"American Idol" audition malaise set in this week after three nights of warbling and antics that left this show devotee still wondering exactly how many people made it to next week's Hollywood Round.
The show visited Jacksonville, Fla., Salt Lake City and, then, last night an hourlong show that went back and forth between New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was, as Simon Cowell, might say, "Utterly and completely insane."
The final audition (mercifully) was, at times, hard to follow and there definitely seemed to be a larger-than-life number of goofballs. Consider: Joel Contreras (pictured) in San Juan and his makeshift iPod cutout; Nick Mitchell, aka "Norman Gentle," whose bizarre outfit and Jerry Lewis-like performance was painful. and the re-emergence of cuckoo Alexis Cohen, 24, of Philadelphia whose "Take it, take it, take it!" rant last season after being ousted left the judges stunned. And don't forget the numerous finger flip-offs.
She was back, chanting and cooing and offering another hand gesture: a thumbs up! Alas, her rendition of Madonna's "Like a Prayer" earned no "Amens." Simon called it "fairly horrendous." She called him an expletive.
There were some decent singers, including Jorge Nunez, who sang "My Way" in his native Spanish; Melinda Camille, who sings good and enjoys dancing naked, and Patricia Lewis Roman, whose parents relived getting married in the San Juan hotel where the auditions were held.
All told, 37 passes to Hollywood were handed out last night. I figure the total number could be close to 200. And, with the competition heading to the Kodak Theatre next week, the previews forecast some stormy days/nights ahead.
As for ratings, President and Mrs. Obama's and inaugural night on Jan. 20 went up against "Idol," but the competition managed to hold on to 22.8 million viewers, according to the Nielsen ratings. The show bounced back last Wednesday with 26 million watching.
As for rival network CBS, please, please switch "The Mentalist" so it doesn't go up against "Idol." I need my Patrick Jane fix.