The Funniest ‘American Idol’ Auditions of All Time, Where Are They Now?

Catherine DiMeglio
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Where are all my OG American Idol fans at? Remember back in the day when they actually showed the bad auditions? While the show is responsible for producing some A-list stars, like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, it’s also responsible for discovering the best of the worst. Let’s take a look back at some of the funniest Idol auditions in the show’s history.


5. Mary Roach

To describe this woman as eccentric would be an understatement to say the least. Mary described her sound as “Pop/Rock meets Broadway, meets Jazz and R&B” in her interview before the audition. A very interesting combination, if I do say so myself. Her rendition of Carol King’s “I Feel The Earth Move” was a bold choice, but apparently the right one in her eyes. Her overly confident performance of the classic hit, accompanied by some original choreography, was nothing short of laugh out loud funny.

In his critique, Simon Cowell said that it was one of the worst auditions he had ever heard in his life. Mary went on a cursing rampage that lasted until she was out the door. Her passionate digs at the judges really put the icing on the cake in the end.


4. Steven Thoen

Just the thought of his singing in my head makes me giggle every time, but he had me laughing even before setting foot in the audition room. Steven admitted in his interview that he wasn’t even a fan of the show, and had only seen a few episodes. Why audition then, you ask? to deliver perhaps the most unique version of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” you will ever hear.


Steven’s totally tone-deaf and high-pitched singing is roll on the floor funny. I’m not even exaggerating. You can even hear the producers cracking up from behind the scenes. His completely serious dead pan stare the entire time really set it over the edge for me. Hilarious. Unforgettable.

3. Ian Bernardo

The ultimate New Yorker, with an inflated sense of self-entitlement, had us fully entertained in his audition. Before trying out for American Idol, Ian took a stab at dancing. He auditioned for the second season of So You think You Can Dance and it’s safe to say that it was also a fail. His delusional cockiness was clearly a shtick, but pretty funny nonetheless.

His performance of “Gloria” was like Broadway meets Fran Drescher. I don’t think he even tried to sound good. Cowell’s commentary of his hammed up audition was not received well by the self-proclaimed superstar. He even had to be escorted out by security, he was that extra. But the drama didn’t stop there, his rant outside the audition room went on for some time. His reference to Cowell as a Dodo Bird is probably one of his most memorable digs.


2. Sarah Goldberg

Someone get this girl a tissue. Aside from being hilarious, this was probably one of the strangest American Idol auditions we’ve ever seen. Her rendition of Selena’s “Dreaming of You” was practically unrecognizable amid her horrible vocals. But at least our girl was self aware. She admitted to the judges that even though she is tone deaf, she loves to sing.

Sarah believed that going on the show would be an opportunity for her to learn how to sing, although she has never done so before. Um, I don’t think that’s quite how the show works. Her emotions really got the best of her as she expressed that she did not need to be a singer to be the next American Idol. I don’t think that Sarah quite understood the idea of the show, but hey, she gets an A for effort.

1. William Hung

Come on, you know I couldn’t leave this one out. Probably the most famous bad audition goes to the one and only William Hung. His performance of Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” is hands down one of the most memorable moments in Idol history. Off the bat, you just knew this was gonna be good when he didn’t even know Ryan Seacrest’s name. William’s goal was to light up the stage, and even though his singing was awful, I think he did just that. His enthusiasm paired with some fabulous dance moves had me entertained.

Paula Abdul was definitely getting into it too. Randy Jackson, on the other hand, couldn’t control his laughter and had to hide his face with the paper in front of him. Cowell was for sure harsher than necessary, but hey, that was his brand at the time. I think if William Hung performed in front of Cowell today, he would actually get a kick out of it.

Did I leave anyone out? Let us know who your favorite is in the comments below!

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