Hollywood round begins tonight after auditions end with a “Bad Day” in Boston

The real American Idol 5 competition begins tonight, when the 175 people who made it to the Hollywood round begin to compete for a spot in the final 24. Ryan Seacrest called the new phase “hell week” and promised that “the strong will survive, and the weak will be eliminated. … Everyone is pushed to their breaking point, and things get personal. … This year, anything can happen.” Clearly, he’s been taking teaser lessons from Chris Harrison.

The auditions closed on the same one note of awfulness that they began on nine hours of television ago. Since then it’s been nothing but a parade of camera-hungry people in costumes plus Simon Cowell’s obsession with gender norms and Paula Abdul’s hypocritical disingenuousness.

The final audition episode closed with a montage of the auditions set to an indie-ish pop song–Daniel Powter‘s “Bad Day.” Despite being unlike anything we’d actually hear on American Idol, the song’s lyrics were rather appropriate for the gallons of shit we’ve had to wade through these past nine hours, and were remarkably honest for a show that loves to lie through its glossy teeth.

With lines like “You stand in the line just to hit a new low,” it’s as if Daniel Powter wrote it just for the audition round of Idol. The song’s chorus is particularly appropriate:

“You sing a sad song just to turn it around/You say you don’t know/You tell me don’t lie/You work at a smile and you go for a ride/You had a bad day/The camera don’t lie/You’re coming back down and you really don’t mind/You had a bad day.”

American Idol 5 [FOX]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.