Simon, Ellen, Randy and Kara may have been replaced by steely-eyed prison guards, and "You're Going to Hollywood" was replaced with "Back to Your Cell," but for the inmates at the Metro West Detention Center in Miami-Dade, an opportunity to show off their vocal stylings was too good to pass up.
Yesterday, the prison held its 2nd annual Inmate Idol Contest, pitting convicted felons and inmates awaiting trial against each other in a singing and rapping battle.
Corrections officers served as judges as orange jumpsuit-clad jailbirds sang about religion, domestic violence and love.
For the second year in a row, Andrew Cashmere, 38, took home the top prize. Cashmere, who is awaiting trial on gun-related charges, performed a religious reggae rap that thrilled the small crowd.
"When I see the crowd, my mind goes crazy," Cashmere told the Miami Herald. "You gotta pull my cord. You gotta put a lock on my mouth. I can't stop."
Second place went to Cortez Atkins, 32, for his rap about treating women well. Atkins is awaiting trial on drug, alcohol and domestic-violence charges.
The prison holds the contest to not only showcase the inmates' talents but also to boost their morale.
"It gives the inmates better things to do," officer Derwin Roach told the Herald, "because they know if they get involved in an altercation, they can't participate."