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‘American Idol’: Audition city 1 – Philadelphia

American Idol” is back. Thank God. My sad little Tivo has had nothing to offer me in weeks. The audition rounds aren’t our favorite but they did a better job this year at least of balancing the freaks with the kids who might actually have some talent.

THE GOOD
Kristy Lee Cook, the horse trainer/cage fighter from Oregon. I see her as a top 12 contestant. If she doesn’t make it in the Hollywood round of “Idol” at least her skills would qualify her for a job at Medieval Times.

Beth Stalker, the G-rated, Red State-living mom who did a bang up job with “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered.” I really, really want her to win, then have her corrupted by the evils of Hollywood, like in “Welcome to the Jungle.” Then she can sell her story to Lifetime.

Leia_2THE BAD

Anyone wonder what Jorja Fox has been up to since leaving “CSI”? Well, I think she changed her name to Christina Tolisano (left), dressed up like Princess Leia and auditioned for “AI”. Duh.

Tour guide James Lewis, who reached new levels of bad with “Go Down Moses.” Once when I was a kid, I accidentally knocked my Fisher-Price record player to the wrong speed while it was playing “Disco Sesame Street.” At first I thought it was annoying, but now I realize it was a premonition of things to come.

The UGLY
Milo Turk, who took time out of his busy schoolgirl stalking schedule to audition with a song called “No Sex Allowed.” I look forward to seeing him again when the authorities find all those dead hookers under his house.

IN A CATEGORY ALL HER OWN
Temptress Brown the teen linebacker (pictured below). She managed to fight the good fight against stereotypes associated with stripper names and sing her poor little heart out…badly.

Tempt_2Her sad story and obvious lack of talent gave the judges a chance to show that they can coo and coddle with the best of them. Even Simon. To a point. Best moment of the two-hour preem was Temptress announcing that she would sing “I’m Not Going Nowhere” by Jennifer Hudson. What she really sang (sort of) was “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” by Jennifer Holliday.

MOST CONFUSING MONTAGE
Rather than the usual grouping of people by bad costumes or lack of talent, American Idol judges went with alphabetical as they enjoyed the song stylings of Jonathan, Jose and Junot. 

Alexis_2

SOB STORY TALLY
Temptress Brown – sick mom
Angela Martin – sick daughter
Kristy Lee Cook – sold her pony
Melanie Yema – sang backup for Taylor hicks
James Lewis – has job that requires him to wear colonial costumes
Joey Catalano – lost over 100 pounds but still no Jordan Catalano
Alexis Cohen, Milo Turk, Benjamin Harr, Paul Marturano – undisclosed mental issues ranging from glitter addiction to really, really, really liking Paula. Simon comparing Alexis to Willem Defoe was classic. Take a look at the photo on the right and see if you agree with Simon.

— Kathy Lyford and Erin Maxwell

For Gallo’s recap see the Set List blog. For ratings news see Variety’s ratings story and the On the Air blog.