American Idol Season 9: Shania Twain Sexually Harasses Contestant, Barack Obama Doesn’t Show for Chicago Auditions


Chicago may be Frank Sinatra’s kind of town, but it’s definitely not American Idol‘s. The third audition city of Season 9 produced a meager 13 golden tickets to Hollywood, numerous digs at fat people, and an epic editing fake-out that placed Obama’s Election Day acceptance speech amid footage of a stadium-full of auditioners. I didn’t realize Obama made a presidential address to the people of American Idol, but then, I’m not as up on politics as I am on reality TV.

Tonight’s guest judge is Shania Twain. On the interesting scale, she just barely surpasses Victoria Beckham. At least she opens her mouth, unlike Britain’s national treasure, but it was hard to know if she said anything, being hypnotized by the tassels on her flowy, flowery Talbot’s blouse.

Is this TV mom the same babe in the “Man, I Feel Like a Woman” video clip? At least the Everybody Loves Raymond demographic is happy.

As for the auditions: The producers were grasping at straws tonight for touching stories. The closest they came was a traffic-court fugitive (Angela Martin), a child of divorce (Katelyn Epperly), and an asthmatic who arrived in a limo (Paige Dechausse). Paige was so worked up after making it through that Ryan Seacrest told her to “breathe, breathe.” That’s almost as good as high-fiving a blind guy.

Tonight’s other winners included Charity Vance, a 16-year-old going-on 60 who warbled away ala last year’s embarrassment Megan Joy; Marcus Jones, who actually admitted t o being unemployed in his nametag (though an even better admission was the “fast food associate” in Atlanta); and John Park, the night’s best singer–and best sport. He seemed only mildly freaked out that Shania Twain made a string of inappropriate comments about everything from his “bottom-end” to his “good head.” I’m pretty sure he could take her to traffic court for that.

Speaking of inappropriate, Amy Lang, aka the boob-boxer, is a pretty funny gal with a Kathy Najimy laugh and a rack that’ll take your eye out. Needless to say, the Idol style team would be at a loss to costume her, so it’s the end of the road for Amy. It was also a bad night for Crazy Accordion Lady (self-titled), a boy in hot-pants, a bride, and Brian Krause, a modern-day Fräuelin Maria who, from what I understood, got kicked out of the military for singing when it was forbidden. (Is that possible?) Brian does a spot-on impression of Tiny Tim. Sad, sad, sad.

In fact, there are so many more dreadful auditions, Idol takes the easy way out and shows the parade of losers in a silent film. If only the whole show was this pleasant.

Tomorrow: Orlando.

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