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Fox4's Good Day ignores North Texas Idol auditions -- NOT!!!

Fox4's Clarice Tinsley alarms viewers early Friday. Photos: Ed Bark

Let no one accuse Fox4's Good Day of over-covering Friday's American Idol auditions at Jerry's Palace in Arlington.

After all, the station had only 10 live and lengthy cut-ins to reporters Fiona Gorostiza and Dan Godwin during the 5 to 9 a.m. run of the show.

Oh, but we kid the troopers at Fox4 news. Because in truth, any of their three principal D-FW competitors would have done pretty much the same thing if one of their networks had prime-time's runaway most popular show.

It's just that Fox4 has two more hours to burn than their morning counterparts, which have to give way at 7 a.m. to Today, Good Morning America and The Early Show. On Friday that made Good Day seem awfully Idol-heavy in the long run, even if Fox4 also made ample time for other national and local stories of import.

That said, Godwin can be awfully grating under any circumstances. On Idol Friday, he milked the same labored angle almost every time around. Namely, the "sad irony" of Michael Jackson's death on the day before the North Texas auditions, which "has tempered the festive atmosphere," Godwin said time and again.

With a "very important audition" at stake, "might that sort of interfere with your focus today?" Godwin solemnly asked one Idol hopeful. Yeah, right. How many viewers tempered their impulse to throw something at the screen?

Gorostiza is lots easier to take, even if some of the impromptu singing she coaxed oftentimes wasn't. In the 7 a.m. hour, she found a woman named Krystal who said she had unsuccessfully auditioned for seven previous Idol editions.

"It is what it is," said the would-be contestant, resorting to the already worn out fallback position that former Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens also deployed after being humiliated on Monday's premiere episode of ABC's The Superstars.

Then poor Krystal sang a little Faith Hill. At least she didn't shatter any crystal -- that we're aware of.

Reporters Fiona Gorostiza, Steve Noviello also cleared their throats.

Fox4 also had the tolerable idea of letting willing anchors and reporters sing the songs of their choice in front of an Idol logo in a series of "If I Could Audition" snippets.

Participants included Gorostiza, news anchor Clarice Tinsley, reporter Brandon Todd (the station's regular "Idol Insider" correspondent), traffic reporter Chip Waggoner, Deal or Dud dude Steve Noviello and substitute Good Day anchor Krystle Gutierrez.

News purists might be in full-scale revolt. But it's a morning show, it was the end of a long, hot week and the so-called respectable anchors of the network morning shows regularly do a lot worse. So let's just note that Gorostiza and Todd had the best time with it, Gutierrez has the best voice and Tinsley shouldn't let easily frightened small children anywhere near her rendition of "And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going" from Dreamgirls.

Here are the song stylings of Tinsley, Gorostiza and Todd. The rest are available here.