Sharyn Jackson is your American Idol host for season eight. On Tuesday, Judge Kara showed some cleavage, last night, we visited Utah, the “the friendliest place on earth.” Only if you’re white and sad.
Poor Tara. Are those tap shoes?
“Welcome to Utah,” announces Ryan Seacrest, “the friendliest place on earth.” Bullshit. At least Randy agrees with me. He’s like, “Where the fuck are we?” You are crowdsurfing in a sea of bland and faceless children of the corn, Randy. Save yourself, before their infectious bite turns you as pale and pasty as they are!
Besides the white and the so-called “friendly,” Salt Lake City is also home to the broken and downtrodden. We get a little musical history of Utah from the Osmonds, the Latter-Day Saints’ fertile ambassadors to wholesome pop. One of their hot Mormon offspring, David (son of Alan) kicks off the auditions with sad little ditty about sharing his musical talent and his multiple sclerosis with dad. And there’s a shot of the young Osmond in a wheelchair. Sometimes he can’t walk or play guitar, but apparently today he’s just fine, cause he struts into the audition with all the confidence of a relative of the relatively famous. When he walks out with a ticket to Hollywood after his rendition of–what was that, a Jesus song? –David’s dad gives us jazz hands.
More tears for single mom Megan Corkrey, who decided to divorce her baby-daddy the same day she found out about Salt Lake City auditions. Tactlessly, she sings “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man of Mine” in an absolutely crazy voice. Were that to come out of a fat girl or homosexual, you can bet she’d be on one of last night’s many endless montages of rejects. Like the goth girl Tara Matthews, who showed off her thunder thighs in remarkable get-up involving leather straps and, I think, tap shoes. All black clothes on someone with skin this translucent made my Tivo blip, and I’m sure it didn’t help her case with the judges either. Her version of “One Day I’ll Fly Away” isn’t much worse than Nicole Kidman’s, but she still gets the boot. I’m sure if mama Megan came out looking like this one, her story would have had a very different ending.
It gets even darker when we meet adorable Rose Fleck, who became an orphan at the tender age of 15. This is clearly Idol doing everything in their power to prevent us from making fun of their Season 8 contestants. I mean, really, what can I say about this girl? Except that she can’t really sing–at least on “I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet.” Her dirty feet, at that: through all 20 minutes of back story on this girl, she’s been barefoot and filthy. But oh so charming.
Otherwise, Salt Lake City auditions, like the city itself (and like last season’s pop-star that it spawned–David Archuleta), are zzzz. Reject after reject is polite and gracious after being sent away from the judges. Even Kara looks non-descript, although after last night, let’s hope she keeps things under control. Twelve hopefuls make it to Hollywood, including a senior class president and an eight-foot tall 16-year-old girl who’s parents moved her from the South Pacific to Utah to boost her musical career. Utah.–Sharyn Jackson