The Husband:

Even mooooooooooooore notes from my American Idol viewing. This week we go to Jacksonville, FL. Now, I try not to go out of my way to offend anybody, and I usually try to keep people’s feelings intact, but I have to say this: Jacksonville is the worst city I’ve ever been to.

I think I should clarify. I’m sure I’ve driven through worse towns in America, but Jacksonville is certainly the worst in which I’ve spend an extended amount of time. I was there for about 1.5 weeks during being on the road four months with a traveling film festival, and I was asked by my boss to leave the lovely people, nice, warm weather and lakeside awesomeness at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL (where Mr. Rogers went!) to drive 140 miles north with a co-worker I despise to launch the week-long filming session at Jacksonville University, or JU. (You have to say each letter on its own, otherwise people will think you are obsessed with Semites.) I was bored at the campus. The students had no spirit. (At many colleges/universities, we received more than 100 short films, but at JU we only got 15, one less than the minimum amount to put on the actual show on the final night.) I was bored at the hotel. I was bored in the city. Even when I left early to drive the equipment all the way up I-95 from Jacksonville to Boston, I hated every moment of my time there.

No offense to those people from Jacksonville, but your city, from what I experienced, basically sucks. And I love Florida. I love how various and nutty and crazy and humid it all is, and I love how you could drive ten miles away from you are and be in a completely different kind of town, slingshotting from liberal to republican, metropolis to swamps, quiet bordertowns to loud and bright beach cities. It’s completely bonkers, and I love it.

But not Jacksonville. My favorite bit of trivia that I gained from that trip is that outside the major downtown tall-buildings area of Jacksonville, the city has one of the lowest crime rates in America, but step inside the downtown area and it’s one of the highest. That’s Florida for you.

Now, onto the actual notes:

  • Thanks for the sweet footage of Randy’s stint as the bassist in Journey. I’ve only seen pictures so far. Any excuse to play “Don’t Stop Believin’” is a-okay in my book.
  • There’s a Beverly Hills, FL? Is it as sweet yet utterly obnoxious as the one in SoCal?
  • Simon actually very much likes puppies. I don’t know how I remember that, though. Maybe it was from his autobiography, which I read in just one night. (Go me! I waste time well!)
  • I want Dana Moreno’s audition of Chaka Kahn as my ringtone. [I still have last year’s “I Am Your Brother” for my friends and “Let My People Go” for my family.]
  • I would usually say to never bring the parent of any contestant into the audition room, but this time it didn’t go as poorly as it usually does. It was more just sad than anything else.
  • I would usually say to never audition with a Whitney Houston song, but Julissa Lopez worked it out, to use a Randyism.
  • I would usually say to never audition with Minnie Riperton’s “Lovin’ You,” but…nope, I’m still right.
  • Jasmine Murray, the absolutely gorgeous 16-year-old African-American girl, will go very far, especially if she rises above and makes us forget about her age. [Other than Jordin Sparks, I can’t name one minor that I truly loved and wanted to win. They all end up annoying me with their naïveté.]

    Jasmine Murray -- gorgeous girl with a gorgeous voice.

    Jasmine Murray -- gorgeous girl with a gorgeous voice.

  • I love physicist George Ramirez, especially when asked where he sees himself in 11 years, in his wildest dreams. “A simple house, with nice floors.”
  • I tend to like people who’ve auditioned in previous seasons, as they show that they truly care about the competition, but I did not like T.K. doing David Archuleta’s version of “Imagine” note-for-note in his audition.
  • Anne Marie Boskovich is very nice for this competition. She’s laid-back and not too cocky, and that’s something I respect…up to a point. (coughjasoncastrocough)
  • 16 Golden Tickets for Jacksonville, leaving only 46 left for the remaining three locations.
The Wife:
  • First of all, I’d like to note that somewhere on that Florida trip my husband was talking about, he purchased for me a gator paw backscratcher. That’s right. I own a backscratcher, made from the dismembered hand of an alligator. I love it. I hang it in my kitchen, which confuses and bewilders guests, especially because I’m a vegetarian.
  • Julissa is the worst name I have ever heard. I hate this girl. She sings really well, but she is definitely one of the most genuinely dumb people I’ve seen in a long time.
  • How uncomfortable did Seacrest look when Kara made him sit on her lap? He looked so scared! Joel McHale is so going to have a field day with that clip over on The Soup.
  • I think physicist George Ramirez needs to get back to that mysterious island in the pacific and help Sawyer find his shirt . . .
  • It is highly unfair that Jasmine Murray and her three sisters are some of the most gorgeous women I’ve ever seen. That family has some amazing genes, to produce such beautiful girls.
Listen, if you were stuck on a time-traveling island for several months, you'd dream of hardwood floors too, okay?

Listen, if you were stuck on a time-traveling island for several months, you'd dream of hardwood floors too, okay?