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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American Idol: Only 9 Head South

Mercifully, the people at FOX only gave us one hour of “American Idol” last night, either because of the the inauguration coverage or because they realized that two hours was like stretching a piece of cheese as far as it could go. Or maybe it’s because only nine of last night’s auditions from San Francisco made it to Hollywood. Either way, I thank them, and here were some of the highlights and lowlights:

THE BAD

This dude named Dean-Anthony showed up in this weird, gigantic flannel coat, and he had both a weird smile and a weird vocal delivery….basically everything was way, way over the top. Dude sang a Simply Red song that I swear I could not recognize because of how he butchered it……Dalton, a smart guy who was shown solving a Rubik’s Cube in about 30 seconds, should go back to that left brain thing because the right brain which is the artistic side, not so good……Akilah was another strange bird, evidenced by the fact that she brought drawings of the human anatomy and taught herself to sing using this….she even made reference to the fact that in her first take, she did not bring her vocals up properly from the “rectum”….are you kidding me?…..Annie Murdock was cute and looked promising, but her emotive vocals were too much and just couldn’t cut it with the judges.

Speaking of the judges, you knew this was bound to happen…Simon Cowell and newcomer Kara DioGuardi butted heads a bit because Simon just wouldn’t let Kara speak her mind. Get used to it Kara. But it sure has been taking the attention off Paula this season, hasn’t it?

THE GOOD

Tatiana Del Toro kicked off the show and her confidence was bordering on egotistical bordering on extremely obnoxious. She sang Aretha, which Simon correctly pointed out was a mistake, and while she wasn’t awful, she was not as good as she thought, and she also had one of the most annoying laughs you’ll ever hear, one that the producers of the show had some fun with. Anyway, they let her through after some pleading…..Jesus Valenzuela also made it through with some pleading, because he was only an above average singer, but he brought his kids in with him, and the judges could not say no to the kids…..Adam Lambert, a 26 year old actor, sang “Bohemian Rhapsody” and let’s just say, wow…this kid is going far unless he trips over himself….finally, the heartwarming story of the night was Kai Kalama, a guy who was shown sacrificing many things to take care of his ailing mom. This guy sang “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” and is a naturally gifted vocalist. Feel-good story aside, I want you all to keep an eye on Kai.

Tonight the auditions move to Louisville, Kentucky, and the show is only one hour again. Sweet! FOX, I thank you for those extra two hours, but I hope you don’t ask for them back any time soon. See you all tomorrow!

  

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