American Idol Audition: General Larry Platt's "Pants on the Ground"

Former general Larry Platt amused fans and caused quite a stir with his inspirational rap sequence, "Pants on the Ground."

In the singing talent show American Idol, one of the most popular aspects of the show is the general audition among the American public. Here, viewers can see excerpts of just how bad the tryouts can be. In a sea of poor vocal talent, it can be difficult to stand out from among the crowd, but a few (such as William Hung) have done it. Half the point of the show is to laugh at the terrible screeching noises emanating from the throats of citizens who entirely lack the ability to differentiate pitch. But, just occasionally, an audition performance makes for a viral YouTube video and national recognition. Such was the case of Larry Platt's "Pants on the Ground."

Without further ado, below is a video of Larry Platt performing "Pants on the Ground."

For a man who is perhaps three times the maximum audition age requirement, Platt remains surprisingly agile! When Simon Cowell made the comment, "I have a terrible feeling....", was he ensuring the continuing success of Larry's fresh routine, or was it inevitable? Whatever the case, videos of the performance soon achieved viral status with millions on hits, and it reached the ears of people as far afield as football star Brett Favre, who did a "Pants on the Ground" routine with his teammates in a post-game victory celebration.

It is perhaps inevitable that a few non-stars would "catch the wave" of publicity from the American Idol scene. Compared to William Hung, Larry Platt is certainly a member of a separate category (one that provides something interesting and other than mediocre). Yet, perception is reality, and one way or another, William Hung managed to net a recording contract with his pathetically off-key vocal stylings while others displaying above average vocal skills never even madethe American Idol episodes.

American Idol's large fan base means that unusual attention is placed upon unique, shocking, or otherwise memorable performances. For example, a disgusting rendition of "Like a Virgin" caught the producers' attention several years ago and was replayed at least fifty times over the airing of the show. Unusual or even unusually bad performances boost television ratings, and the show's producers have been quick to capitalize on this phenomenon.

The last great capitalization of the show upon this idea was in the final American Idol 2010 episode, when General Larry Platt and William Hung were brought back as part of the season finale. The YouTube movie of the spectacle is visible below.


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Susan Kaul
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Posted on Aug 9, 2010