They started with Steven Tyler telling the very first wannabe, Victoria Garrett, "You're going to – Siberia!" To Victoria's credit, she managed to take a couple of deadpan shots at Jennifer Lopez's singing on her way off camera.
But it's better for morale to first highlight promising talent heading to Hollywood:
Karen Rodriquez, who'd initially auditioned online, sang both with heat and, as Jennifer said, "beautiful control."
Heidi Khzam had a honeyed voice and, apparently of great appeal to Randy and Steven, shimmying dance skills.
Brothers Mark and Aaron Gutierrez – they could have been twins if they weren't a year apart in age – performed a sunny, thoroughly worked-out duet of "Lean on Me." Steve proclaimed it "godlike."
Actually, Idol has been sending through a lot of pairs. I'd be more excited if they sent someone split into good and evil personae, like Natalie Portman in Black Swan.
Beyond them came a flood of ludicrous performers:
Tynisha Roches, who brought her own microphone, sang a barely recognizable "My Way" and chased Randy around the room. A security guard whose girth was not to be denied escorted her out.
Someone named Anthony Granger dropped his pants.
Matt "Big Stats" Frankel, a musical impresario of some sort, rapped and sang, very badly, but left unbowed. "Talk about delusional people," Randy groaned.
The hour ended with a street performer named Cooper Robinson. He gave his age as 59 (he wasn't positive) and seemed to be dressed for Mardi Gras. He stomped and hooted and sang (a little) "I Feel Good." I guess he was meant to be this season's answer to last year's Larry Platt, who became a minor novelty sensation with the number "Pants on the Ground." Cooper Robinson was no Larry Platt.
Ryan promised richer talent at next week's San Francisco auditions. That won't be hard.