Wake Me in March: Seattle Lived Up to (Awful) Billing

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American Idol 6 kicked off with a blast last night, and only those marooned on an ice shelf in the Arctic Ocean could have missed the press releases that last night was the night to be parked in front of the flat screen.

Uncle Sam: American Idol Style
Known for my American Idol fanaticism, I received many comments from friends wanting to know if I would be tuned in - ya think? I had been counting down the days since Taylor Hicks won the AI5 finale, and the premiere was finally here!

Various Clay Aiken fan boards had spoiler threads already set up at 5 p.m. PST with the comments flying, but I stayed strong, waiting until the end before forming my opinions.

Now, 24 hours later, I know I should have cheated, read the spoilers, picked out the only two names worth remembering, and had a decent night's sleep.

While American Idol is well known for showcasing the truly awful during the first few episodes, there were so few shining moments that I began to wonder if I somehow entered a parallel universe where horrible equaled wonderful.

Out of two hours of bleeding eardrums, "what were they thinking" moments and astonishment at the audacity of the non-talented, only two names were worth writing down: Sarah Krueger and Jarrod Fowler.

Having been forewarned from the leaked previews that the Seattle auditions were the worst evah, I decided to see if the powers that be were just trying to drum up interest, or were just being mean-spirited. Now, 45 minutes into night two of the auditions, this is truth in journalism!

I had high hopes for my native Pacific Northwest to produce the first non-southern American Idol, but it's not looking good. Our specialty - rain and copious quantities of it - appear to have leeched the talent right into Elliott Bay, and my bed is looking more and more inviting.

Only five contestants are shown making it through in the first hour, and since two of them share the same gene pool, it appears that Seattle may be the new gold standard for awfulness.

Since Clay Aiken's version of "Unchained Melody" stands as a shining moment of AI history, hearing it butchered two nights in a row has made me run for my iPod to hear Clay blow away the audience once again.

Please tell me it's March, the top 12 has begun, and Jordin Sparks survived the Seattle weirdness! If the next few weeks are as damaging to my hearing as the past two nights, I'd best order my hearing aids now.

With the montage of the worst of the worst and Big Red finishing up the show, it is indeed time to leave Seattle, and pray that the South brings it! See ya next week...

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Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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