The Ultimate “American Idol” Power Rankings: Houston Auditions

Posted on 01/27/2012 at 12:03 PM

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28. Serious to Joke Audition Ratio: Hey AI: One way to give those falling ratings a boost is to not wait until the 13th minute for the first serious audition.

27. Phong Vu: Another way to give those falling ratings a boost is to not play a gong sound for that auditioner, named Phong Vu. Good to know Idol‘s back to frontloading the racism. You know, I’d left a benefit show early so I could catch the last Q train uptown, and somewhere between being rained on in Brooklyn and crushed amid crowds in Union Square, this half-nostalgic, half-creature comfort feeling came over me, that all would be healed by warm blankets, warmer tea and the immeasurably warmer sight of human decency. Instead, the first audition was a guy starstruck for Steven, Celine and “the camera in my face,” who proclaimed against all Idol‘s logical and circumstantial evidence that “God is on my side, I know it.” Anyway, he sang, and it was not great, and the judges smiled and shook their heads and penciled light outlines for the viewers to fill in their own stereotypes. Oh, and the editors gave him halo and fanfare SFX. Why? Because Phong Vu’s audition is their canvas for reputation graffiti.

26. Crappy Singers Who Prominently Lisp: Phong Vu’s segment went so long, in fact, that Idol realized it hadn’t gotten any gay jokes in this episode. Problem solved!

25. Crappy Cowboy-Hatted Country Singers: Idol‘s probably also realized it hasn’t sufficiently stacked its probable top 24 deck (yes, we’ve seen the alleged list; we find it suspicious at best) with country singers, nor did it stack the ratio enough to the “joke” side despite the above, and one imagines it’s realized this episode took place in Texas. So the show drubbed us with drawling until the sarcastic “you rode that into the sunset!” critique seemed immaculate and scathing by comparison.

24. Crappy Miscellaneous Singers: One sang like granola Steve Martin in Baby Mama, one sang like a mynah bird attacking a grapevine, and we’ll stop now because this is meaner than called for.

23. Randy Jackson: Not meaner than called for, however, was this J. Lo comeback after one auditioner called Randy the best of the panel: “He’s not your favorite judge.” Even Randy agreed: “don’t lie on national television!” His presence on the panel has now officially ossified so much that the show openly mocks him, and he mocks himself as well.

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