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Meet Zoanette Johnson, Tulsa’s own inexplicable (and weird) American Idol semi-finalist

I'm a sucker for mediocre television. I say "mediocre" because I haven't stooped to the level of the Bachelor or Real Housewives, but also I haven't hopped on the Downton Abbey bandwagon, and found Breaking Bad to be a little too uh, frightening for regular consumption. Give me an ensemble cast, some husband-hot dudes, and some quirky and relatable heroines. I'll even stomach a laugh track and blatant emotional manipulation! My Sundays are always reserved for nursing hangovers catching up on TV shows, and that crazy love affair I have with my DVR has been the longest and most satisfying relationship of my life thus far.

You remember a few weeks ago, we introduced you to Zoanette Johnson, a Tulsa native who inexplicably made it past the first round of auditions for American Idol in OKC. In case you missed it, here's her um, audition:

Okay, so these insane auditions aren't exactly a new concept. I mean, the producers made Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks literally look like he was retarded during his Idol debut! Egregious personal narratives followed by unashamed mockery of people who clearly are mentally handicapped--you know, the actual tragic people--has been Idol's winning formula for over a decade. Even if we forget the ethics of exploiting the weak for capital gain for a minute, wacky and over-the-top auditions by completely normal people who know how to "play the reality game" is pretty common on shows like this. When we first met Zoanette, I thought her whole shtick was somehow pretty crazy, but also pretty "been there, seen that" at the same time. She kind of reminded me of the friends I met at that drag show brunch they have at the Boom. I thought it was pretty weird that they let her through to Hollywood, but I mean, some people think 2 Broke Girls is funny and it's been eight years and Ted Mosby still hasn't found a wife. Stranger things have happened on primetime.

This week they aired the Hollywood audition rounds, and our girl Zoanette was one of the most featured contestants. Maybe it had to do with her wearing bras, Daisy Dukes, and lucite platforms on stage. Perhaps producers thought her commanding presence and colorful personality made for good television. But probably, they just wanted to be able to show this clip to the world:

Okay, I'm at a complete loss for words. First, I'm thinking "whoa, where did homegirl get that fabulous corset with a curtain sewn around it?" Then, I'm like "holy shnikes she's going to play the drums!" When Zoanette announces that she made up the song and it's called "Bop Bop Bop," my expression probably looked pretty similar to Nicki Minaj's. Then, she starts scatting and ad-libbing, and what happens is somehow bizarre and amazing and terrible and too good to be true all at the same time. When I watched this for the first time, I was kind of too confused to enjoy it. But watching it the second time through, I don't know, I think this might be the most mad genius thing I've seen during Hollywood week in years.

Then again I think about it and realize that I still have absolutely no idea what to think about Zoanette. She doesn't have an exceptional voice--hell, I'm not even sure if it can be qualified as a "good" voice...but dang, that was ballsy and creative. Is she an eclectic musical savant, or deranged basketcase that got sort of lucky? After watching that clip nearly a dozen times, I still can't tell you. I switch my opinion every time.

Either way, how are we all just now finding out about this lovely lady's existence? She strikes me and the kind of person who would befriend Biker Fox, sing before Tulsa Shock games, or get interviewed by local news stations for being held hostage at a beauty salon robbery. I look forward to all of the local commercials and billboards she'll have waiting for her when she gets back to T-Town. I'm also pretty excited to hear her sing the national anthem at Driller's Stadium this summer during dollar beer night. Maybe she'll even get a gig at a Thunder playoff!

Anyways, while I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out what to think of this delicious hot mess, you can check out her Road To Hollywood interview and group audition below. Tune in for the Vegas part of her auditions Wednesday and Thursday night. I still probably won't have a definitive opinion of her by then.

Follow Chelsea on Twitter at @xCawoodstock

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