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"American Idol" discovers "Pants on the Ground" in Atlanta

'Idol' judges Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, guest judge Mary J. Blige and Simon Cowell. (Michael Becker - Fox)

When 'Idol' goes to Atlanta, they always come away with the best non-winners (Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken, etc.) and this year is no exception, though this year's Atlanta star will not be seen again in the singing competition. Because, sadly, he's 34 years over the upper age limit for this show -- more proof, if you needed it, that America is ready for Simon Cowell's not-just-for-20-somethings singing competition series "The X Factor."

Larry Platt -- that's General Larry Platt to you -- auditions in Atlanta with his own tune, "Pants on the Ground."

"Pants on the ground,
Pants on the ground
Lookin' like a fool
With your pants on the ground."

"I have a horrible feeling that song could be a hit," Cowell predicts.

He's so right!

By the time the audition episode has finished airing in Pasadena, where Winter TV Press Tour 2010 is unfolding, "Pants on the Ground" is available for downloading as a ringtone, and "Pants on the Ground" is also one of top Trending Topics on Twitter, behind a charity for victims of the earthquake in Haiti, and "RIP Teddy P[endergrass]."

Mary J. Blige is this night's Pretend Paula judge.

First auditioner Dewone Robinson says he is a diamond in the rough, which is Idol-speak for "bad."

Kela Johnson sings "The 'Titanic' Song" which Simon says is good enough to land her a part in "Oklahoma" -- which is Idol-speak for "too Broadway."

A bunch of boring good singers later, Jermaine Sellers tells about his mom with spina bifida -- and we've watched enough "Idol" auditions episodes to know that means he's headed to Hollywood - Blige even says he's "anointed."

Randy's up to "one million thousand hundred and ten percent" in favor of Jermaine going to Hollywood. Randy-inflation is out of control this season.

Christy Marie Agronow is on a local TV show called "411" but singing is her passion. Too bad she's no good at it, but when the "Idol" judges say so, she vows never to promote their show again on "411."

A few bad performers later, bridge jumper Vanessa Wolf from Vonore twangs her way through "Wagon Wheel." The judges love her "authentic" style, so she's gonna get to get on her very first airplane and head west.

The judges do not, however, approve of the authenticity of Jesse Hamilton, a welder from Alabama who says he's dodged death three times. The producers mock his three brushes with death in three cheap reenactments and Blige laughs hysterically during his performance. Later he accurately tells family members the judges "crucified me"

Guitar Girl Holly Harden, on the other hand, is authentic country. You can tell because she's wearing her guitar Halloween costume and guitar sunglasses. She is Hollywood bound, as is Mallorie Haley because she is "fearless" while performing her tepid cover of a Janis Joplin tune, says Simon.

Antonio "Skii Bo Ski" Wheeler wouldn't recognize "authentic" if it ran him over, and he Fonz-ily tries to sell himself to Mary Blige for a dollar -- we think -- we can't be sure since we barely understood what he was talking about at any given time. But three of the four judges -- everyone except Simon -- are gobsmacked by his ability to sing, so he's going to be the comic relief in Hollywood.

Carmen Turner and Lauren Sanders are BFFs who share enough talent for half a person. But the judges break up The Ditsy Sisters and Carmen gets through while Lauren does not -- but then Carmen's the blonde.

A singing policeman is a no brainer; he should've stuck around for the next auditioner, Lamar Royal, who grew quite hostile when the judges said he was not ready for the competition. "I wish Paula was here," Lamar says on his way out. Get in line, Lamar.

And, last but certainly not least, Larry Platt gave us his performance of "Pants on the Ground" for which he is already famous.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  January 14, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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I hope Larry Platt makes a cool million with that song! He was great.

Posted by: mbrumble | January 14, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I liked the bridge-jumper. Not a great voice, but she was so darn cute it would have been a shame to send her home.

Randy is out of control and Kara is just brutal. With Simon leaving, there is no hope for next season's Idol.

I actually miss Paula.

Posted by: raquel2 | January 14, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Pants on the ground!

Posted by: Guest1234 | January 14, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Pants on the Ground! Amen! Boys are you listening? prob not.

The bffs reminded me of the cliche first victims in a slasher movie.

Was pretty cruel how they mocked the death defier. They better hope Fate was not paying attention.

Did Mary J say anything all night? I don't remember. I only remember her laughing at those who knew no better.

Also liked the bridge jumper. Hope they can polish her up and she succeeds. Everyone loves a good rags to riches story. I loved her when she boasted about her $4.50 dress! She is someone who would truly appreciate privilege that comes from success.

Posted by: hodie | January 14, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

hodie - I thought Mary J. did a good job as guest judge. She gave decent coherent (unlike Paula) criticism, both good and bad. And I, too, hope Bridge Jumper is able to ratchet it up a little - not enough to lose her charm but enough to be able to keep up with the other contestants.

Didn't get to see the entire last half hour because of toggling back and forth between Criminal Minds and Idol, so I missed Pants on the Ground. Darn!

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | January 14, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, look at him with his pants on the ground, hat to the side, hat to the side...

Its rather catchy.

Oh and the best part was when he was on the floor doing crunches or something that appeared that way and Ryan said "is that part of the song too?" and he continued to sing, crunch and nodded. That was the best part! Loved that guy.

I'm sure people have thought about this already - The X Factor will be the new AI. AI will become a competition show we all used to watch... I think a large number of viewers will skip AI to watch X Factor with Simon. Regardless if both shows will be aired at different times. Personally, I watch the show primarily to see what he is going to say. I don't care for his mean comments, but he really is dead on almost every time.

Posted by: Babeeornge | January 14, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Larry Platt isn't just some random guy off the street in Atlanta. Here's a little perspective on who Larry Platt really is (from

Platt, who turned 63 a couple of months after last year's Idol audition, calls himself a "four-star general in the civil rights movement." In fact, he had his feet on the ground in the '60s, when he took part in the Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march.

Platt told the AJC in 2008 that he was shot in the eye as a child and has been attacked by police dogs and suffered beatings in past civil rights efforts.

Platt, who marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, talked about his memories during a panel discussion at the Roswell Public Library.

Posted by: paperboy76 | January 14, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

thanks waterfront, I too was multitasking so must have missed all the times she spoke. I saw all the ones she snickered. Guess if you see so many auditions during the day you start to get "punch drunk". But still, was not a good sport of AI to make so much fun of Death Defier. He obviously had to participate in those vignette's but I'm not so sure he understood what was going on.

Posted by: hodie | January 14, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I really enjoyed watching American Idol last night...

The Bridge Jumper was totally adorable. She was genuine. I loved how she's so real. She was absoultley adorable when she was talking about her $4.50 dress & how's she's never been on an aero plane. Too cute.

As for Larry...too funny. That is a catchy mother and i were singing it last night!!

thanks paperboy for the history of Larry. That's very interesting.

Oh i also loved Jermaine. Awesome voice.

*Mary J was somewhat quiet but when she did speak up it was all the truth. i didn't agree with her when she just "didn't get" that guitar girl. i thought she should've said "yes" that girl was cute. i loved her accent! & she said that simon was "gorgeous" that was too darn cute!

Posted by: Jennifer86 | January 14, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

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