american idol 2011 frederick m brown getty images American Idol 2011: Who Needs Paula & Simon When You Have J.Lo & Steven?

Photo by Frederick M. Brown//Getty Images

American Idol starts with a over-the-top “newsworthy” montage about how American Idol is in “panic mode” over the judge rumors.Dramatic pause. American Idol names [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Randy Jackson[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Steven Tyler[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jennifer Lopez[/lastfm]. This years winner will be signed to Interscope Records, so they better get crackin’ with the judgin’ whip.

Ok, so who’s going to bring the snark? Tyler seems like the world’s nicest aging rock star and J.Lo might bring a little pop diva spice, but can anyone beat the downright (and hilarious) meanness of Simon Cowell and the looped-out wackiness of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Paula Abdul? [/lastfm]

It’s announced that American Idol is beginning their “epic” search. Hello, media: Please retire the word epic. Unless you are writing a modern version of Homer’s Odyssey.

Steven Tyler–oh my do we love him–says that he’s looking for the next Janis Joplin. This would require the modern music world to follow this improbable equation:

Lots of booze+lots of cigarettes+hitchhiking across America with dirty hippies+unfettered natural talent+mental instability-autotune=next Janis Joplin

Tyler says, “You have to sing like no one’s looking.” Yeah, no one. Just 5 gazillion viewers all over the country. No big deal.

Jennifer Lopez says she wants people to be great, but when people claim they can get up and perform, Lopez replies sarcastically, “Oh, really? Get up there and do it.” Girl, you feisty. Hopefully, Ms. Lo will have the huevos to put people in their place.

Randy Jackson is the cool, stern father, as usual, saying, “Wow, it’s a different table. But, you know what? It’s hot.”

Man, R. Dog. That was profound.

A girl named Rachel Zeivetz sings a profoundly passionate (and deep voiced) version of “Hallelujah.”

“We got to let her through the door, water that flower, and let her grow,” Steven Tyler. And so the Steven Tyler American Idol Quotations Soundboard App starts being built.

Another awesome zinger when from Tyler, “I know why you’re here. We’re all here because we’re not all there.” Hahaha, this is a circumstance where years of hard partying can do wonderful things to your brain.

A dorky white dude named Caleb sings with a blues-y, gospel tone. 15-year-old Kenzie Palmer could be the youngest American Idol ever. Everyone loves them! Yay. Guess where are they going? Hollywood, of course!

All seems well and good, but what makes Jennifer Lopez whine and scream, “Oh my god, I hate this. Why did I sign up for this?…I want to go home.”

A pretty, but hopelessly tone-deaf girl named Achille from the Ivory Coast is Steven Tyler’s cup of whiskey drama-wise but not vocally, “You got so much of this and the drama and all that, but you have no notes. You got to reign those wild horses in.”

Speaking of wild horses, the American Idol crew heads to the Jersey Shore where they meet the Puerto Rican version of Snooki–Tiffany.

She shows us how to tease her hair the Jersey Shore way, “I want to make Jennifer Lopez cry.” Teasing our hair like that everyday would make us cry.

Then instead of Jennifer Lopez crying, Tiffany cries when she admits her undying love of Jennifer Lopez to the panel.

Wait, but there’s more!

She wears stars on her boobs and sings a song with lyrics like “America needs me for higher ratings on TV.”

That is so self-aware, it’s beautiful.

Steven Tyler says he “likes her energy.” By energy, we are 100% sure he means her bedazzled boobies. Luckily for Tiffany, she has an amazing voice and like Lopez says, “She’s out of her mind, but I love it.”

Of course, they have to balance the crazy cry-fests with the emotional ones, so they show 16-year-old, Robbie Rosen, who used to be wheelchair-bound. Not only is his story a tear-jerker, his voice was so gorgeous it made us sob into shirt collars. We are predicting this perpetually-smiling cutie is going far.

They show a montage of Steven Tyler flirting with female contestants and segue with, “it’s hard to teach a rock star to be a boy scout.”

And then–of course–meet awkward, geeky Chris, a boyscout. Can he sing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way?” Well, let’s just say, he definitely made it his way. And it wasn’t a very good way.

Next is Michael, who always has to burp when he’s nervous.

That is 15 second of television we didn’t really need. And we never want you to do that again, American Idol. Do you hear us?

Our favorite part of that audition was when Jennifer Lopez asked Steven Tyler to “make him stop.”

She sure likes to whine. But she does it in a cute way that makes us want to have a pillow fight with her. In nighties.

Then Steven says the most vicious thing we have ever heard. Ever. And we love it. “Did you eat a lot of paint chips as a child? American Idol has higher standards.”

We are writing that one down in our Advanced Snark Tactics handbook.

Ashley Sullivan, the worlds first “awkward American Idol” is obsessed with [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Britney Spears[/lastfm], “Love you BritBrit. Love you, Biffles. Me and you. Sagittarius sisters of life.” Biffles. We wouldn’t even name our dog that. Biffles.

They love her voice for Broadway, but say she’s not for American Idol. Sullivan replies,“Pop needs to get with Liza Minelli.”

She weeps. She does a weird cheer. She weeps again.

Whether it’s her bouts of mania or an insanely high metabolism, the panel either likes her or are scared of her, so they send her packing–to Hollywood.

Victoria, 16 3/4, is from North Carolina. She is psychotically sweet. Like, really. She has crazy eye. And the voice of a 5-year-old. Which is attractive. If you’re into that sort of thing.

Randy Jackson can’t stop laughing at her, because he can tell her “sweet personality” is totally a production. Actually, her singing voice is pretty great and she’s hilarious.

If you’re into that sort of thing.

This is another instance where we aren’t sure whether the panel is scared of her or they actually really like her. And just like the crazy Ashley before her, they send her to Hollywood.

Melinda, from war-torn Kosovo, is gorgeous with a sweet story. And guess what? She can sing and she’s not nuts. Those American Idol producers sure know how to get ratings without seeming like blatant drama creators.  Oh, wait.

Devyn, the singing waitress, sings “God Bless Child.” And she scats. And scats well. However, her clothing style leaves something to be desired and Jennifer, the star who must always be decked out in gold bling, gives her a little lecture before handing Devyn a golden ticket, saying: “Your voice is a star, so you need to start believing that.”

Translation: Straight iron your hair, put on some eyeliner, maybe some animal-print heels. Oh, and don’t forget the gold hoops!

The show closes with former shelter kid, Travis Orlando, from the Bronx. He looks and sounds exactly like [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bruno Mars[/lastfm]. Tears. Hollywood! Fame? Maybe.

51 people are off the Hollywood. Who will make the final stage?

  • Who are your votes for the final American Idol contestants?
  • Do you like Simon Steven Tyler as a permanent judge? What about Selena Jennifer Lopez? Let us know in the comments!


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