January 20 - Auditions:
watching the first episode that Chico had to recap, I
only have one thing to say - better him than me. Still,
we got 26 people from the NYC area, including Scooter
Girl. Now how many more people will be scooting on by to
We will find out as we hit the next city on the tour -
Atlanta. If you remember last season, I said that you
want to get as much air time as possible to leave the
people watching with personality, which will give you an
edge in the first voting. Scooter Girl listened - and
we'll see how many of the 10,000 people listened.
Certainly Tamyra Gray and Clay Aiken did, as they have
previously come from Atlanta. Also from Atlanta? Keith -
"Like a Virgin" Keith. Oh boy.
So do we start out with Clays or Keiths? We start with
Amy Adams, who said that mom made her an American Idol.
She sings "Rescue Me", and we are starting from the
Tamyra Gray end - she's perky and in tune - at least
better than Keith. Simon says that they may as well take
someone with red hair - in this case a red and black
hair fashion that Simon wonders if she and Ryan Seacrest
have been sharing fashion tips. Nevertheless, she goes
on, and she's a perky happy woman.
But you have to remember that Keith did come from here,
and from the dark side is Simon. He says it means 'The
One Who Listens'. He wants to share a song that he wrote
from the heart about the connectiveness to the heart -
and that already scares me. There's a good reason as he
and Keith may have shared bunk beds in college. Coming
from Simon (Cowell) "For someone who understands
passion, I find it odd that you can sing to us, because
that was painful." The singing Simon says that he has a
wonderful heart, but Cowell says that he can't sing so
off he goes.
Kristin Powers, who lost 80 pounds, does her version of
"Flashdance", which should have been called "Flashvocals"
because that was around how quickly she was in tune.
Simon goes after her, and she says that she will sound
better with synthesizers. The judges disagree, and she
goes out and is consoled by her friend, who thinks that
she should have been a good singer. The friend then puts
her hand to the camera, while Kristen says that not
including her was the "biggest mistake ever." Listen -
all of you people who have "friends" who you say that
can sing but who really can't - friends don't let
friends be humiliated by Simon in front of millions of
people on American Idol.
We have people that have gotten passes - so they think
that the curse of Keith is over. They say that Tiffany
is this year's Keith - but she wasn't as brutal as Scott
- I mean she shouldn't be allowed to continue, but she
wasn't brutal. She sings "All By Myself", and Simon
says, "After that song, it will be." Even Paula says
that she's not cut out for this show and she walks out.
Payton Cross says that he sings to make people happy -
and when you have that intro, that usually spells a bad
singer. We get that as he sings "Somewhere Over the
Rainbow" and Simon probably wants to hide somewhere
under the table. Now this was MUCH worse than Tiffany -
and this starts a montage of bad singers.
We get a second montage of the biggest song that was
mutilated - "A Whole New World" - but we see that we can
mangle other songs, as Robert Browning destroys "Do You
Love Me" and Yuliya Johnson does the same to "Hot
Stuff". Laketa Booker is next - and she is flat all over
the place. She is still in tune, and I guess you do need
to actually have people in Hollywood for the
competition, so Simon says Yes. Paula agrees with me in
terms of pitch-consistency, but Randy gives her the
thumbs up, and off she goes.
Then there's Alan Ritchson. He makes Paula smile, to the
point that Randy and Simon both leave and have Alan sing
the audition, alone to Paula. Alan takes advantage of
it, gets on one knee, and sings "You Are the Sunshine of
My Life." He isn't that good either, but I'm guessing he
gets in thanks to his showmanship. He and Paula hug, and
Randy and Simon try to break them up. He carries Paula
back to the stage - but they finally break him up, which
prompts Paula to say, "You suck." Randy says to watch it
with his runs, but he says yes - and Paula agrees. Simon
makes it a threesome, and Alan may get to the final 32 -
and the top 12, thanks to his sense of humor, which may
override his musical talent if he can't improve upon it.
Then there are the people who can't have anything
override their lack of singing ability - like Danny
Parker, who is just awful. Simon thinks so, as he tries
so hard not to laugh, "I am trying to think of anything,
puppies drowning, Paula naked, Randy naked." Well, Simon
tries, but he can't do it, and him and Randy get the
laughing bug. Paula is ashamed, so what does she do? She
asks him to sing another song, which he does, which gets
the giggling group giggling a little bit more. Danny
looks like he wants to follow the puppies into the pool
to be drowned as the judges - but he turns around into
the camera and wants a public apology from the judges. I
don't think you're going to get it, Danny.
Reverend Gene Enswiler wants a golden pass for her
daughter, Lauren, He sings, and it's a good thing that
he's not being judged on his vocals. He tells America
that Lauren will be the next American Idol. She sings
"Summertime" and I get the same reaction from her as I
did with Laketa - nothing spectacular, but she can carry
a tune, so she'll get in. She gets the thumbs up - and
tells Randy to not lose any more weight. A thrilled
daddy meets her.
Can Terrence Gaines make it 2 in a row? He sings "Sweet
Painted Lady" and its the best guy that I've seen so far
- which isn't much because his only serious competition
has been Ken the Paula crooner. Simon says that he has
the happiest smile - which fades when Randy says no.
Paula says yes. Simon - "I'm sorry... you have to put up
with us again - you're through to the next round." He
thanks Jesus, looks for someone to hug, finds a
production assistant to shake hands with, runs around,
lets out a Ric Flair-like 'Whoo!' and then goes skipping
out of the audition room. He says afterward that he came
back from Iraq - but he finds this much more
nerve-wracking. Can we say Josh Gracin?
Can Pablo Amorim make it three straight? No, as me
mutilates a Jon Secada song beyond repair. Fantasia
Barrino comes after Pablo, and she has a nice raw voice
- but she's got power behind it. She is one of the
better females so far (again not saying much), as she
gets carried by someone who looks a lot like Ruben.
We saw a Ruben sighting, and now we've seen an Elvis
sighting. Marcus Butts looks to not be the butt of
anyone's jokes. Let me revise my thoughts - THIS is the
best male voice so far, and this voice actually has a
shot to do some damage as he sings "Heartbreak Hotel".
Randy tells him to leave the outfit at home when he goes
to LA, as he makes the cut. Heather Piccinini is trying
to get the Kimberly Caldwell mojo going, and she does -
great on the low vocals, awful in the high register.
Randy and Paula say that the voice is good, but change
the image. Simon says no, but he is overruled and
Heather advances, and hopefully, it will be Heather, and
not Kim, who will be in the next round.
Andrew Chester recalls the spirit of... Roseanne. Not
good, as his trick of folding his stomach look better
than his singing. "I think you can call American Idol 3
- The Deluded.", says Simon. After his singing, he
changes his views from someone who's on the top tier to
someone who can make the show better. Simon? "If you
were to win this competition, they would close down the
FOX Network... We'd be sued. That was appalling with a
capital A." Andrew knows that he blew it - but he'll be
back next year. It would be nice to have someone who
blew chunks for one year come back and get in the next
Ryan finishes this off with the fat that he doesn't
think that they have found the winner in Atlanta. My
take? So far, there has been no one that jumps out at
me. Marcus and Fantasia are my favorites, but I think
that either of them get shelled by anyone in the Top Ten
from last season. Are wee seeing a talent let down?
American Idol producers better hope not.
Only 24 people come from Atlanta and we are hoping that
Chico gets better singers in Houston - but the promos
seem like that's not going to happen. Good luck, Chico.