In the world's ultimate talent search - where the eyes of a
nation are upon the best undiscovered singers in the country,
where the audience has the power to make or break you, and
where a million-dollar recording contract is on the line,
there is only one rule: If you can sing it, bring it.
Recaps by Chico Alexander, Jason Block, Don Harpwood & Gordon
Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop
19 TV & FremantleMedia North
CBS Television City, Los
8p Tues & Wed, Fox
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So it begins anew. The search for the next
Superstar. The thousands of hopefuls competing for millions of dollars. The
thousands of words that us recappers will be writing as we talk, predict, pander
and marvel at what amazing talents America can find this season.
Right now, though, like beachcombers sifting through sand, we have to sift
through the musical version of pollution, tossed out hypodermic needles, and old
The first stop on this episode is Georgia. The Paula/Ellen wanna-be judge for
the week is Mary J. Blige. First up, Dewone Robinson (27, doesn't really matter
where he's from, since he's not going anywhere) as his montage of how good he is
already signals disaster. His cousins of 'Clive' and 'Motown Bobby' are
supposedly big names and he supposedly is a diamond in the rough. He sings
'something original' called 'Lady, We're Not Together Anymore'. He sings 'It's
Over', and the second that it comes out of his mouth, it truly is over. Yuck. A
few things wrong here:
#1. NEVER sing anything original.
#2. Don't namedrop.
#3. Don't argue with the judges (which he does, then claims that he's
shell-shocked when the judges cut him).
#4. That will get Randy Jackson to call security on him. I have a feeling we'll
be seeing a lot more of security as the show goes on.
We have...cheerleaders? Ok. They cheer into Keia Johnson (26, Memphis) who sings
'My Heart WILL Go On' (I emphasize 'Will' because she sings 'Can' instead. She
does nothing for me vocally (I think she's here because she won a Miss
Congeniality Award) and I agree with Simon that she's more of a Broadway Singer
than a Pop Singer. He does like here, and she gets in 4-0, but she needs to
improve drastically to make it further.
Keia is the first Yes. Miriam Lemnoumi (25, Atlanta, Georgia, Equestrian
Trainee), has an annoying trill but a very pure voice and gets in. Noel Reece
(16, Sophia, NC, Student) gets in with Whitney Houston's 'I Have Nothing'. Tisha
Holland (18, Riverdale, Georgia, Hostess) has a decent R&B flavor going on.
They get in, but will Jermaine Sellers (26, Joliet, IL, Church Singer) be the
first male to get in? His mom has a spinal ailment, so it's up to Jermaine to
take care of her. He's a church boy who sings 'One of Us' by Joan Osbourne. I
think he's too raw for this year, but he's got lyrical potential and can
surprise. I like that he made it his own. We get another 4-0 from the judges and
Jermaine gets through.
Christy Marie Agronow is a TV Hostess and personality for 4-1-1: The Show. I
sense really bad things here. She's actually ok through the first vocal, though
she falls apart in the second stanza on 'Love is a Battlefield' by Pat Benatar.
She does the pleading (which seems very unorganic), but the 4-1-1 turns into
9-1-1. She complains about the judges, but I have to side with them.
We hear a montage of Mary J. Blige's 'I'm Going Down' as we get a montage of
failed singers. Will the last singer of the day go down via elevator or jump
down? It's Vanessa Wolf (19, Fast Food Associate), and she's a bridge jumper.
She lives in Vonore, Tennessee, and visits her mom. She sees American Idol as
her way out, as she wants to make something for herself. This is either going to
turn out well or badly. She's got a real twangy vocal while singing 'Wagon
Wheel', but she also has potential and I can see her do very well in this
competition. Simon thinks she has nerves, but is ill-prepared and may be a few
years away, but they want to keep her in country. It's 4-0 Yes and I think she
has potential, but she has to work very very hard to get to the next round. When
the audition is done, she does a little scream with her mom there in tow.
AwwwwBarf. That ends Day #1.
Day #2 starts, and auditioning is...Simon? Well, no, he's fooling around, but
Jesse Hamilton (26, Edison, Alabama, Welder) is serious. He said he almost died
3 times; once as a kid, once almost getting shot and he almost got run over.
Jesse feels blessed by the Good Lord, and based on that he's never sang in
public, I'm going to feel blessed when he stops singing...that is if he ever
starts. He freezes before he starts and Mary is trying to keep it together. He
starts singing and I'll feel blessed when this segment ends, and so will Mary,
who's laughing hysterically and trying to disguise it as crying. Simon says he's
a nice guy, but this is not the right song for him. 'If anyone's going to
survive welding, it's you' says Simon, as they boot him through the door and
have some more comical clips at his expense.
We have more clips from rejected contestants, and then we see Holly Harden (20,
Rockmart, Ga., Office Assistant), who dresses up as a human guitar. She calls
herself 'Guitar Girl'. I call her Kellie Pickler Jr. She sings 'You Ain't Woman
Enough To Take My Man' by Loretta Lynn. She remarkably has a good tone, and Kara
calls her ballsy with a good voice. Mary doesn't get the outfit and says no.
Kara and Randy says yes, and Holly pleads in a good way, calling Simon gorgeous.
Now THIS is how to plead your way into Hollywood, and Simon buys it. He says
yes, and inexplicably, she gets into Hollywood. Now usually I'd be annoyed at
this, but she has a really good voice. She does need to pick up her game in
Hollywood, but at least she'll have a shot.
And I say that because we have a number of singers that come in and it wouldn't
matter what they were wearing. Mallory Haley (20, Winter, South Carolina)
countrifies 'Take Another Piece of My Heart' and she sounds pretty good. Mary
calls it beautiful and Kara likes that she knows who she is. She gets in, 4-0.
After that, we get the montage of ticket winners...
...but will it continue for Antonio Williams? His nick name is 'Skii Bo Ski',
and he promises to blow your mind. He's blown up his own mind (he's allegedly
been in jail for drug possession), so he may have been doing some skiing of his
own. He singe 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine', and I don't think he's great
at the beginning, but he picks it up near the end. It's passable, and passable
should get him through. Simon hates the package, but Kara likes the vocals. Mary
wants the package to match the vocals and Randy says to drop the rest of the
package. Simon says no, but the rest of them say yes. I see a very short shelf
like for Antonio - that is, if he gets to Hollywood.
Carmen Turner and Lauren Sanders are bff's, and have known each other since the
3rd grade. They spend every weekend together and demand that they be put into
Hollywood together. They also audition together and claim they get into too much
trouble. Simon asks who's better and they say they are equal. Simon calls them
equally annoying. Lauren (Atlanta, Georgia) starts, then Carmen. Simon likes
Carmen better, but he thinks they should be grouped together. He calls them the
Ditz sisters. Randy says yes to Carmen and no to Lauren. So does Kara and Randy.
Simon says no to both, but Carmen gets in. Simon doesn't think that Carmen will
be separated that long from Lauren (meaning that she's also going to have a
short shelf life). Heh. And we end the segment with 'That's what Friends are
But at least Carmen gets in, unlike the next montage of people who don't get in
and make Mary J. cringe. Simon has developed a migraine and leaves the audition
room, leaving the other 3 judges to hear Brian Walker (25, Sevierville, TN,
Police Officer). He sings 'Superstar', and though it's a little rocky, he's got
a great booming voice. Brian gets in, and the police officer gets a ticket. Heh.
'Today, no matter what the judges say, I'll be here to respect their opinion'.
That's what we get from Mary J. Blige fan Lamar Royal (20, Goldsboro, NC,
Unemployed) before his audition. After he oversings the vocals, and after Randy
tells him that he didn't sing that well. Lamar sings a few more times going
through the judges, and he's not accepting criticism. After more singing,
screaming and cursing from Lamar, he is led out by Security, who proceeds to
curse out all 3 judges, including his idol Mary J. Blige. He sings and curses
his way out of the picture, stage right.
Last up is 62 year old 'General' Larry Platt, who gives us the rap of 'Pants on
the Ground'. We're going to spend as little time on this as possible because 1.
it's a rap, 2. He's old enough to be my daddy and 3. I'm watching this instead
of people who will be in the Top 24 that we'll be complaining about not getting
any airtime. Simon is afraid that we haven't heard the last of him, and so am I.
Overall, 25 people got tickets from the Atlanta auditions. Next time: Chicago.
Hopefully, they'll keep their pants on and their notes in tune. Join us next
time to see if that's the case.
For more info on the Boston auditions, and to see this episode in its
entirety, go to www.americanidol.com.