Yes, they're in NY, but they don't look any more urbane/hip/sophisticated than the people in all those other cities. They're all from Queens, right? Queens, Long Island, New Jersey.... Or anywhere really. They just need to show up in NY.
The worst thing about today's show is revealed at Minute 2. There's a guest judge. That never works out well. What's-her-name -- Carol Bayer Sager -- is given the Paula seat between Randy and Simon, and our girl Paula is all the way over on the left. Boo! We see pictures of Sager glammed up in 80s hair and makeup -- almost, but not, Pat Benatar. Well, she looks like Pat Benatar in the stills, and Joan Collins in the real-time photography. Who is she? She's written various songs -- "Groovy Kind of Love" -- and she was once married to Burt Bacharach. Big deal! She's not going to say anything interesting.
First up is Ian Benardo, who, we're told, has a sense of entitlement. In profile -- I don't wanna be mean, but... --- he looks like Zippy the Pinhead. He's funny when he says that after people see him, they're going to forget about "Taylor Who?, Carrie Under Where?" (Underwear!) When Simon Cowell asks him the classic question "Why are you here?," he gives the answer everyone could give, a big sarcastic "Duh" face and then "To try out for 'American Idol.'" He sings "Gloria," but it's not "she comes around here about midnight" "Gloria." It's some other "Gloria." Simon tells him it's "rubbish," and he's all what is that some British expression? Rubbish? Who even says that?
In the second segment, we get some truly annoying contestants. A 19-year-old woman who lies to her father and skips school to pursue her "dream" gets too many minutes on screen crying about her ordeal, including a phone conversation with said dad where he learns she's "going to Hollywood" and just basically says wow, great. So much for that problem. Then we get a woman who seems to think Greek ethnicity is enough. She doesn't make it. Neither does Ashanti, a young woman who's actually gone to Hollywood in two past seasons, and wants to snag a slot again this year. When they tell her no, she goes into the hammiest pleading ever... fortunately, to no avail.
Two kind of nice and pretty best friends both make it through, and we're tipped off that their friendship will get tested in Hollywood.
A really great singer named Kia Thompson does Aretha Franklin and is proclaimed the best of the day.
Then it's Day 2... there were a few more singers, including a nice opera-singer girl who gets through. There were some delusionals and another medley of bad singers. But I was getting bleary-eyed in the second hour. Enough already! These 2-hour shows are killing me!
ADDED: Here's the TWOP recap, which makes me want to add that those best friends are named Amanda Coluccio and Antonella Barba, and that dad-calling girl is Sarah Burgess. Now what was Opera Girl's name? I like her, but apparently not enough to remember her name.
Some names to memorize: Jenry Bejarano (he's 16, he's black, he's adopted, and his mother's Bolivian), Jory Steinberg (she was Canadian, but now she's Santa Monican), Porcelana Petino (she worked out to get in shape for the show and wore the lowest cut jeans you can wear on TV without a digital blur... in front!), Chris Richardson (a decent-looking white guy is good so they rave... blah blah blah... Timberlake!), Nicholas Pedro (he quit in Hollywood last year because he forgot the lyrics to "Build Me Up, Buttercup," and now he's back).