San Diego will not be going to the Super
Bowl. But the Super Bowl of Song will be heading to San Diego. Who'll
the judge get a Charge out of? Let's find out as the auditions continue
SAN DIEGO, CA - Qualcomm Stadium/Rancho Bernardo Inn
It's another rich city filled with surf, sun, sand, and Shamu. A sleepy
little bungalow near the Mexican border... well, it was sleepy until
Ryan, Randy, Simon, Paula, and about 12,000 of their closest friends
First up is Tetiana Ostapowych (24; Venice), who says she's so excited
to be here. Couldn't tell by her performance of "Someone to Watch Over
Me". It's good... just not exciting. Simon doesn't think she's as good
as she thinks she is. But he gives her a pass, as do the rest of the
judges. She's GOING ... up north.
Next, a single father in Perrie Cataldo (27; Phoenix, AZ), whose wife
was at the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong thing with the
wrong people. It sucks that that sort of thing has to happen, but that's
life. He's going to make love to Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love to You".
His kid looks in through a peephole. Judges like this audition. Randy:
"Dude." Simon and Paula agree. He's GOING TO HOLLYWOOD.
Michael Johns (28; Los Angeles) comes from LA by way of Australia. He
sings Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long". Forget Natalie
Gauci. This could be our Australian Idol here. Simon thought it was a
good audition for a white soul singer. Randy was very impressed. This
one's easy. He's going... back home away from home. "It can happen."
Three for three... but the gold rush couldn't last forever even if Bill
Cullen himself were present. Cases in point: Marat Hayrapetyan (22,
Sherman Oaks), Christopher Mitchell (19, Citrus Heights), and Tehilla
Lauder (28, Studio City). What about Valerie Reyes (20, Riverside), a
big fan of Mariah? A REALLY big fan of Mariah. She thinks she can
out-Mariah Mariah. She certainly out-trills her. And that key change was
completely uncalled for, thank you. "The only resemblance to Mariah
Carey would be her CD left out in the sun for a year." She has a tone,
but she needs to stop being like her hero. Three nos, and she's back to
her iPod. "Now I'm going to be on the rejects!"
Next is "Get Here", performed vocally by Joseph Mejia (21, Menifee) and
interpretively by his mime sister Juanita (17). That kicks off the
backfiring gimmick reel. Christopher Baker and Monique Gibson just
brought each other. Monique (24) sings "I Believe in You and Me"... and
switches up in the middle. And again... This oughta be a disaster. She
begs... for the fat lot of good that does. Christopher (22) tries
another Whitney song, "The Greatest Love of All". It's... it's better
than Monique, but, and now I'm channeling Gordon, that's like saying
asparagus ice cream is better than parsnip ice cream. It's just...
there. And he's switching again. They really take after each other,
don't they? SECURITY!
The show's principals get a lot of love, and the last contestant on day
one seems to echo that. "I don't know. I just think Simon's really
really hot." This from Samantha Musa (20, Baldwin Park), whose sister
sends him a note via air-mail: "Please let me in, you're on my list of
people I want to meet next to Oprah and Obama." Sister gets to judge on
Simon's lap. Yuuuuuh. Samantha rounds out day 1 with Aretha's "'Til You
Come Back to Me". Arguably the best female to come from San Diego thus
far. Sister had some concerns, but she overcame. Randy thought it was
quite excellent. Paula calls it natually good. Simon agrees. Randy, yes.
Paula, yes. Michelle, yes. Simon...yes. Four yesses, she's GOING TO
Day 2 begins with more fun in the sun. The judges want to hear something
new. They hear... 10-time auditioner since season 3 Blake Boshnack (22;
Long Beach, NY). You remember him as the Statue of Liberty from season
five. The way his mom makes it out, you'd think SHE was auditioning, but
he's going to do the singing. Maybe he'll even finish "Stand By Me". He
did... but it's still a no. Well, there's always next year...
Unfortunately, over the next hour, it's about as dry as it gets. Maybe
Alberto Hurtado (28, Chula Vista), AI's #1 fan man who's been too scared
to sing until now. He gets inspiration from his imagination. He's
written his own song, "Lift". It's kinda depressing. Even Simon agrees
with me? Wha? Should've gone for the happy ending first, dude. But only
Paula gets a fan from the fan man. And he wonders why Simon and Randy
didn't put him through.
Aaron Garrett (28, Stockton).... less said about him the better.
David Archuleta (16, Murray, UT) had vocal paralysis, but didn't go
through with surgery. He's better now, though. He sings "Waiting on the
World to Change" by John Mayer... flubs a lyrics. Randy sings backup. He
likes it. Paula thinks he's mature for his age. Simon liked the song
choice. He is GOING TO HOLLYWOOD... 2-1. Officially, Paula is the sole
voice of dissent. So sayeth the British guy.
As we round out San Diego, we have one contestant left, Carly Smithson
(23, San Diego by way of Ireland), who auditioned in Vegas, got through
to Hollywood, but got a call saying that her visa paperwork wasn't
valid, so... DQ. She's back two years removed, though, singing "I'm
Every Woman". Reminds me of a cleaned-up Amy Winehouse. Simon? "That
wasn't as good as two years ago." Randy disagrees, but it's a sweep.
She's GOING TO HOLLYWOOD, and this time, it's for realsies. Joining her
for the short trip to Hollywood, 30 more voices.
That's it for San Diego. Next stop on the audition train is Charleston,
SC. Historically, the South, the Carolinas in particular, have churned
out quality Idol product. Will the tradition continue? Find out in 23...