For some reason, this season of American Idol has been the first in many years that's failing to hold my attention. Don't get me wrong, I still know enough to know that Megan changed her last name and looked purty the other night, and that there's a teen finalist who looks like someone I know, and that the TV doesn't know what to do with the blind guy, that there's a guy who's so fierce he's like Constantine and Clay made a supergay baby, there's seriously someone named "Lil," there's a widow who everyone already thinks has won and that Anoop, Anoop, Anoop is on fire. But even with a new judge that I like (Team Kara) and perhaps despite that new judge's opening sequence, it all seems a little tired. Are they trying too hard this year? How would I know? What I do know, however, is that the folks over at Funny or Die have constructed a far more entertaining parallel universe called American Contestant. And in episode three, Matt Braunger tells Jon Daly he's ready for his audition, and yet, somehow, judges Bob Odenkirk, Natasha Leggero and company are not having it. And I want more of this. Thank you.

The credits say Eric Appel directs, with appearances also by Brandon Johnson, Angela Trimbur, John Bowie. Background: Tiffany Haddish auditioned in episode one.