Reality Check: What I'm Over on 'American Idol'

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As "American Idol" makes its way through the auditioning process, seemingly gathering larger and larger crowds in every city, the time has come for me to comment on the quirks, quotes and quips I feel I could happily never see or hear again for the rest of my life.

"What Normally Happens When You Sing?"

Look, I love it just as much as the next sadistic viewer when Simon sets up a bad singer to look silly, and there's no more direct route than asking someone who just thinks they did well what the standard response to their singing is.

But since people can't do that many things when you sing other than can clap, boo or cry — and no wannabe 'Idol' would admit to having been booed — chances are fairly decent that "cry" is going to be the response.

Even the first time, it seemed too on-the-nose when Simon followed that inevitable answer with a dry, "I'll bet they do."

By Tuesday night's episode, when he used the line for probably the fifth time this season, I had officially bottomed out on it.

Paula Giving Advice on Anything

If it were up to me, Paula would simply bop to the music and flirt with the boys. But since she's one-third of the judging committee, I have resigned myself to the fact that she will be deciding on singers. But does that mean we must listen to her advice on other things?

In the San Antonio auditions, when Sandie, the tone-deaf music teacher, stood there crying, Paula reminded her that she should try being grateful for her teaching career.

While I know that Paula meant well and was just trying to come up with something consoling to say, a person who dreams of Kelly Clarkson-like stardom simply isn't going to get all warm and fuzzy at the thought of her classroom and low-paying job right when she's been told her dreams won't ever come true.

Randy's Hysterical Laughter

While I'm critiquing judges, it's probably the time for me to point out the fact that I think sweet old Randy — who's so good at saying, "Dawg/sweetheart, it's just not good" that it almost sounds like a compliment — is actually the harshest of the three.

This is primarily due to the fact that he seems to enjoy doubling over in uproarious laughing fits whenever someone starts singing a little off-key.

Can you imagine finally making it into that room, starting to belt out your song, and then seeing that 33 percent of the group judging you is finding your completely non-humorous rendition of a song beyond amusing?

'The Other Door'

I enjoyed "the other door" montage, particularly the clip of the giddy girl who actually broke through the wrong door and didn't even notice, but enough already. I get it: there's the right door and the wrong one and it's a chance for the judges to rub salt in the wounds.

It's a cute gag. Still, I say it's time for them to find new ways to add insult to injury.

Anna David is a freelance writer. Her first novel, "Party Girl," is coming out in June 2007 from HarperCollins.

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