Auditions: Los Angeles (or "The Shortest
Distance Between You and Hollywood is a Golden Ticket") -
For those that doubt the star-making power of Los
Angeles, I have two words.. Katharine McPhee.
We're here at the Rose Bowl, where 7000 people
are giving it their best shot.
And joining our intrepid judges is pop-star
Olivia Newton-John, whose shirt says it all about the audition process: "it is
what it is." And her first target: Martik Manoukian (24; Tujunga), aka
Eccentric. He's an athlete, an model, a singer, a songwriter, a producer, and a
panther. Rather than just singing, he throws stuff and goes into a horrid
original song, "Who's That Princess".
Needless to say, Hollywood wouldn't be in his
What about Sholandric Stallworth (25), who wants
to bring romance back? His hero: Julio Iglesias. He sings "If Ever You're In My
Arms Again" by James Ingram... and we miss Barry White that much more. Romantic,
It's 11am, and Los Angeles has yet to produce.
And yes, apparently "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" is a valid audition. What about
Marianna Riccio (20; West Hills), whose mother was one of Dean Martin's Gold
Diggers? Surely talent runs deep in her family. She lacks a certain flavor on
"Should I Stay or Should I Go." I think we all know the answer to that, as Simon
compares it to Cher after she's been to the dentist. And we launch into a
Someone who knows all about not taking no for an
answer is Alaina Alexander (24; West Hollywood; no relation). She had no prior
desire to do music again, so Idol is pretty much it for her. "Feeling Good" by
Michael Buble. She doesn't sound like anyone we haven't heard before. But Simon
thought it was really great. Randy likes her as well, but not as much. Randy
says yes. Paula and Simon agree.
Alaina Alexander - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD
Next, Taylor's spirit lives on in Phong Pham (17;
San Diego)... allegedly. Mom didn't want her in line, saying they focus on
telegenic personalities. Could she prove her.. and us... wrong? She tries "Dancin
in the Streets"... and yeah, it's rough. Just rough all around. Unfortunately
it's a no all around as well.
Brandon Rogers (28; North Hollywood), though,
thinks he's played backup for long enough. Four years, long enough. He's backed
up Anastacia and Christina Aguilera. He sings "Always On My Mind" by Willie
Nelson. One of the best renditions today. What do the judges say? the ladies
love it. The guys call it... "by far the best."
Brandon Rogers - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD
Sherman Pore (64) has a petition of 330 saying he
should audition. Didn't happen for Brian Miller (19; Placentia), who was cut in
Hollywood last season. Could this be the turnaround with "A Change Is Gonna
Come". Now we know why he made it last year, but is it enough to wow the judges
this time? "Nice looking guy, nice voice, forgettable." But based on the
Brian Miller - GOING BACK TO HOLLYWOOD
But back to Sherman. His wife became ill, and
that served as a motivating factor. "It smoothed her passing." But he is allowed
to at least go at it. He sings "You Belong to Me"...
It's good... for a 64-year-old. And all he wanted
was a chance... And he got it. He gets an applause from the panel. Well done. He
calls himself a winner, and 21 others from day 1 would also be winners. But
unlike him, they've got golden tickets.
Day 2 ascends, and the judges honestly believe
it's time for LA to produce a winner. Could they be Cavett Carr and Darold Gray
(both from Compton), a dating couple, both trying out). Cavett loves her man's
grill. Cavett says to get ready for a wedding. Cavett (26) goes with "I'm Goin'
Down"... And how apt is that. And Darold (20) with "I Wish It Would Rain"? Nasal
and off-pitch. At least they have each other.
Day 2 has so far been a washout... and Anthony
Adams (20; Pasadena) is not a help. How about Eric Mueller (23; West Covina),
who's been training for American Idol for the last two years. His favorites are
Robert Plant, Staind, and Michael Jackson. He invested himself in some programs
to teach himself how to sing. And the result? An insanely high version of Ozzy's
"Sabbath Bloody Sabbath". And even in the lower register, it's too nasal for a
What really makes Simon's day, though, is what
Eric used as a training guide... Randy & Paula's DVD. That prompts Simon to run
after him... and Randy & Paula to run after HIM....
Well, that would do it for Los Angeles, and
headed round the corner to the Orpheum are 19 more for a total of 40.
Next week, everything should be bigger in Texas
as Idol heads to San Antonio.