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Local TV Makes 'Idol' Debut

In case you missed it last night, a local TV reporter got a little face time on American Idol last night.

Simon, Randy and the gang were set up in Louisville, in the shadow of Churchill Downs. Reporter Keith Kaiser from Block Communications’ local Fox affiliate, WDRB, was interviewing the line of hopefuls outside. He chatted up a lanky brunette named Rebecca Garcia, who later stepped gingerly into the audition space.

[WDRB’s Ken Kaiser]

Paula Abdul broke the ice by saying “I know you!”

To the perplexed (and visibily nervous) young Idol wanna-be, Paula added, “I saw you on the news this morning.”

That made Miss Garcia quite happy, but it was all downhill from there. As she started singing some Carrie Underwood number, new judge Kara DioGuardi interrupted her by pointing out that Miss Garcia was voted class clown in school, and that her (admittedly crummy) audition was, presumably, a big joke.

Alas, Garcia did not intend it to be so. She held back tears with all her might, while Kara looked like she wanted to jump out the window and into the path of Barbaro coming down the home stretch.

Kaiser said he got a kick out of his national TV appearance. “It was pretty surreal especially for my kids, ages 13, 11, 5, & 2,” he writes. “They got very excited when they saw it.

“I’ve been getting emails, phone calls, and texts from friends and family across the country,” he continues. “When Paula Abdul said she saw that contestant on tv that morning, I realized that the judges really take an interest in the local angle of American Idol.”