American Idol, Utah auditioner

Michael Becker / Fox

From the depths of Salt Lake City, Utah, hometown of golden child David Archuleta, they came: some swell, some lousy, and one whose only saving grace was the pal dressed in a baby-pink bunny suit he brought along for moral support.

Actually, we didn't think Greg the Rabbit's friend was so bad. But maybe Chris Kirkham  would have had better luck with the American Idol judges if he had just stashed Greg's foot in his pocket.

Overall, however, Wednesday's Idol pulled more heartstrings than usual, with lengthy segments devoted to 29-year-old David Osmond (Donny is his uncle), who's been battling multiple sclerosis for three years; angel-faced divorcée Megan Corkrey; senior class president Austin Sisneros, whose "aw, shucks" Archuleta vibe seems geniune; and 17-year-old Rose Flack, who's been living with her best friend's family since losing her mom and dad.

Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson responded with resounding yeses for the lot of them.

And when the judges weren't puzzling over the baby-voiced goth girl, a guy who licked his lips in a very creepy manner and a prepster who only fancied himself a soul man, they managed to extend golden tickets to nine others, as well.

But the greatest part of all... is that this process is almost over! Idol returns tomorrow showcasing auditions in New York and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and then next week...Hollywood!

We can't say we haven't enjoyed some of what the early hodgepodge had to offer. But we're so ready to get to the good stuff. Aren't you?

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