American Idol Episodes

2002, TV Show

American Idol Episode: "American Idol"

Season 8, Episode 1
Episode Synopsis: Season 8 kicks off with new judge Kara DioGuardi and returning arbiters Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson rating (and likely berating) a fresh pool of aspiring crooners in Phoenix. Ryan Seacrest hosts.
Original Air Date: Jan 13, 2009

American Idol Episode Recap: Auditions, Day 1 Season 8, Episode 1

We begin the first leg of the American Idol journey in Phoenix, Ariz. with the first day of auditions. Who will choke? And who will give us chills?

Welcome back, Idol fans! I don't know about you, Dawgs, but I am pumped and ready to watch the horror and joy that only American Idol can supply on a weekly basis.

It's time to protect your fine crystal in bubble wrap for the next few weeks as we sit through the painful audition period. But first, can we talk about this season for a second? Mainly, I'm curious about how this new judge, Kara DioGuardi (who I can't stop calling LaGuardia... let's call her LGA, shall we?) will fare: not just with Simon, Paula and Randy, but with the contestants and fans. Will she rub us the wrong way? Will Simon make a pass at her in the first five minutes? Will Paula cry if a contestant calls her "Kara" by mistake? So many questions, so little time. So, let's dive in...

For the first few weeks of auditions, I'm going to recap the big highlights and low points, as well as the best lines from the judges.

This week, the opening screen reads: "In life, the microphone passes your lips but once... you had better be ready to sing." — David Foster.

Goose bumps anyone? (None here).

After a montage of the best and worst moments of the past seven seasons — set to "What a Wonderful World" (gag... OK I got a little choked up) — we hear Season 7 champ David Cook describing the thrill of victory. Then, some new hopefuls speak directly at the camera saying, "I'm the next American Idol." Yeah, you just keep thinking that... no really! I love positivity.

We also get a nice little intro to our new judge, LGA, and a montage of clips of her best moments so far (which are all out of context for us in the first week).

Best Auditions:

-Emily Hughes, the tattooed, pink and yellow-haired rocker who sang "Barracuda" — she was refreshing and fun and different.

-J.B. Afhua, who has a lovely voice, but Simon wants him to "loosen up a bit." Luckily, he'll have his shot in Hollywood.

-Arianna Afsar, the "adorable" and "stunning" 16-year-old who sang a lovely version of "Put Your Records On."

-Stevie Wright, the adorable singer named after Stevie Nicks, and kicked some serious butt singing "At Last." Paula said she's got "Kelly Clarkson strength."

-Michael Sarver, the sweet but manly oil field worker and family man had a rich and soulful voice.

-Brianna Quijada, the beyond peppy "Let's Hear It for the Boys" singer, who peppied herself through to Hollywood (cuz it sure wasn't her voice) cried as she screamed, "I'm hugging Paula Abdul, y'all!" I do love her because she had the balls to call Simon "Simie."

-Scott McIntyre, the vision-impaired singer-songwriter, who overcame amazing odds to become an accomplished pianist. His voice wasn't amazing, but it has potential, and he has quite the awesome spirit.

Most Awkard Moment: Ryan trying to high five Scott, who is blind, and couldn't see the gesture.

Most Awesome Meltdowns:

-Randy Madden, the "sensitive rocker" who just wants someone to tell him he's good... after his "wimpy" version of "Living on a Prayer," the judges called him cliché, and he started to cry. Needless to say, that tactic didn't work either.

-Michael Gurr, who sounded like Gollum from Lord of the Rings, had to compose himself (surrounded by family and staff members) and eat a banana after his disastrous audition.

-Lea Marie, the pink cowboy hat girl who thinks she's a cross between Hilary Duff and Madonna, but really is like a cross between Tracy Flick from Election and Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. The show makes her look as insane as possible before her audition, so it's no surprise that when her song doesn't go over well, she campaigns for herself in a "crazy in her eyes" desperate fashion.

Best Lines from the Judges:

Simon: That was like something out of a horror movie

Paula: You could do voiceover work... for you know, like movies that have monsters

Simon (to a manly oil field worker): So you are the complete opposite of Ryan Seacrest?

Katrina Darrell, aka swimsuit girl, who sang "Vision of Love": When Kara tried to give her direction and sang some of the song, Katrina said "Your demonstration wasn't any better." The new judge let loose with "Hold on a minute, bitch." ME-OW! But, she got through to Hollywood and celebrated by making out with Ryan. I need to shower this whole experience off me now.

Randy: Where did the nickname "Sexual Chocolate" come from? Simon: You stole it from Randy, didn't you?

We are done with Day 1! What did you think of the Phoenix auditions? What was your favorite moment? Do you like the new judge?

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We begin the first leg of the American Idol journey in Phoenix, Ariz. with the first day of auditions. Who will choke? And who will give us chills? read more

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Premiered: June 11, 2002, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (3,324 ratings)
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Premise: The smash reality series showcases wannabe pop stars competing for a record deal by crooning for a panel of judges, including, most entertainingly, the acid-tongued Simon Cowell, who departed the show in 2010 after serving for nine seasons. The judges review a performer's talent (or lack thereof), and at-home viewers then vote for their favorite potential star. The show helped launch the careers of such artists as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert.



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