Jan. 18, 2007 | 09:00 AM EST

Wednesday Night's Idol: Tuneless in Seattle

Shymali and Sanjaya Malakar Photo by:
Wednesday Night's Idol: Tuneless in Seattle
PEOPLE's critic Tom Gliatto weighs in...

Episode 2

A night of flat-out awful auditions, as Ryan Seacrest had promised, so bad that Simon shook off Round One as the worst day of tryouts ever. A golden ticket, with Simon dissenting, went to a guy singing "Open Arms" by Journey. Technically, that's all you need to know. But a few more things:

• I liked a sister-brother pair, Shaymali and Sanjaya Malakar, who auditioned separately and were both awarded tickets to L.A. She has a better stage presence – slender, actress-pretty – but he had the better voice. Or he just does a really good Stevie Wonder, and that counts for something. This could be the most exciting pair of siblings to break out in Hollywood since Tori and Randy Spelling! Or will they fight like two vicious cougars thrown the same piece of meat?

• Among the comedically awful auditions, deliberate and otherwise, there was an unexpectedly fine moment with a geek named Nicholas. After Nicholas butchered "Unchained Melody," Simon asked, "What the bloody hell was that?" And Nicholas thought and answered, "It was me." He accepted the rejection with a weird blank-eyed dignity. I hope I die with just that expression. My survivors will nod toward the casket and say, "He looks so peaceful," and my soul will be answering, "No. It's Nicholas."

• Paula looked much prettier than she did in the previous night's auditions in Minneapolis. Her hair was Seattle rainwater-soft!

Next up: Memphis...