American Idol Season 12, Episode 8: Hollywood Men, Round Two

American Idol keeps happening and I seem powerless to prevent it. It has become an eternal force of torment in my life, like gravity and speed humps. I try to extricate myself from its clutches but it drags me down again and again. It has happened for three hours so far this week. Think about that. The show is basically 90% commercials and it still manages to last longer than the First World War.

Anyway, apparently there is still another round of dude-winnowing yet to take place in this interminable Hollywood dystopia, so let’s go ahead and deal with it. After a montage of yesterday’s washouts (including Frankie Ford hollering “THEY WILL NOT DENY ME!” like he was gunning for the throne of Siluria), we are informed that the men will be singing a solo round to whittle them down from an army of 43 to to a still-bloated 28. Ryan Toothpaste emphasizes that this is the most important day yet, which he must be as sick as saying as I am hearing it. Paul Jolley is first and he is being a wimpy crybaby, which my darling heartless Nicki Minaj, dressed like she is headed to a P-Funk audition in 1979, zeros in on right away. (Mariah Carey is wearing another Glitter-gown, Randy Jackson is your headwaiter at the Too Much Lavender Café, and Keith Urban is oh who cares.) He says he wants it really bad, sings a mediocre song, and melts into a puddle of twitch-goo when Nicki tells him to man up and be a professional. Lazaro the Stutterer has finally eschewed pink and purple tops in favor of eye-cramping turquoise; Curtis Finch of the Churchy Inch kills it once again, and is becoming an early favorite in my eyes. They all make it through in Group 1, and I discover my neck hurts.

Everyone is emotional — sorry, “experiences a storm of anxiety”, thank you Ryan Toothpaste. Group 2 features preternaturally confident, pointy-headed Devin Velez, who sings a singing-school version of “What a Wonderful World”, I mean it’s all textbook. But it’s impressive compared to some of the other doo-dads, like the mile-a-minute Cortez. Gurpreet Singh Sarin kills it on “Georgia on My Mind”, establishing himself as this season’s Anoop with a little bit more swing. Mateo Fernandes, the beloved hobbit, gets a little too cutesy with his banter, and sings a way-too-obvious song with Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger”, and Nicki performs her Lord High Executioner act by telling him he’s leaning a little too heavily on his bit. Another sob story bites the dust! So long, kid, see you in New Zealand. Unfortunately, snotty Andrew from SATX also cruises through, ensuring another week I have to deal with his trifling ass.

Big Nick Mathis wants to make a better life for his kids, so you know he’s doomed. He’s a little pitchy and off key; it’s not terrible, but it’s not worse than a lot of the guys who got through already; then again, the judges are being extremely harsh, and Keith “3 AM in the Morning” Urban says he was not “chasing the dream, but chasing the song”. Whatever you say, you dingus. The good news is that Papa Peachez is unbelievably awful! He sings a shitty song terribly, blames his group for his own failure to sing well, has no enthusiasm, calls the other Idol contestants “puppets”, and mopes around saying “I don’t like singing other peoples’ songs”, as if he didn’t know what the concept of the show was when he tried out. Nicki properly sprays venom all over him, and he gets sent home, thus ensuring that one of my greatest dreams will come true: I never have to type the words “Papa Peachez” ever again!

Nick Boddington is a leftover from season 11. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: fuck these washouts. There are 300 million people in this country; go be on The Voice or something. Charlie Askew Syndrome comes out after doing some jumping jacks (“It’s what Bono used to do”), and goddamn if he isn’t charming as hell. His vocals are only okay, but he puts loads of personality in his performance, makes the judges swoon, and even gets off a great line — Nicki says “I am obsessed with you”, and he immediately retorts “Baby, I could say the same thing.” Way to go, you freaky little kid! My man Burnell Taylor, who is making the most of his wardrobe budget, is really selling his soft smooth voice; he’s got legs, this one. Micah Johnson, the Navy man whose dentist whacked his mouth into Speech Impediment Town, surprisingly doesn’t make it; picking a Randy Travis song probably wasn’t the best move for him. Nate Tao, S’ani, and ROCKER GABE BROWN also don’t make it through, thus depriving me of the use of all-caps yelling. Then, just to twist the knife, the judges pull the remaining winners on stage to remind them that eight of them will get axed next week for no particular reason. You crazy heart-stabbing bastards.

Next week: GIRLS! To sing a pop song! GIRLS To cry and yell shit! GIRLS GIRLS! GIRLS!

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