:18 AM

Renaldo was FAR more talented than many who went through. Call him William Hung 2.0 if you want but he gets an "A" for effort

Posted by: Jules | January 19, 2008 11:42 AM

Okay - Lisa, you watch so I don't have to - but WHO will save YOU???

I honestly cannot watch the many poor people I feel ought to be on medication or at least in a competent psychologist's waiting room instead of waiting for their "15 minutes" on American Idol!

I may watch this show after they get down to 12 finalists - but the minute they start giving me the backstory about some contestant's fingernail/toenail clipping fettish - I'm so outta there.

Posted by: Jean | January 22, 2008 3:29 PM

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