Charlie Askew Butchers American Idol Performance, Breaks Down on Stage

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Poor Charlie Askew.

The American Idol hopeful auditioned live for the first time tonight, choosing the track "Mama" by Genesis. Which is about a prostitute.

But things got even weirder from there: Askew donned a ponytail. And a grungy shirt. And screeched throughout the performance, drawing outright laughter from the judges.

"What happened?" Nicki Minaj asked. "I don’t want to see your arms. I don’t want you working out. I don’t want to see that ponytail. I don't want to see that earring. Lose the mustache immediately. I feel like someone stole my kid. I want my cute, cuddly Charlie back!"

After hearing harsh critiques from the panel, Askew broke down alongside Ryan Seacrest.

“All I can say is, I needed to vent a little bit," Charlie said when asked about the audition. "A lot of people think I’m a very happy boy, and the only reason I smile so much is because I feel like I have to."

Wow. Sad, profound stuff.

Seacrest handled the situation like a pro, telling Askew: “You’ve got some friends here. We appreciate your courage and your honesty, and there’s nothing easy about having those feelings inside and standing up here and having to do that tonight.”

And now the vote is in your hands, America: Will Askew advance to the Top 10? Or will this be the end of the road for a seemingly troubled young man? We'll find out tomorrow night.

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