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'American Idol' looks back at the auditions

We like to think of the We Saved the Best For Last auditions night as "American Idol's" way of saying "the joke's on you" to all those die-hard fans who've slogged through the eight-ish hours of cross-country auditions the singing competition Fox has aired so far.

But first, " 'Idol' has to play catch-up on the General Larry Plant phenom. Mister Pants on the Ground is the only wanna-be Idolette anyone's talking about so far this season. Is that sad? "Idol" introduced him to America and now shows us some of the people who have been covering his tune since.

First best-for-last wannabe Idolette, Jessica Furney chooses to sing "Footprints in the Sand," which sounds like one of those glutinous tunes 'Idol' judge Simon Cowell would mock -- except he co-wrote this one, which shocks guest judge Posh Spice. Simon, naturally, loves it and everyone else falls into line.

Amanda Shectman has the ability to talk with her mouth closed but not in some lame ventriloquist way. Her mouth is really most sincerely closed. But Amanda does not intend to make a career out of this remarkable talent -- she's Hollywood bound because "singing is what I love to do, man!" she emotes when the judges stop to think what this season will be like if this drama queen catches on with viewers.

"I just want to let my voice shine through -- this is a dream come true for me," she gushes when she gets her golden ticket to Hollywood. Amanda has been cast as this season's most annoying Idolette.

Very briefly, we see Lee Dewyze perform adequately and Crystal Bowersox perform well with her guitar around her neck for security.

The executive producer in charge of useless montages at 19 Entertainment has outdone himself with a Fake Out segment, in which we see the many, many ways people hide their golden tickets as they walk out of the audition room and into the hallway where their loved ones are waiting. OMG -- not under his shirt! " 'Idol' just wouldn't be 'Idol' without the Fake Out," exclaims host Ryan Seacrest.

Lacy Brown made it to the Top 50 last season but got the hook in Hollywood. This time, she sings "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" which ought to be banned from all TV talent competitions forever. The judges put her through to Hollywood again anyway, no doubt to make amends for having cut her last season to make way for Megan Joy -- how embarrassing!

Stephanie Fisher auditioned unsuccessfully seven times previous and brings her total to eight this season though, on the bright side, she does get to hug her own idol, Posh Spice, who is one of the celebrities to have played Pretend Paula this season.

One short medley of other people we've already forgotten about, who make it to Hollywood, and a melange of athletes who've tried out later, we're ready to mock the 6-foot-eight Adrian Chandtchi, who explains he's a "beautiful man-flower" and sings "Fools Rush In" like a girl. "There's a small schoolboy trapped inside you," judge Kara DioGuardi says. "Or, you've eaten one," snaps Simon.

Personal trainer Michael Lynche is the doting father of gimongous arms -- he loves them like sons, and refers to them as his "guns" -- and has an actual baby on the way. He emotes his way through "Unchained Melody" before heading to Hollywood.

Didi Benami is auditioning in memory of her dear, dead friend, Rebecca -- which gets her a big thumbs up from horny-hoodied Avril Lavigne and the other judges.

Aaron Kelly got a rough start in life until his aunt adopted him and how he hopes he can be a role model. He sings a Miley Cyrus tune but gets through on the back of his back-story. Wait a minute! They promise this episode was going to be about great singers who got lost in all the treacly back-stories in earlier auditions episodes!

Kimberly Bishop is talentless but, dressed in a very short slip which she keeps pawing at while trying to sing, provides us with what we think may be the first use of the "American Idol" logo to pixilate a chick's crotch. Sadly, she does not get through to Hollywood and one step closer to stardom, because she had promised to us her fame to help with recycling and reducing poverty in Africa.

Adorable Shaddall Harris is doted on by her mom, who tells Seabiscuit she had a dream in which her daughter becomes a singing sensation on the show. But instead of turning out to be one of "American Idol's" trademark treacly segments, she turns out to be quite tone deaf. Did not see that one coming.

And, finally, pretty Hope Johnson grew up so poor she had to bring home school lunches to slip to her hungry little brother at dinner. She says she did realize how poor her family was because she thought other children did not have dinner. Her performance is one of the evening's best -- so good in fact it gets a "yeah" out of guest-judge Joe Jonas. JJ is either dumb as hair or has a speaking vocal range that is so high it cannot be heard by the human ear, because he uttered virtually no words during his entire Pretend Paula performance.

Hollywood Week -- and Ellen DeGeneres -- coming right up.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  February 4, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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I'm ready for AI to really start next week. I sure hope there are some decent singers this time and not someone who gets through because they (she OR he) are pretty. Then again, coming in second hasn't hurt Adam one bit!!!

Posted by: MrsKirby | February 4, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

For everyone who thinks that the media has degenerated into mindeless soundbites, heres a blow in the other direction. It is a one hour debate program, commercial free!! The topics include decriminalization of drugs, corporate farming and health, should we close our military bases, and is quality journalism dying?. You can get all of the info at

Posted by: youngva | February 5, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

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