"Pants on the ground, Pants on the ground, Looking like a fool with your pants on the ground! With the gold in your mouth and your hat turned sideways, PANTS ON THE GROUND!!!" I hate to say it America, but I actually enjoyed the auditions tonight in HOTLANTA! 2 original compositions by contestants that will have us singing for days and probably have places reserved for them at the finale. No, not to compete, but to cash in on their 15 minutes! But, aside from the crazy songs that people will be remembering until next week, the talent was actually pretty good too! Let's not waste any more time with our pants on the ground, let's get down to business!
Guest judge for Atlanta was the one, the only Mary J. Blige. I gotta say, I wasn't too impressed with her critiques that aired. And for the most part, she was trying to hold back the laughter. Yes Randy, Paula and Simon always had their laughing fits, but for the most part they kept it under control. Mary would just blurt out things during the auditions. Very respectful Miss Diva. Anyway, she's done her stint, it's over. Let's see who made it in and who didn't quite hit the mark!
- Keia Johnson - 26 - From Memphis, TN She lost Miss America, but was awarded Miss Congeniality. So, apparently she has a good personality. Okay, does that mean she's a good singer? Well the judges thought so. I thought she butchered a song that no one ever needs to sing again, "My Heart Will Go On". Yes, she can sing and was in key in everything. But what was with all of the runs at the end of each phrase? Why didn't the judges call her out on doing too much "look at me world, I'm SINGING and I'm GOOOOD" with her voice!? Maybe I'm being too hard on her. I guess we'll see how it goes!
- Like last night, we got a glimpse of 3 girls getting in:
Miriam Lemnouni - 25 - Atlanta - She sang Miley Cyrus's "The Climb" and actually showed what the song could sound like for someone with a voice! I thought she was really good from the few seconds we heard.
- Noel Reese - 16 - North Carolina - She sang Whitney Houston, floored the judges. 16 years old singing Whitney? Hmmm something not adding up here. I'll reserve judgement until I hear more!
- Tisha Holland - 18 - Riverdale, GA - Another one the judges just ate up. All I saw was some girl snapping her fingers and singing a lot of big notes. But sometimes the judges just love that stuff! Then again, it was just a quick clip of her, so maybe I missed how she was the "best they heard so far" (most overused phrase in the American Idol auditions!)
- Jermaine Sellers - 26 - Joliet, Ilinois - We found out that his mother has spinal bifida and he's been taking care of her while singing at the church. And probably no irony to the fact that he sang a pop song with a reverent theme, Joan Osbourne's "One of Us" I love that song, and Jermaine did a great job with it. I just hope he doesn't turn into one of those inspirational singers we have seen so much of these past couple seasons. (David "the artichoke" Archuleta comes to mind first, of course!)
- Vanessa Wolf - 19 - Vonore, TN - Vanessa was the surprise of the night. She was from a very small town in Tennessee to which it seems she has not left many times. She likes jumping off bridges (the higher the better! "100% pure beef!") She got the dress she was wearing for 4 dollars and 50 cents. It was very difficult to understand what she was saying half of the time, but when she got to her singing "Wagon Wheel" by Old Crow Medicine Show, man she sounded good! The judges fear for her ability to get over her nervousness so that Hollywood doesn't eat her alive. She definitely said "Are you CEREAL?" when they told her she was going to Hollywood. But when she finally realized that her dream was coming true, well you just can't fake the raw emotion she was showing. And I think all of America was crying tears of joy for her! Best lines of the audition: her mom at the bottom of the elevator "instead of butterflies I got frogs!!" - referring to how nervous she was for her daughter. Vanessa "I get to fly on the AERO Plane? They got peanuts right?" Ahh good times!
- Holly Harden - 20 - Georgia - And who could forget Guitar Girl? Usually the gimmicks will get you into the audition room, but she actually brought some talent with her too. And how about Atlanta giving us some bona fide Country contestants this year? She promised to lose the guitar outfit (and probably didn't pick up on the innuendo Simon was suggesting with his raised eyebrows) and everything is cool. Send her to the next round!
- Mallorie Haley - 22 - Winter, South Dakota - And the country belles just keep coming in and knocking them out of the park. She sang Faith Hill's version of "Piece of My Heart" The judges loved her. And she definitely has the star image. She should do well enough to get to the live shows, then it's up to America!
- Antonio Skiibo Ski - 22 - Orlando, Florida - I'm not even going to try and explain this guy. Because he made no sense! He talked about being everything you ever wanted from a dollar store and only costing a dollar. What does that MEAN? But he did end up having somewhat of a voice. I agreed with Simon and would have sent him packing. But the tweedle dums sent him on to Hollywood. Maybe he'll lose the act and I'll be able to take him more seriously!
- Then there was Carmen and Lauren the best friends. You know whenever they do this that one is going to Hollywood and the other wasn't. Again, I was with Simon on sending them both home.
Lauren Sanders had a soft voice and I don't remember what she sang. It wasn't good.
Carmen Turner - 19 - sang Kelly Clarkson's "Where is Your Heart?" and she could carry the tune, but the high note just wasn't there. It was cringe-inducing, actually! She won't be lasting very long in Hollywood!
- Bryan Walker - 25 - Tennessee Police officer - Well this is a first, America! Bryan is the first audition to only face ONE of the 3 original judges. Simon went out for a break so Randy was there to judge this guy with Kara and Mary J. Fortunately, for them. He made it easy. While I won't support whatever he was doing with the hair he had left on his head, he sure could sing that "Superstar"! This guy just SEEMS like someone who would make the top 12. Not win, but be in that top 12. But America has to vote him there, and then the stylists have to do something with that look!
There was the TV Show Host/Producer who just thought she was going to sail right through (the show having 411 in the title just made it too easy to go to the 911 line for the judges!), there was the guy that almost died 3 times (what was up with the awful dramatizations?), there was the guy who thought Britney Spears changed his life. But there were 3 auditions of the non-Hollywood clan that we will remember from tonight!
- Dewone Robinson - 27 - Oh Dewone, the first audition of the day. They were building him up like there was no way he could be bad (supposedly his uncle discovered Gladys Knight and the Pips) Classic Idol, we knew he'd be bad. But how AWESOMELY bad was he? He was the other man with the original composition (my bad he actually said "it's one I come up with"). When pressed to give a name to his song he dubbed it "Lady We're Not Together Anymore" And then he went on to sing an intentional one man duet "LAAATEY! It's over!!" in a high pitch voice. Then the woman voice was the very low voice "BABY, I know it's overrrrr!" That may have not been verbatim but I was rolling on the floor. I truly hope this man is allowed to come back to the finale and sing this again with a backing band!
- Lamar Royal - The man who loved Mary J. Blige until she laughed in his face. And then he turned into an obscenity spouting laugh riot! The man just didn't want to hear any helpful criticism the judges had for him. He just kept singing or cursing at them. I wonder how that all would have went down if Simon were there!
- General Larry Platt - 62 years old - We already knew he didn't meet the age requirements. But if you haven't learned the words to "Pants on the Ground" yet you're missing out! This guy created an anthem for all of those fools out there with the gold in their mouth and their hats turned sideways, and yes...they're pants on the ground! And come on! For 62, doing splits?! That was fantastic. Definitely check out the link to the video I referenced above! This guy is a sure bet to make the finale! And I really think he and William Hung need to do a duet pronto!
25 Contestants are Hollywood bound and we got to see 12 of them perform (not bad again!) Maybe I have a stomach for these auditions this year. How can I not be excited for Shania Twain joining the group in Chicago next week!? It would be even better if she announced a new album release date! (not that I listen!) I will see you next week America and until then, don't get caught with your pants on the ground!
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