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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

"GECRUNKPRAJESUSCAYUDIGIT?!?" Tonight's American Idol one of TV's funniest hours ever

EDIT: leroy-wells.com has the video from American Idol in streaming Windows Media format. Please don't watch if you've just come out of gall bladder surgery as the intense laughter can open the incision.
Tonight's show was the auditions in New Orleans. And the guest judge was Gene Simmons from KISS. Factor in how an American Idol audition is always a magnet for the really strange over the real singers. It was like the perfect storm of hilarity waiting to happen!

This would have still been classic if the only ummm, "unique" person to show up was Daron Beck, the guy in all-black who sang "I Put A Spell On You" by Screaming Jay Hawkins. And believe you me, he had every nuance of that song down pat and maybe did a hella better "You're MIIIIIIIIIINE!!!" scream than Hawkins.

Then came Leroy Wells. Remember William Hung, whose rendition of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" last year made him a household name (despite the fact that, as he admits, he sang lousy)? And the year before that it was Keith, the guy at the Atlanta audition in the big green turtleneck sweater who sang Madonna's "Like A Virgin". If every season of American Idol must have a mascot standout who didn't make it past the audition, Leroy Wells has season 4 all "crunked" up. Folks, by any means necessary, you absolutely MUST watch the footage of this guy. You're probably going to see him anyway, on TV shows and websites devoted to him. Maybe even t-shirts with his face. We only understood four things he ever said: his singing "I Feel Good" by James Brown, that he did something with paint for a living, "praise Jesus" and the thing that I told my wife is going to be this decade's answer to Flip Wilson's "The Devil made me do it" 30 years ago...


The real scary thing is, I don't think Leroy is on drugs or did this as "an act" at all. And one contestant who auditioned the same day affirms that what we saw tonight is 100% undiluted personality. I couldn't make it out but everyone who watched it tonight said that he talked about "getting crunked" or something.

This was the hardest we've laughed in a long time.

I called Mom at the next commercial break and she was hysterical with laughter. This was... geez how do you describe someone that you can't even understand what the heck he's saying?

Here's hoping that whatever it is that he's supposed to be, that Leroy Wells will go far. He's definitely his own person and that's a rare thing in this world. That, and because he (and most of the others tonight, save for two) were extremely gracious in being turned away. Success is never guaranteed, but that's okay, 'cuz I saw a lot of people able to walk away and smile that they at least gave it their best.

Including Leroy Wells :-)