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American Idol, TX: Will the Pain Ever End?

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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off its weakest start in four seasons, American Idol dumped the second offering of season seven on viewers Wednesday night. And though it seemed impossible to top the sad and boring Philly trial from Tuesday, the two-hour Dallas, Texas, auditions stepped up and added pitiful to the mix.

Stripped of any (possibly planted) freaks like über-creepy "Paula stalker" Paul Marturano from Tuesday night, Dallas was two more hours of modestly talented, usually nice-looking folks being passed on to the Hollywood stage—types that by now seem way too familiar to anyone who has been watching the show lo these many years. There were the requisite soul-singing blonde cuties, the mandatory full-voiced R&B singers, and of course the evergreen cleft-chinned farm boy who aspires to be George Strait. Dear Idol producers: Your love of standard-issue high school jazz-choir refugees is showing.

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