Last night the Idol wagon headed to Charlotte, bringing that sleepy Bank of America town its first bit of joy since the Hornets packed up and flew off. Though, sadly, it wasn't much joy. No, for whatever reason last night's episode of American Tunefarm was kind of the freaks episode. There were a lotta sad jerks on the show last night, is what I'm saying, and I hope it's the only episode like it this season. Because the freaks just aren't fun. They're sad and strange and have been dragged through many producer auditions and possibly even brought back a day later before seeing the judges. So we are supposed to laugh at how silly and bad they are, but really we are laughing at them for being stupid and having hope even though a legion of producers has given them plenty of reason to have hope. I'm not talking about the dumb stunt ones — the people who are deliberately awful in the hopes of getting on TV, those people can go screw — I'm talking about the people who clearly have had some person in their lives at some point say, "Hey, you sound good," and so think they might have a shot. Those sad weirdos. I don't like being made to watch them. Sad is not a feeling we should feel so acutely this early in the season.
Speaking of sad, let's talk about last night's Big Event. In what was supposed to be the culmination of all the feuding that Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey have been laboriously involved in, Nicki stormed off the set in a rage after getting into some words with Mariah about some junk and it was dumb and overblown and was quickly resolved and nobody cared. Still, Fox promo'd it like it was the second coming, offering it up like it was some great Idol moment when really it was just a little summer squall that passed through Charlotte on its way out to sea. What happened was this: A nice young blonde creature named Suzie-Mae Hawkins or something, it doesn't matter what her name was, came up to sing and she said she'd "tried the country thing" but had now moved on to a more soul kind of a sound. After she sang it seemed that Keith Urban, the little pixie that Nicole Kidman gave to Ryan Seacrest in a jar, was upset by Fanny-Rae's dismissal of "the country thing." So there were some tense words and then Randy and Mariah and Keith started nittering about how Danni-Kae should really be focusing on country music and then, much to her credit, which surprises me to say, Nicki Minaj was all "Wait, guys, stop telling her what she needs to be, she's just being her, let her be her." It actually made some sense, but the other three, Mariah especially, didn't want to hear it, so they got into it and Nicki was very Valerie Cherish about it, not feeling like she was being heard, and so she turned on her candy-coated jetpack and flew out of the studio and back to her condo in Wario World.