The “American Idol” auditions continued to Denver in its search for next superstar and/or sociopath with deep-seeded denial and daddy issues 
 
On the good side we got Haeley, who has been working herself to the bone singing at weddings and local bars' karaoke nights and wowed the judges with her impressive vocal abilities. I liked her a great deal.
 
We also had Mark, whose “Running on Empty” life story entertained the judges and confused viewers. He had great pipes, but I would usually assume that a parental abduction victim would be slightly less giddy. His story made me believe that he was secretly tipping off authorities to his mother’s whereabouts with his sign-off message. “Love you, Mom! Who lives in North Carolina now! On 3rd and Cherry Street! Right by the Wal-Mart! Love you!”
 
Idol_caseyHey, remember that whole fiasco with Paula and Corey Clark? The phone calls, the TMZ reports, the migraine-inducing reality show that followed? Well, in this episode we get a preview of the next drama arc as Kara and Posh make motorcycle-accident survivor/hottie Casey James take out his ponytail and remove his shirt. Gripping the fabric to his body to hide his shame, tears ran down his cheeks. Casey/Coco posed for the judges, trading in his dignity for a chance to make it big. He made it through.
 
Then there was Nicci Nix, whose porn-esque name is fun to both say and to type! Nicci Nix flew 14 hours from Italy with a layover in Frankfurt only to be insulted by Simon, despite actually having a few skills up her sleeve. Poor Nicci Nix. But she made it through. Go, Nicci Nix. 
 
In the bad group, we have the delusional Austin, which was one of the few performances that I didn’t have to watch with a cringe. He kind of deserved it. The judges picked up on the fact that the boy needed to be taken down a few pegs, while Austin was having a hard time distinguishing real life from “Glee.”  What audiences didn’t know about Austin is that right after the audition, he was found behind Westerberg High with Ram the quarterback in what police concluded as a murder-suicide.
 
Also bad was Kenny, who became “That Guy” of the episode. Honestly, the show has been on for a while now, so you would think that would clue people in on what the judges will and will not do. If you get four folks saying “No,” and one of them is Posh Spice, then you are probably not that great and no amount of pleading will change their minds.
 
The episode ended with Ty, who shows up in a bikini. Sorry, kid. But there is only enough room in this world for one Mankini and he already has my heart. I see a “Soup” bit in this kid’s future. — Erin Maxwell
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