Well, America's favorite shining whirligig finally got to whirling and gigging last night. Though for a big "Here are your choices, America!" debut, it certainly wasn't very graceful, was it? Actually, it was kinda downright urgly.

First let's talk about the thing that all of America cared about six months ago and now no one remembers, because everyone is so tired of the noise, all the noise in the world, that they chose to forget it:

L'Ellen DeGeneres is judging the show! And last night was her first live episode. Was she hilarious? A terrible disaster? No. She was earnest and boring. She was nice like Paula, but without the drunken fishmouth flopping. And she said words that don't really mean anything, like Randy except without all the guttural hooting and raping of Princess Toadstool. Guys, maybe I missed it, but she didn't even dance. Isn't that what L'Ellen is famous for at this point? Dancing like a Southern white gay lady in her 50s? I'm pretty sure that's what she is famous for these days. Look, I love her and often find her funny, but she's been on autopilot with that talk show for years and now her Idol debut was like waking up and seeing that it's a sunny day in March and so you go outside and, aw nuts, it's just a little bit colder than you thought it was and you actually do need a coat and it's still pretty much winter. Boo to that. Sad things happen to sad people. And American Idol viewers are, one hundred undoubtable percentage points, sad people.

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Moving on! There was a great boom and a crackling sound and a fissure opened in the skies and out of it skittered twelve women-creatures, all wriggingly writhing things with snakes for hair and ugly big gems for eyes. There were short ones, tall ones, ones with mossy brown teeth, ones with mouths that yawed open to the size of the pit of Tartarus, ones that shrieked and caterwauled and turned our ears into mushy blood orange pulps, a cluster of dead nerves like a coral reef ruined by divers. What I'm trying to say is that they were kinda bad.

I mean weren't they? I was all keyed up from Lost and dying to move onto the Olympics, so I already had hate in my heart for having to watch the show at all, but I think even if I was objective, they woulda been bad. And WTF was with this show being two hours? Twelve people sang songs that were a minute long. That's twelve minutes of singing, on a TWO HOUR show that is supposed to be about singing. I know that "American Idol doesn't respect our time!" is the oldest groan in the book, but it's just still so fundamentally, brain-hurtingly true. Thank goodness for DVR. I sincerely have no idea how anyone could possibly watch this show without that magic technology.

OK, enough of a preamble. Let's cut into this roast beast.

The Good
Crystal Bowersox is good. I mean, she is a good singer and looks proper with a guitar. But fuck man. Nothing else about her is terribly likable. Her robust voice kind of sidewinded into prickly pear Joanna Newsom territory last night, which is fine for Club Passim, but not for American Stinkbag: A New Musical. On American Stinkbag: A New Musical most folks are looking for big bellowing notes and blinding white teef. And Boomerslacks has neither of those things. I wish she was just quietly making a quiet name for herself in some city, like Austin or something, instead of peddling her wares on Ryan Tinklywinkly's Dream Machine. Though, I suppose the indie club scene wouldn't really pay for that kid she's got. Something I diiiid loooove about her was when Simon was all "That wasn't original," and she said "But we're not allowed to do original stuff on this show." Boom shakalaka, Simon. Boom, and then later, shakalaka. Although, his reply that she could do some completely rando song, Dave Bowie or something, and make it original sent that shakalaka boomeranging back to ol' Blunderbloomers up there on stage.

Who else? Oh, you know. Didi Bel Ami or whatever her name is did a fine impersonation of the lady that sings that song that goes "The wayyy that Iiiii love youuuu" and is about Rogaine or something. Is that Duffy? Oh, no. Google tells me that it's someone called Ingrid Michaelson. Well, hi Ingrid. You've now been imitated on American Idol by someone named Didi Idi Amin.

Katelyn Epperly, who skated a beautiful dance on Monday, was surprisingly not shitty! I thought she'd be one of those pretty randos who stinks butts but lingers on because she has honey-blond good looks that all the straight dudes who are forced to watch the show like, nudging their girlfriends or wives or daughters to vote for her. "Yeah, uh, who's that one with the curly hair? Yeah, she wasn't bad. You should give her a vote. Yeah. Her." OR SOMETHING. I have no idea how anyone could watch American Fartpants: A Songbook and find it sexy. It is the least sexy show since Picket Fences, and that was a profoundly unsexy show.

The Bad
Everyone else! I wish I was kidding. Everyone else biffed it hard. Michele Delamor? More like Delasnore, amirite? That old witch lady with the gray hair that's cousins with Will -'o-the-Wisp? I liked her in the Hollywood Week episodes, but not last night. The interchangable Siobhan/Lacey contingent? I just fell asleep writing that sentence. You know what was annoying? When Siolacey tried to create A Moment by singing Chris Isaak. No, chille. Just no, honeypot.

Pretty blonde girl number two Janell Wheeler wasn't awful, but can you picture anyone having the following dialogue:

"Hey are you going to the big Janell Wheeler rock concert down at the music arena?"
"Oh I wish, but that concert has been sold out for weeks!"
"Rats."
"Phooey."

No. You can't. Because no one ever would or will. No one is going to that Janell Wheeler rock concert, even if it's down at the riverfront bandshell on a breezy summer night and you've got Lonnie Dinkins, the cutest boy at Washington High, on your arm. It's just not happening.

Ashley Rodriguez? I can't even talk to you. I'm so disappointed. Boring as sin, and just not even that good in a technical sense. Sigh. Paige Miles? I don't even know who you are.

They Want This Girl To Win I Think
Katie Stevens. Girl can blow, to use Randyian parlance. But she's not that cute and she seems a bit smarmy, doesn't she? Like some producer pulled her aside and said "It's you, kid," and now she thinks she's got it. I know everyone's all into the teen phenoms these past few millennia, but I just don't see it with this Stevens child. Plus: she's from Connecticut. And, as I learned yesterday while reading about American Hamburg: How My Grandfather Says 'Hamburger', no one from the Northeast has made it to the finals since your wife Justin Guarini made it there on the first year. People from up here just don't vote with the same kind of state pride. Jasmine Trias? All of Hawaii put down their birth certificate forging machines and voted for her over and over and over again. They set up call centers. People in Meriden are not going to set up call centers. Anyway.

Please Kill It
Can we talk for a second about Haeley Vaughn? In your years on this Earth, have you ever encountered something as irritating as the thing that is Haeley Vaughn? I really can't stand that thing. It is so manufacturedly cheery and bright and American and ohhhh god, Taylor Swift is slowly going to ruin teenagers, isn't she? I really profoundly dislike this Haeley Vaughn thing. Its mouth opens sooooo big that I worry it is trying to eat me through the HD television. It also can't even sing that well. It just sort of warbles and yodels and figures that if it works for Swift, it'll work for it. I don't know where it came from (what's that? Fort Collins? of course) but I would like it taken away now please. Waiter, there's a Snork in my variety show.

I'm not sure I have anything else to say to you today about American Flapjacks: Music's Last Stand. I'm sorely disappointed by the ladies this year and just don't know if they can do anything to make it up to me. And the gents? Ohh fuck the gents. There's no Adam Lambert this year or beautiful Krissy Allen. There's just a bunch of Chikezies and one prettier Sanjaya. Oh and Greg Brady is going to be gracing us with his Johnny Bravo musical stylings. So. Aren't you excited for that?

OK. Sleep tight. Don't let the Haeley Vaughns bite. Ohadflafjds;afdfd. I'm so scared of it and hate it.

Stevie Sensitivie Update: It's come to my attention that many of you think that calling Haeley Vaughn, a black person, "it" is some sort of race-related Issue. Rather than spend all afternoon responding to comments, I'll just say: That is plainly ridiculous. I'm calling Haeley "it" in the same way I call that Jersey Shore thing "the Snooki Monster." If anything I should be called out for trying to find new ways to call Ryan Seacrest gay every week.