Wednesday, January 14, 2009

American Idol: Kansas City Auditions

Hello everyone! Another fun filled 2 hour night of auditions. As much as I am tired of the auditions, they seemed to have struck a good balance this year in making them tolerable. The judges are funny again (all in the editing!), adding all the various tunes between each audition is a nice touch too. And while they have not eliminated as many bad auditions as I thought they were intending to, they've eliminated most of the ridiculous ones and just stuck with people that most likely think they're good when they're really not. And that was always the appeal of the auditions for me! Anyway, K.C., home of David Cook, seemed to have a decent pool of talent. (I missed how many they said got in and too lazy to rewind...but I think it was around 30??) A couple of these people I thought might find their way to the top 12 (depending on what groups they'd be placed in the semi-finals of course!). So let's not waste time. Here are the 13 folks that we saw make it in:

  • Ashley Anderson - 20 - NJ - Did her homework and picked a Leona Lewis (Simon's British creation) song that just happened to be "co-written" by Simon himself. Wait a sec...Simon writes songs???? yikes. Well, with a name like "Footprints in the Sand" I guess I can see that. The girl was pretty good. Like a little Leona Lewis clone. I don't know what else to say about her at this point. Just smart song choice. Almost as smart as Kristy Lee Cook picking "God Bless the USA" to perform on "American" Idol!
  • Casey Carlson - 20 - Minnesota - Did anyone catch when the blurb came up as she was singing with her info that she's a "Bubble Tea Maker"? What on earth is that?! Anyways, Casey sang her Vanessa Carlton song pretty well. Nothing too fancy. Good enough to get to the next round. Her fate can go either way at this point. I can see her being good enough to make the top 12, or not even making it to the semi-finals. All depends on Hollywood and the songs she picks and how she performs! (can you tell I couldn't think of anything to write about her?)
  • Von Smith - 22 - Dude with the hat. Woaaaaa buddy...lasso in that voice man! Yeah, he could hit some pretty impressive notes. But he seemed to be lacking control. He just kept going for them no matter how awkward it made the judges and the eventual viewing public feel. Yeah, good enough to get to Hollywood, and he could be great. But, I could settle for less screaming!
  • Michael Castro - 20 - Yup, we thought we finally put the Castro family behind us last year. But no fear, Jason Castro used his Idol Celebrity Status to move his little brother Michael up in the line. So what's the difference between Michael and Jason? Well they both are bad at interviews. And while Michael said Jason is more girly, Michael seemed to be the one that LOOKED like a girl. Was he wearing Make-up?! Anyway, he told the judges that he never tried singing until 20 days before the audition. WHAT??? That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Anyway, he didn't sound "AWFUL" but he definitely sounded like he had been singing for longer than 20 days. I'm sure the judges were more lenient on him because he was Jason's bro. But he may have earned his way in on his own. We'll see if he can keep it up!
  • Matt Breitzke - 27 - Bald guy with goatee and is a Welder by day! He used to do the bar scene but then got married and had a kid. He explained how he needed to provide for his family so his music ambition took a back burner. I got a good laugh out of Paula laughing and mimicking Simon when he said "I get that." Anyway, I thought Matt was pretty good. As the judges said, he has a lot of heart and ambition, and that will resonate with voters should he get that far.
  • Jessica Paige Furney -?? - The girl from the land of Oz who takes care of her 93 year old grandmother. Also apparently a guitar player. She sang some Janis Joplin and sang it pretty well. The judges were unanimous and loved her. I think she has potential to stick around for awhile as well. Crazy though...we have 6 more cities to hit, not everyone can make that top 12! I have read that this season had the most talent of all seasons (which Ryan stated tonight as well). Maybe that's why they created a top 36 instead of 24!
  • India McClain - 22 - (and sister) - Used her sister Asia as a gimmick to rap in front of the judges (something about stealing cookies?) and then sang. It was nice of Asia to want the best for her sister. But I really didn't see all the hoopla around India. She was okay I guess. But whatever, yellow ticket and she's moving on!
  • Jamar Rogers - 26 - The bartender who came with his best friend Danny (next on list), and with a nice crew cut (or mini-mohawk? I don't know what you call what he had!). He got in but he did kind of overdo it like the judges said. I'm sure they just showed him because he came as a 1-2 punch with Danny. But you never know, Jamar could be good enough to make it past Hollywood too.
  • Danny Gokey - 28 - The Music Teacher has kind of a sad story with Danny (one that he didn't hesitate to bring up to the Idol Cameras. I'd like to think he didn't do that for a sympathy vote....not that he needed it!) His wife passed away 4 weeks before the audition. But he whipped out a fantastic rendition of "I heard it through the Grapevine." One that blew all of the judges away and blew me away! I am marking his name in blue because I think he is one to watch. There's no way I'm declaring any winners this early in the audition process, but I can see this guy going pretty far in the competition with who we've seen so far. And that's all I can really say about it right now!
  • Anoop Desai - 21 - The Geeky Guy that studied the Folklore of BBQ or something like that! And yet ANOTHER guy that picked Boys II Men's "Thank You." Did they make a comeback recently that I wasn't aware of?! Definitely needs an image make-over but man can this boy sing! He earned his yellow ticket!
  • Asa Barnes - 28 - Band director and Dad who sang Michael Jackson. It was borderline good but he made Simon laugh when he said he picked the song because he liked it.
  • Dennis Brighan - 19 - This one was kinda ridiculous. The guy that had the dream of Simon saying he was one of the best. Come on....he was AWFUL! And the judges, besides Simon, got guilted into letting him in. He won't get far. That was just silly.
  • Lil Rounds - 23 - Yep not a fan of hers. She's a mom of 3, survived a tornado. All touching stuff. But once the judges said she reminded them of Fantasia, I realized why I didn't like her. Hey so that style of singing isn't for everyone. Doesn't mean she's not good. I just don't get it. But they were flabbergasted at how good she was. My favorite part of this audition was the husband's reaction to her getting through. He was just like "ooohhh ****, now I gotta watch these 3 kids by myself for 5 months!" ahhhh good times!

So, we've seen a little more of Kara now. Snap judgement: Maybe her "thing" will be to tell good contestants "I Like you, you have that VIBE!" I think I heard her say that a few times. We still have many more times to see her before we can really get a good read on her.

The bad auditions tonight? They were a good time in general. No real standouts except Michael Nicewonder and his original songs. That had me laughing really good. Oh and the "Just call me...JAZZ" girl! what city was next? New York maybe? They showed NYC but then they went on and pretty much previewed the entire audition and Hollywood process. Since when do they do that so early? I know they were trying to entice us, but you can't help but think "hmmm...maybe I can stop watching now until the semi-finals since you just showed me all the good stuff!" Ahhh but we all know that I am incapable of waiting that long to write! And with that, I will say so long until next week! See you then.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, you and I commented on some of the same stuff. I also mentioned Jamar's mini-mohawk and the "bubble tea maker" thing.

I would've said no to Von Smith. Clearly he's got a voice, but I didn't hear any actual singing from him. Could he move us with a tender love song? Who knows?

I actually liked Dennis Brigham. I have a feeling he won't get far though, because they showed a preview of Hollywood at the end of tonight's episode, and one of the clips was of him walking off stage saying "Y'all suck as judges."

Five more one-hour audition shows left!