8:01 p.m. Hurray for Hollywood, indeed. The Rose Bowl brought out 11,000 hopefuls, who are all competing to earn a trip to Hollywood, which is just redundant.
[Full recap of Tuesday (Jan. 26) night's "American Idol" after the break...]
8:02 p.m. I remember Avril Lavigne, but I can't say when I last listened to her. The show's producers haven't listened to her much lately, whipping out "Complicated" as her representative song. As HitFix's Katie Hasty observes, "Ha-ha. Her career's over."
8:03 p.m. Neil Goldstein has an IQ of 160-plus and I really don't need to watch him or listen to him. We know he's going to be awful, so the only question is what this guy holes to be gained from drawing lipstick hearts on mirrors and declaring that the title of his first album will be "Hope."
8:04 p.m. "Rock-n-Roll Dreams Come True" is Goldstein's song of choice, but I'm distracted by Avril's devil-horned hoodie. This already makes Avril my favorite guest judge of the season. The performance is a bit funny and goat-like, but it's not grotesque. "I don't think you're suited for this business, Neil," says Simon. Neil strongly disagrees and refuses to leave. "There is no reality like the one we make ourselves," Neil says, finally pushing Avril over the edge into giggles. Simon offers the shiny-faced Neil the chance to leave under his own power, which he graciously accepts, saving us from our third security intervention of the "American Idol" season.
8:12 p.m. Jim Ranger is a worship pastor with three kids. He's also singing an original song. Uh-oh? Nope. Jim Ranger's possibly too talented for this silliness. The song good, the voice is strong. Simon asks Avril what she thinks about Jim and she responds by reading his bio card. Simon votes "Yes" on Jim and Avril votes "No." Go Avril! Way to stick to your guns. Her reservation, and Kara's as well, seems to be about Jim's ability to serve both God and Ryan Seacrest simultaneously. He still gets a ticket to Hollywood.
8:14 p.m. People stink. It's Avril's fault. I'm not sure how. Something about the hoodie deal she made with the Devil.
8:15 p.m. And speaking of the Devil, our next contestant is named Damien, who is both a martial artist and a pacifist. He's not afraid to look like a fool, so "American Idol" is just the place for him. He uses his platform to tell us that pepperoni is the hot sandwich meat in today's marketplace. When it comes to singing, Damien is no pepperoni. In fact, he's much closer to the Anti-Christ. They send him packing and he can't deny that he choked badly.
8:22 p.m. Children. Cute. You know what would be awesome? An "American Idol" for children. A "Junior American Idol," if you will. Or maybe they could call it "American Juniors." That would be awesome.
8:23 p.m. Speaking of kids, Mary Powers has an eight-year-old daughter who likes Simon. Mary starts singing and Avril starts smiling and fiddling with her horns. Simon likes her voice, but he doesn't like her cliched rocker style. Avril likes the voice and says that Mary is punk rock. Because, as we all know, if there's anything Avril Lavigne knows, it's punk rock. Ryan takes Mary's daughter in to meet Simon. The wee one's eyes practically pop out of her head as she comes and gets a kiss from Simon.
8:25 p.m. Ryan makes a shoddy transition by suggesting that rocker Mary might follow in the footstep of Adam Lambert. It turns out that they've gotten Adam Lambert lookalikes in every season.
8:26 p.m. One of those wannabe Lamberts is AJ Mendoza, doing "Cult of Personality." He certainly likes to over-sing, prompting nervous laughter from the judges. Simon suggests that AJ had just gone to the dentist, probably because AJ sings without opening his mouth. Asked if he's going through, Avril responds, "Absolutely not." AJ knows he isn't a joke, which is where he goes wrong.
8:31 p.m. Farewell, Avril Lavigne. Hello, Katy Perry. Unlike Avril, Katy isn't wearing a hoodie. Instead, she looks ready to have a cleavage-off with Kara DioGuardi.
8:33 p.m. Katy Perry promises she's going to be brutally honest, first turning her attentions to mocking the judges for arriving via helicopter.
8:34 p.m. Our first Day Two contestant is sure to be great, because he's Austin Fullmer and he insists that there's never been anybody on "American Idol" with his particular sexuality. He sings Cheap Trick and scares poor Katy and confuses Kara, who doesn't understand why Austin was actually doing a Mick Jagger impression. "This is my purpose in life, I think," Austin says. "No, it's not," Austin protests. Katy's "No" is ultra-swift. Austin thinks that Simon couldn't stand a real man entering the room.
8:36 p.m. Los Angeles contestants take rejection poorly. Ryan makes sure he hugs the one sad reject on the verge of tumbling out of her dress. One of the rejects is Sanjaya's beloved Crying Girl, who either showed up just to cry, or auditioned and was rejected.
8:38 p.m. Andrew Garcia's family escaped the ghetto and now he has a wife and a child and a dream, plus a dad who cries as much as Crying Girl. Andrew thinks that his life could change from this audition. He's good enough early enough that Katy and Kara exchange high-fives. Katy's expressive, wide eyes are a good asset for a judge. Simon calls Andrew the day's only genuinely good singer. Randy offers his first "If you can sing, you can sing anything" of the season. Even the phone book, Randy? Andrew's going to Hollywood.
8:44 p.m. Not only is Katy Perry our guest just on "American Idol" tonight, but she's also celebrating her zit-free complexion as a pitch-woman for Proactiv.
8:45 p.m. FOX is doing advertisements for the season premiere of "Kitchen Nightmares," but not for the "Dollhouse" finale the same night.
8:46 p.m. Tasha Layton is a personal shopper by day and a minister by night. She's got a great tone to her voice. I know this, because she makes Katy Perry bat her eyelash. "I love a good Southern belle," Katy coos. Tasha's going to Hollywood. "Now what do I do?" Tasha says.
8:47 p.m. Jason Greene is a 21-year-old student. He believes in magic and he believes it's a good idea to sing "I Touch Myself." Katy wraps herself around Simon. Kara gets intimate with Randy. Jason ends his performance on his knees, prompting unfortunate double-entendres with Simon. "I feel dirty," Katy says. "It takes a lot for me to feel dirty," say adds. Jason draws attention to Katy's non-vocal assets. Then Katy makes an "In Living Color" reference. As he leaves, Jason gives Ryan his phone number.
8:55 p.m. Katy has been hot and cold today. And Kara likes making references to Katy Perry songs. They look like they might cat-fight if we gave them enough time. Why aren't we giving them enough time?!?!?
8:56 p.m. Our last contestant, Chris Golightly, has grown up in 25 faster homes. He's "Life Unexpected: The American Idol Contestant." Music is where this Justin Guarini hair-alike felt most comfortable. He does an OK version of "Stand By Me." Kara thinks we might look back on this audition and go "Wow." Katy arches her back and purrs, "This is not a Lifetime movie." Katy Perry for Permanent "American Idol" Judge! Chris Golightly gets to go to Hollywood.
Who'd you like on Tuesday's "American Idol"?