Idol aired its final audition show of the season on Thursday night, This time it was held in Oklahoma City and the auditions took place at the Devon Boathouse. And this time the Idol folks got it right.

Yes, Steven Tyler did do a finale in drag that was fairly funny; yes, there were closeups of Nicki making faces; yes, Randy said “dawg” one too many times; yes, Mariah showed off her bling enough to make you gag on your Coke can; and, yes, Keith fell off his chair (now that was pretty
hilarious). But the real emphasis of the evening was right where it should have been all along – on the contestants.

Hopefully, the producers of the show got it and hopefully for the TV ratings the rest of the way it isn’t too late. P.S. The one-hour duration is so much more palpable than two hours.

Certainly there were missteps along the way. The kid with Cystic Fibrosis (Kayden Stephenson) really didn’t have a Hollywood-worthy voice; the girl who sang the National Anthem (what!?), a 19-year old from Tulsa name of Zoanette Johnson, really, really, really should not have received that ticket to ride on a plane to la-la-land; and possibly they went a tad overboard with the humor when Anastacia Freeman revealed that it was God who told her to audition (God’s got a whole lot on his plate these days and figuring out who should or shouldn’t audition for Idol probably isn’t high on His list. But making fun of the lass was a bit too much).

Nate Tao was good, with or without the back-story of having two deaf parents; and Halie Hilburn, the girl with the puppet named Oscar, could sing a little and actually was better while Oscar was in-hand (ha ha, pretty good line, don’t you think?) rather than when he was on the floor or in the dumpster (really cruel) which is where she presumably left him after the show.

Now we are off to the Hollywood rounds. As per the normal routine, most (not all) of the oddity acts and strange folks, have been left behind and now, even though there are still a few hundred left, we are down to the point where the next Lee DeWyze (whatever happened to him?) will be

Can’t wait for next week…