“American Idol” Plays Nice, Turns On The Waterworks

Last night’s “American Idol” sure was a tearjerker, huh? While the first episode of “Idol” on Wednesday had a bunch of standout bad auditions, last night’s most memorable performances were all good. First up, my new spirit animal, Brett Loewenstern, a 16-year-old ginger hippie freak from Florida, who I loved instantly, even before hearing him sing, because of his look and his story. Maura over at Popdust writes in her recap of the show, “Brett’s whole audition arc, which felt like a prologue to an It Gets Better video, made it obvious that the show is taking an anti-bullying cue from its Fox sibling ‘Glee.’ … That ‘Be Nice’ would be more of an unofficial show motto in the absence of Simon Cowell was a given, but the idea that ‘American Idol,’ which has trafficked in raking in ratings for ridiculing the oddballs during its first nine seasons, would embrace the outcasts is definitely a sea change for the show’s overall tone.” Brett — who keeps those locks moisturized with baby oil! — wants to be the next “American Idol” so he can prove to other freaks (I say that lovingly) that it’s okay to be different; luckily — and I was going to be kind of devastated if he was terrible — Brett has a solid set of pipes and a ton of soul. Check out his audition above. I don’t know if he can win — or even if he can make it to the Top 12 — but I love what his inclusion says about this season of the show. At the very least, I demand he be hired for a guest spot on “Glee.”

Another audition I — and the judges — loved: Paris Tassin, a single mom from New Orleans, whose little girl has special needs, including hearing loss. Paris announced she was “singing for her” and damn, did she (see above). I’m pretty sure J. Lo kind of, sort of made herself cry by not blinking, but whatever — tears were shed! Paris, Brett, and 37 others moved on to Hollywood and I’m officially addicted to the 10th season of this decidedly reinvigorated show.