We managed to get through the perky divas, soulful singers and unwashed, unbalanced masses that made up "American Idol's" early audition episodes. We made it though the Lady Gaga group sings during Hollywood Week. And now we are down to the nitty gritty…and man, is it boring.

 

Of the 24 performances offered over four hours, I only remember four or five perfs. The theme this week was Billboard hits, but it might as well have been "Songs We Heard Over RiteAid's Sound System While Buying Shampoo." There were no belters, no show stoppers, no divas and nothing to write home about. Only a few of the kids stood out, and unfortunately, it was for the wrong reasons.

 

On Ladies Night, three of the ladies went for Beatles tunes (Lilly, Haeley, Katelyn) while almost everyone else went for a ballad. Between Lacey's lilting "Landslide" and Michelle's fallen "Fallen," I was having a hard time staying away. I think it was just after Janell's version of "What About Love" that I rigged a "Clockwork Orange"-esque contraption that kept my eyes open.

 

The only standouts that night were Siobhan (which required me to stop the TiVo three times to get the spelling of her name right), who performed a sultry version of "Wicked Game" sans stage presence. Crystal, who sang "Hand in my Pocket" and worked her one-man band. Simon said she was no different than the folks who play instruments outside subway stations. I was thinking more like the parking lot of Bonnaroo. And finally, there was Lilly, who did well with the Beatles tune, but needs to take a hint from her hair and sing Aimee Mann.

 

Unfortunately, the boys were not much better with a few more horrible ballads and no personality with the exception of a two crooners. Big Mike added to the entertainment factor of the show, if not for his enthusiasm, than for the offhand chance that he might charge the judges while screaming "Mike Smash!" And Casey, because it's fun to watch Kara make a fool of herself over this hottie. I'm very much looking forward to listening to her late night stalker calls that will be posted to the TMZ site in about two years from now.

 

The problem with this season is that there seems to be a lack of originality with most of the contestants. Other than funky haircuts, most of them don't have a unique bone in their body. I'm willing to watch a few more episodes. Maybe the kids will develop over time. But as of right now, it's just not a good start. I need more from my "Idol" hopefuls. Like a pulse.

 

Next week: More singing and I learn to make a defibrillator out of my Ikea lamp and metal drink coasters to keep my heart from stopping out of sheer boredom.

– Erin Maxwell

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more