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'American Idol' 13: Harry Connick Jr 'audition' so bad it was awesome

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Some auditions on "American Idol" are horrible. Meet nervous and self-conscious, not to mention star-struck, Harry Connick Jr, who made an excellent showing of just how bad auditioning for a spot on the show could actually be. People magazine, reviewing the "audition" Jan. 23, called it "hilariously bad." But that was what made it so good...

During the Detroit auditions aired on Wednesday evening, "American Idol" judge Jennifer Lopez took a break and while she was gone, fellow judges Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban decided to hold a mock audition. We'll call this "What If They Threw An Audition and Nobody Came." Along with puns, jokes, and sometimes "harsh" criticism, Connick also brought a little ham with him to the "Idol" judges panel for Season 13. And it was truly on full display as he showed his acting chops and took on the most nerve-wracking song ever for his "audition" -- "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Keith Urban might be getting a few calls from some Hollywood agents as well. After getting the preliminaries out of the way from "contestant" Harry Connick, Urban asked if he played an instrument. Connick said he did -- piano. So Urban asked why he didn't bring it with him.

"I can't carry -- it's too heavy," Connick did in his best I-can't-believe-a-celebrity-is-joshing-me tone. "It's a piano!" He self-consciously stuck has hands in his pockets, shyly smiling.

So Urban asked what he would sing. "The Star-Spangled Banner," Connick replied.

Urban immediately rose, hand going to heart. Connick motioned him down, laughing, telling him he didn't have to stand.

The actual "audition" wasn't Roseanne Barr awful, but it was off-key bad. Flat. Sung in monotone.

The crew and off-camera personnel were laughing loud enough to hear them, interfering with "contestant" Harry Connick's concentration. He stopped, asking Urban, "Are they laughing?"

Urban was quick to quell the fear. "They're not laughing at you, they're laughing near you," he said, getting more laughs. Connick starts laughing, puts his face in his hands. "You're so beautiful."

Still: "It's a no from me."

But before the crestfallen look on Harry Connick Jr's face could go histrionic, Urban asked, "Would like a signature?"

Connick immediately lit up like a fan being offered an autograph, appropriately enough, hastening over to the judges table. But instead of waiting for Urban to produce a piece of paper, Connick threw his leg up on the table and pulled up his pants to expose a calf.

Urban immediately signed it, prompting a bit of giggling from the apparently ticklish contestant.

The guys' routine already and everyone laughing, but Connick pulled a move that was far from expected. Keeping his leg elevated and pointed straight ahead, he hopped toward the doors, yelling "Ma! Ma!"

Yeah, it was pretty bad. But it was hilariously bad.

Good thing Connick didn't keep singing. "American Idol" has been hemorrhaging viewers for the past two seasons and the idea is to stop the outflow, not increase it. Besides, doing a purposely poor rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in 1990 nearly got Roseanne Barr memorialized as the worst ever singer of the National Anthem.

"American Idol" airs on Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox Television at 8 p.m. EST.

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