American Idol: You want uncomfortable?

Last night’s “American Idol” results show had its moments, but none worse than the last few minutes of the episode. Somebody needs to get a handle on things, and fast, because it’s peoples’ lives they are messing with. More on that in a bit.

First of all, when they introduced the judges last night, Paula Abdul was wearing these latex gloves. Was she going to give Simon a prostate exam after the show? Because that’s surely what it looked like. Call her Paula the Proctologist, or to use a “Seinfeld” term, “Asswoman.”

Then they joked about the theme of the show Tuesday, which had the contestants singing songs from the year in which they were born. They razzed Simon Cowell about how old he was, showing a video of a young Frankie Avalon singing “Venus” from that very year. Then they surprised us all by bringing Frankie out live to sing the same song. Dude looks good, like he probably stopped aging around the time all of the current contestants were born. Anyway, Frankie let us all know that the year was 1959, which means Mr. Cowell is going to be 50 this year. That’s October 7 for all of you celebrity gossip hounds.

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American Idol: Welcome to Randy Jacksonville

So last night in part five of eight of FOX’s “American Idol” audition rounds, the scene shifted to Jacksonville, Florida. And the producers of the show decided to have a little fun and give judge Randy Jackson some love due to the name of the city (that’s really a stretch, isn’t it?). They showed Jackson in his days performing with the rock band Journey, and basically paid tribute to him a bit. That’s okay, but still a stretch. Anyway, this city did not seem to have the talent level of other audition rounds, and it was obvious right from the start of the show last night. Here are the highlights and lowlights:

THE BAD

Dana Moreno was shouting a Chaka Khan song, and I do mean shouting. Next! 16 year old Kaneswa had been told her entire life by her mom what a great vocalist she was, but that is always the recipe for failure, isn’t it? Kaneswa sang Anita Baker’s “Caught Up in the Rapture,” complete with some of Anita’s vocal acrobatics. However, for Kaneswa, they were not acrobatics, but more like nasal inflections….Darren Darnell was the life of the party among contestants waiting to audition, so much so that I was thinking he could be the next Ryan Seacrest. But then when his buddy didn’t get a golden ticket, a switch went off and this guy looked depressed and started crying, right up through his own audition, which bombed anyway….A girl named Naomi sang Minnie Ripperton’s “Lovin’ You” and while she may have hit the high falsetto note at the end, it was the only note that was on key. Naomi brought along her friend who was semi-obsessed with Randy Jackson, and the friend got to sit on Randy’s lap. Anyway, Naomi was awful….George Ramirez, an 18 year old who sort of looked like a young Abe Lincoln, was a physics student who just happened to want to give singing a try, but it was more like a low rumble of off-key mess Read the rest of this entry »

  

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American Idol runs for the roses

Thank you FOX for once again keeping the “American Idol” auditions show to one hour last night. I have a feeling I’ll be giving you those hours back, but it’s still nice to have a condensed version of these initial shows. Last night it was a trip to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, and not a ton of trips to Hollywood. Here are the bad and good of what they showed….

THE BAD

Tiffany kicked things off, and she was a bleach-blond trailer trash looking thing whose parents had been telling her how great she was for years. Yikes. She sang Mariah Carey and was just awful, and apparently stunned that the judges thought she sucked. Welcome to the real world, Tiffany…..Mark Mudd was a real hill-jack and took on country legend George Jones. Dude was not very good, and when he was leaving the stage said to the judges, “Be careful.” Look, I live in the south and I know that people say that..it’s a form of sayingm “Take it easy,” but the judges took it as a threat to their safety…pretty funny….Ross, a self-proclaimed nerd who was trying to use mathematical formulas to learn how to sing, had a deep and horrible voice, and in the end just knew he wasn’t good enough….Aaron Williamson sang Creedence Clearwater’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and was just too loud and emotive for this competition….and finally, Rebecca Garcia from Nashville sang Carrie Underwood and Paula had recognized her from being on the morning news while she waited on line for her audition. For some reason, we all thought Rebecca was going to be good, but she was just awful. Kara thought that her audition was a joke, literally, which made Rebecca cry…oops…..they also showed a medley of bad auditions, including this really large dude named Patrick who thought he was Michael Jackson, and a girl who sang in all weird vibrato.

THE GOOD

Joanna, a 23 year old from Los Angeles, who Kara recognized as a former recording artists for A&M Records, was somewhat humble and nervous, but as you might expect, was an awesome singer. She sang Pat Benatar’s “We Belong” and really belted it with great control…..Brent Keith Smith sang Bad Company’s “Can’t Get Enough” and while he had a great voice, did not have the fire Simon Cowell wanted to see. Still, he’s moving on…..Matt Giraud, a 23-year old dueling piano player, proved that he has probably better vocal skills than anything. I want you all to keep an eye on this one…..Alexis, a 21 year old from Memphis, was a pasty, blonde girl who took on Aretha Franklin and sounded way more soulful than you would expect from a white girl. She really has enormous potential too…..after another medley of yes’s (thank you again FOX), the last contestant was Laneshe, an 18 year old from Cincinnati, who had been growing up most of her life in homeless shelters with her mom and siblings. This was the sad/heartwarming story of the night, but there was nothing sad about this girl’s vocal chops. She even had the balls to sing one of her own songs, and it was very good, though not as good as her monstrous voice. Feel good story or not, this girl can sing and could really go far in this thing.

Next week the auditions move to Jacksonville, Florida. I’m relieved that these initial auditions are halfway through, and that Hollywood is beckoning. See you on Wednesday!

  

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