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With more than 12,000 people lining up for a chance to get Simon Cowell and company’s stamp of approval, the crowd of American Idol hopefuls in Chicago was the biggest group yet this year. Unfortunately that massive throng of auditioners was filled with more with “lookitme!” fame-seekers and delusional daydreamers than talented singers.

After two days of auditions in the Windy City, only a disappointing total of 13 people impressed Simon, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and guest judge, country superstar Shania Twain, enough to earn their Golden Tickets to Hollywood.

And in an hour filled mostly with commercial breaks and crowd montages, the focus of Tuesday night’s episode seemed to be on the people who didn’t make the grade.

There was Harold Davis, the blustery 25-year-old whose pre-audition bravado didn’t bode well for his chances of success. Alas, his screamy, amped-up rendition of Usher‘s “Nice and Slow” was neither nice nor slow. And when the judges said no, all that earlier bluster turned quickly to blubbering, as Harold broke down in sobs, blaming his poor audition on allergies.

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And what about hyper-peppy Amy Lang from Ohio? She might have actually stood a chance of being taken seriously if she hadn’t kicked off her audition by pretending to faint, and quite convincingly too. The overly energetic wannabe, who admitted to Ryan Seacrest that he’d been the subject of a particularly satisfying intimate dream, didn’t do anything to improve her case by bragging about her “boob flex” trick.

We don’t even know where to begin about Brian Krause from Pittsburgh, who managed to make one of the world’s most unpleasant songs, Tiny Tim‘s “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” even more unlistenable. We’re hoping that he was just another goofball mugging for camera time, but we partly suspect he’s the real deal…

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But it wasn’t all horrible on Tuesday night’s show. They did manage to highlight some success stories, like 16-year-old Charity Vance, who demonstrated that years of practice singing in the hair salon her parents run in their Arkansas home finally paid off. Or local boy John Park, who managed to elicit a string of potentially illicit comments from Shania. “You have a beautiful bottom end,” she told the swirly haired singer. “You have some good tone down there.” She also told John that he had “nice lips.” Hey… she is single.

So here’s hoping that tonight’s Orlando auditions are a little more fruitful than Chicago!

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