January 26 - Auditions:
bright lights, the big hustle, the bad singing...
welcome to Hollywood, and welcome to the next step in
the American Idol process. It's never been a good place
to get music talent - but there is a great place to get
egos - and 10,000 people, who camped out on the street -
and... used curlers? The women pulled out all of the
stops - including using the boys latrine to get prepped
Ryan, who looks and sounds like he was camping out for
the weekend, takes on Hollywood to the hilt - and Simon
took his sweet time to get there. Paula is still out
with the flu, and Simon and Randy are alone to taking
the auditioners by storm.
At the beginning of the show, singers like Randy Lim and
Daniel Lee are making them with that they were in bed
sick with Paula - well, Simon thinks that he shouldn't
be in the same bed with Paula.
Will they feel better with Nicole Crook singing "Fever"?
(which is appropriate, based on Paula's condition). It
doesn't make me feel better, as she is horrendously
off-pitch, and Simon agrees that it's awful. She doesn't
believe it, but the judges keep on her and she is in
tears when she comes out to talk to her mom.
Apparently, this is setting the tone, as no Paula means
that the judges are on a rampage. We see a montage of
very teary contestants. Randy says "Is this competition
turning into a joke?" and I have to agree with him. In
all of the episodes that I have seen so far, I still
haven't seen anyone jump at me and say that they have
Bao Viet Nguyen is next - and he wants to be the first
generation of his family to make it to Hollywood. He
sings "Lately", and he is also off-pitch - but based on
everyone that I've heard so far, he at least can keep
somewhat on pitch, so he'll get through. He does, and he
brings the family with him to celebrate.
Simon thinks that it's a turning point for him - well,
maybe turning down into the sewers. So far, only 6
people have advanced for the day - and then we get Matt
Rogers, who says that he's American, he's got a receding
hairline and he's good for the chubby feeling - and he's
the last guy. He certainly is full of himself as the
ex-Washington football player - and he can carry a tune
as his friend from outside the door gives him the thumbs
up. The judges agree, and off to Hollywood he goes. He
sings Italian opera as he goes outside, and if he can
tune down the ego, he will be a serious threat to win
the whole thing.
Is it just me, or is the reason why they are putting on
more really bad singers this time around is because the
talent level isn't as good as last time and they really
need to contrast it with the worst this time to make the
people that do get in sound more passable? Just a
Day #2 is not much better than Day #1 as Tomomi sings
that "You can reach me by hairy plane." Huh? Jasmine
Arteage, with blonde curly locks who is very vertically
challenged, defies her mother to sing. Once again, she
isn't consistent, but she is passionate and she can hit
some notes - and this time around, that's enough of a
qualification. The judges let her go to Hollywood, and
her mom, when she sees her come out, cries and gives her
a hug. AwwwwBarf
There will be no hugs from Daeh Hancock, who wants to
buy a retro Thunderbird if she wins. Simon jokes "with a
pink Chihuahua", but there's no joking around with her
voice, which is nice and sweet, but firm. "Almost Like
Being in Love" gets her in, and she shimmies over to
Ryan and - yes - he does get a hug.
Rodrigo Cortez is the next person up - and he sings
"Isn't She Lovely". He does shift pitches, but it should
be good enough to make it to the next round... that is,
if he kept his mouth shout. Randy asks if it's good
enough, and Rodrigo says that it is. Simon says that
it's ok, and Rodrigo is asked what he would do with the
money if he won a million dollars. Rodrigo says that he
would give his money to charity - and that is not the
answer that Simon wanted to hear. That kills it and he
is told that he can't go on. A tearful Rodrigo says that
the question will be haunting him for the rest of his
Maybe Simon and Randy should have kept him - as of 4pm,
no guys were accepted from them. A frustrated Paula
Abdul has a sneaky feeling why - that she wasn't there.
Simon says that the girls got through because they were
talented, while the guys didn't get through because they
were awful. We get the bad male singer montage.
Gtoe Washington says that he will be the first male to
get in - but it sounds like he's been singing with his
toes and despite his protests, he doesn't get in.
Jeffrey Dingle takes the honor of being the first male
to go in, and although he doesn't knock me out, he's
still solid. He comes out - just as Gtoe is complaining
to the camera. That has to hurt. Gtoe says that they
aren't looking for an urban guy - they are looking for a
pop guy. Well, that is the theme of the show...a total
of 25 people do get out of Hollywood - and yes, they had
a bunch of guys get out from there.
The guys get even better news in San Francisco - Paula
has returned! But not even Paula can Michael Garcia, who
has gusto - but not much singing ability as he mangles
"All That Jazz". Simon tells him that he can't sing -
which according to him, means that Simon wants him to
sing again. He does - and he gets booted.
We get a montage of people who were rejected the first
time - but who come back for a second shot. Victoria is
back for a second shot - and she didn't sound too bad -
but she sounded cabaret - which is not pop. Jack, her
advisor, is pissed - but maybe if Jack did his homework
and had her sing pop music, then she would have gotten
in, because she does sound good. Unfortunately, she
sings pop later to the producers for a second chance,
and the producers call security to escort her out of the
building. The most frustrating thing here is that she
could have gotten in - she had the voice and the tone -
but she needed a pop song, not a lounge tune. Maybe next
Then there were other people who needed more than talent
and a voice - but they have more than enough in the ego
department, as we get a montage of people with more
bologna than Oscar Meyer. Kenneth Fitzgerald, Aaron
Flora and Joshua Gronner - but they all wipe out.
Simon: 'That's not good
Joshua: 'What is?'
Simon: 'You leaving'.
Well, that's to the point.
Katie Webber shows up - and I don't see anything that
stands her out from the other people singing - but the
judges apparently saw something that I didn't and they
let her advance. Simon actually agrees and says she's
not great - but she's good enough to get in.
Ryan says that the next 'Keith' is Hung... well, get
your mind out of the gutter - it's William Hung, who
seems like someone who you could see drunk at 2 am in an
Asian karaoke bar drinking down way too much Sapporo.
They call him the next Keith, but I think that he's not
that bad - the pitch is there, but the tone is going out
and playing with the Pachinko Machine. We get a meager
10 people coming from San Fran.
We will go tomorrow to Hawaii - a tropical paradise or a
nightmare in Eden? Chico comes in tomorrow to tell us if
this was a Paradise Lost.