"American Idol" kicked off its ninth season -- judge Simon Cowell's last -- in Boston with mobs of good, bad and flat-out bizarre singers trying to score a golden ticket to Hollywood.

Simon, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and special celeb judge Victoria Beckham critiqued the fresh crop of crooners, some who sang off-key and some who were just … "off"!

Oddball entrants included a self-styled "anime-freak" who maimed a Janis Joplin classic; a livewire teen who mistakenly thought he could sing and dance to Britney Spears' "Womanizer"; and one man whose bad attitude inspired Kara to repeatedly roar, "You need a spanking!"

Ultimately, the judges managed to find 30-plus hopefuls they liked enough to advance to the Hollywood round.

"Idol"'s season premiere continues with Atlanta auditions Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on FOX.

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