There’s always something surprisingly awesome about American Idol‘s Hollywood Week, even if people like Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest threaten to ruin our good time by being themselves. Though it’s as choppily edited as the auditions, you feel like you’re watching an MTV-era version of A Chorus Line, complete with desperate singing and wannabes chanting, “I hope I get it.” (By the way, not enough fuss is made over how awful the ’85 movie version of A Chorus Line was. Unthinkably bad.)
Unfortunately, this is also the hardest part of the season to critique, as we mostly catch 10-15 second song blurbs from auditioning groups, and the rest of our time is wasted watching tired contestants weep about how hard it is to remember the lyrics, choreography, and passion of “What Makes You Beautiful.” No matter: Here’s a short blitz of the necessary bits from Wednesday’s inaugural Hollywood episode featuring only male singers. Follow along on my timeline in the clip package below. It’s like a recap singalong! And everything I say is in tune and Streisand-y and right.
0:51 — We’re less than a minute into auditions, and Micah Johnson‘s “Bennie and the Jets” snippet is the best thing we’ll hear all episode. Haley “AWW BILLLLIEEEE SHE’S-A-REALLAY KEEEEEN” Reinhart would be proud.
1:03 — Dear everyone who sings “Superstitious”: Please stop pretending there’s room to mess around with that melody. Thanks.
1:06 — OK, this “More Than a Feeling” screamfest was pretty good. Theory: “More Than a Feeling” is the only good bro anthem. Take that, Journey!
1:48 — Ginger Sam Kinison frightens me.
2:23 — Remember last year when Seacrest pushed 7-10 bystanders out of the way so he could run onstage, crowd around the girl who fainted, and do nothing? TSB. (Typical Seacrest Behavior.)
2:50 — Nigel Lythgoe’s announcement that the groups will be pre-assigned is… fine? I don’t really care?
3:25 — I never need to hear Queen’s “Somebody to Love” again. To be honest, most Queen fans are not that awesome. They are straight people who want to be cool, not righteous gays who want to bathe in Freddie Mercury’s rhinestone sweat.
4:30 — The other dudes bored me up to this point, but when Cortez Shaw busted out that leggy Sammy Davis Jr. jive and those Don Cheadle cheekbones, I lurched at the screen like a rabid porn star. Super-f*cking-fly. Love him.
4:45 — I just don’t like Johnny Keyser. Yeah, he has some generic hotness going on, but he’s in need of palpable charisma. He’s like the Ted McGinley of Idol.
5:10 — Four cocky gents about to go onstage, bragging how well they know their lyrics. Whoops, every single one of them botched their lyrics. Luckily, Tony Perkins doppelganger Paul Jolley (third from left) advanced.
5:36 — What is more hilarious than forgetting the words to “What Makes You Beautiful”? Guys, if One Direction can remember the lyrics, so can you. They buy their outfits at Build-A-Bear.