Film and TV

Idol Beat: Hate & Aspergers

The surest way to piss off Steven Tyler - apart from being Joe Perry - is to butcher a Beatles song, which is the sin Dave Combs committed last night in the San Francisco auditions.

But let's be honest, he didn't do *that* horrible a job. The former(?) Aerosmith front man is just a lot more forgiving if you profess your love for him...and if you've got a nice rack. Unfortunately, Combs' failure to deliver the goods on "Oh! Darling" started a cascade of swollen-lipped bitchiness that torpedoed the dreams of not one but two hirsute wannabe rockers.

Don't worry guys, you'll keep rockin' forever...forever...forever.

The producers throw the now wholly expected curveball of giving the opening contestant an extensive back story, and then shitting all over them. That's your cue, Inessa Lee:

If you didn't feel like watching that (and who could blame you?), let me tell you Inessa sounds like a slightly better version of Minnie Driver in Goldeneye, only with more crazy. Fortunately for her, the fact that she can pass for 12 means she can keep auditioning until Season 30.

After that...unpleasantness, quite a few moved along, including -- of course -- Stefano Langone, who survived a horrifying accident to be with us last night. Although the exact nature of the incident was never divulged. I choose to believe he drove an Oscar Meyer Weinermobile through an erotic bakery.

And now he has Padma Lakshmi-style arm scars. Those are so fashionable.

And then came the usual cycle of decent-bad-good-shit auditions. Clint Jun Gamboa put his Bruno Mars impression to maximum use, while on the other end, bartender/Autobot Drew Beaumier wins the award for Most Auspicious Waste Of Time for building a fully functioning Transformers costume, then forgetting the words to "Born to Be Wild."

But enough about these afterthoughts. This week marked the return (after a one week hiatus) of the closing sad bastard segment. Who would win? Sadly, not Julie Zorrilla, the daughter of Colombian war refugees with the name most pleasing to future headlines. Certainly being forced to flee your war-torn country sucks, but the fact daddy could move you to sunny Southern California and not a tent city in Panama indicates a certain standard of comfort.

And not Emily Anne Reed, whose terrible story of struggle amounts to losing the house she was really attached to. No, it has to be childhood Tourette's/Aspergers sufferer James Durbin, who added a trump card in the form of a dad who overdosed when he was nine, and then hit the appropriate castrato notes on both "You Shook Me" and, of course, "Dream On," much to Tyler's delight.

Tonight we finally see some actual bloodletting, as the show moves to Hollywood and starts culling out the 300+ hopefuls who've made it this far. I know who I'm pulling for:

Don't let me down, kid.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar