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Posted at 11:45 PM ET, 02/ 3/2011

'American Idol': Season 10, episode 6 (Los Angeles auditions)

By Lisa de Moraes

The judges see the contestants in Los Angeles. (Fox)


One night after the depressingly, nearly talent-free Austin auditions, it's a relief "American Idol" is making a stop in Los Angeles. As show host Ryan Seacrest notes encouragingly, it is, after all, the entertainment capital of the world.

On the other hand, he immediately follows that with a crack about how this audition season to date they've seen some of the best talent in 10 seasons, and his credibility drops back down to zilch.

JLo has a brief battle with her itty bitty shorts, which have ridden up during her long stretch-limo ride. It hardly seems worth the struggle, given that she's going to be sitting behind a desk during the day of auditioning. Randy Jackson, meanwhile, is wearing gold shoes, and Steven Tyler smokes a cigar. The judges are ready.

Seabiscuit reminds us it's the first time in history they've taken online auditions; those chosen will show up in Los Angeles to try out.

Wannabe Idolette Victoria Garrett believes God brought "American Idol" auditions to Los Angeles for a purpose, "and I believe I am that purpose."

She sings a number about the lamb of God that Tyler says sounds like it was being sung by a little lamb -- as in "baaaaad."

"Sweetie, it's a 'no'," Jlo says sweetly.

And yet Victoria lashes out at JLo, not Tyler. "Everybody can't sing like JLo," she tells the camera sarcastically.

Tim Halperin tells JLo he had a crush on her "growing up." She asks him how old he is; he asks her how old she is. She tells him it's none of his business. Poor JLo is getting no breaks.

But Tyler gives Tim a "yes," which means Randy's gonna give him a "no," because that'll mean Tim's fate is now up to his childhood crush JLo. Cut to doorway, through which Tim passes and cries, "I'm going to Hollywood!"

Take away: Sucking up to "Idol" judges really works.

Justin Carter is okay-ish, but JLo appears to say she thinks he needs to sing more from his family jewels. She says a word several times but it's bleeped out.

Remember that 1940's flick "The Enchanted Cottage" in which Dorothy McGuire played a mousy maid and Robert Young was the young pilot disfigured by war wounds, only they get to know each other in the cottage he's rented and she's hired to clean. And they start to believe they're beautiful, only nobody else sees it?

Yeah, Daniel Gomez and Isaac Rodriguez are kind of like that. They're very close friends who have come to the audition together to lend each other moral support. They're both convince they're terrific singers, in the face of all evidence to the contrary. "Idol's" done clueless close friends before -- but always had Simon Cowell around to call one of them a "bush baby" and then all hell would break loose in the media. Minus Simon and the callous insults -- Randy does manage to call one of them "relatively tone deaf," by which he means "completely" -- the storyline falls pretty flat.

New York native Karen Rodriguez is one of the online wannabes who's come to Los Angeles to audition. She's maybe the best we've seen so far in Los Angeles, but that's setting the bar very, very low. JLo pronounces her performance "hot," which emboldens Karen to tell JLo they'd met before, on an episode of "TRL." JLo gives Karen one of those looks celebrities give to people who are "just people" when they get too familiar.

Tyler thinks Karen's got "confidence" and "spit." She gets to go to Hollywood.

Tynisha Roches cannot emphasize enough that she is the Next American Idol. She already has three albums that are ready to be composed. She's going to perform a tribute to Frank Sinatra -- she's brought her own hat and grabbed a microphone, too.

She refuses to stop singing even when the judges ask. Even Tyler looks annoyed. Randy gets up out of his chair and leaves the room. Tynisha chases after him. Randy re-enters the audition room where JLo and Tyler are still seated - safety in numbers - and attempts to wrest the microphone from Tynisha's clutch.

"Security, security!" Randy finally calls.

"Bye, sweetie!" says JLo

"I definitely know I'm a star," Tynisha tells Seabiscuit outside. "Randy was all about giggles. I thought he was a lot cooler than that. He was like the Pillsbury Doughboy."

Pretty Heidi Khzam is a belly dancer. She performs a dance while Steven and Randy make noises like male hounds in heat.

"Yes, Yes, Yes!" shouts Randy.

Then they ask her if she can actually sing. She demonstrates. She's an okay singer.

"Welcome to Hollywood!" gushes Randy.

"Simmer it down," JLo warns.

Tyler pronounces Heidi an "incredible" talent, while Randy insists she's "one of the best we've ever seen."

JLo rolls her eyes.

Matthew Scott Frankel, aka Big Stats, heads Matthew Scott Frankel Productions, which has really gone green -- unlike the Fox network, which periodically professes to be making efforts to "go green" and yet has each of its "Idol" judges show up to auditions each day in their individual stretch limos. Frankel, the head of the production company, takes buses to get around town.

He tells the judges he is a "freelance music producer" with a "compilation album" featuring Chaka Khan. But his tune is terrible. Unlike the other bad singers, he seems to suspect this:

"Give me that one shot. I know it's against your guys' better judgment," Big Stats says, adding, "I can see it in your faces. I really needed to lubricate up a bit."

And he loved JLo in "Selena."

And yet still the judges give him the raspberry.

Big Stats tells us his mom always told him if he has nothing kind to say about someone to keep his mouth shut, so his lips are sealed re Randy. Except, of course, to mention that Randy is upset because he's not really related to Michael Jackson or Samuel L. Jackson, and that he and Randy are now officially "beefin."

A medley of bad singers later, in walk brothers Mark and Aaron Gutierrez. Mark is a substitute teacher; Aaron is a shoe salesman. They sing "Lean on Me" as a duet. Compared to the rest of the singers we've seen tonight, they're like Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, Sonny and Cher, Donny and Marie, the Captain and Tennille.

Tyler declares their number "god-like" while admitting his judgment has been impaired under the pressure of the Los Angeles auditions. And Randy notes there's nothing like a good sibling act. They're in.

Seabiscuit promises they'll wrap up the show with a crazy guy who calls himself the Human Tornado.

Cooper Robinson thinks he might be 59 but says he's not sure. He's from somewhere deep in Arkansas where there are a lot of snakes, which might be 1,000 miles away from Los Angeles, or 5,000 miles, depending on Cooper's mood at the moment.

Cooper plans to take over Universal Studio. So does Comcast. This could get interesting. Our money's on Cooper.

Cooper has now switched career plans and no longer wants to be the next American Idol. He wants to be "that man -- the next movie star."

"How do you like me?" he asks the judges directly. Seems like a fair enough question.

The judges are speechless. So Cooper does have a talent.

Which he apparently thinks is wasted on these three, so he leaves the room and goes outside to talk to Seabiscuit for a while. JLo wants to leave and gets a bodyguard to escort her past Cooper.

Seabiscuit appears to run into the auditioning room like a frightened fawn.

"I didn't come ... out of the woods for nuthin," Cooper explains to nobody in particular. He outlines his plan to take over Universal and become the next big movie star by being in our bathrooms and wherever else we might happen to be because, he explains, he's better looking than any dog, chicken, snake, hog, cow or giraffe.

And that wraps up Los Angeles auditions.

By Lisa de Moraes  | February 3, 2011; 11:45 PM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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Comments

AI needs to concentrate on the contestants and their performances, not on cute "human interest" segments and endless shots of the judges cavorting.

And the judges treated Victoria Garrett in a totally rude, humiliating manner. They were like rich, smug Republicans telling someone whose unemployment insurance has run out why it's more important to maintain a 3% income tax cut for our country's richest richies than to extend unemployment benefits for people who have nothing.

Yeah, we get it: a lot of people can't sing, and some of those people always try out for AI. But should a trio of rich and famous people snidely make fun of them? Apparently so, in Idol-land.

And then, considering that most of the TV audience can't sing well enough to make it onto the show, fewer people watch it every year.

What's amusing is that exec. producer Nigel is supportive and polite on "So You Think You Can Dance," even when he tells people, in essence, that they don't have a prayer.

Ah, well.


Posted by: roblimo | February 4, 2011 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Lisa - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Thanks for the laughs! I did watch last night and it was a rather odd show - even by AI audition show standards.

Posted by: MILWI | February 4, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

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