Thursday, January 28, 2010
American Idol Auditions Jan 26-27 -- Hot n Cold
Technically, the title of this post should be Cold n Hot, because Tuesday's episode was the one that blew. But in deference to our second guest judge of this week, we went with the reverse.
This week we're in Los Angeles and Dallas, so there should be plenty of talent on display, right? We'll see.
Avril Lavigne is here, sounding like a valley girl for the LA auditions -- "Auditioning would be really hard [ya know]." I mean, like, you have to sing and all. And Simon is so mean.
For the second show in a row, they have decided to start off with someone dreadful. (Note: I'm running out of disparaging adjectives and adverbs so I'm sorry if I'm overusing the ones I've got. As an aside, I once read a book on language that talked about how over time our words lose their power. He used the example of terrible, which we use for just about anything we don't like now but back when the word was first coined it was reserved for "things that were truly awful, like the movie Showgirls.")
I found myself wishing my head would literally explode so I wouldn't have to watch another Neil Goldstein audition. I resent (in four columns) that being a lunatic affords someone five minutes (yes, a full five minutes) on a 42-minute episode. He used up 12 percent of the time allotted for showing us who we should be looking forward to seeing more of (my part in it is that I continue to watch).
Was anyone else ready to pull Avril Lavigne's hair and shake her a little? She was like a spoiled little brat the whole day. I was only marginally impressed by Jim Ranger's singing and his back story (three very cute children), but what was with her? "To be a pop star you have to travel; you have to leave everything. It's difficult out there on the road." Does someone that's been famous since she was 17 really have any idea what a difficult life is?
Time for a moron montage. Why do I need to know who these idiots are? This week's burr in my shoe is giving us the names, ages and hometowns of people that are going back home to obscurity while leaving us completely in the dark about more than half the people they gave golden tickets to.
After another week where we've gone 21 minutes and seen one person go to Hollywood, I was left to wonder why blood wasn't seeping out of my ears -- particularly during that painful (for both him and us) rendition of You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling.
Day one ended with Mary Powers (with the eight-year-old daughter that loves Simon) finally giving us a reprieve from the screeching and howling we'd been hearing all night, and with Avril Lavigne finally making me crack a smile when she responded to A.J. Mendoza (Cult of Personality) with a Deborah Cox-like "Absolutely not!"
Day two in LA brought us a guest judge I was genuinely excited about in Katy Perry. Up until she performed Waking Up in Vegas on Idol last season, I had this image of her being someone that would be way too cool for American Idol. Once that wall came down, it's been Katymania for me ever since.
I did get a bit concerned at first though, because she came in guns blazing talking about how she was going to be brutally honest, but she couldn't even look up at Austin Fullmer (Surrender -- which was oddly appropriate considering how creepy he was) when they asked her "yes or no". But then she uttered the funniest line of the entire audition season as far as I'm concerned. "Are these people frisked before they come in here?" L. O. L. (Does it bother anyone else when people type LOLOL for something they think is extra funny? Laugh out loud out loud? What does that mean?)
I can't believe what these producers think passes for a good back story this year? A family portrait where everyone's faces are blurred out because of the possibility of gang retribution. Fortunately, Andrew Garcia could really sing -- I thought the best of the night to this point. And he reminded me vaguely of Danny Gokey. The Danny from last year's auditions when he hadn't gotten on my nerves yet.
Trisha Layton (Baby, Baby, Baby) was one of those that sounds great during the audition, but then gets cut the first day in Hollywood. I rarely make predictions this early on, but this one is money.
When Jason Greene sang I Touch Myself all I could think was that I wanted to stab myself.
The only thing that could have made me love Katy Perry more would have been if she had actually thrown her Coke at Kara.
At least for the last audition in LA they pulled together a decent back story -- foster kid trying to make his way in the world. I did like Chris Golightly's (Stand by Me) voice, but I was unable to decide which I found more over the top -- his hand gestures or Kara's response to him. Then Katy said what I was thinking, "This is not a Lifetime movie, sweetheart." I always wonder what these kids are thinking when they are standing there and the judges are bickering and making it all about themselves.
Finally, we got to see a half dozen nameless faces pick up their golden tickets. But at least we know Austin Fullmer and Jason Greene.
On we go to Dallas with Neil Patrick Harris. Yee-hah.
I wrote something in my notes about Julie Kevelighan (Black Velvet) that I think I will refrain from reprinting here. (Two words, first one starts with m, second one ends with r.) Three episodes in a row that started with a disaster.
I did, however, love NPH saying "sparkle" when she walked in the room. And that he called her out on her shoddy sign making. "It seemed like you might have wanted to start over." I love him.
More anonymous golden ticket winners.
Lloyd Thomas (Overjoyed) made me laugh and he sounded good, but these back stories this year are making me long for Scott McIntyre.
I wasn't all that impressed with Kimberly Carver's original song, but she definitely can sing. C'mon though, Doogie Howser? It's not like that's all he's ever done. At a certain point, even Farrah Fawcett was allowed to leave Jill Munroe behind.
Dexter Ward (If I Ever Fall in Love Again) is the next America's Idol. While he's practicing his wink, I'll work on my eye roll. I love these guys that are so sure they've got the goods. I get the same feeling watching those auditions that I get when I'm in line at the grocery store and the person in front of me gets to the cashier and is wholly unprepared for the cash transaction -- did you know where you were going when you left the house this morning? Seriously, how can you be shocked at what is transpiring?
I was loving how NPH just started taking over, "Simon, yes or no?"
I would just like to point out that these crying montages may make good TV, but tears do not automatically denote broken dreams. I'm sure a lot of these people are sleep deprived and running on adrenaline for hours before their auditions. I don't think crying is that abnormal a reaction to all of that stress coming to an end.
I knew they would make Erica Rhodes (Free Your Mind) sing the Barney theme song and it's a good thing they did because she sounded way better singing that than she did singing her actual audition song. I was a little surprised they put her through.
Was anyone else really nervous watching Dave Pittman (Bring it on Home to Me)? I know he said the Tourette's Syndrome doesn't affect him when he sings, but I kept thinking "But you've never sung under this much pressure before." So, I was really glad he did well. And by the way, THAT'S a back story. Silly aside -- when he said he was from Gassville I wondered if it was named after fuel or fart.
Day one in Dallas may have been the best segment of all the audition episodes thus far.
I didn't realize how cute Joe Jonas is.
I loved the song Todrick Hall auditioned with. It was downright shocking that one of these "original" people was truly original and good.
Here comes my cynicism. Maegen Wright (To Make You Feel my Love) talked about how her parents divorced and both remarried and that she was glad to have her little brother because they were all each other had. Did your parents throw you both out when they remarried? And if you are all each other have, why are there 15 people standing outside the audition room waiting for you? Do the producers even watch the show before it airs?
I would have thought Simon telling Vanessa Johnston (At Last) that she was his worst nightmare might have wiped that perky smile off her face, but apparently not.
I guess Joe Jonas was just there to be eye candy, because he barely said six words. At one point they skipped right over him and Simon still said "four noes". Maybe he made a thumbs down gesture.
They ended on a high note with another interesting story and a good singer, Christian Spear (All I Can Do Is Cry).
OMG! I really thought next week was Hollywood Week. I'm not sure I'm going to make it. What about you?