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Do the Idol auditions feel somehow even more formulaic than usual? It seems like each episode has a solid three sob stories, three people who we know will probably make it to Hollywood the second the music changes and we see them at home, often looking off into the distance. Maybe I'm wrong but it felt like in the past occasionally we'd see these folks try out and then not make it, but not this season. Of course you knew the guy with the autistic kid, the girl with the facial nerve damage and the reformed criminal would all make it through to Hollywood. The pickle will be when all these folks are matched up against each other. I'll root for the jailbird, Matthew Lawrence, just because he looked and sounded like a version of Taylor Hicks who could pick you up by your neck.

Speaking of people who have learned valuable lessons, obviously Kara did not learn one from Blake Lewis.  Beatboxing does not work on the show!  Yet she was in favor of Jay Stone, who beatboxed/sang a version of "Come Together" with the line "Jewb jewb eyeball."  We also got our first Lady Gaga inspired contestant, Theo Glinton, the surprisingly polite ("thank you, Mr. Ryan Seacrest") dude with paillettes glued to his face.  Of course my favorite weirdo was the huge guy with the baby face who turned suddenly to Ryan Seacrest in the hall and said "What?" frightening Ryan. 

I was hoping for more from Kristin Chenoweth as the guest judge—that lady is really talented, has had a very interesting career and is, what, six inches tall? However all I got from her is that she is annoying when paired with Kara DioGuardi. She and Kara sure did high-five a lot! Or else they did it once and we saw it repeated several times. But still: girl power!  The episode was fairly light on ladies in general except for the strange sisters from New Jersey who, like Chastity from last night's episode, also live in a beauty salon. I kind of hope these two make it far in the competition because they're just weird.  They look strange and plasticky and their entire relationship seemed fake: do sisters really call each other "sis?"  The singing was whatever.  But when they said to Simon, in tandem, that they would do anything to get on the show, I believed it. 

Of course the real star of the show was meth. I mean, Jarrod Norrell, maybe the first guy in the history of the show to leave his audition in restraints.  OK, it is unfair of me to assume he was high during his audition (although he DID say, "I'm tripping.") He was probably just drunk.  Of course Simon got the last laugh out of the whole scenario by asking in the awkward ensuing moments, "Yes or no?"  

—I'm sorry to say that I had to Google to remind myself of Taylor Hicks' last name.

—Do we think the producers were secretly glad Seth Rollins' kid threw that little tantrum pre-audition? 

—Rollins' secret code to a ticket to Hollywood: big guy + earnest eyebrows + the line "I'm a little lamb who's lost in the wood" = lady judges eating out of your hand.

—What do we think happened with Jermaine Purifoy and his mysterious quitting of Idol the first go-around?