“What’s your name, where ya from?”
American Idol judges pose the same question to nearly every contestant who walks through the door, but they’ve never had an audition quite like this: “My name is Kanye, I’m from the southside of Chicago.”
“Originally a producer,” the 38-year-old rapper says, introducing himself as a surprise guest in the audition round of the singing competition’s final season. “I always wanted to rap, but nobody really believed in me.”
“I hope that works out for you,” Urban deadpans, while Lopez wishes him “good luck with all that.”
When asked what West plans to perform, he says he “just wanted to do something original.”
“It has one of the judges’ names in it,” he teases.
“Okay, let’s see,” Lopez encourages, adding under her breath, “It better f***ing be me.”
Meanwhile, West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, waits in the wings with host Ryan Seacrest (who also serves as executive producer of the family’s E! reality show, hence the hookup).
“I’m not nervous, ‘cause I do really believe in him,” says Kim, who was still pregnant with the couple’s second child, son Saint West, at the time.
“I didn’t give any advice on singing or rapping,” she tells Seacrest, crossing her fingers. “Just, you know, I hope they really believe in him.”
No need to fear, after the rapper busts out a verse from his 2005 classic “Gold Digger” -- which of course references Lopez and her infamous derriere -- the judges are more than happy to hand over that coveted golden ticket to Hollywood.
For his part, West seems about as excited to get the nod through to the next round as we’ve ever seen him, throwing up his hands and exclaiming, “I can’t believe it!”
The real question is, how will the reality show and sudden celebrity affect his 2020 presidential campaign?