American Idol: "Denver Auditions" Review Season 9 Episode 7

American Idol wrapped up its national audition tour with a mediocre trip to Denver that saw one contestant's tragic past being played for laughs while another was asked to take off his clothes to earn his ticket to Hollywood. Maybe next year they can distract us from Simon's absence with a segment called Kara's Casting Couch.

Victoria Beckham returned as a guest judge, and did contribute a little, though she focused more on style and looks than she did on singing. I didn't mind her return, though I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want: more Katy Perry. And for Posh to eat a sandwich.

The show's first contestant was the amiable Mark Labriola, whose jokey demeanor made his pretty decent audition a pleasant surprise. Mark was kidnapped by his mother as a child and spent six years on the run and away from his father. I understand why Mark would try to keep things lighthearted as he spoke of this, but Simon's attempt to turn the guy's life story into a sort of "Who's On First" just wasn't funny.

The night's theme appeared to be obnoxiousness, as winners and losers alike tested the nerves of judges and viewers alike. Kimberley Kerbow had a nice voice but was gratingly self-satisfied while Mario Galvin punctuated every sentence with a nervous laugh not unlike that of Dr. Hibbert from The Simpsons. I really hope this wasn't due in part to the huge scar Mario had on his forehead, though this show certainly isn't above making fun of someone who's suffered damage to their frontal lobe.

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