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Applicants in Seattle are all wet

Seattle, the Emerald City, is full of "American Idol" applicants who have hearts, brains and courage -- they just can't sing!

Tough act to follow: Sanjaya Malakar, 17, sings right after his adorable 19-year-old sister, and they both get tickets to Hollywood. No pressure there, Sanjaya! But he and 16-year-old Jordan Sparks are the best here.

Don't Cha: The much-promoed appearance of Darwin "Misha" Reedy (who desperately needed a brassiere) and her look-alike mom is awful on the singing spectrum. Reedy tackles the Pussycat Dolls' "Don't Cha," causing America to rear back and roar: "NO!" But both women are genuine and sweet. So even Simon downplays the horror that flickers across his face. By contrast, the hopeful single mom, Amy Selgado, persists in asking for more chances until the guys have to be mean to her.

Soul Patrol II: Last year Taylor Hicks was an unlikely contestant. This season hairdresser Eric Chapman impersonates him and tries to get Simon's hair. Security escorts him out.

PaulaWatch: On a scale of 1-10, where 1 is as clear-eyed as Simon and 10 is sliding under the table, Tuesday night's word-slurring and grimacing Paula is an 8. Tonight, she perks back up to a 6, with the hilarious comment while holding a trembling, bug-eyed, bat-eared Chihuahua, "If Simon and I ever had a baby, this is what it would look like!"

Coming up: Miss Diana Ross tells Regis and Kelly that she'll show up on "American Idol" this season to mentor some of the developing divas. Can't wait!

Next week: The Memphis auditions are the focus of an hourlong show next Tuesday; the New York City auditions, where most local applicants probably tried out, will be shown Jan. 24.

e-mail: aneville@buffnews.com

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