Auditions: Seattle (or "Tossed Salads and
Scrambled Lyrics") - January 17
Back on the road, and today, the Idol roadshow
heads to Seattle. If you remember, they were here in season 1 with little
success, which left us with two questions. 1) Why'd we come back, and b) Why was
Simon so red so many years ago? Could it have to do with the wretched weather?
Okay, auditions were 9000 strong at the KeyArena.
But how many of them could sing? First is Brandon Groves (26; Wheeling, WV). He
sang "I Shot the Sheriff" last year... horribly. Today, he's undercover. He
sings "God Bless America"... and he's not that better.
"You gotta be kidding me," Paula says.
Next is Jennifer Chapton (23), aka "The Hotness."
She says she has her own style. Does she really sound like Mariah? Will the
Hotness deliver the Hotness? She sings "Tenderoni (Baby I)". It just seems to
drag on ... and on... and on... And the tone isn't there... it isn't anywhere.
"We're not gonna give you any love." It just goes
on and on from there. Simon swears he would've said yes (yeah, right).
And it would only get worse. How about Amy
Salgado (23), who's husband isn't supportive of her auditioning. Her son,
however, is supportive. She spits Christina Aguilera's "Reflection" with a cold.
In a word... weak. She tries again with water. Doesn't help much. "The water's
made you sound even worse." But at least she has family to go back home to.
Which is more than what can be said for this
batch of no-talent hacks. Could Darwin Mischa Reedy (27) turn the tide? Her mom
suggested that she sing "Don't Cha" by the PCD... with mom present (Paula mouths
"Oh... my... god."). I'd mouth the same thing.
It's... still raining. Forecast calls for more
clouds and rain. Id' like to blame it on the rain, really... But it would take
more than rain to stop Thomas Daniels (21; Troutdale, OR). He just quit his job
as a gas attendant to be on this show. This is his third audition. Third time's
a charm, right? He sings "Arms of a Woman" by Amos Lee. Paula's giddy. Simon
thought it was "non obvious" and "very well done." Randy says yes. Paula says
yes. Simon says yes.
Thomas Daniels - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD
But getting the love from the three judges?
Melissa Carlene Stavros (22, Snohomish) and Tika
are next. She's a loud goofball. She says she just loves to sing. And she loves
to dance on tables. And she definitely knows one of Seattle's sons... Sir
Mix-a-Lot. She's singing "I Turn To You", though. She flubs a lyric, but the
voice... well, it made up for it at the beginning. But it soured. Three judges
won't give her the golden ticket. "What was that net she was wearing?"
Blake Lewis (25, Bothell) got his influence from
Ryan... He's a champion beat-boxer. Is the singing any better? He goes "Crazy"
by Seal. The song was made his own. But Simon said it was over the top. Randy
thought the beat boxing was better than the singing. But they all agree to put
him through anyway.
Blake Lewis - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD
Two yeses. Countless nos. And next, a brother and
sister pair from Lacey, Shyamali (19) and Sanjaya (17) Malakar's father was a
famous Indian musician, so music's been a lifeblood. Shyamali sings
"Summertime". She's got a nice delicate voice to her. Paula says she's better
than she gives herself credit for. Simon says that there's nothing unique.
Squiddly and Diddly say yes, so...
Shyamali Malakar - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD
But how about Sanjaya? He sings Stevie's "Signed
Sealed Delivered I'm Yours". That song sang him, I think. But Simon thought he
was a lot better than her. All three say...
Sanjaya Malakar - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD
The text message said it all for day 1... TRAPPED
Nick Sitzmann (27; Midvale, UT) is next. He sings
Simon's favorite, "Unchained Melody", spurred on by his coworkers. "I am going
to get a golden ticket today. (fist pump)". No you are not (bird).
Not even with the U2 version of that song.
"It was almost non-human."
The post-game interview was almost as awkward as
an episode of "The Office."
But the last singer of the day... Maybe? Rudy
Cardenas (28, North Hollywood, CA) is in a band from LA. He sings "Open Arms"
for Randy. And despite looking like Adam Sandler, he sings better than Steve
Perry. Simon says no. Paula says yes. Randy... used to play bass to that song...
Rudy Cardenas - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD
So that gives us seven on the first day (two
Day 2 is next, and the sun is actually shining.
For a change.
Kenneth Briggs (23, Bothell) and Jonathan Jayne
(20, Renton) swear they'll be going to see Simon all the way. Kenneth's first.
He's been compared to Justin Timberlake... allegedly. He's "Tearin' Up My Heart"
for his song... Umm... No stage presence. No voice... No tone... No chance.
How about Jonathan? He sings "God Bless America".
At least he's got the pitch down. Too bad everything else is off kilter. Simon
likes him, and so does Paula, but they're both agreed that this is not the right
thing for him.
Flying fish footage!
Flying notes footage!
Eric Chapman (28???, Renton): "Taylor Hicks, I'm
your long-lost brother and we've got to meet. WHOO!" He's a hairdresser. He says
that looking like Taylor has helped him with the ladies. He sings Dobie Gray's
"Twist(???) Away". Loudly. And he swears he's drunk. He wants to differentiate
from Taylor Hicks. I'd start with a new song.
Didn't happen. Security!
And Ryan's short. No one hammered this point home
further than 6'4" Anna Kearns (20; Wichita Falls, TX). She's gotten kind of
experienced to do this. She's hoping for some "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" from Aretha
Franklin. It sounds like Aretha... which I suppose is a good sign. Randy thinks
it's pretty good. Simon says she's cabaret. But in the end...
Anna Kearns - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD
"You just put through a giraffe."
Jordin Sparks (16; Glendale, AZ) is finally old
enough for the show. She sings "Because You Love Me" by Celine Dion. And I'd
believe that she was singing for a while. She's one of those mature voices not
matching young singers. Her dad... Phillippe Sparks of the NFL. Randy's blown
away. Simon thought it was a bit too cutesy. But he likes her. Randy says yes.
Paula says no... so sayeth Simon... who says yes.
Jordin Sparks - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD
And seven more join her (five unseen).
We leave you and Seattle with... Big Red. Steven
Thoen (27) is not a big fan, and has only seen one or two episodes at the most.
"I like competition, and I figured what the heck." He thinks he's as good as
Freddie Mercury. And he'll prove it with "Bohemian Rhapsody." I think I'm going
to give this one to my friend, Jill S....
Jill: "It was...loss-for-words inducing."
Couldn't have said it better myself. So 15 people
are going to Hollywood. And we're walking in Memphis next time.