Get out your earplugs. "American Idol" returns to FOX Tuesday night with the first of at least three weeks of tone-deaf, pop-star wannabes trying out for TV's No. 1 show.
In a sort-of pre-game ritual for "Idol" — now beginning its fifth season — a string of often hilarious, never-will-be singers make it on to prime time for all the wrong reasons.
"I love the deluded," "Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said recently in a conference call with reporters.
"It's the William Hungs that I love," Lythgoe said. "It's the ones that believe you can be successful — and it's everybody's dream — you can be successful in this country by working hard. And he forgets that you need a modicum of talent as well, which he didn't have."
Host Ryan Seacrest agrees that Hung still signifies the truly clueless contestant.
"I've been shaking my head ever since William Hung walked into our audition room and I still think that he has been probably the most naive contestant we've ever had," he told FOX News.
As much as fans love the cast-outs section of the show, it is still not the most popular. Ratings traditionally rise steadily throughout the show's five-month run, reaching its high point at the finale in May.
And this year, the judges think the contestants are better than ever.
"There's great girls, great boys, I mean I know you hear us say it every time but truly, truly good talent. And I think it's the year for the boy, finally!" judge Randy Jackson said.
"Surprisingly the most intense contestants, surprisingly the most aggressive contestants ever," Seacrest added.
"This time on auditions we got to see true colors," he continued. "Some raw emotion, some raw aggression and I think that makes for a great series. It's going to be one of those things people are going to be talking about after some audition shows air."
But that doesn't mean we won't have anything to laugh at.
"Let's just say definitely look out for the outfits, because I think people are just getting a little crazy," Jackson said.
FOX News' Mike Waco and the New York Post's Don Kaplan contributed to this report.