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


Blissfully, the third installation of American Idol's auditions was a mere hour long. The show's Campaign of Nice 2008 continued with three yellow passes to Hollywood in a row, but San Diego clearly didn't provide producers with a lot of "fun" fodder because we were then stuck with a girl who's obsessed with Simon Cowell ... and not much else. For the five best moments from last night's episode, check out these quick clips:

5. There's a reason why the world requires only one Mariah Carey.

4. Mom admits she cares more about Idol than her son (does).

3. Crunchy, earthy Paula fan is almost as scary as this season's original Paula superfreak.

2. Feel-good story of the night: sixteen-year-old David Archuleta, who overcame vocal cord paralysis to have Randy Jackson butcher backing vocals on a John Mayer song.

1. Contender alert: Carly Smithson, who was disqualified over visa troubles two seasons ago and has a husband with a wicked face tattoo.

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