American Idol: southern hospitality

Last night “American Idol” on Fox moved to Atlanta, hometown of host Ryan Seacrest. Oh really, you say? Seacrest wasn’t created in some robot factory? Nope, guess not. Anyway, Mary J. Blige was the guest judge and as always they showed us the best and worst of the auditions. Here is your recap….

THE BEST

Keia Johnson, 26, was a former beauty pageant contestant who won based on her “personality,” but she really wasn’t hard to look at at all. And she had a really big voice that got her through to Hollywood…..they went through a short rapid-fire segment of three women who made it through. Miriam, who was okay; Noel, who had braces and let’s face it, WAS hard to look at; and then a woman with a pig nose that reminded me of that “Seinfeld” episode where Kramer kept seeing “the pig man” in a hospital. But I digress…..Jermaine Sellers, 26, who sings in church for a living, did a super cool version of Joan Osborne’s “One Of Us” that had nice R&B runs. Randy declared Jermaine the best audition to that point…..Vanessa, a little hillbilly girl from Tennessee, was first shown jumping off bridges into what looked like a small river, and then they showed her hanging out at her mom’s trailer, and wearing a dress she admitted she bought for $4.50 at at dollar store. Yikes. She then sang a decent version of “Wagon Wheel” and after the judges put her through, asked “Are you serial?” Or did she mean “cereal?” Then she spoke about getting on an “aer-O-plane” for the first time……Holly Harden, 20, a.k.a. “guitar girl,” was wearing an outfit with a guitar design, and while her voice sounded forced, it wasn’t awful…..then 20 year old Mallory Haley, whose occupation was “server” but to me looked like a “stripper,” sang a countrified version of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart,” which was okay but the judges really loved it for some reason. Read into that what you may….then Antoine, a.k.a. “Skee-Bo-Skee,” who was dressed in a bowling shirt with that skee bo skee thing on it and kept saying it over and over again. Weird! Then he surprised us all with a really great voice on “Grapevine,” though Simon disagreed. Still, Skee Bo Skee made it through to Hollywood….Carmen and Lauren, two self-proclaimed “BFF’s,” entered together but sang separately, and unfortunately only Carmen was good, which made the whole celebration for her awkward…..Brian Walker, 25, who is a cop in Tennessee, did a really great and soulful version of “Superstar,” and lucky for him Simon was out of the room, because Simon hates contestants with receding hair lines. But the three judges on hand loved him.

THE WORST

DeWaun Robinson kicked off the episode with an original song that started out with this horrible falsetto singing, “Lady, I know you…..” and Simon kept interrupting him. Then DeWaun tried to blame Simon’s antics on why he sucked. Um, sorry dude, sucking is something you do well on your own…..and I know the producers of the show love it when a contestant thinks they are the greatest thing ever and they are able to capture said contestants’ disappointment when they realize the alternative, but seeing TV show host (yes, that’s right) Christine Marie do a shouty and annoying version of Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield” was must-see TV…..Jesse Hamilton, 26, who really should marry Vanessa the bridge jumper, was a bean pole hillbilly who had been near death a few times in his life. The producers then had some fun with “real life dramatizations” of Jesse’s near death experiences that were as frightening as they were funny. After barely squeaking by on his audition because he couldn’t remember lyrics, and surviving Mary J. Blige laughing so hard she was crying on Kara’s shoulder, Jesse made a graceful exit…..the scariest of the auditions though, was Lamar Royal, a 20 year old who was a big Mary J fan and said he would welcome constructive criticism from the judges. Well, after singing all shouty and downright scary, Lamar was not true to his word. He did everything but threaten the judges, and had to be escorted out amid a flurry of bleeps….and I mean escorted all the way out of the building. Wow.

Finally, the last contestant in Atlanta was 62 year old Larry Flatt, who probably knew the age limit but wanted his five minutes of fame. He may get more than that, because his song, “Pants on the Ground,” which is a spoof on kids who wear their pants low, was so catchy that it’s still in my head today. “Looking like a fool with your pants on the ground!” Anyway, that was a good way to wrap up this week’s auditions. Next week they head to Chicago. And as usual, I’m already sick of these initial auditions…it sure would be better if they expanded the TV time of Hollywood week. But that’s how the producers roll.

What did you think of the auditions? Please leave your comments below and we’ll see you all next week…

  

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