IMHO: 'American Idol' Slacks Off on Judging
MIKE PESCA, host:
So me and my pal, here, Matt Martinez, we have a little arrangement.
MATT MARTINEZ: Hello.
PESCA: And our arrangement is this: Matt watches "American Idol."
MARTINEZ: This is true.
PESCA: He gets all the information in his head.
PESCA: He comes in armed with that stuff.
PESCA: And I totally don't ask him about it, because I don't care.
PESCA: But today…
PESCA: …we're making an exemption.
MARTINEZ: We are.
PESCA: Because America must know.
MARTINEZ: Yeah. You have to know. You know, most people think of this as entertainment. Me, it's a responsibility.
(Soundbite of song, "American Idol" Theme)
MARTINEZ: I can't do it without the music. This is true. Well, you know, lots going on last night in Dallas, where the second hour - or the second two hours of the season premier of "American Idol" took place. Lots of stuff - someone went into labor, a girl named Katie Mellow(ph) who can impersonate Shakira and Britney Spears, had a good voice, she went through. A guy named Brandon Green, who collected fingernails, sang "Rich Girl" by Hall and Oates.
PESCA: How'd that go?
MARTINEZ: Choice song. I loved it. I thought it was great. He did very good. He made it through.
PESCA: I think the judges are prone to blue-eyed soul.
MARTINEZ: They are. They are. There was a woman who did "I've Got to Use My Imagination" by Gladys Knight, very nice version, and she went through. One woman who went through, and it just really, really made me mad. Her name's Kayla Dawn Hatfield, and she sang some Janis Joplin. Let's listen.
(Soundbite of show, "American Idol")
Ms. KAYLA DAWN HATFIELD: I got some Janis.
Mr. SIMON COWELL (Judge, "American Idol"): Yeah.
Ms. PAULA ABDUL (Judge, "American Idol): Okay.
Mr. RANDY JACKSON (Judge, "American Idol): Yeah, you do.
Ms. HATFIELD: (Singing) Well, come on, come on, come on. And didn't I make you feel like you are the only man…
MARTINEZ: Okay, okay. All right, now, I usually agree with the judges' decisions on who gets through. This - I'm sorry, they let her through. Simon liked her. Paula did not like her. They actually - it's just very upsetting to me.
PESCA: And that's usually the opposite. Simon hates everyone.
MARTINEZ: It's usually the opposite. Yes, Simon hates everybody. They just let her through for kicks, when there had been people on the show with actual talent who they have not let through.
PESCA: Can't they always do that? It seems like that's always an option. There are so many freaks that come through.
MARTINEZ: Yeah. Well, for my money, the best one of the night was a woman named Jessica Brown. She didn't have the best voice in the world. She had the best story. It's in Long Beach, Texas, two kids, little girls, former meth addict. She got addicted in college, and she sang "I'll Stand By You" by the Pretenders.
(Soundbite of show, "American Idol")
Ms. JESSICA BROWN: (Singing) Oh, why you look so sad, tears are in your eyes, come on and come to me now. Don't be afraid to cry. Let me see you through.
MARTINEZ: So she went through. Next week, off to San Diego for more auditions. I, of course, will be watching, and I'm going to make an effort to bring only the best parts of "American Idol" to this program.
PESCA: Is that why watch "American Idol?"
MARTINEZ: We'll see if that works. That's why it works.
(Soundbite of laughter)
PESCA: Matt Martinez, our producer, our "American Idol" watcher.
MARTINEZ: Thank you very much.
PESCA: Thanks very much, Matt.
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