The 12th (yes, 12th) season of the singing competition show American Idol began airing Wednesday evening.
Perhaps that's not very interesting, in and of itself. More interesting, though: among the show's on-air hopefuls this time around was a Brett Holt, a 28-year-old native of Willow Grove.
It was Holt's seventh attempt to qualify for the competition.
So, how did he do? Well, don't listen for his new single on the radio anytime soon.
Holt, who called himself one of the show's biggest fans, was first grilled by host Ryan Seacrest on past winners. He did okay there, but things went downhill once he took the audition stage.
His rendition of Nat King Cole's "When I Fall in Love" intially appeared to please the judges, but their reaction was then revealed as part of a phony "dream sequence" that gave way to their real assessment of Holt: don't quit your liquor store clerk job.
Reaction elsewhere in the media was even harsher.
iVillage called Holt "atonal" and counted him among the "deluded Idol wannabes" whom the show enjoys turning into clowns with screen edits intended to mock them.
The Morning Call of Allentown declared that the show had done "the right thing to reject him the first six times."
The Los Angeles Times lumped Holt in with what it called "the clunker-contestant parade."
Not everyone piled on.
Palm Beach Post blogger Leslie Gray Streeter was perhaps the kindest voice in the peanut gallery. Streeter wrote that Holt had nothing to recommend him as a singer, but that "his earnestness breaks [her] heart."
TODAY Show correspondent Craig Berman said Holt's audition was one in which the show displayed a "casual meanness."
"The clips made it sound like he was one of the best voices ever and a unanimous pick to go through," Berman wrote, "except that that was all a trick and he actually wasn’t good at all and got cut. What was the point of that?"
E! Online agreed.
"We're happy that Brett Holt didn't have to actually experience the kinda cruel trick played on him in the editing process," wrote reviewer Natalie Finn.