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At the beginning of tonight's episode, as Ryan Seacrest asked the old men who introduced the show to give it a second, more exciting shot, I made a note that perhaps it was an auger that tonight's installment would be less than exciting than others. How incredibly insightful I was. Maybe San Diego wasn't a very interesting town, or maybe it was because


American Idol clocked in at a mere hour tonight, but tonight's audition episode reverted back to a more ho-hum state. The producers tried, god help them, by convincing us there were a few sob stories in the auditions: there was the talented Irish lass whose visa didn't come through the last time she did make it to Hollywood and the baby-faced kid who suffered the horrifying effects of paralysis of part of his vocal chords. Somehow, though, they weren't quite the American heroes of song that we all hoped for. Even the guy whose wife died mysteriously negated some of his own pity points by forcing his four year old son to wear his hair in a ponytail identical to his own. He already has no mother–why are you making him look like that?

What we did see tonight though was the return of the deluded bitchy contestant, who is always easy to laugh at and hard to pity. Christopher, who really wasn't that bad in his audition, later redeemed his crappiness with the classic riff "Forget you A-Z/ABCDEFG/Woo woo."

Grade: B-

Stray observations:

—Blake Boshnick, your mom had a dream, a dream about you, baby. Get out while you still can before you're forced to start stripping for fame.

—I don't know what the obsession is with disgusting fingernails this season but it must end now.

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