February 2 -
The Road to Hollywood
For two weeks, we've gone
on a whistlestop tour of the country looking for the
best undiscovered talent. What we found were 117
callbacks... as well as some of the biggest egos EVER to
grace the small screen. No, seriously. We couldn't fit
it all in five hours (and ten minutes of overrun into
the premiere of MBFOF), so what's a network on a high to
do? Simple. Add another hour. No, we won't get
everything, but we will show the best of the best that
weren't shown, and the worst of the worst, so gather
your friends, put some popcorn on and ready your
Let's go back to New York, and the "we're gonna puke" of
Elizabeth LeTendre. She sings "The First Time Ever I Saw
Your Face" like she owns it. And in this competition,
that and a night's work will get you top 32. Paula
agrees with me, while Randy... disagrees?
Simon: "I think Randy, as well as losing weight, has
also lost his sense of hearing."
Needless to say, she got through, but she's going to
have to work hard if she wants even the prospect of my
vote. Another such specimen from New York: Briana "Bree"
Garcia, this year's spiky-haired multi-pierced entry.
Like Nikki McKibbin and Patrick Lake before her, she can
belt out a rock tune (in this case, Alanis Morissette's
"Uninvited") when she wants to. Unlike Nikki and/or
Patrick, though, she actually has artistic depth.
Reluctant to share, but nonetheless there. Proof: "At
Last", Etta James. Simon called top 12. I wouldn't be
Following on the heels of that, another wannabe rocker,
Micah Reid. He blows (in a good way) on "Ol' Time
Rock'n'Roll", right before blowing on (in a bad way... a
VERY bad way) "A Whole New World". As anyone can tell
you, on this show, you may have to sell out a bit if
you're a rocker (See Evrard, Peter AKA the Belgian
Idol). Obviously, Micah's not ready for that phase yet,
but Randy and Paula seem to think he is, so on he goes.
Me? I wouldn't have put him through, simply because he
has that vocal schizo complex. At least Bree was
Big hair? Big shoes? A big mouth? Charly Lowrey in the
ATL has none of those, but she has big pride in her
Lumbee heritage and big talent on "Proud Mary". Way to
do Tina proud, Charly. Dead on pitch, and she puts
herself into the performance.
Randy: "I felt you."
But, and this is a rarity, Simon and I clash.
Simon: "Good, if you like textbook. A lot of people like
yourself, good singers, do everything right, but old
Okay, textbook, maybe, but not really that old
fashioned. I'd say Tina from the "What's Love" days, you
know? It's good enough for a golden ticket. But what
happens when it's too good? Almost like someone from
last year? Almost like Clay Aiken? Of course, Colin
Leahy was NOT. Eric Yoder, though, just might be. He
sings one of his songs from last year, "Somewhere Out
Here" with a flawless falsetto. Hey, dude, Clay called.
He wants his voice back. Me can drop it off on his way
to Hollywood. He could make top 32 if, and it's a big
if, he overcomes the Clay factor, because even done
properly, it can bite him.
Also from Atlanta auditions is Jennifer Hudson, who,
after the halftime entertainment last night, sported a
digitally altered dress. She worked on a Disney cruise
ship. Has to be better than that for Idol. "Share Your
Love With Me" is the song. Not a bad rendition, but a
little too over the top for top 12 if you ask me. All
three pass her, but again, I'm not really sure of how
far she'll go.
It's now time to meet the repeat offenders, like Amanda
Mack (who trailed in Atlanta, NYC, and Hawaii), Elias
Guardo (season 1 and 3), Lee Dominguez (seasons 2 and
3), and Edgar Nova (yes, he did come back for more this
year. Thankfully, the FCC will not allow such indecency
to be aired a second time). On second thought, repeat
offenders Alan "Who flirts with Paula" Ritchson, Kira
"You should come back as a bitch!" Scott (who delivered
her own rendition - again, bombastic and attitude-laden
- of "Have You Ever Been in Love"), and Lisa "You also
need to lose weight" Leuschner (who was this close to
overdoing it on "Vision of Love", but held back just
enough without losing her little lustre) were worth a
Speaking of second looks, please please PLEASE do not
beg for one. Sure it's entertaining to watch, but you're
just embarrassing yourself.
Meanwhile, we have Paula Abdul fanboy Warren Malone
busting one of her classic grooves. We don't hear him
sing, but we do see him hug. Tightly. Dude, she's
Honey helps the throat, but when you're already as sweet
as Diana Degarmo, you really don't need it. She's the
youngest girl to make it to Hollywood with her sweet
rendition of "Chain of Fools". Simon's problem, though:
the cutesy routine. But she's actually keeping it real
(hard to believe, yeah), so she goes on.
Next up: Sara Logan and Sergey Shor, who are both dating
and auditioning. Sara's "Made for Lovin' You" is a bit
weak at times, especially at the breaks, but her "it"
factor makes up for it. Although I wouldn't have said
effortless, Simon and Randy give her the nod. Sergey's
"I'm Too Sexy" is anything but. Simple.
Simon: "You're a Russian in America singing an English
song with a French accent."
Yeah, Cowell, I'm confused, too. But here's hoping the
love lasts, because he's going to Hollywood, too... to
cheer on Sara.
Let's play the Pyramid for a bit, alright? "I got strep
throat last week." "I do better singing in front of a
lot of people." "I got bit by a bat." "I'm hungry." "I'm
so nervous." "The weather really made me nervous." "I
have duct tape myself a corset." If you said "Excuses
for bombing your American Idol audition", then you get
the $10,000. And no, you don't get the $10,000.
Donnie Williams didn't have any excuse for "A Song For
You". He didn't need one for that infused performance.
It really hit. But Simon brings up a point. I'll leave
it for you to gauge whether or not it's a valid one.
Simon: "You can sing very well. If you won this
competition, there would be a problem. Because you come
over as 10, 15, 20 years older than who you really are."
From the resident A&R head, yeah, that is a valid point.
But this is what happens when you give eligibility to
any American aged 16-25. Simon reluctantly gives him the
Again with the booty-shaking montage.
Back to Alan for a second. He knew how to flirt (which
came in handy this year, as opposed to last year's ATL
auditions, when Paula was MIA). Michelle Cohen...
doesn't. And it hurts that she can't hold a tune.
Then there's Marque Lynche, a dancer who didn't want to
dance. He didn't need to, as he delivers a flawless
performance of "I Can't Make You Love Me".
Paula: "You're nervous! You have a very nice voice, and
Another three-for, but if he's to make top 32, he has to
work on his song choice.
Another excuse readily available, the camera. But when
you put the camera on someone, watch out (i.e. giving
out cell number, dancing, and swearing once you get the
royal arse-boot). Remember those egos I was talking to
you about? Heeeeeeeere they are!
"He wanted a number one show, he ain't gonna get it
without me on it."
"F(^_^) you, Simon."
"F(^_^) you, Simon. F(^_^) you."
"Idiots, idiots, idiots."
"If Simon's watching, tell him he's a loser."
"You wanna make the show good? Choose people who can
"Simon, you robbed my son. Randy, you robbed my son."
"I hope that when they're eating it, and they have no
viewers, and the next American Idol sucks, I'll be
making my first CD."
"Simon wouldn't know talent if it came up and bit him
right in the (^_^)."
"American Idol sucks, but I will be back next year!"
Wow. Such drama. But the drama hasn't even begun yet.
Gordon's got the final 117 in Hollywood next time.
Remember, positivity. There's always the Wild Card.