American Idol recap: OK, Corral the Crazy

The Oklahoma City auditions feature a ventriloquist yodeler and Steven Tyler in drag. Two different people, I promise!
Ep. 06 | Aired Jan 31, 2013

TRANNY-WRECK Ryan Seacrest politely golf-claps for one of Oklahoma City's most illustrious bewigged loons.


I really liked Nate Tao, the 24-year-old sign language teacher with two deaf parents and a fondness for business-casual costuming. "You look like you're about to do my taxes!" cried Randy. Low blow, Dawg. It's not like he's wearing GLASSES. Nate offered a nice, unique tone on "For Once In My Life" that could take him pretty far -- it's just not a very big voice.

"Seems like singing is easy for you," said Keith, and that might be the best compliment he'll get throughout the competition. Really cute, humble kid, though -- and I loved seeing his dad sign "congratulations/I love you" outside. Here's Ryan attempting the sign for "superstar" and achieving a cross between a technical foul and a sexual gesture.

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The native signers are not impressed.

A female ventriloquist who can sing! Obviously Halie Hilburn, 27, needed her own segment, especially considering she had to share the spotlight with that scene-stealing bitch Oscar the Dog. ("I'm Oscar!" --the dog.) "I think Oscar's holding you back," gently suggested Keith Urban following Halie and her puppet's duet on "I Wanna Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart." You do have to hand it to the girl for yodeling with her mouth closed, though. Unless OSCAR DID IT.

Halie proved herself as a human being who miiiiight not need a gimmick in order to do well on Idol with a very pretty cover of "More Than Anyone" as former point of interest Oscar lay sprawled between platform and dirty floor, now just a useless heap of rags in a world with no use for him. The editors went a touch overboard with the abuse, eventually offering Oscar a colorful new home.

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I'm gonna need to go reread The Velveteen Rabbit after this to shake off the stink.

NEXT: Zoanette Johnson? Really?!

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