"I Left My Heart in
San Francisco" - February 2
Idol thoughts from me (heh
heh heh) -
For the first time in a while, the men outshine the
women in the auditions. On the men's side, Anthony
Fedorov has a VERY nice voice and could easily make the
Top 24 if he stays on course. Scott Savol seems to be a
Top 24, but not Top 12 (unless he works on the
personality, then he can be dangerous). Patrick Norman
doesn't do it for me and I don't see him getting to the
Top 24 unless he can deliver a consistent pitch -
because he didn't do that on the audition. Dezmond Meeks
may be thanking Paula, but if he doesn't step it up, his
stay in Hollywood will be VERY brief.
On the women's side, Vonzell Solomon showed promise, but
it seems that she is concentrating more on entertaining
and less on singing. I don't think that Jennifer Crumb
or Brianna Davis will make the top 24, but you need the
good people to separate the great people, don't you?
One of the things that I've noticed - you can tell the
singers that know what that are they are doing from the
singers that aren't - check the song selection. If you
pick something that hasn't been sung 1,000 times, then
they may have something. If I hear another Jessica
Simpson or Whitney Houston song or a 'Star Spangled
Banner', I'm going to puke.
And we can't have anything without a commentary - I can
understand why you would bring in bad singers - but a
Mime? Why are you going dedicate that much show time to
a mime who has no shot of making it past the judges?
That is coming dangerously close to turning people off -
and it's a good thing that the talent this year warrants
But does the talent warrant it this episode? The judges
want to make sure that they don't leave any good talent
in San Francisco, as thousands of people showed up at
the Cow Palace. This is the last stop - and maybe the
end of the line for returning singers. We'll get to that
But after a rotten interviewing audition from Brian
Cordell, we see the final guest judge - Brandy Norwood,
who started at 15 with 'I Wanna Be Down' and who has
concentrated more of her efforts on acting than singing.
We start with Albert Minero, who says he has a quadruple
threat - singing, acting, dancing and personality.
Unfortunately, he also left out his quintuple threat out
there - his ego. He sings 'Wanna Be Starting Something',
which isn't too bad - if he war at a Mariachi Bar. We
see gyrations that could be banned at the next Super
Bowl as the judges unanimously turn him down. He says it
was the threat of too much personality. Well, it was too
Matthew Miller idolizes Kelly Clarkson, He sings a song
from Kelly Clarkson. He even SOUNDS like Kelly Clarkson.
There's one major problem here - he's a man. Matt admits
that he does sound like a skinny black woman.
has more important issues to deal with. We're not sure
whether he's Matthew or Martha.
Brandy is jealous of
Matt - but she and everyone else says no. A tear-filled
Matthew gets consoled by his friends.
We continue the auditioning with... crooners. We get
Jamie Koeffler, who is dedicating his performance of 'I
Left My Heart in San Francisco' to his late uncle. Wow.
That is one sweet set of pipes, and if he can display
some diversity, he is easily in the Top 24. Ross
Williams is less impressive, but he will probably be
good enough to get in. Both of them get in, and the
judges like Ross better... except Simon, who agrees with
me. The crooners are 2-0.
Could the fishnet-wearing hooker-looking singers be 1
for 1? Elizabeth Pha looks like a tramp, but she does a
good Whitney Houston and she's very emotional. The
judges are stunned by the type of voice coming out of
the body, but she gets in. She has a LOT of work to do
if she is going to get past the next round.
Next up - a mom montage on how good - or bad - the mom's
sing and how they can affect their kids. Justin Clark
brought his mom Debbie Clark to his audition. Justin has
a nice voice, and he should easily get in, but mom is
eavesdropping at the door - and she goes nuts when Simon
says yes. You can even hear mom screaming outside the
audition room when the judges applaud. We get a major
rejoicing afterwards, complete with mom falling on the
We go back to Michael Garcia, who auditioned in Season
3. He says that since that point, he had an image
makeover, saying that it's trendier. Well, first of all,
it's trendy if you like 70's leather bar, and second of
all, the makeover should have included voice lessons. He
was on pitch, but the tone was awful and that's what he
needed to work on. He mangles Daniel Bedingfield and the
song 'Lean on Me' before deciding to forget auditioning
in the future. Yay.
Then there's Chris Noll... but if he looks familiar,
it's because his stage name is Chris Wylde, and he has
hosted shows on both Comedy Central and Spike TV. The
one he did on Spike TV is called Taboo, and I am very
familiar with it because I did the daily recaps for it
on this site in 2002. He does another show called 'FilmFakers',
which has people acting to fool people to think they are
on a real movie set. He is a ...ahem... actor, and
apparently, he has come to audition as a rapping nanny.
Once I heard him say that, here are my quick thoughts.
1. Life hasn't been too good to Chris Noll after Taboo.
2. FilmFakers isn't exactly drawing ratings - or drawing
3. It could be that he actually IS a nanny, as he is
waiting for all of those big money acting jobs to roll
4. He can't host.
5. He can't act.
6. And we NOW know he can't rap.
He can't even keep a straight face and Simon catches him
almost instantly. The judges did like the rap though,
and Randy almost sits on the fence before saying no.
Paula says yes (WHA?) but Simon brings sanity back to AI
and says no. Chris unleashes a string of obscenities as
he leaves, and I can only shudder to wonder what would
have happened if he got in.
Let's find something more positive in the audition.
Nadia Turner says that she doesn't want to assume
anything, and sings an Aretha Franklin song, "Til You
Come Back to Me". Now this is what I'm talking about in
terms of singers - the good ones do their homework and
sing stuff that people haven't heard. She has the chops
and the judges unanimously pass her.
Victor Mercado is back for his second year of singing -
and he comes in with shades. He sings 'Build Me Up
Buttercup' and changes the lyrics to match the Idol
judges. For the second straight year, he mangles his
song and the judges give him a unanimous 'No'. Vincent
says that he has better charisma than the Idol winners,
which sparks the judges going after him. Simon even
makes a bet with him that should he get a #1 record in
the next 6 months, Simon will pay him $50,000. Randy
adds $100,000 to it and Victor accepts it. Paula warns
them that William Hung did it, but the difference is
that William Hung had a nice personality and didn't
trash any of the Idol champions - unlike Victor, who
right after the audition, laces a tirade on how he is
better than Ruben and Clay and Kelly. I think Simon's
$50,000 is pretty safe. He says that he will be heard
from again, and he may... when is Superstar USA 2 coming
(C-Note: If there is a
God in heaven, NEVER!)
Can Jessica Murphy bring us back to the land of good
singing? No, as we hear 'I Have Nothing' for the
89,000th time. (Again, see the column up - BE
ORIGINAL!). Simon says that she has potential, but she
needs work. Randy says that she can be good - if she
improves. Jessica embellishes the fact that Simon says
that she has the most talent. Well, he SORT of said
that... I guess.
Chris Compfi decides to sing 'Chain of Fools' from
Aretha Franklin. Me + Women's Songs = BAD. Compfi has a
good tone - but sings a really bad choice of songs. He
was on a cruise ship and sang. Simon? 'There must have
been a lot of lifeboats being filled.' Ouch.
Next up is Ivan Ganchev, who sings Freddie Mercury's 'We
Are the Champions'. In this case, he does sound like
Freddie, and even though Simon calls him a karaoke
singer, they will let him in. Ivan admits that he is a
Karaoke singer to the camera. This doesn't bode well to
his chances of getting further.
We go to where they found William Hung - and we hear
many other singers who, although aren't as bad as him,
are still bad. JP Molfetta, of the infamous Molfetta
twins, decide to go to San Francisco to audition. Simon
notates that he heard the response that he gave after
his original audition, and that's already one strike
against him. JP better hope that Simon isn't the swing
vote. Strike 2 is his audition, as he doesn't sing that
well and the other Molfetta was better. I may have
passed him if there wasn't the background history. Paula
says that his brother was better in Vegas. Brandy and
Paula say yes, but Randy says no, which leaves it to
Simon, and that is strike 3. He begs but it's not good
enough and his past comments may have come back to haunt
And with that, we leave San Francisco. The auditions are
over. The cutting begins. Chico takes us to the first
round of the bloodbath next week.