The Idol Countdown: Five Essential Moments From Last Night's "American Idol"


American Idol's seventh season kicked off last night with the Philadelphia auditions, and while the show made an effort to soften Simon Cowell's cantankerous image — he was actually kinda nice! — and Paula Abdul's crazy image — she was actually kinda lucid! — audiences were not spared the requisite parade of weirdos (girl decked out in Star Wars garb; guy in unfortunate belly dancer get-up), recent immigrants (Alaa Youakeem from Egypt, who learned that Americans engage in premarital sex) and awkward Ryan Seacrest interactions (perving out with a pair of grandmas, picking up a new handbag). But for the five best moments from last night's episode, check out these quick clips:

5. Man undergoes tongue-ectomy just before singing "Go Down Moses"

4. An unintentional tribute to Britney Spears' butchered version of "I Love Rock and Roll"

3. Alexis Cohen, the woman who didn't just look like an acid trip—she managed to re-create one in two minutes: I'm happy and sparkly! I'm singing Jefferson Airplane! I'm okay with your criticism. I am confused! I am angry!! (Oh, and who sang "Allentown" again?)

2. The feel-good story of the night: Angela Martin, the mother of a sick child who could be a real contender

1. Paula Abdul's crazed psycho-fan Paul Marturano, who like a Beastie Boy rhymed "stalker" with "Peter Falk-er" and "Jimmy Walker"

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