"New Orleans" - January 25
Home or pirates, drunks and whores,
Tacky, overpriced souvenir stores,
If you want to go to Hell, you should take a trip,
To the Sodom and Gomorrah of the Mississip',
Ah, Mardi Gras, Bourbon St., the French Quarter, singing
pancake chefs... welcome to N'awlins, as we begin the
next phase of the audition trail with Randy, Paula,
Simon, and guest Judge Gene Simmons. Yep. This ep's for
the viewers in the Kiss Army! But does he know about
more than just glam metal? We'll see...
First up, David Brown, who
is joked about having his heart here on Idol by Gene.
But "A Change is Gonna Come", as David can blow. He's a
bit bombastic, but he has the voice there.
Randy: The best I've heard
since we've done this. This was really really REALLY
Simon: 100 percent yeah.
Paula: You're a star.
He's real... and he gets
the first sweep of the night, and the first real threat
of the night as well. This guy I see, top 24 easy. We'll
check up on him later. Meanwhile, we have Bobby Barfoot
of... oh dear, Fayetteville, NC... He's a hardcore AI
fanboy, but can he sing? No... but he can yodel. Simon
calls it a cross between rodeo and "La Cage aux Folles".
The judges ask him to sing behind the screen, and he
does. He sings Stevie's "Lately"... and it isn't that
much better. Very nasal, very gaggy... and Gene's
Randy: Truth, that was OK.
Paula: Too much vibrato. The background, you blew it.
Gene: I couldn't stand the country stuff. That stuff's
gotta go. I don't buy it.
So back to Fayetteville for
him. After a visit to the Old Absinthe House (wasn't
that shrunken head in Harry Potter?), we get to Johnny
Depp... err, Darren Beck of Denton, TX. He believes that
pop music is too disposable, and is out to change that.
He tries "Delilah" by Tom Jones... and here's a tip. If
you're going to sing someone's tune, don't try to sound
like him. Very operatic... and not in a good way. His "I
Put A Spell On You" is better, but again, isn't saying
much. Aw, who am I kidding....
Gene: No, no, no, no, no.
Simon: You'd be very good in a very obscure cabaret
Simon... he DOES sing in a very obscure cabaret club!
Ha! Okay, onto good singing courtesy of Lindsey
Cardinale of Ponchatoula, LA. She sings "Standing Right
Next To Me", and I envision her standing right next to
David Brown on the bus to Hollywood. She's very pure,
and she knew when to project at just the right time, and
it really showed. Give her a stage and watch her go, I
Gene: I like
her a lot. You give a very positive attitude.
Paula: It's very unique. It's very hypnotic.
Simon: Without question one of the best we've had today.
Another sweep. But what
about projectionist Robert Solomon of Macon, GA? He's "Dancin'
in the Streets"... and we're dancing right to the mute
button. Simon says he looks like a gymnast. Maybe he's
good at that. Oh, and pauses... not a good thing.
Randy's home state has been
varied in the talent. Let's see... Reggie Brown...
nasal. Daniel Durham... choppy. Larenda Garrett...
shouty. Algua Isaac... showboat. Bad showboat.
Accountant Sundeep Achreja? Well, his co-workers seem to
think highly of him, and like Adam Mesh, he gets a high
from Rocky. Co-workers believe that he sound good... but
then again, they don't know musical talent. He boxes his
way through "Eye of the Tiger"... and he's on the
business end of the judges' right cross.
Paula: Do you watch the
Simon: Did you have the volume up? You got the words
right. Sundeep, the calculator beckons; it's a no.
I think he needs
to take a few more blows... you know... Yeah, that fixes
monotones. Anywho, we learn a little local history
courtesy Michael Liuzza. His mother was a singer at the
601. His father was a pianist at the 544. Is talent
genetic? "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans"
is the song, with arrangement by Louis Armstrong. He's
got the pitch down, but his tone control's a tad off.
The voice overall is also pretty draggy.
Simon: I don't know what to
Gene: Reminds me of the Rosemary Clooneys. It's a great
kind of music that isn't happening.
Randy: We all talk about different and unique. This is
different and unique.
So Randy says yes, Gene
says no, Paula... eventually says yes, and Simon is with
Gene... but he's going to give Michael one more shot.
And we're this close to a another judge fight.
next act... well, there are no words, just watch... I
can't explain it any better anyway. But first, a grammar
lesson: "crunk"... adjective, combination of "crazy" and
"drunk". Originated by Conan O'Brien. Enter Leroy Wells,
who sings "Got Your Money" by the late ODB and "I Got
You (I Feel Good)" by James Brown. Rather bad... but you
gotta love the dude.
From the crunk of Leroy to
the... well, let's just say that Jeffrey Johnson from
Dallas is about as non-crunk as it gets. He's the
resident clean-living pastor. He sings "In the Still of
the Night". And we have this year's Josh Gracin. Even
sounds like him. Right down to the twang.
Gene: I think you're a
country artist. If you sing pop lyrics you're going to
have a problem with your ministry, because rock'n'roll
by definition is about sexuality and demons...
Paula: And long tongues.
Gene: The rules are different for country music.
But he needs to find
direction. As for Cowell...
Simon: Public will love
yes. Gene says no... but what does he know, he's only a
guest judge. The three regs send him to Hollywood. He
could go a bit more further than he actually would under
regular circumstances if the public embraces him. We'll
continue a run on golden tickets as Ryan visits David
Brown at his church, where he breaks the good news!
to the twins/triplets montage, which raises the
question, do you stand half the chance if you're a twin?
We'll see as we look in on Lamar and Jamar Jefferson.
They "Got Nothin' But Love"... and some crunk. Heh. But
not like Leroy. Simon thinks he'd remember them. Gene
breaks out the money glasses. Both of them are on their
way to the Wood, while now we hear from the Molfetta
twins, JP and Rich. They haven't dressed identically
since they were four. They're going for the whole twins'
pique loner game. We hear more of Rich, but they sound
the same. Not that that's a good thing. They both sound
a bit off-put (not like pitchy or off-key, but doing
something that they shouldn't) and both have the type of
voices that only get worse when they trill. Kelly didn't
have that voice, if you remember...
Randy: It's just funny that
you sung Boyz II Men songs (they sang "I'll Make Love To
Gene: You're getting to that age where you're getting
too old to sing that kind of material.
Paula: Melodically it's in your range and it shows off
Simon: If the guys came in individually, we wouldn't be
Randy says yes, Gene says no, Paula says yes, Simon
says... no. "I don't think individually you're good
enough." Then they resort to picking just one. First
Rich... Randy says yes, Gene says no, Paula says no,
Simon says... no. Then JP. Randy says yes, Gene says no,
Paula says yes, Simon says... no. No clear majority...
and I'm confused. I guess they get the hook... but not
for long. Trust us.
Oh, and they have choice
words at the confessional and on the way thereto.
Meanwhile, only 16 people get golden tickets as we head
to Vegas. We try to pull Gordon away from the blackjack
tables long enough to give his two cents on the Molfetta
scenario... among others.
And then we're gonna get
crunk some more. Can you dig it!!!!! We out!