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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled iAmerican Idol/i: Audition #5 Los Angeles
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Tonight I am grateful for two things: Human Target and the fact that so many strange people apparently live in and around Los Angeles. It was one of the more entertaining audition episodes that we've seen this season and it probably helped that it was a tidy 60 minutes.

The first day of auditions was guest judged by punk rawk divorcee Avril Lavigne, who will always be, to me, the dum-dum who didn't know how to pronounce David Bowie's name.  I've never been a big fan of hers—her whole schtick seemed so contrived and something about her teeth always made her seem a little extra mean or something.  Fangy. Oh well, I'm sure her life is very complic8ed. 

Our first weirdo of the night was Neil Goldstein, who really didn't look like a Neil Goldstein. He did look like Dwight Shrute though, so imagine if Dwight was named "Neil Goldstein" and see how that sits with you.  Again, I think this is a case of a kind of weird guy really willing to play it up for TV. I don't doubt that that was his real hair and silk shirt and vest, but no person would agree to draw a lipstick heart on a mirror on TV who wasn't willing to make fun of himself.  There were a bunch of other dorky oddballs too: a kid named Jesse Chang singing "Kung Fu Fighting," which was just embarrassing, and a guy named Damian who did martial arts in his black socks. Shudder.

The Adam Lambert element really came out tonight for worse and for worse.  A.J. Mendoza was one of the many lookalikes (read: idiotic hair) who claimed to have received good input from Adam himself, although he sang with all of Adam's screechiness and none of his melody or charm.  My favorite part though was how smug he looked as he sang, like he had the judges in the palm of his hand.  The judges summarily dismissed him but the best part was his salty, snippy black friend who demanded, right at the camera "What the fuck is this shit?" after A.J. didn't make it. I wish I had that guy on hand whenever somebody slighted me.

I think some of the fallout of the Adam effect are guys who emulate famous gay (or ambiguous) singers and I personally welcome that—hey, it's something new.  Of course I'm talking about Austin Fullmer, who was going for a David Bowie/Iggy Pop thing (and cried afterward when he didn't make it) and Jason Greene, who I thought of as Creepy Rufus Wainwright.  After his hair-tossing audition, he very firmly gave Ryan Seacrest his phone number and then Ryan handed it off to a guy who looked like a mountain.
This episode I didn't even mind the "good guys" that much, who included two pastors, two people who got married/had kids at the age of 20, a foster-home kid and a child of parents who were former gang members but seem to be quite happily married.  My favorite of all of them was Mary Powers, who did a pretty decent job singing Pat Benatar. I agreed with Simon that her look was clichéd, with the suspenders and sock on her arm, but I thought she was really pretty, too, and I thought her kid was cute (and I usually hate it when kids are dragged out on this show).  I loved the girl’s expression when she met Simon, and I doubly-loved him showing his sweetie side. 

I even liked Katy Perry as guest judge on day #2; in fact, I think she's been the most valuable guest judge this show's had to date: they need someone who is vocally against putting people through out of pity. Plus, I feel like she brought out Kara's secret catty side—you can be as prettier as her or you can disagree with her but you can't do both at the same time.

—"This is worse than getting dumped by a boy!"  My new catchphrase, every time something doesn't go my way. Including beating those murder charges.

—The minister guy really took the small vest/big t-shirt sequence to the extreme.

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