Today’s Weirdo of the Week is not dedicated to one weirdo in particular. It’s dedicated to a program that specializes in weirdos. To commemorate Season Ten of American Idol, launching tonight on Fox Television, let’s look back at a few weirdos that have invaded the AI stage.
Since I neither watch, or for that matter like, American Idol, I can only depend on viral news to recall AI weirdos from seasons past. If you remember one that I happen to miss, feel free to add (him, her,it,they) in the comments below.
The most well known of the weirdos to enjoy an extended fifteen minutes of fame is Season three contestant, William “She Bangs” Hung. Considering Hung could neither sing or dance, his skyrocketing popularity, after his train wreck of an audition, defys explanation. A web site setup by a William Hung fan (insert eye roll here) garnered over four million hits the first week. Hung then appeared on several television programs including Jimmy Kimmel Live!, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, Entertainment Tonight, The George Lopez Show, The Late Show With David Letterman, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dateline NBC, Arrested Development and CBS’s The Early Show. Take that, Simon Cowell! Hung went on to sign a big record deal and in between 2004 and 2005 released three CDs. There are a few AI winners who haven’t done that well.
Then there was season six teen-sensation, Sanjaya Malakar, from Federal Way, Wa. He may not be the weirdest contestant, but that “Ponyhawk” hair qualifies for weird. Sanjaya stayed on the American Idol stage, week-after-nauseating-week, pushed forward by momentum gained from the “Vote for the Worst” website. Simon Cowell, with zero confidence of a Sanjaya victory, said, “He’s not going to win. I won’t be back if he does!”
Potential contestants get very creative looking for ways to stand out from their AI competition. Take season eight contestant, Katrina Darrell aka Bikini Girl, for example. What she lacked in singing ability she made up in visual misdirection. This former Hooter’s Girl turned singer showed up at the AI audition wearing an itsy bitsy bikini and a smile. She managed to get the invitation to Hollywood, but was voted off early in the competition. Katrina did return for the show’s season finale on May 20, 2009, to appear in a vocal throw-down against judge Kara DioGuardi.
Through the years the American Idol auditions have provided us with laughs and amazement. From “She Bangs” to “Pants on the Ground,” the AI influence on pop culture is evident and prolific. Auditions usually turn into reality TV’s version of a Weirdo stampede. Check out these examples: Janita Burks, Derek Stillings, Tuan Nguyen and Jared Wiley,
Here’s a look at some of last year’s weirdos giving us their version of Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t cha’ (wish your girlfriend was hot like me)”
“There was one great part to your song – it was the end!” ~Simon Cowell