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For the first part of the California auditions, Avril Lavigne joined the judges to remind viewers that Hot Topic offers a wide selection of interesting merchandise, not just "Twilight"-themed backpacks. The second day had Katy Perry on the panel, who got into a scuffle with Kara…and well, now I kind of like her.

 

This week's episode offered viewers a taste of the Adam Lambert aftermath. After Lambert's success last season, emo drama kids around the nation rejoiced, got their Tears of Fears music ready and headed down to the auditions. However, poor AJ learned that what worked for his 11th grade audition for "Pippen" might not work for Simon. He sang like he was recovering from a stroke. And Austin just seemed more excited about his recent purchases from the Pleasure Chest men's fashion section. Latex — it's not just for scary moustached men anymore.

 

Viewers were also treated to members of the God Squad, as Pastor Jim and Minister Tasha made it through to Hollywood Week despite Simon and Avril's hesitations.

 

Also on the good side was Mary, who sang her way into my heart by chirping "Love is a Battlefield" while dressed as a "taxi dancer" from the video. I'm pretty sure she didn't actually mean it that way, but I'm going to pretend that she did. It makes me like her more.

 

There was also "Genuine" Andrew and foster kid Chris. Both made it through.

 

And of course, there were the special snowflakes of the performing world, whose bizarre fashion sense, cocky attitude and inability to accept reality made for good TV. Neil's nerves got the better of him, yet he refused to give up the spotlight and held his ground. Then there was Jason. When he is not singing, Jason spends his spare time asking women to put the lotion in the basket. Shine on, dudes.

 

– Erin Maxwell

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