We Watch So You Don't Have To

'Idol's' Trying Times

By Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Early audition episodes on "American Idol" are the torture camp of show business.

We feel really bad about it.

But we like to watch.

Judges Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul are back with their bag of ego deflators. Only this time, Jackson is the bad cop, Simon is the good cop, and Abdul appears to be all sober and normal and obeying the Geneva Conventions. What fun is that?

Singing star/poet Jewel is guest-judging; she's sitting next to Jackson, who told the press a few days ago he thinks the guest judges are hooey and shouldn't be mixing it up with the three regulars.

The judges jump right in, bringing "Idol" wannabe Jessica Rhode to tears.

"I don't want to patronize you but it's never gonna work for you, darling," Simon sneers.

"I'm sorry but we're trying to find the best, and that was so far away from it."

"Oh my God!" Rhode wails.

"No way. Please no, please!" she begs.

"The good news is today you found out you're not going to be [a singer] so you can just -- move on," Simon says therapeutically while she weeps.

Rhode seeks comfort from her family outside. "I really thought I had it. I thought I was ready. They said I'm not even a good singer," she sobs.

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