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The Idols Are 'Going to Hollywood'!

Feb 3rd, 2004

February 3, 2004

"American Idol" wrapped up its national talent search Wednesday night with more of the weirdest auditions around, including a be-bopping Winnie the Pooh, the president of the "Big Girls Rock" T-shirt club and an AARON NEVILLE sound-a-like whom SIMON unfortunately said looked like a "pen salesman" and had the "personality of a mouse." Ouch!

This week, we'll finally get to meet the 117 contestants who made the "Going to Hollywood" cut on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 3-4.

It's been a long haul for the judges, who've traveled cross country to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, New York City and Honolulu to find the next "Idol." They would sometimes sit through 120 good, bad and just plain deafening auditions a day.

Things got especially kooky on the West Coast.

It wasn't exactly Girls Gone Wild, but Simon Cowell and RANDY JACKSON did go a little girl crazy -- at least to hear judge PAULA ABDUL tell it. She was under the weather for the Los Angeles auditions, but said she found it amusing that the "boys" greenlighted so many more women than men, including a talented little person named JASMINE.

"I just find it odd that since I wasn't there to keep my boys on a leash, they went crazy," she said with a winking smile.

After listening to the almost 80,000 people who want to be pop stars, Simon, alias Mr. Nasty, says, "A million people could apply for this show and you're still only going to find two good people, and that is the horrible statistic. You saw what happened last year. There are only two people every year, or in some cases only one person who makes a difference. Of course, every one of the 80,000 thinks they're fantastic."

FOX's so-bad-it's-good, talent-search series kicked off its third season
Monday, Jan. 19, with a rib-tickling premiere featuring auditions from New York City. As always, the Brit wit was in rare form, even speaking canine to tell one awful wannabe to "Woof, woof -- get out."

The opening night hijinks worked: Approximately 29 million viewers tuned in to the premiere, making it the highest-rated season or series debut on any network of the 2003-'04 season.

The fun continued the next night from Ryan's hometown of Atlanta, GA, with a tone-deaf medley of "A Whole New World" and more screechy auditions. Then, "Idol" unleashed more tryouts from the Deep South when it hit Houston on Wednesday.

"There's never a shortage of talent," Abdul says. "You find some of the best talent in the most remote parts of the country and there's always someone who drives to make it and we'd love to see that happen."

Before the "Going to Hollywood" episodes debut next week on FOX, a special edition of the series, called "American Idol: The Road to Hollywood," will air at 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 2. So who's next in line for pop-star royalty? Stay tuned to ET for all of your "American Idol" news!

Courtesy of

Filed under: American Idol


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