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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • IDOL 411: Ouch! Crotch-busting moves draw winces in "Pants, Part 2"

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    “American Idol” auditions went from “Pants on the Ground” to “Pants Split Wide Open” in Orlando Wednesday night as 10,000 contestants risked physical pain and even the possibility of arrest to prove they could make it in Hollywood.

    Claiming he got his moves from “his friends who are adult entertainers” — or, as Simon clarified, “friends who shed their clothes for money” — 24-year-old Cornelius Edwards tore his jeans while doing a split that had male viewers wincing and crossing their legs.

    WATCH Cornelius’ shocking crotch-busting moves for the judges.

    While we thought his biggest skill was his flexibility, Cornelius managed to get a “yes” from Simon, who uncharacteristically seems to have passed him through mainly for the freak-show factor.

    In another developing theme, boob boxing made way for beat boxing as 25-year-old Jay Stone did a very weird version of the Beatles’ “Come Together.”

    WATCH Jay Stone’s beat-boxing rendition of the Beatles’ “Come Together.”

    While you had to admit it was technically cool, once again it seemed too gimmicky to us. And when Jay vowed to offer something “new and different … something ‘Idol’ has never seen,” Randy read our minds when he said: “Didn’t Blake Lewis do that a couple of seasons ago?”

    Were Cornelius and Jay too gimmicky? [Poll]

    But at least the judges had the good sense to pass on 28-year-old Jarrod Norrell, who showed anything but “Amazing Grace” when he refused to leave the studio after his whacked-out audition. Granted, Kara was a little aggressive with him, egging him on and telling him he “sounds like lawnmower.” But we were genuinely relieved when three security guys showed up to escort him out in handcuffs.

    However, for everyone dressed like a superhero or wearing a chicken suit, there was also a contestant with real talent, or at least an amazing story to tell, such as 28-year-old Seth Rollins, who aspires to a career in music, partly to provide for his 5-year-old autistic son; 18-year-old Shelby Dressel, who suffers from disfiguration on one side of her face but bravely faced a national TV audience of 30 million viewers; and Matt Lawrence, the guy who did hard time for robbing a bank at gunpoint.

    WATCH ex-con Matt Lawrence wow the judges with “Trouble.”

    While Matt may not sound like a great role model for the kids of America, it helps to remember that his weapon was only a BB gun and that he was only 15 at the time of his crime. Singing “Trouble” by Ray LaMontagne, Matt had the look, sound, and style of a country music star… and the street cred to go with it. Kara even predicted that he’d wind up in the top 12.

    With 6 the last 8 “Idol” winners coming from the South, will Southern singers have an edge this year? [Poll]

    In the end, 24-year-old Jermaine Purifoy best captured the spirit of the night when he nailed his audition after getting cut in Season 7. Reflecting on his golden ticket, Jermaine said he planned to “take more risks… it works.”

    Dreams come true when you wish upon a star? Only in Orlando.

    —Jennifer D’Angelo Friedman, Amos Content Group

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