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Get A ‘Room’! Idol Contestant Clint Jun Gamboa’s Cult-Movie Past

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

This week, affable dive bar karaoke host Clint Jun Gamboa, one of my new faves this season, tried out for "American Idol" in San Francisco, warbling the familiar modern classic "Billionaire."

Pretty good, huh? But really, such an audition hardly showcased Clint's true calling: Belting out treacly slow-jams for Razzie-baiting cult flicks. Yes, "Idol" lovers and haters alike, Clint was involved in what is widely considered to be the worst movie of all time.

Allow me to explain. In 2003, an ambitious if highly deluded would-be filmmaker named Tommy Wisesau, a man who could make Ed Wood look like Martin Scorsese, squandered $6 million of his own money producing and promoting The Room, a brain-bogglingly bad celluloid spectacle bursting with superfluous plot tangents, gag-inducing love scenes, many unexplained photos of spoons, several short-range football tosses, and dialogue that'd make even monkeys with typewriters scoff. (Watch the trailer HERE, if you dare.) Quickly heralded as one of the most awful films ever--"the Citizen Kane of bad movies," according to St. Cloud State University film studies professor Ross Morin, and a hybrid of "Tennessee Williams, Ed Wood and R. Kelly's Trapped In The Closet," according to The Guardian--the film only raked in $2,000 during its intitial run.

Wisesau, who starred in The Room as well, and whose acting attempt was described by as "Borat trying to do an impression of Christopher Walken playing a mental patient," clearly initially intended his cinematic masterpiece to be some sort of psychothrilling depiction of a dark and desperate love triangle. But once the vicious reviews came pouring in (and the box-office revenue did not), he switched up his strategy, and began marketing the film as a deliberately so-bad-it's-awesome "black comedy." Successful Rocky Horror Show-style midnight screenings ensued. Now, The Room is one of the most-loved/hated cult flicks ever--Wisesau wisely embracing his unlikely heroic role as the movie's idiot-savant creator, hosting pre-screening Q&A sessions and encouraging audience participation like throwing plastic spoons at the screen (a nod to all those inexplicable framed silverware photos) and sassing back to the screening Mystery Science Theater 3000-style.

So where does Clint Jun Gamboa come in here, you ask? Well, Clint recorded THREE bombastic ballads for The Room's soundtrack (available for purchase at the midnight screenings!): "Crazy," "Baby You & Me," and "I Will," which play in nauseating loops during the film's aforementioned icky love scenes.

I must say, as a pop-culture punishment glutton who's attended a few Room screenings and can quote Wisesau at will ("Oh, hello doggie!" "You're tearing me apart!"), I am stupidly excited about this development. So I plan to have plenty of plastic spoons and footballs at the ready when I watch "Idol" this season, so I can toss them at my TV set whenever Clint is onscreen.

And I'll just put this out there now: I want "I Will" to be this season's coronation song. Sure, it's terrible...but it is better than "This Is My Now," isn't it?

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