1 of 10
Renaldo Lapuz, ''We're Brothers Forever'' (season 7)
Renaldo's feathered pimp hat and silver cape were only the tip of the wacky iceberg: His overwrought, self-penned ode to global unity — in which he seemed to repeat the phrase ''I am your brother/ Your best friend ever'' about 100 times — ended with Paula, Randy, and Ryan joining in the song-and-dance insanity, and Simon offering this prediction: ''I have a horrible feeling that's gonna be a hit record.'' (To see the PopWatch post that inspired this bad-audition slideshow, click here.)
2 of 10
James Lewis, ''Go Down Moses'' (season 7)
This polite fellow fancied himself as a combination of Paul Robeson and Eddie Vedder, but he sounded more like a foghorn and an injured yak. Making things weirder still, James' singing style involved rounding his mouth and clipping most of his consonants, which left Paula, Randy, and most of America in hysterical laughter.
3 of 10
Keith Beukelaer, ''Like a Virgin'' (Season 2)
Watch the man that Simon described as ''possibly the worst singer in the world'' tackle Madonna's sexually suggestive 1984 ditty, and you get sights and sounds that, years later, not even the strongest brain bleach has managed to erase from our memory banks.
4 of 10
Martik 'Eccentric' Manoukian (season 6)
''I am the most exciting entertainer on planet earth,'' boasted the headband-sporting loon as he prepared to take his place in front of Randy, Simon, Paula, and traumatized guest judge Olivia Newton-John. But Martik's audition — which began with a panther imitation and an aggressive striptease, and ended with a bleating rendition of a self-written song called ''Sweetest Princess'' — proved otherwise. Indeed, it took less than four minutes to obliterate the dude's stated dream of becoming an actor-model-author-singer-songwriter-rapper-choreographer-producer-composer. (Whew!)
5 of 10
Brandon Groves, ''I Shot the Sheriff'' (season 5)
What's wilder? The fact that the West Virginia law-enforcement officer butchered the chorus of Bob Marley's classic ditty seven times in the course of a one-minute audition, or that he didn't realize he was committing a felony crime against music by doing so?
6 of 10
Tashawn Moore, ''Kiss'' (season 6)
Sure, Tashawn forgot half the lyrics of Prince's funky jam, but you have to give the Minneapolis woman a few points for blind perseverance — and for never losing the rhythm that, apparently, only existed in her head. Still, the best part of the audition was Tashawn whispering ''yes'' every time a judge said ''no'' to sending her to Hollywood. When Simon asked her what she was doing, she declared, ''I just like to hear it.'' To which the cranky Brit replied, ''You're not gonna hear it from us!''
7 of 10
Leroy Wells, ''Got Your Money''/''Can You Dig It'' (season 4)
We hope hazard pay was provided to the Fox employee charged with writing the closed-caption transcript to Leroy's utterly incomprehensible audition.
8 of 10
Jacqueline Roman, ''Route 66'' (season 3)
You know you should expect the worst when an Idol hopeful says she's better than the previous season's winner and runner-up (in Jacqueline's case, she opined she could out-sing Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken). But the enthusiastic woman's scat-tastic rendition of jazz standard ''Route 66'' — punctuated with a piercingly awful final note — was so grim, it left Simon wondering if God had taken the day off.
9 of 10
Nick ''Norman Gentle'' Mitchell, ''And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going'' (season 8)
Who'd have thunk it? When ''Norman'' showed up for his audition in a shimmery metallic shirt, geeky glasses, and a red headband, he was probably just hoping he'd get a few minutes of screen-time (and maybe an end-of-season Golden Idol nomination). Astonishingly, though, his campy Jennifer Hudson impersonation was enough to not only get him to Hollywood Week, but land him a place in season 8's top 36.
10 of 10
Gen. Larry Platt, ''Pants on the Ground'' (season 9)
All together now: ''Pants on the ground! Pants on the ground! Lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground!'' Good times.