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New York minutes are longer

We're in New York, where no emotion goes unexpressed, especially if it can be summed up in a gesture. And yet, we hear what, 15 minutes? an hour? from Ashanti Johnson, who's gotten tickets to Hollywood twice and obviously expects another one. Unfortunately her singing is so appalling that the memory banks scrub it instantaneously and the dog crawls completely under the couch.

Best pals: Amanda Coluccio and Antonella Barba, both 19, get sent to Hollywood, while Ryan Seacrest archly wonders how long their friendship will endure competition. Before they even sing, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell are visibly picturing these two leggy, toothy New Jersey beach bunnies in a cat fight.

No-Show Simon: Cowell isn't there for the start of the second day, which makes sense, because they're paying him only 900 bajillion dollars for this gig, right? Maybe he's sulking because of the backlash against his rudeness. In his absence, the judges pass everybody on. No, but if only. Guest judge Carol Bayer Sager looks like a wax figure of Joan Collins, but next to Paula, she looks like a Rhodes scholar.

All attitude: Even Randy can't believe the incredibly untalented, self-described superstar Ian Benardo: "Are you real?" he asks. Benardo demands to see Simon's working visa before security bounces him. Like Darwin Reedy and her mom from last week -- they have to be actors, don't they? And Sarah Goldberg, who admits she's tone-deaf but thinks maybe they can teach her to sing. Her unstable rant has even Paula flinching.

Freak show: I needed to see the audition of the man dressed like Dorothy Gale. And what did the astronaut sing -- Space Oddity?

Who's your Daddy: Sarah Burgess, 19, confesses that her parents in Ohio don't know that she's in New York trying out and her father isn't supportive. Next stop Hollywood! We listen as she calls Dad, weeping, to confess: "Please don't be mad at me!" Hilariously, he asks, "Who is this?"

e-mail: aneville@buffnews.com

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