Wednesday, January 17, 2007

American Idol: Auditions Week 1B - Seattle

Well it seems last night's MOST WATCHED episode of American Idol (37 Million viewers) was met by mixed reviews. I talked to some people that loved it, and others that agreed with me in the disappointing premiere. Well, I can't speak for everyone but I thought tonight's episode was more on par of what I expect in an Auditions episode. Much more banter between the "3" (key number) judges, more awkward interviews with Ryan and the contestants, some better talent, and some more realistic AWFUL auditions. Don't get me wrong, some of them were still probably merely spotlight hogs, but at least they were more entertaining than last night's! Also don't get me wrong, I'm not an Auditions Convert. I still am not a fan! But I, at least, could sit through the episode without rolling my eyes half the time! Anyone that knows me, know that my eyes, for the most part, may as well just stay in a rolled position! It's one of my natural talents!

Speaking of natural talent, let's move this blog to Seattle for tonight. That's right, the dreaded city where the Idol crew has not re-entered since the unbearable auditions in season 1 (which I really only recently watched on American Idol Rewind!) Why did they return? Are they gluttons for punishment? Something tells me they WANTED to find 2 hours worth of material for the 2nd half of their Season Premiere. Well, they weren't let down. As expected there were tons of awful auditions, but more than the bad singing, it's now more interesting just to see how our 3 judges react. And, how much better were the judges with no distractions from their normal chemistry? NO MORE GUEST JUDGES PLEASE (yeah right)!

  • Paula was still drunk, but she was somewhere between "Season 4 Drunk" and "Season 5 Drunk," which means she was pretty much normal. She danced to Baby Got Back when the PINK ARMS lady was rapping, she turned in her chair to laugh so that she wouldn't upset the bad contestants (umm Paula, that might be worse!), and she got happy when people remembered her 80's hits. No doubt, Paula was "STRAIGHT UP" a good time tonight.
  • Randy was in touch with his INNER Journey again. Seriously Randy, you played bass for them on like ONE tour! Stick with you Mariah story!
  • Simon....well he kept making his faces. One thing I just don't understand is why I always find it amusing every time Simon tells someone "This is the worst audition that i have ever heard in my life" seems like it is still as funny as the first time I heard it!! He ALWAYS says it! And I just never get tired of it! Are Americans that easily amused? Maybe it's just his accent we find funny? Well, keep an ear out for this know he'll say it throughout the whole season. See if you find yourself laughing along each time!
There were tons of Bad Auditions ranging from return guests (Season 5's "Sheriff" Brandon Groves) to aspiring N'Sync stars (Monkey look-a-like Kenneth Briggs). I have a hard time talking about Kenneth Briggs' new best friend Jonathan Jayne, otherwise known as the non-animated version of South Park's Eric Cartman. This is mainly due to the fact that I think he may have a mental disability. The judges seemed awfully nice to him. He also tried his hardest to sing well and was genuinely happy with his feedback. But boy did he sound like CARTMAN!!! Anyway, I'd say worst tonight was a tie between the 2 the Idol producing team hyped up the most:
  1. Darwin "My style is a sexy" Reedy - What's there to say about this girl? She looked just like her mother and defined herself as SUPER SEXY. Ryan Seacrest made a SEXYBACK joke which always is worth a few "ha ha's" Actually, as bad as the performance was, everything leading UP to the performance was a little more entertaining. The rapidfire questions from the judges to the Mom and Daughter. Paula's stunned looks. Darwin's Canadian-Like accent was a good time too, eh? And then...she sang.........and then she danced and she uttered the words that everyone wanted to hear someone JUST like her ask "Dontcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Dontcha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me? Dontcha???" Simon? "NO"
  2. Nick "Software Engineer Super Nerd" Zitzman - Wow, they really hyped this guy up didn't they? If this one was an act, it was a good one. Because the guy was truly bizarre. He hit the "HIIIIIIIGHS" and the "looooooows" and everything in between. All of his computer nerd friends told him to audition. God I would've loved to have been a fly on the wall when this happened. Were they serious? Or did they know that it would end up being a highlight of Idol's visit to Seattle? Regardless, if there are really Instrumental Demos of Nick's out there....I hope he starts selling them on ebay, because that's gotta be some good stuff. They didn't edit any of this guy's performance and we endured pretty much the entire UNCHAINED MELODY in all of its awful glory leaving Simon with only one thing to say "WHAT THE BLOODY HELL WAS THAT?" I don't know Simon, but thanks for showing us!


Surprisingly, Seattle DID hide some decent talent among the dreadfully awful (it's so hard not to say that in my head without Simon's accent). Here they are in order of appearance:
  1. Tommy Daniels - Quit his job to "take an elevator to the top." Well maybe he has to work on his metaphors, but his singing chops are pretty good. And huge props to him for giving Amos Lee's "Arms of a Woman" (can be found on The Last Kiss soundtrack) some airtime. Yes, I like to listen to the occassional "CHICK" song....this coming from a Man who forces people to see Kelly Clarkson with him in concert, probably doesn't come as a shock to anyone! Weird thing is that this was Tommy's 3rd audition on Idol. They didn't go into specifics, but could he have been THAT bad previously? or did he not pass the screening round? Or maybe he didn't even get TO the screeners. You have to think with over 10,000 people at each audition location, that not everyone even gets to audition. But who knows? Anyway, Tommy seems to have a good shot at moving on to the semi-finals. But we have 4 more cities!
  2. Blake Lewis - ahh Beat box boy. Not only is he a Beat Boxer, he's a CHAMPION Beat Boxer. Well congratulations Blake! You've impressed Paula Abdul! I'm on board with Simon that this guy was just arrogant, obnoxious and just not as good as he thought he was. Could he sing? Yeah. But I didn't like the meshing of his song with some beat boxing in between. Well Dipsy and Doodle let him through so we'll see what happens. They also let Taylor in last year when Simon didn't understand their fascination with him. For some reason, I don't think Blake will get the kind of following Taylor did.
  3. Shyamala Malakar - SISTER Malakar of the Brother/Sister combo - Both of these kids were pretty darn good. They got their skills from their Dad. Shyamala did a little sampling of "Summertime." I'd say right off the bat it was better than Fantasia's highly acclaimed version in season 3 (but I hate Fantasia so that's not saying much!). Maybe she needed to work on her nerves a bit. But she has a nice personality and could ride far into this season.
  4. Sunjaya Malakar - Sunjaya was a bit more shy than his sister, contrary to Paula's snap judgement. But he did pull out an amazing voice for his rendition of Stevie's "Sign Sealed Delivered." And the best part is, he's 17! (not 16!) So if he does happen to win American Idol (which he won't), my rule of no 16 year old ever winning still applies! As we've learned with Lisa Tucker and Paris Bennett last year, even with amazing auditions, the young teens just can't go the distance with the theme nights and song choices. It's pretty much a proven fact at this point. Maybe Sunjaya can make me a believer. Doubtful dude! Doubtful! But great audition!
  5. Rudy Cardenas - The Venezuelan! Rudy pulled out some Journey at the end of a long Day 1 and once he hit the high notes, Simon put a stop to it with an immediate "NO." The dude was actually pretty good. It may remain a mystery of why Simon didn't like him. But Dingus and Doodleberry let another one through without Simon's help. This followed by bringing Daniel Powter's "BAD DAY" song to IDOL one more time! Which reminds me, are we going to have a new elimination song this year? Will it ever be as big as that gut wrenching BAD DAY was? Ahhh weeks away kids...weeks away!
  6. Anna "THE GIANT" Kearns - So this girl is TALL and was kicked out of the military for having a weak heart. Why does this scare me for her run on American Idol? She sang okay I guess, but was ridiculously loud as Simon stated. Simon tried to give some criticism and Doofus and Drunk just growled at him.......simply bizarre. Anyway, they let the "giraffe" in and we'll keep tabs on this situation in Hollywood!
  7. Jordin Sparks - Former NFL Giant Phillipi Sparks' daughter. Man that wilkepedia website is insane. They already know that Jordin is going to Hollywood! Anyway, she was really good. Simon pulled the "CUTSIE" card on her. And this can only mean one thing! Yep, she's 16!!! The last person I recall him calling CUTSIE was Diana DeGarmo, who made it to the final 2 against Fantasia, but was ALSO 16 and had that Bubblegum feel to her. I, personally, didn't notice it as I was too blown away by the voice. But a first impression is a first impression. Usually these young-ens wear their welcome with me quite quickly. Good Luck Jordin!
Well, I tried to keep it short, did I succeed? There definitely was more to write about in tonight's episode than last night's. This could be promising for next week's trip to the great state of Tennessee and home of the KING, Memphis. Until then, be thankful that 1 week of auditions is complete and there's only 2 to go! (I HOPE!) See you next week!

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