Guest Judge for Day 1 was Kristen Chenoweth of "Pushing Daisies," "Glee" and "Wicked" Fame. How can you not love this girl? She's quite a perky personality! But after seeing her getting along with THE ENEMY (yes, I mean Kara), maybe I should rethink things!
Anyway, let's get into the auditions:
- Seth Rollins - 28 - from Lakeland, Florida - The Idol machine poured on the syrupy back story pretty good on this one. But whenever there is a kid involved, it's hard not to eat it up! His oldest son is autistic and Seth and wife want to get the best care money can buy for him. So he's going after his dream. He sang Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me" and gave credit to the Frank Sinatra version. The voice was decent, but the judges seemed to let him in because they liked him. Randy mentioned that he wants him to "EXUBE" (I can't possibly make this stuff up!) Not sure how far Seth will make it, but for now he's keeping the dream alive. And how can you not love it when his son says "Daddy goin to Hollywoooooood!"? Now, my question is did Seth do his research to be quoting off statistics of divorce rates among parents with autistic children? Eh, I should keep my mouth shut on stuff I really don't know too much about!
Brief pause to give props to the Billy Joel version of "When You Wish Upon a Star" making the cut in this audition episode, you rock Billy! We need another Billy Joel theme night on Idol. They wasted that theme on season 2's crop and never brought it back. I thought I was gonna reach into the TV and slap Josh Gracin across the face with that awful rendition of "Piano Man"! Okay....sidebar over!
- Jermaine Purifory - 24 - from Cleveland, TN - He sang Tony Bennett's rendition of "Smile" and it was quite good! Kristen noted the seamless voice and how she didn't worry when he went for the high notes. It is funny to mention how with some people, you know that note is coming and you're just not sure they're gonna hit it. Jermaine went for them so effortlessly and even did some impressive runs near the end of the song (which I usually hate). I'll give the guy mad props. He auditioned before in season 7, but he must have improved because the judges really loved him this time around. I can't say for sure but Simon thinks the "chicks" are gonna like him. And Randy had to throw out that BAZILLION number again when he said YES. Is this your new thing dawg? I heard you throw out a Paula'ism too with your INFECTIOUS comment!
- Shelby Dressel - 18 - from Avon Park, Florida The poor girl had some undeveloped nerves around her mouth and she wasn't able to smile correctly growing up. At 18, you can still see remnants of it, but she seems to be able to function a lot better. It still makes her a little insecure. Her version of Norah Jones' "Turn Me On" was okay, but the judges were won over when she forget the lyrics and yelled "OH SH!!" I won't lie, it was a good time. Randy called it a good ice breaker and they let her through to Hollywood!
- Jason Stone - 25 - from Miami, Florida - Jason was the first to face only the 3 judges (no Kristen on Day 2). He sang 2 songs. First he beatboxed his way through The Beatles' "Come Together" and while Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Doofus were bouncing along enjoying it, I was with Simon asking "how is this relevant?" Sure, Blake Lewis made it all the way to the final 2 of season 6 in a lackluster season, but he actually had a decent singing voice too. When Jason sang "Ain't No Sunshine," it was okay, but it wasn't anything chill inducing! And then he compared himself to Blake saying that Blake never tried the SIMULTANEOUS Singing/Beat-boxing. Um...WHAT? The moral of this story? If Kara wasn't a judge, this guy wouldn't be going through. Paula would not have fought for this guy. And Randy is such a ridiculous pushover he'll say yes if a female wants the contestant in. Yes, in the long run it doesn't matter, but this guy should NOT be getting a free trip to Hollywood for THAT audition!
- We then saw a clip of 3 girls difficult to come up with any critique for them:
Jannell Wheeler Tampa - 24 - Sang "House of the Rising Sun" and got through.
Brittan Starr James - 23 - from Coral Springs, Florida. She had curly hair with highlights and sang some song about taking her to New York and wanting to see L.A. (too lazy to look it up!) She's in too.
Kasi Bedford - 19 - from Seminole, Florida - Sang "Something to Talk About" - Judges liked her rasp and thought she was cute. Here is where Randy channeled Paula with words like "Infectious" and "Bubbly" - She's in. I have no opinion at this time!
- Cornelius Edwards - 24 - Boynton Beach, Florida - He learned dance moves from his "Adult Entertainer" friends. Oh boy. This guy pretty much got his golden ticket for doing a split and landing on his jewels for 30 million to see. But, even though it was in the preview, I still laughed when he said "My Pants Done Ripped!" And boy did they RIP! That was nuts. His voice was okay on "Proud Mary" which he called Tina Turner's "Rollin" REALLY?? This isn't Limp Bizkit! But, yeah I'll give him a pass for his BIG MOVE. That was highly entertaining!
- Then there was the DiSimone Sisters from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Should I even tell you that I grew up like 20 minutes from there? This is another SALON family where their mother runs shop in the house. They were very creepy sisters that make up songs about loving each other on the spot. And they're too supportive of each other. Really neither of them were that great, but I actually liked them in the opposite order that Simon Did. I thought the younger sister was better. But not much!
Bernadette - 27 - Sang "Hit the Road Jack" - Talk about cabaret. Maybe I don't know what Simon means when he says it (even though his support for Adam Lambert last year nullified anything he's ever said about cabaret before!). This was just a bizarre performance and seemed like it should be on a cruise ship in the 50's or something ridiculous like that!
Amanda - 23 - Sang Whitney's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" with older sister nodding and dancing along. Just WEIRD. So at least Amanda went 80's on us. But she also changed the key of the song midway through. (and not the part where there actually is supposed to be a key change in the song!) Worst question of the day. Kara - "Are you from JERSEY???" Ummm Kara, seriously? You have their audition paperwork right in front of you!!! How psychic are you!?
Anyway, they're both heading to Hollywood, but I can't see us seeing them much longer!
- Matthew Lawrence - 25 - from Stark Florida - So here's the man everyone will be talking about. He has had a troubled past. Spent some time behind bars after robbing a bank with a B.B. Gun. But 10 years later, he looks to be reformed and working hard for his dad at his trucking company. But, he wants to make his family smile after he's given them so many problems. I think the story definitely helped his audition piece. Because without it, it's just another guy singing. But you can't help but get sucked into it. It didn't hurt that he picked an AWESOME song in Ray LaMontagne's "Trouble" (sung by Chris Sligh and Taylor Hicks in previous seasons). If you want to see his audition clip, check out my other post here. Kara is calling for Matt to be in the top 12. I can definitely see it. Matt is already developing a fanbase to take him to number 1. Are you a believer!? I'm going to wait, as always!
The Bad Ones
- Theo Glinton - The Glitter God with Feathers on his Face and a Cape. He screamed Pat Benatar's "Heartbreaker". The ironic thing was that he actually could carry a tune. But Simon said it best, "When you walked in like that, I mentally said no." How could you not? He looked ridiculous! And the theme continued as Theo wants to open up a corporate salon. Good Luck Theo because Showbiz ain't happening. Even if you are "THUPER at everything you do!"
- Jared Norell - 28 - Gave it up to God and sang "Amazing Grace". Now, you never know how serious these people are, but he told the judges he honestly thought he was good and went on to give a screeching and very not pleasing audition. I likened it to Eric Cartman from South Park. Of course, the big thing was that he refused to leave and then security AND the police had to come in and take him out in cuffs. REALLY?! REALLY???? I find it really hard to believe that the man needed to be cuffed. That was kind of over-dramatic even for American Idol! But I still got a laugh when there was a long pause and an empty audition room and Simon said "So is that a Yes or a No?" Even though, I'm sure half of the joke was created in the editing room!
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