Auditions continue in Austin and San Francisco, "Harsh Harry" diva-snaps his way into our hearts

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January 17, 2014 at 06:50 AM EST

Episode 2 plunked us down in Austin and San Francisco, where — just like anywhere else in America — screams of delight and terror sound the same. #ThisIsReal #IdolHorrorStory #TheChamberAwaits.

Harry Connick Jr. continued his crusade of harsh truth-telling, with a refreshing transparency about his role as a facilitator in the Idol machine. So many of his critiques were not only on point for the situation, but spoke volumes about the way this show really works — like when he told 17-year-old mini Rihanna Quiandra Boston-Persall, “You have as great a shot at working in the industry as many of the people here.” That’s the nicest thing he could offer her (she did get a golden ticket), and really, why should he deliver superfluous compliments? Leave that to the others!

“Some of the people who audition do not belong in this business. Let’s also be real,” said Harry in one of his snappy let-me-tell-you-how-sh*t-works confessionals: “Sometimes you gotta stop the bleeding.”


Now’s as good a time as any for an…

Esteemed Colleague Email Interlude

Let’s try not to think about it; the Good Lord in Heaven is busy. May I distract you with this….

Random Shot of Boobs?

Nah, that didn’t quite work, but let’s move on.

I’m still not excited by most of the contestants, and it doesn’t seem like the judges are either — many of tonight’s and last night’s yeses had a distinct “Because if not you… who?” vibe to them. Here are the ones who shone a bit brighter than the others:

Jesse Roach, 27: At first it seemed like only J. Lo’s abs would be around to judge the first contestant of the day. I would not wanna be judged by J. Lo’s abs. They’d take one look and laugh their ass off, thus strengthening themselves even further. That’s how success works. The tattooed working musician sang “Do Ya” by K.T. Oslin, winning over J. Lo with her outfit, Keith with her “story that’s way older than you are,” and Harry with a non-distracting rasp to her voice. I love that Jesse’s here because some neighbor lady popped into her garage and basically forced her to, and I love even more that she didn’t freak out in self-indulgent delight upon seeing her friends outside. Every season needs at least one, am I right?

NEXT: The worship leaders you may be revering for a few weeks

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Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.
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