Our long national nightmare is finally over… “American Idol” is back! I have to admit my home state of Pennsylvania, site of tonight’s auditions, didn’t really shine. In fact, my favorite song of the night came when the show was over and I switched over to ABC to watch “Boston Legal.” “Carpoolers” was just ending and was showing the four carpoolers singing along to “Come On Eileen.” Now that was entertaining! But why worry about the quality of tonight’s “Idol” contestants when the standouts never come from the northeast anyway?

I did enjoy seeing Angela Martin’s total change in personality when she started to sing. I can’t help but think that there’s more drama inherent in the people who get the golden tickets and go through to the next step. More of them please! As for the bad singers, I had a good laugh from James, who sang “Let My People Go.” I also got a kick out of the fact they followed the guy who sang the song about stalking Paula with an audition by a girl named Beth Stalker! Kudos to the editor!

But as often is the case, the most interesting person on display was Simon. Whether being dragged along to be nice to Temptress and her family or saying how America is different from England because we root for our friends and families to do well (shades of Daniel Day Lewis in “There Will Be Blood” talking about how he doesn’t want anyone else to be successful), he’s still one of a kind. I also have to wonder how he keeps a straight face while seeing the worst of the worst. It reminds me of the old show, “Make Me Laugh,” where contestants had to keep a straight face while a panel of three comedians were each given a chance to make a contestant laugh. The longer the stone face, the bigger the amount of money the contestant took home. Simon would have been a huge winner!

And speaking of Simon being a contestant on a game show, he actually has been one!  He appeared on the English version of “Sale Of The Century.” Check it out on YouTube!


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