Bootcamp at last! 193 minus 24 equals 169. Thatís how many are going home by the time this round is over. 12 is the number of songs they get to choose from for this audition and also how many contestants will be left after we sort out the final 24. This show has always been about the numbers, so I Ďm sticking to form. Half of the contestants are going on a sight-seeing tour and the other half are going to audition. There is still plenty of attitude, both good and bad. The girl that pawned her wedding rings to get to the first audition says that if she isnít able to express herself musically, she will probably die. I like a bit of extremism and drama, but someone needs to get out the reality knocker and give that girl a tap. Itís just a show, not life. Enthusiasm is good, delirium is not.

We get tales of lost girls that get lucky and sad girls with colds that succeed anyhow. Many of the contestants insist they are going to be inspirational to our youth. Iíd just prefer they sing on key for three minutes, but that is more often than not too much to ask. Luckily, we drop the squeaky voiced boy twin. He was boy band bad. Auditioners are dropping like flies. Second round is appropriately brutal.

One obvious difference this year is male contestants that seem to be able to sing on key. Last year was slim pickings filled with immature boy-lets. We finally return to the pawned rings lady, Regina Brooks. She auditions with the apropos ďCrazy Little Thing Called LoveĒ. Itís a unanimous ďNoĒ from the judges and one more broken heart. Letís hope she recovers as well as I did when I learned I had NOT won the lottery and indeed had go to work Monday morning. I did find 5 dollars in a parking lot on Sunday. Thereís more than one road to stardom.

The second half of the show is Day 2 Group 2. More cuts, but the attitudes are basically positive and the judges are acting unusually professional. Not one wise crack from anyone and get this - Paula does NOT threaten to quit this episode. Itís an entirely different show when it focuses on the contestants. Maybe Mr. Fox or whoever is in charge over there told them to STFU and get on with it. There is no time for wisecracks. They are too busy sending bad singers home.

Iím not sure why the rockers are so interested in this show other than the fact they seem to entertain the judges. One of them won his category on X Factor in the UK, so Simon seems to see the $$$ potential there. He smiles a lot when they sing. Opera girl didnít make it. She just didnít transfer to Pop. Mikalah Someone did her best impression of a young Barbara Streisand (except for the incredible singing part), and convinced the judges (flirted with Simon) that she should go through. Simon is such a sucker for a pretty face. Heís nearing the age difference where heís becoming the dirty old man. 46 minus 16 equals 30. You do the math. Iím not making any judgments, just going with the numbers. This was week 4 out of many more to come. One contestant walks away because she wants off the wheel of fortune. Sheís learned how often you get a head and heart banging on your way around. Out of 193 only 97 remain. 96 went home. Next week everything heats up. Tempers flare. Paula confronts Simon. I know. Big Surprise! Do you think she quits? I think she probably quits next week. See you then.