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American Idol Slips Into a Coma

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

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IDOL HANDS Paula The American Idol party was over right around the time a chin connection was made between late-night host Jay Leno and season five Idol winner Taylor Hicks. Really, season six can only be acknowledged as the show's "denial stage." No one knew it at the time, but Blake Lewis' saliva-flecked beatboxing was Idol's "Taps," and the current season is pretty much a brain-munching-zombie stage show.

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The bad contestants are proving to be no more entertaining than the even mildly decent acts. The San Diego auditions brought out hapless Mariah Carey–worshipper Valerie Reyes, whose off-key attempts to ape the whistle-voiced songstress no doubt left dogs bleeding from the ears throughout Southern California.

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