American Idol 10 – San Francisco Auditions Recap Live Blog

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Simon Cowell, out on the media trail promoting X Factor, said in an interview that the few minutes he has seen of  the new season of American Idol reminded him of a snuggie or a bowl of soup.  He was being a little more than condescending in his description, but I’ve gotta say I get his point.

On one hand, I do like the warmer and fuzzier Idol. I don’t miss the mocking of contestants or the overload on bad talent. However, I think Nigel and company are overdoing it just a bit with the sob stories.

Tonight we had 3–a guy who nearly died in a car accident, a girl whose house burned down and the final story, a kid who: Lost his dad to drugs at 9, was diagnosed with Tourettes and Aspergers, got his girl pregnant, and is unemployed and so poor, he can’t buy his child diapers.

The hopeful, James Durbin, cried through his entire audition.  And I’d call him an annoying, whining crybaby, except I belive the fact that he’s a high level autistic is responsible for the behavior.

Which begs the question: Is Idol taking advantage of this poor kid? I’m no expert on autism, but from what I understand, those who have it don’t socialize very easily. I have to wonder if a kid like James can handle the stress of Idol.  Like the Chris Medina backstory from a few weeks ago, I think the segment was overkill.  Not to mention the buildup that never really payed off in vocal talent.  James has some raw talent, but he’s got no control or finesse.  There was a lot of LOUD SINGING and a go at some unfortunate vocal gymnastics. Eh. No.

I’m really glad the auditions are over.  Let’s get on with Hollywood. Let’s get on with some SINGING and leave the rest on the cutting room floor.

My favorites tonight were the trios of singers we saw very little of.   Really liked those three nameless girls near the end of the episode.  I also really enjoyed Brittany Mazur, Laura Johnston and Matthew Nuss.  And there was something about Clint Jun Gamboa’s warm, soulful voice that I really liked.

The judges went ga ga over Julie Zorrilla, but I found her vocals just ok and her performance style affected.  She didn’t do much for me–she reminded me of a pageant kid.

So peeps, who were your favorites? And are you as sick of the backstories as I am?

Videos and Live blog after the JUMP…

American Idol 10 heads to the very last audition city, San Francisco. The show will begin with some “crude British humor” and end with another mega sob story.

I’ll be live-blogging the hour-long show right here, so stick around for the fun. If you’re into chat, join the real-time convo in the chat room.

Cold opening: Tearful girl walking out of her audition, she thought she was going to be famous, but they wouldn’t let her finish her audition because…she farted. VIDEO

Ha ha ha ha ha….. Oy. Once again, pimped bit OVERSOLD.

Adam Lambert auditioned in San Francisco!

Inessa Lee – 22 – Los Angeles – Originally from the Ukraine. She came to Hollywood to be a star! She’s made a lot of music videos…including shower scenes. Eep. She’s an AMAZING choreographer. “I’m must a unique thing.” Ok, You know she’s going to suck. Her husband is Asian. Oh. She’s a belly dancer too. Yippie. “You’re so cute and precious,” says Steven, “I so hoped you had the voice to go with it.” She tries to turn on the charm. “You’re cute as a button and have a great spirit,” says Jennifer, “but it’s no.” Randy agrees. Inessa can’t believe it. Believe it girl. You cannot sing. – Part 1Part 2

Sob story preview! Looks like we’ve got two or 3 tonight. Hooray /sarcasm.

The morning talent was bombing. Just like the pooping birds. What?

Brittany Mazur – 21 – Tuscson, AZ – Nice. Raspy voice – Lara Johnston – 20 – Novato, CA – Strong throaty alto. – Matthew Nuss – 25 – Huntington Beach, CA – Good stuff. That was way too short. – VIDEO

Stefano Langone – 21 – Kent, WA – “Heart it Through the Grapevine” – Stefano was in an accident May 28 2009. (When I saw the cuts in the teaser, I thought he was a cutter or a suicide survivor. I’m glad it was neither.) His parents say when the medics pulled up they thought he was dead. But he got up on his feet in less than 4 months, even thought the docs said he’d never be the same. Dude’s got a strong, soulful vibe. “I liked that,” says Randy. “You have real star quality, movie star good looks, your voice has a nice tone to it,” says Jennifer. “You survived that accident for a reason,” says Steven, “Because you’re going to Hollywood!” Oh, I’m sure that’s the reason why he didn’t die. Eeep. – Part 1Part 2

Clint Jun Gamboa – 26 – Long Beach, CA – “Billionaire” – Dude’s a karaoke host. Perfect. We see shots of him working at the club. He’s got to be decent if they went to all that trouble. June bug in the house! OMG this guy’s music was used in the cult movie “The Room”. He’s got a very warm, soulful tone. He’s got that Bruno Mars vibe going on. It’s 3 yeses and Clint moves on to Hollywood. – VIDEO

A montage of really really terrible singers is next.

Drew Beaumier – 24 – Fountain Valley, CA – “Born to Be Wild” Holy sh*t. Dude is literally dressed as a transformer. First he’s a car. Then a monster. He built it himself. He says it’s how people we get around in 10 years. Yeah, and they said we’d have flying cars by the year 2000! Of course. He sucks. But the outfit was pretty clever. – VIDEO

Oh, so the girls in San Francisco have star power! We hear a couple of talented, unnamed  hopefuls. – VIDEO

Julie Zorrilla – 20 – Los Angeles -  “Summertime” – She’s from Columbia. Oh. They’re rich Columbians. So they left everything behind to escape war and violence. She’s got a good voice, but she’s a tad affected. “Fabulous, beautiful, great star quality, and I like your shoes,” says Steven. Boss Randy tries to move it along, but Steven isn’t done yet! Once Steven finishes it’s Jlo’s turn. “I liked it too. You have confidence,” says Jennifer. Randy namechecks Fantasia, but not unfavorably. He says she made some interesting vocal choices. Jennifer predicts she could win. That means she won’t. – Part1Part2

Dave Combs – 25 – San Francisco – “Oh Darling” – “What happened? I thought you were going to represent. You were so far off the melody it was like another planet.” Guy begs for another chance. Steven says NO. – VIDEO

“Dude did you hit your head on the way in?”

“Do you have handcuffs” he asks a girl dressed sorta like a cop. “You ought to be arrested for that voice.”

Steven is being so mean! – VIDEO

Emily Anne Reed – 26 – Arlington, VA – Last week this chick’s house burned down. They’ve got footage and everything! American Idol could change her life! By giving her a music career! And maybe a new house. Nevertheless, she has one of those quirky little jazz voices, sorta like Madeleine Peyroux. “You have a specific and unique tone,” says Steven, “I liked your old timey voice but your melody had a lot to be desired. You’re not ready yet.” Randy disagrees and says yes. “You have more of the singer-songwriter vibe, which Idol has had the past couple of years,” says Jennifer. In other words YOU DON’T STAND A FREAKING CHANCE. But she says yes anyway. Steven asks her to pick up her guitar and she sings some more. When she does, Steven and Jennifer are finally impressed. – Part1Part2

People came to San Francisco from ALL OVER THE WORLD.

James Durbin – 21 – Santa Cruz – Oh jeez. Here’s the litany of bad news: His dad died of a drug overdose when he was 9. He’s crying. He never got a chance to no him. He was on medication for a sleep disorder. He was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome and Asperger’s. He met a girl! An Angel! But then oh noes. She got pregnant. More crying. He’s living in a tiny apartment, he can’t afford diapers! Whaaaaaaa. Maybe he’ll start involuntarily swearing in front of the judges. That would be entertaining. But he doesn’t He’s got a strong, LOUD LOUD LOUD voice. Sorta like Adam Lambert, but without any of the glam one’s finesse. He asks to sing “Dream On”. Steven seems to be digging it. But really dude YOU DON’T NEED TO YELL. He starts crying some more. “You go away when you sing,” says Jennifer, “You sing from a really different place.” “That was over the top,” says Steven. Yep. “It was so so good.” Well… More crying. The judges say yes. I understand the guy has some medical issues, which accounts for the non-stop crying and such. But still. That whole segment was just way over the top. Too much producers. TOO MUCH. – Part1Part2

Well the auditions are over. Let’s see a little re-cap of what we’ve seen so far. PIMP PIMP PIMP.

HOLLYWOOD BEGINS TOMORROW. HOOOOORAYYYYY.

 
  • stewardone1

    i’m sorry does anyone have a link i coud borrow?

  • HermeticallySealed

    If that was supposed to be the crude “British” humor, they failed. Sorry, I love me some UK comedy, but that wasn’t it.

  • will

    She’s a mail-order bride!

  • tripp_ncwy

    Ukraine has to go.

  • will

    WOW. I think the guy showing his scars from his suicide attempt is a new low for this show.

  • gangreen29

    WOW. I think the guy showing his scars from his suicide attempt is a new low for this show.

    Those scars aren’t from a suicide attempt.

  • october

    nvm

  • Ratna12
  • partyintheusa

    Adam Lambert auditioned in San Francisco!

    As did Kat McPhee! :)

  • will

    OK, apologies, it wasn’t a suicide attempt. Looked like it though!

  • Valentin432

    Heh, he looks more like the costar in those mafia movies than the main star. His voice was very breathy for my taste.

  • pattycake

    Oh for the love of God, now we are viewing accident reenactments. Call 1-800- askgary. Dont call American Idol.

  • pattycake

    Adam Lambert auditioned in San Francisco!

    Will the pimping ever end! PLEASE!

  • johanna

    Looks like its going to be Gloom and Doom Idol tonight, Its going to be a sop story competition instead of a singing competition. I know it is sad for the people that had to live through this ordeals but I don’t think that this is appropriate for a show like AI.

  • CindyM

    pattycake:
    02/09/2011 at 8:18 pm

    Adam Lambert auditioned in San Francisco!

    Will the pimping ever end! PLEASE!

    Please, they’ve talked about where prior contestants have auditioned before. It’s not some special case now.

  • JudyL

    OK, apologies, it wasn’t a suicide attempt. Looked like it though!

    No apology necessary and it wasn’t a ‘weird’ assumption. That is exactly what I thought and Idol is certainly not above using suicide in a sob story. I don’t know if I’ll be able to even watch what apparently is going to be the sob story to end all sob stories to close the show tonight.

  • will

    Janellias @votefortheworst I think all of our wrists are gonna look like this kid’s after having to sit through a night of sob stories. 7 minutes ago via web

  • gangreen29

    No apology necessary and it wasn’t a ‘weird’ assumption. That is exactly what I thought and Idol is certainly not above using suicide in a sob story.

    Those scars looked nothing like a suicide attempt.

  • Miss Blue

    I like this junebug kid. Lots of personality, seems really fun.

  • Valentin432

    It’s strange, based on the preview I thought I would like Stefano more than Jun, but it’s the contrary.

  • MNCyn

    I don’t understand why they let so many nutty people audition on tv?! Can someone please explain that?

  • Valentin432

    Perfect song choice lol

  • s0x_prisoner

    LOL that Transformers costume is awesome

  • pattycake

    Will someone tell Jlo that her hair must stay the same to make edits invisable on TV. Does her stylist come in before each contestant enters the room?

  • partyintheusa

    Sob stories are nothing new for Idol. It has been their MO for the past decade. Why does everyone act like this is something new?

  • Ratna12

    LOL that Transformers costume is awesome

    Yes. I don’t think his voice was that bad, probably hard to sing not standing up straight inside that costume. He’ll probably make more money building stuff.

  • will

    Sob stories are nothing new for Idol. It has been their MO for the past decade.

    It wasn’t anything like it is now in the beginning. If memory serves.

  • will

    Another war refugee.

  • kcostell

    Sob stories are nothing new for Idol. It has been their MO for the past decade. Why does everyone act like this is something new?

    They seem to really be pushing every single one of them this year though.

    A good reality check would be to count the number of “sob story” contestants in the top 20, and compare it to the number in the top 24 last year. The feeling I got in the past was that (with one or two exceptions each year) the sob stories were an audition-only thing. This year I’m not so sure…

  • gangreen29

    <3 Julie <3

  • Valentin432

    Julia has serious potential. She’s one of the few I could see being the next american idol

  • Trina

    Julie was awesome.

  • Ratna12

    What did JLo say ? Winner ?
    That girl will get major pimp. She has the looks also, very pretty.

  • s0x_prisoner

    Julie – great voice, and I love her dress.

  • gangreen29

    A good reality check would be to count the number of “sob story” contestants in the top 20, and compare it to the number in the top 24 last year. The feeling I got in the past was that (with one or two exceptions each year) the sob stories were an audition-only thing.

    Danny Gokey, Scott McIntyre, Lil Rounds, Megan Joy. 4 of the season 8 top 10. ETA also arguably Sarver.

  • tinawina

    I liked Lara Johnston’s voice. Eh on Fake!Bruno. We have one already. Thumbs up on Julie.

  • phil25

    I liked Stefano best so far tonight.

  • will

    OMG make Minnie Mouse stop! Please don’t put her through!

  • Ratna12

    Steven, noooo.
    Don’t play the guitar .

  • will

    Minnie’s second song was more tolerable, but that voice is extremely grating to me.

  • pattycake

    I’m glad she got her guitar out of the house that burned down last week.

  • Valentin432

    I loved her, and Regina Spektor in the background was cool too.

  • phil25

    I liked the last girl. She has a really good, distinctive voice.

  • will

    Vote for the Worst just tweeted calling her “Minnie Mouse,” great minds think alike, I said it first!

  • tripp_ncwy

    OMG make Minnie Mouse stop! Please don’t put her through!

    Micro Mouse made it through. What happend to looking for a “Star”? Singer-songwriters are the ones Nigel does not want.

  • jpfan

    It’s a shame they can’t find one war refugee who was in a car accident with their bf who got brain damaged. That would really be their ideal candidate this year.

    So far the ones they sent through are OK. Nothing amazing or anything.
    Maybe Simon will scoop up all the big voices for the X Factor.

  • will

    THIS IS THE SOB STORY TO BEAT ALL SOB STORIES!

    JudyL you called it correctly.

  • Miss Blue

    Could have easily lived without the back story, but this kid is good.

  • will

    Okay he’s talented, but I just don’t think I’ll be able to tolerate him for long. It’s all JUST. TOO. MUCH.

  • pattycake

    OMG that is 10 seasons worth of sob stories with one contestant with a David Cook haircut. Maybe he needs a telethon instead of a reality show.

  • jpfan

    A Telethon is a GREAT idea. They could have 800 numbers so you could donate to the individual or to a specific charity. I think they should eliminate the singing though and limit the show entirely to sob stories.

  • Trina

    Sob story or no he can saaaaang!

    It was nice to hear Dream On not mangled!

  • koshka

    If that dude was last who were all those people sitting in the room?

  • gangreen29

    Julie is who they want to win. I called it last week. She plays the piano and guitar, writes her own pop songs, and is a demographic they have never had win.

  • Soberba

    The last guy is a good singer, but he came off as such a cry-baby. Geez!!!

    Bring on Hollywood week!

  • soccerboi

    Hmmm James’ voice reminded me of Adam a bit. I think I have found who I am rooting for this year.

  • jpfan

    I still think the guy who wheeled in his brain damaged gf pwns the Tourettes guy. JMHO. I’m talking sob stories of course.

    It’ll be close but everytime this dude cries the other guy can just wheel in the gf and that’ll seal the deal.

  • partyintheusa

    This sucks. No way in hell can a girl win this year because the guys have the most punch with their sob stories. No girl will be able to compete with that!

  • lili_anne7

    Maybe he needs a telethon instead of a reality show

    LOL, exactly what I was thinking! We know his whole life story now. He reminded me of Adam Lambert, but came across a bit annoying. He literally cried during his whole audition, it was kind of ridiculous.

  • HappyDaisy

    LOL at jpfan, 9:04 and partyintehusa, 9:05!!! Sad but true.

  • HappyDaisy

    Honestly, that guy was no Adam Lambert.

  • tinawina

    The last guy did the Cookie crying thing x200, the Danny Gokey sob story thing, and the Adam Lambert rangy screaming thing all in one. He’s like the Idol-uber contestant, created in Nigel’s super seekrit lab. He’s unstoppable.

    On another note… I got a kick out of mean Tyler.

  • HappyDaisy

    MJ: He’s living in a tiny apartment, he can’t afford diapers!

    The best thing Idol could do for the last guy is to help him find employment — now — so that his poor baby doesn’t have to live in stinky diapers.

  • desiree_chick

    Me too, loved mean Tyler. He was jokes tonight.

  • blmetsfan

    Does anyone know how it works? Do the producers initially ask for the sob stories then for them to sing, or is it the other way around?

  • http://mjsbigblog.com/luvadamlamberts-american-idol-tour-2009-washington-dc-re-cap.htm luvadamlambert

    Tourertte’s guy was sad and rrly good…not even close to bb tho
    I liked the voice on the girl with the guitar…kinda like a female Jason mraz…but I didnt like how they portrayed her as a country girl when Arlington va is soooo not…its like so close to dc and stuff just no…i’ve been there quite often so it’s cool someone’s auditioning from there
    I wish the episode was 2 hrs long
    Not impressed by the other sob stories I kinda was by tourette’s guy-ish–I thought the others were just tying too hard I don’t rely care what happened to that’s girl’s parents
    Good talent overall.well done idol.

    And hahaha I NEVER thought I would hear mj,of all people,say the glam one :P jk

  • soccerboi

    Does anyone know how it works? Do the producers initially ask for the sob stories then for them to sing, or is it the other way around?

    Good question. But it would have to be sing first.

  • Miz Furball

    @jpfan Great idea! When I was a child (I’m 65) there was a daytime show called “Queen for a Day.” It was 3 women with sob stories and the audience voted by applause meter. The “Queen” usually got something appropriate to her sob story, plus a washer and dryer, and costume jewelry and other things.

  • lili_anne7

    Seems like people on twitter are debating whether the tourette’s guy is an Adam Lambert 2.0

  • gangreen29

    Mj, I foresee modding headaches in the future in response to James lol. You have my sympathies in advance.

  • http://crystalfans.com/ Zsus

    He literally cried during his whole audition, it was kind of ridiculous.

    He has asperger’s syndrome, which accounts for the emotional immaturity and inability to control his emotions. Even with pimping, that’s going to be a liability as it will get on people’s nerves quickly. He definitely has a set of pipes on him, but I’ll be interested to see what sort of performing skills he has.

    I just didn’t see a lot of star quality, tonight. Julie is very pretty and sings on pitch. Stefano, or whatever his name was, is cute and should get the girl vote. But, honestly, I just wasn’t feeling it.

  • tinawina

    Mj, I foresee modding headaches in the future in response to James lol. You have my sympathies in advance.

    Sheeeeiiiit, I feel sorry for James too. For all of us really. Hold me. :D

  • MaryS-NJ

    *
    pattycake:
    02/09/2011 at 8:57 pm

    OMG that is 10 seasons worth of sob stories with one contestant with a David Cook haircut. Maybe he needs a telethon instead of a reality show.

    LOL!

    pfan:
    02/09/2011 at 9:04 pm

    I still think the guy who wheeled in his brain damaged gf pwns the Tourettes guy. JMHO. I’m talking sob stories of course.

    It’ll be close but everytime this dude cries the other guy can just wheel in the gf and that’ll seal the deal.

    LOL!

    tinawina:
    02/09/2011 at 9:14 pm

    The last guy did the Cookie crying thing x200, the Danny Gokey sob story thing, and the Adam Lambert rangy screaming thing all in one. He’s like the Idol-uber contestant, created in Nigel’s super seekrit lab. He’s unstoppable.

    LOL!

    Didn’t get to see the episode, but the comments here are a thing of beauty. Nigel and his love of over the top sobbery and fart humor. Never change Nigel.

    I wonder if James Durbin was brought in as a foil to Chris getting too much milage out of the disabled fiance… like a sob story stalemate.

  • karenc

    Though I thought there were some interesting stories, I didn’t really think anyone tonight had a voice I really liked. I didn’t think James Durbin sounded like Adam at all, he had a range, but it didn’t sound like Adam, he didn’t have the vocal control, and didn’t have the star quality that I saw in Adam during his audition. He actually reminded me more of Von Scott than anyone else.

  • JudyL

    On another note… I got a kick out of mean Tyler.

    Me too. Unlike Simon, he doesn’t do mean just for the sake of making a clever comment. I really like Steven. Hope we are not seeing to much editing and Steven will still be this entertaining when they go live.

    I like Emily ‘Minnie’ Reed a lot which surprises me because when she starting singing I thought of Megan Joy and I could never see the appeal of quirky Megan Joy. I was glad the judges liked her. But her house fire falls way short of winning the the Season 10 Sob Story contest.

  • Incipit

    OK, I’m just reading the posts, and that’s quite enough. Watching a ghoulish rerun of Bones in preference to the Via Dolorosa here- and this is actually sounding worse. Hope they are finally finished, and people “Just Shut Up and Sing”, (tm WNTS) soonest. Also hope I never have to hear a single word about this going forward…since I skipped the auditions on purpose to avoid the fodder and the loaded dice.

    And I also concur with that “did it really used to be this full of bathos?” I’m wracking my memory for Season7 auditions – I can only recall a contestant whose father had just died, a paralyzed vocal cord, and a barrel horse. Chump change on the sadness scale, obviously.

    Miz Furball, my Mom loved that show. I may have developed immunity by osmosis to the manipulation, just by being in the same room when she was watching. Geebus.

  • Elliegrll

    The last guy’s sob story was weak. I was totally prepared to be moved, and even though he’s had issues, his problems weren’t as big as any other contestant’s. He tried out in season 8, so it’s easy to assume that he tried to fashion some sob story that would get him through to the next round this time. Worse of all, he didn’t even sing. All he did was show some vocal gymnastics, so why did AI try to make it sound like he has a good voice. He was already on my bad side for making it seem like his youtube videos were recordings of the original artists, so that they would pop up in searches, I hate when people do that.

  • gangreen29

    And I also concur with that “did it really used to be this full of bathos?” I’m wracking my memory for Season7 auditions – I can only recall a contestant whose father had just died, a paralyzed vocal cord, and a barrel horse. Chump change on the sadness scale, obviously.

    David A and Asia’h's sob stories were pimped pretty hard. There was Josiah too, Carly with her visa problems, Syesha with her father’s addictions. Those are just people who made it pretty far too.

  • gangreen29

    He tried out in season 8, so it’s easy to assume that he tried to fashion some sob story that would get him through to the next round this time.

    I don’t think he made up his dead dad or Tourettes….

  • webster

    the guy who wheeled in his brain

    Everytime I see this phrase, I somehow quit reading the rest of the sentence because I think we’ve finally landed on the far side of the shark with our ultimate Idol sob- story: the guy who wheeled in his brain. How can you not vote for a guy with that kind of load to cart around?

  • Silent Screams

    Durbin has a great voice, but the endless crying and whining really got on my nerves. They didn’t do him any favors with that segment.

  • Elliegrll

    I don’t think he made up his dead dad or Tourettes….

    I’m not saying that he made them up, just that he, or the producers, were laying it on pretty thick. The same thing happened last year with Justin Williams, who tried out in season 8 too, but back then we didn’t get the story about how he is a cancer survivor, or whatever it was. It’s a true story, but the purpose was more about trying to get airtime.

  • Miss Blue

    When I was a child (I’m 65) there was a daytime show called “Queen for a Day.

    My aunt actually won on that show. Her parents had died, she was the oldest of four sisters at only age 18 and raised her younger sisters by herself. She got a TON of stuff. Basically an entire household, plus a mink coat and jewelry, plus cash.

  • CindyM

    Just finished watching, there were some good singers tonight! I’ve definitely seem more singers that I like from this season’s auditions than last seasons. Now let’s get some diversity out of the Hollywood rounds!

  • chessguy99

    Julie is who they want to win. I called it last week. She plays the piano and guitar, writes her own pop songs, and is a demographic they have never had win.

    I agree. Her EP from a couple years ago is pretty good for a high schooler. I put her as one of the last two girls standing this season. Hopefully it in the fianle, as that seems the only way they are going to get the girl winner they need.

  • Kirkee

    MJ – your James Durbin description above made me laugh my ass off! Bravo.

  • Incipit

    David A and Asia’h’s sob stories were pimped pretty hard. There was Josiah too, Carly with her visa problems, Syesha with her father’s addictions.

    Those are all small potatoes behind this set, except for Asia’h's dad. OK, the vocal cord and KLC’s barrel horse kept coming up, but Asia’h's story was redundant the minute she was cut, so was Josiah, and I don’t recall knowing anything about Syesha’s dad till almost the end of the show. She was more concerned with losing her voice. Hell, they were all sick w/something in the beginning and it got scant mention- David Cook had bronchitis for “All Right Now”. Carly’s visa came up early and was dropped, her sob story every week on the show was how Simon didn’t like her, or her clothes, or her voice, or her song choices, and couldn’t remember her name. *snerk*

    There is definitely a tabloid feel to these auditions.

  • sonyab

    The people I love tonight are

    Stefano Langone

    Julie Zorrilla

    James Durbin

    Comments:

    The judges didn’t let this one girl sing the rest of the song because she farted? WHAT?! ROFL!

  • gangreen29

    and I don’t recall knowing anything about Syesha’s dad till almost the end of the show.

    She mentioned it in her audition package.

    I already have several favorites (John Wayne, Karen, Rachel, Julie, Lauren, Naima, Jackie, Jerome), I can’t wait to see them in Hollywood!

  • Grammie Kari

    I don’t know much about autism or specifically Asperger Syndrome,, but I do know life is not easy. I admire James Durbin for managing a disease for which there is no cure. I think he did an awesome job.

  • dishwalla

    No way in hell can a girl win this year because the guys have the most punch with their sob stories. No girl will be able to compete with that!

    Actually when you think about it, Crystal had more of a life hard knocks story than Lee. She was the young single mom, diabetic from a poorer upbringing (than Lee) who was a street musician.

    The problem goes back to the fact that the AI audience comprises of more women, who will tend to vote for the all American boy next door type. That’s why the same person won Idol 3 years in a row.

  • jammasta

    James Durbin just might be the one I was looking for. Just like Brett Loewenstern, hated them at first, love them now. I kinda hate that mohawk and the fact that we have the same first name will quite possibly lead to some weird situations with my American Idol loving family. He seems like a great soul, too. Don’t know why, I just feel a good soul emanating from him. His first song was much better than Dream On, though.

    Honestly, it’s another guys year to me. The only girl I remember is Lauren Alaina Suddeth, and she’s amazing.

  • platoken

    Honestly, it’s another guys year to me.

    I disagree. The girls have been stronger so far. I think it seems like its a guys year because of the stories. They have had more.

  • Grammie Kari

    When the contestants show up to audition, they are given a number and an information form. The last question on the form is, “Is there anything interesting about you that we should know.” (Or something like that.) Then there is a personal interview where the contestant is asked to expand on their response. Notes are added to the form.

    I wish someone with Asperger Syndrome would give us their opinion of James’ interview and performance. For me, he is in the TOP 3 of male voices seen in the audition segments.

  • CindyM

    Do the really heavily featured sob storied people ever win the show though?? I think it helps them get into the top 10, maybe top 5, but after that, I don’t remember many sob stories getting that far and winning the show.

    I’ve liked several of the female contestants, I hope they get to go far this year.

  • SybilTrelawney

    I didn’t see much of James’ Tourette’s Syndrome. A close relative has a mild case and you have to look hard for it, but it’s there. James’ tics must be very subtle, because I couldn’t see them even when he was talking. His Asperger’s is probably a bigger challenge for him, and probably makes it difficult to control his emotions. I do think he has talent. His range is impressive, but he doesn’t have Lambert’s finesse and control. With coaching he could do well, though. I wish he’d chosen to emulate Lambert’s hair style rather than David Cook’s — and I do love me some David Cook. Anyway, I think he deserved his golden ticket.

    I wanted to like Stefano more, but he was jus awight for me for you. Julie has a great voice, but she needs to calm down with the runs. There is such a thing as too much melisma, although Randy has apparently not figured that out yet.

    Oh, and I loved Mean Steven. I especially loved it when he got pissed off at Zombie Robbie Carrico for having the audacity to claim kinship with Steven as a long haired rocker, and then sucking.

  • Jae

    jpfan:
    02/09/2011 at 9:04 pm
    I still think the guy who wheeled in his brain damaged gf pwns the Tourettes guy. JMHO. I’m talking sob stories of course.

    It’ll be close but everytime this dude cries the other guy can just wheel in the gf and that’ll seal the deal.

  • gangreen29

    Do the really heavily featured sob storied people ever win the show though?? I think it helps them get into the top 10, maybe top 5, but after that, I don’t remember many sob stories getting that far and winning the show.

    The closest would be Fantasia. James and Chris are not going to win this show. I think they will go far, James more than Chris, but the major pimping and sob stories aren’t meant to make them winning material, but to give them an achilles heel down the road in my opinion.

  • http://www.huckleberryfriendmusic.com/ huckleberryfriend

    Always wanted to hear someone sing Check E’s in Love on Idol. Emily Anne Reed just might have the chops and quirkiness to pull it off. Hope she makes top 12.

  • sartana60

    Idol fulfilled its promise, making up for lost time in San Fran. James Durbin displayed better range than voice, but he sounds better on YouTube. Combine him with Julie Zarrilla,Clint Gamboa, and Stefano Langone, and that might be one of the best foursomes we’ve seen from a single city. We didn’t see enough of Brittany Mazur to really judge her. A look a James Durbin and some of the rest.

  • sue

    The only one I really liked tonight was the Emily girl. I like her voice a lot. Durbin was good too, I have to hear more from him. The rest was just meh for me. :)

  • jammasta

    I dunno. I still remember barely any girls other than Lauren very well. They haven’t had a lasting impression on me. And even if it were the back stories that made the guys seem better, I completely forgot Chris Medina even existed, and he had the biggest back story of all.

    Maybe I just need a big refresher, but so far I still say it’s another guys’ year. Only girls I remember are Hayley (sp?) Reinhart, Naima Adedapo, and Thia Megia.

    Remembering more. Adrienne Beasley, Jacqueline Dunford, Janelle Arthur…. As much as I loved them, still thinking it’s a guys’ year. Again. Nothing against the guys, but I hope they hid some pretty damn good female voices (Not that the girls I just listed have bad voices).

  • hoosiermama

    They didn’t say how many golden tickets were given out in San Fran, did they? How many are expected in Hollywood?

    I’m going to put a post-it note in my daughter’s lunch tomorrow. :-)

  • revolution

    Julie Zorrilla has the look, and the radio ready voice to win…listen to this…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDkhX_0iMmY&feature=player_embedded#at=56

  • girlygirl

    Julie has a nice voice and personality but her Summertime was awfully breathy. Stefano was decent and the last guy was Tourette’s/Asperger’s has a lot of range but I wonder if he is going to be able to stand up to all the stress and drama involved with being on AI.

    I heard a couple of intriguing voices in the montage of girls who went through without being named. Emaily Anne’s voice is certainly unique, but I don’t don’t if I was more annoyed or intrigued by it

    But yay for the auditions being over!!!

  • jammasta

    I’m excited for tomorrow’s Idol. The first day of Hollywood is usually really good, it’s like the auditions minus the suck with just pure vocals. The second day is annoying and should probably die in a blazing fire while it goes straight to Hell because unfortunately humans love drama. The third day is like the first day with the aftertaste of the second day, but I think that’s when we find out the Top whatever, so it’s good.

    From tonight, I liked Stefano Langone, Julie Zorrilla, James Durbin, and the appearance of AT&T Park, home of the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants!

    It seems like they really toned down Steven a bit. A little unfortunate, I think.

    Oh, also, I freaking HATE those little segments of 3 good singers. Jeez. They make those singers way more difficult to remember. I only remember Brittany Mazur because she sang the song that’s been in my head all week, and she didn’t do terribly.

  • dishwalla

    My favorite was Julie Zorrilla. I just think she has the potential for star power. But her looks will probably work against her on AI. With the exception of Carrie Underwood, the female winners have been non conventional looking. And someone like Kat McPhee endured a lot of back biting. Whereas I can already see Stefano Langone being touted as this seasons’ Casey James pretty boy. And I also am not sure if James Durbin can really handle the stress and drama of being on AI. And I didn’t even think his life story was as daunting as it was made it to be.

  • abbysee

    I am so damn glad the auditions are over. I’ve been enjoying the show but I am suffering from sad sack fatigue. I understand about having someone relate, but truthfully I have a few hard luck stories in my life, but I’ll be damned if I am gonna parade around as a poster girl for misfortune. I think somehow these stories could have been handled better.

    That being said, I am not gonna hate on the contestants because the producers want to use these stories to pull at the heart strings. I can still hear, and have a way of cutting through the bullshit to get to the talent. I am sure that someone is going to wind up blowing me away. Out of all those people is gonna be someone that I will want a CD from, to see them in concert, or even on the silver screen. For all of it’s bullshit, and sleight of hand tricks idol usually delivers, so on with the show. Let’s do the damn thing!

  • tinydance

    I feel like I am watching a telethon with all those sob stories. I’m surprised they don’t have a number where you can call in to give money.

    That last guy James Durbin bugged the hell out of me with his cryin’ and carrying on. I’ve met guys like that and they irritate me. Then he was crying when he was singing…lol

    I hope he cries on the show just for the lulz.

  • Mark

    I wish someone with Asperger Syndrome would give us their opinion of James’ interview and performance. For me, he is in the TOP 3 of male voices seen in the audition segments.

    Does being straight-up autistic count? (Also have a few Asperger’s friends, worked in advocacy for a bit a couple years ago)

    One, I can kind of see the Tourette’s, because I can kinda differentiate it from the Asperger’s habits. But it’s subtle up til this point.

    In addition, it caught me he might be relatively new to learning about being on the spectrum (short for any related autism spectrum condition), solely based on his pronunciation of Asperger’s. Could be wrong; we on the spectrum don’t meet and talk much. But amongst those of us who do, it tends to be said differently.

    It strikes me he’s going to have two major challenges in front of him. First of all, discerning context. It takes a lot of experience and learning how to read specific cues to deal with people with cameras asking information, including (but not limited to) when to draw the line about giving information about yourself, and when not to open yourself. He’s going to have to have someone help him with that, I think.

    Secondly, it’s important to be able to deal with and read confusing social cues and be in control of yourself. It can be extremely frustrating to be thrust quickly into new environments without acclamation. Hopefully, he’s got a solid mental toolkit for that, and it’s all cool, but most of my spectrum friends do not and are easily confused.

    That, along with a bunch of other things I could imagine.

    Oh, as to his singing? Meh, he’s not necessarily my type of singer. Nothing on the spectrum dictates personal taste, believe me. And I have a long history of not being able to fall into solidarity with people who I’m supposed to identify with. But I hope him the best throughout.

  • Mark

    Which begs the question: Is Idol taking advantage of this poor kid?

    Eh, tough call. I’m willing to bet he’s going to tell them anything they want to hear because he doesn’t have the social awareness to know when to stop. But he seems more than capable of making decisions regarding going on the show. Still, I doubt the producers recognize that and know when pulling back will be in good taste.

  • tinydance

    Aspergers?

    More like Drama-Queenitis

    At this part of the competition/auditions a person can say they have everything under the sun to get a ticket to Hollywood.

  • songsungblue

    I can tell Julie Zorilla is going to irritate the bejesus out of me. SUPER theatrical McPhee 2.0 – The Colombian Edition. She’s totally sticking around too. Yikes. When I remember the amount of emotional connection that Fantasia imbued Summertime with and then I listen to THAT, I want to shoot the TV with paint balls. Ugh. Go away, Little Star-Pants.

    She won’t win though. She’s too polished. America likes to see improvement. Heh.

    Only one that I wanted to hear more from was Emily Anne Reed [Lily 2.0: The Talented Edition]. She’s gonna be toast in Hollywood. I’d bet my husband’s new laptop on it.

  • princessdi

    James Durbin has balls. Takes guts to put yourself out there like that when you have a disability. I have a friend with Asperger’s and yes their emotional lability sometimes requires patience, but their artistic expression of how they see the world is a such a gift if people are open to it. Rock on, James. Hold on to your dreams.

  • Miz Furball

    Although you’re right about the finesse, MJ, I didn’t hate Durbin. I think he has potential as an Adam Lambert shadow. No, I don’t expect he will be as good as Adam, but he does have a voice, good vocal range and is probably willing to learn. Hope somebody buys diapers for the baby…and hurry up with that potty training.

  • Niall

    I just watched Durbin’s videos and that guy does not have Asperger’s disorder. Those with Asperger’s often have a “Spock-like” demeanor ( loners, thinkers, less comfortable with emotional connection and often lacking the social skills to achieve it). He also lacks the vocal oddities inherent in Asperger’s. Archuleta has displayed behavior that possibly indicates Aspergers. Durbin? Not so much.

    I think he’s just an immature kid who has probably been through the mental health system his whole life and some incompetent boob somewhere decided to explain away his problems with that diagnosis. Asperger’s and Autism have classic hallmarks and he displayed NONE of them in the videos.

  • Grammie Kari

    He’s going to have to have someone help him with that, I think.

    Thank you Mark for answering my question and for sharing some personal experience. You have expressed a few of the doubts I have concerning socializing. I don’t think Idol would take the chance of sending James through unless they thought he had his disease under reasonable control. No way do I want to see him become a joke. I wonder if he will have a roommate?

    There is no way that James should be compared with Adam. Adam is probably one of the most experienced contestants to ever appear on Idol. He had polish and confidence. I hope James does well with each passing week.

    Pampers or Huggies would do well to help James and his family.

  • JMatt

    Grammie – Asperger’s is not a disease, it’s just a differently wired brain. It’s not something we have, it’s something we are. /pet peeve :)

    Mark – I find different pronunciations even among those who’ve been diagnosed for years. It surprised me at the first support group meeting I went to, but I guess people read about it first and get it in their heads a certain way.

    Niall – I am an Aspie, they call it a spectrum for a reason, we’re not all like Spock. I saw definite Aspie traits in James.

    I liked James a lot. I found a lot of the pimped contestants to be overly shouty, but not him, I just thought he had a nice big voice. (Not perfect, but not shouty to me.) And I like his personality so far, going on the little we saw tonight. Adam did not occur to me at all while I was watching him, I was really surprised so many people brought him up afterwards.

  • Niall

    No, JMatt, not all people with Asperger’s are like Spock but spectrum or not there are traits that have to be there in order to carry the diagnosis. Nothing in his demeanor is reminiscent of those I know with the disorder. If it’s so subtle as to almost be non-existent and he gets the diagnosis anyway, then Asperger’s has officially joined ADHD and Bipolar disorder in the “Overly Diagnosed” club.

  • JMatt

    Yes, the producers went overboard telling his story, but I wouldn’t put that on James himself. The crying was not being a drama queen, sometimes our tears come at weird times. He didn’t milk it, he just got through it. I find all the snarky comments about the crying harsh, but I guess I just understand where his tears come from in a way that others do not.

    As for taking advantage, etc. – we tend to be highly intelligent, and James is certainly on the higher-functioning end socially, so I wouldn’t have the same concerns as with someone who really has trouble making eye contact and conversation. That said, we do get overwhelmed, particularly in new and/or chaotic situations, and sometimes have trouble seeing the big picture. But that’s a coping thing, if he’s been diagnosed, he’s likely learned about coping skills. I don’t see a particular problem with having a roommate.

  • JMatt

    Niall – I don’t know if your experience goes beyond just knowing some people, but I’ve read a dozen books on the subject, have met many Aspies, and of course am one myself, and as I said, I saw several traits, so I have to disagree with your continued assertion that there are none there. Not to mention, that little slice is hardly enough to discount the diagnosis, there’s a lot more to it than could be displayed in those isolated situations. By the same token of course, I can’t definitively say it is the right diagnosis, but I saw clear traits. And that’s probably enough debate on that, lol, sorry mj.

  • CSFan

    I’m not a big fan of how the psychiatric community feels the need to pathologize every quirk or behavior. That’s a surefire way to keep someone infantile and stuck. Anyway, I don’t think James is impaired by much beyond his own need to garner sympathy. Being unemployed and unable to care for a child you brought into the world by accident makes me feel sorry for the kid not the adult. Plus, he was so obviously trying to ape Adam’s vocal style. He’s going to annoy me bigtime.

  • stewardone1

    jammasta….. HELL TO THE YEAH ON THAT ONE….
    AT&T park was really fine as usual, most beautiful park in the country….
    and i like langone, zorilla was pretty, but could anyone be more self absorbed? i liked the first three girls we got a quick look at.. kid in the end was aaaight… but he’s no adam…

  • soverymel

    In addition, it caught me he might be relatively new to learning about being on the spectrum (short for any related autism spectrum condition), solely based on his pronunciation of Asperger’s. Could be wrong; we on the spectrum don’t meet and talk much. But amongst those of us who do, it tends to be said differently.

    I had a coworker with Asberger’s, and he pronounced it so the first syllable sounded like the first syllable in raspberry, with that same “a” sound and almost a cross between an “s” and a “z” for the end of that first syllable. Is that how you pronounce it?

  • stewardone1

    niall,

    ummmm as for the coment about ‘an incompetent boob’ making the asperger diagnosis… im gonna say…not so much..
    HE WAS DIAGNOSED AT STANFORD MEDICAL CENTER…. got that?

    not some little hick hospital… STANFORD MEDICAL CENTER…
    i’m thinking the kid has it, and i could see that he has some involuntary movement at the end… they just didnt focus oh him long with camera when i noticed it…

    but anyway… its idol that does this whole backstory crap anyway… you know they give these kids the third degree, looking for material… AND XFACTOR IS NO DIFFERENT, SO SIMON SHOULD STFU… he used the sympathy card in his little brit show just as much… ITS JUST FILLER…
    I MEAN SERIOUSLY, HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO A TALENT SHOW? THEY ARE PRETTY MUCH SNOOZE FESTS… you got to sit thru alot of messed up stuff before you get to the good stuff…

  • Grammie Kari

    Thank you for an interesting discussion!

  • http://www.twilightslo.com Mateja

    Ugh, these forced sob stories automatically kill all my interest for the contestant.

    And James Durbin is vocally nowhere near the level of Adam Lambert.

  • iluvmychis

    I’d like to comment on James Durbin for a moment… While he might not have the best singing voice, I know how much it had to take for him to get up on that stage. My 13 year old daughter has Asperger’s Syndrome and when James came on, I saw it in him before he even mentioned it. I shed a few tears for him not because of the story of his father dying. Not because he had an amazing voice. But because I am so proud of him for finding someone to share his life with, having a child of his own, and for loving something so much that he was able to put himself out there like that and share it. Unless you have dealt with Autism and Spectrum Disorders, you have no idea how hard that is for them. The social issues that come with Asperger’s can be so overwhelming. I don’t know if he will be able to handle the pressure that would come along with the music industry but I applaud him for going out there and trying. And I made sure to share this with my daughter in hopes to boost her own confidence that Asperger’s doesn’t have to get in the way of your dreams. You can be successful at whatever you choose to be.

    The crying has a lot to do with Asperger’s. It is emotional and it is the stress of being out there in front of a lot of people. As I said, they have a hard time with that. You have to give him a lot of credit!

    And Niall, you’re wrong, I’m sorry. It is very clear that he does have it. The “oddities” are there but they don’t always present themselves the same way in every individual.

    And I will say, Idol better not be taking advantage of him….

  • Studio57

    Any disease with the brain has a wide spectrum of symptoms. It is NEVER cut and dried. My neighbor has Aspergers and he is the most social kid in the neighborhood. He likes to just drop by people’s houses and chat. And although people mostly associate Aspergers with a “flat effect” ( no emotion) it just isn’t the case.

    As for the tourettes- I could barely spot it but it looked like he does the eye blinking.

    He has a nice range but he is as much like Adam Lambert as Siobahn is. Meaning not at all. Adam had so much control over his voice. james and Siobahn not so much.

    And why haven’t the producers learned their lesson with Gokey? The sob stories only create a backlash anymore.

  • BootStar

    If the autism spectrum community gets behind James, he’s going to go very far. That is one seriously organized group of advocates. That being said, I thought he sang like a cheap imitation of Adam Lambert. Just because you can hit the notes doesn’t mean they sound good! He’s going to need a lot of vocal training to genuinely impress. And is Jimmy Iovine interested in signing a kid with that many issues?

    I, too, thought Julie Zorilla (sp?) was the clear standout in term’s of “package artists.” I haven’t read between the lines that clearly since Jordin Sparks’ audition.

  • movin2thabeet

    And I will say, Idol better not be taking advantage of him….

    I think that ship has sailed, unfortunately. I see Idol as being as manipulative, or maybe even more so, than ever. They’re using these kids challenges to boost ratings, and I have no doubt that they’ll continue to use them until these kids are wrung out and hung out to dry. Especially now, in the difficult economic times we live in, with a safety net that is more holes than net and none too reliable, that will have real painful consequences for some of these kids. I am extremely unhappy with Idols persistence on featuring hard times back stories over the music. How about letting us hear these kids and then maybe fill in some of their lives, and not just the heart breaking stuff? Just an idea.

  • Tristessa

    I adored the Emily Anne girl.

    As for Tourette’s, I have it and you learn to hide it better (for short periods of time, anyway) as an adult. What looks mild on camera may or may not be much worse in reality. I can hide mine well out in public, but it’s a huge stress and a completely different story at home. It’s often comorbid with OCD and anxiety disorders as well, which means there’s a lot of mental stuff that goes on.

    As for the James guy not having Asberger’s, I see a lot of aspie traits in him. I’ve had an aspie boyfriend and have several aspie friends, and know how difficult social interaction and handling emotions can be for them. None of them were like Spock! Good for him for getting everything together enough to go for his dream of singing, but I’m really concerned about the effects of all the stress that will be coming if he does well.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I just hope that the major backstories (Chris, James) aren’t going to be pushed hard from now on. I dislike how these backstories are used, and personally, am turned off by being persistly blundgeoned by them further in the competition. I agree with gangreen that these stories can work against contestants during the competition, and I hate that, as much as using them to promote contestants. I’m glad that Hollywood is starting today. Hoping for more focus on singing/performing ability.

  • Marie Ruffin

    James won’t make it. period. Idol doesn’t like sick performers. If you recall they tried to cancel Mamasox out when she had that diabetic relapse and she begged them to keep her on. And they cancelled out some others who had asthma, diabetes, a whole host of illnesses. Insurance is one reason and going on tour is another.

  • JudyL

    If the austism spectrum community gets behind James, he’s going to go very far. That is one seriously organized group of advocates.

    Reading these posts indicates that the James audition was very polarizing so I can’t even imagine how bad it will get if there is an organized voting effort on his behalf, assuming he is one of the finalists.

  • J9BT

    MJ: The hopeful, James Durbin, cried through his entire audition. And I’d call him an annoying, whining crybaby, except I belive the fact that he’s a high level autistic is responsible for the behavior.

    dishwalla: And I also am not sure if James Durbin can really handle the stress and drama of being on AI. And I didn’t even think his life story was as daunting as it was made it to be.

    tinydance:
    02/10/2011 at 12:42 am
    Aspergers?

    More like Drama-Queenitis

    Niall:
    02/10/2011 at 2:10 am
    I just watched Durbin’s videos and that guy does not have Asperger’s disorder. Those with Asperger’s often have a “Spock-like” demeanor ( loners, thinkers, less comfortable with emotional connection and often lacking the social skills to achieve it). He also lacks the vocal oddities inherent in Asperger’s.

    My good friend’s and neighbor’s son has this exact diagnosis, so I do have some experience with this combination of disorders (although I am not a doctor). Before the diagnosis and treatment, he was unable to function very well socially, although he was quite intelligent and got good grades in school. Presently, he is 19 years old, is quite social and confident in his abilities, holds a job (and is a reliable and efficient worker), attends college, and plays music and exercises for fun. He does have the tics (eye blinking, etc.) that have become less noticeable over time, but they are still there.

    James appeared to me to be very similar to my neighbor’s son. He did have the eye blinking tic, and didn’t seem able to quite control the tears, but he was very confident about his abilities and seems convinced that music is his destiny.

    In some ways I think the structured IDOL schedule (albeit demanding) could be a good fit for James, although I do suspect he will say whatever comes to his mind during interviews. Hopefully the producers will handle this situation tactfully, allowing his talent to shine without exploiting him.

  • Jae

    Asperger’s has officially joined ADHD and Bipolar disorder in the “Overly Diagnosed” club.

    there is a little truth to this. ASD is real and Aspergers is real but there are a lot of soft calls these days. Its sort of the “in” thing for your kid to have. I know that sounds strange but its true. I heard a child deveopment specialist remark on this. As to whether or not James has it, I agree its pretty mild. BUT I do think his reactions and behaviors are a little “off”. I think he is on the spectrum but very much on the lower end. We will see more as the show goes on. My friends 6 year has it and it was diagnosed when he was really young. But if you don’t know normal development you may not pick up on it at all. So James has the benefit of the doubt with me.

  • J9BT

    JMatt:
    02/10/2011 at 3:00 am
    Niall – I don’t know if your experience goes beyond just knowing some people, but I’ve read a dozen books on the subject, have met many Aspies, and of course am one myself, and as I said, I saw several traits, so I have to disagree with your continued assertion that there are none there.

    iluvmychis:
    The crying has a lot to do with Asperger’s. It is emotional and it is the stress of being out there in front of a lot of people. As I said, they have a hard time with that. You have to give him a lot of credit!

    Thank you for sharing your stories and putting perspective on James Durban’s audition. I certainly don’t have the experience with his disorders that both of you have, but I was impressed with his abilities and look forward to seeing him in the competition!

  • Studio57

    Okay- just youtubed James Durbin. That audition really, really doesn’t do him justice. Kid’s got some pipes. Saw some band footage and he is like a whole different performer when he has a band backing him up. He’s a keeper.

  • jammasta

    Judging by the comments here, if James gets really far, this season’s gonna be a damn NIGHTMARE.

    As much as I love Adam Lambert (I just squealed like a fangirl at him waving at me at the buses), I honestly hate feeling like I hear about him every second of every day. “OOOH GOD HE’S NO ADAM LAMBERT” “OMG I DON’T LIKE HIM BECAUSE ADAM LAMBERT HAS BETTER FEET”. This is NOT about Adam Lambert at all, it’s about James Durbin. Two TOTALLY different people who should not be compared because that just leads to anger and frustration among James fans and disappointment among non-James fans. Think about this: Every time someone compares James Durbin to Adam Lambert, somebody gets punched in the soul.

    And that doesn’t just go for Adam Lambert either (just singling him out because it seems everyone asks for him back. And I’m walking into the “Can you blame us? He’s awesome” question, and to answer that, YES, I can). The Kris/Lee/Cook comparisons to some contestants this season will also lead to some annoyance. I wonder if anyone is gonna say “Clint Jun Gamboa is no Andrew Garcia”!

    One interesting thing I noticed is James is somehow compared to Adam 2.0 and Chris Medina is compared to a Gokey 2.0, and both pairs auditioned in the same cities o_O.

    Polarizing contestants turn me into a grumpy old man at the ripe old age of 21.

    Okay- just youtubed James Durbin. That audition really, really doesn’t do him justice. Kid’s got some pipes. Saw some band footage and he is like a whole different performer when he has a band backing him up. He’s a keeper.

    I hope the video you saw wasn’t Bohemian Rhapsody :P. He grabbed his crotch and his singing went to hell from there. I wonder if there’s a correlation.

  • jpfan

    James Durban will def go far. He has everything needed to be a strong vote getter. The best part is when his fans organize charity donations they will know exactly which charity to channel the $ to. He’s PEFECT.

    Hopefully the producers will handle this situation tactfully, allowing his talent to shine without exploiting him. ;)

  • Tess

    Interesting audition season for American Idol…and the producers are no dummies since the “back-stories” have trumped the “singing” time after time, this season, when gaging the discussions that these auditions have caused. Even here at MJs most of the comments are related to the stories surrounding the contestants and not to the auditions, song choices, judges interaction, wardrobe etc. that we see in the few minutes the contestant is actually auditioning.

    Viewers tend to be moved to some kind of emotional action either positive or negative by a sense of drama. This is just how human nature works..something as cut and dried as news reporting knows this only too well. Without the emotions generated by backstories of some kind no one would remember a single audition. Most of us couldn’t name the contestants if we didn’t have something that sets them apart from every other contestant.

    Of course we feel the stories are over-done..and as each new season is aired we forget the “sob-stories, etc.” that were done in previous years, or the tid-bits of information that identified past contestants. This year, like always, many viewers have tunnel vision..either they hate or love the stories. But, as always, unless a contestant, themselves keep endorsing the story (or in cases like Gokey the press) it does eventually fade.

    We all know these stories aren’t fair in the context of AI..would Scott, the blind contestant, have made it to the final 13 without being blind, probably not…but the reality is he did. In the end the viewers will choose based on tons of things: back stories, looks, instruments, progression, conservative appeal, cougarism, tweeny interest, hunkism none of which have to do with ability or talent. AI is just damn lucky if someone with broad appeal and true talent wins in the end.

    ETA: And based on the “success” of Susan Boyle do we really think that AI is not going to play every card dealt and really whose fault is that…I would lay the blame right on the millions who financially have supported someone like SuBo…and no one will ever convince me that she has more talent then the great recording Artists who are struggling to stay in the biz.

  • Mary102

    Ok, first – WOOHOO Adam mention at the top of the show! It was short, but I was pretty sure they’d mention that SF was where they discovered him 2 yrs ago! Wow, can’t believe all that’s happened since then! Incredible!

    Ok, on to the last guy, who apparently blew up twitter with tons of Adam comparison mentions, lol. The only similarity really was the “hitting of loud high notes”, but, exactly as MJ said, he definitely lacked Adam’s finesse. Adam never belted his audition either. In fact, it was really understated compared to the kind of vocal acrobatics he could have thrown out there. But I digress.

    Back to James. Yeah, I agree with MJ that the story was SOOO dragged out and made it all so melodramatic that it actually took away from the point of the whole thing – a guy singing a song for a talent competition. I mean, we practically got a Lifetime movie of the week in the span of 5 minutes with this guy! They seemed to throw in EVERYTHING and the kitchen sink with his story, and to do it all at once, before we’ve even heard him sing, seemed really over-the-top. I just can’t see anyone with that much baggage really making it that far in the competition. As I said before, there’s a reason only, like, 1 winner before really had a moving backstory (Fantasia – I don’t count Cook since I never even knew about his brother till after the show, and it was never made a big deal on the show). So really, other than getting the audience emotionally invested in him early on, which could carry him further into the competition than he might have gone otherwise, I see no point to that whole belaboring of his backstory.

    So, I guess we have Chris Medina as sort of the Gokey of the season (tragic situation with wife/loved one), and James is sorta like the Scott of the season (physical condition/disability), and if Scott is any indication, James could coast by for quite awhile just on a moving personal story and a good enough voice.

    Oh, and I’m also ECSTATIC that tonight is the beginning of hollywood week! After last night’s ep, I am so ready for auditions to be over! Let’s get to the competition!

    ETA: editted for clarity

  • Mary102

    Hopefully the producers will handle this situation tactfully, allowing his talent to shine without exploiting him.

    Ok, here’s the thing. We’ve seen, like, 30 seconds if this guy sing. Definitely WAY too early to really have any sense of just how good he is. I have no real sense of what kind of “pop” or otherwise singer he would make in the real world. Beyond hitting high notes loudly (which, let’s be honest, is not exactly a pre-requisite to being a successful singer nowadays), I really don’t know what he brings to the table. Of course, we’ll soon find out in the weeks to come, but jmo.

    Scott is a good example – he had a pretty voice during his audition, but seriously was not really strong enough to end up as far as he did in the competition. In James’s case, he similarly has to bring it vocally for me to really feel he deserves to be there. I couldn’t care less about his backstory.

  • windmills

    Pretty good talent last night. Julie is the 1st person who’s struck me as a possible winner. I didn’t love her audition (I definitely agree it was affected) but she’s got a very good voice, seems likable (the way she discussed what her parents went through it didn’t seem like she was trying to milk it), and very, very marketable. She, Stefano, and James Durbin were the best auditions in my opinion and I see them both going far. Other than his voice one thing I liked about James is that he really did seem to channel a certain determination/desperation in his actual singing without seeming pretentious about it. Same with Stefano. I don’t know if I see him winning but that was a really good audition. Brittney Mazur also seemed promising.
    Clint was likable but seems foddery IMO.

    MUCH better episode than LA. Ready for Hollywood!

  • unidentified

    I missed Idol last night. But with so much discussion of James Durbin, I looked him up on Youtube last night. His Idol audition was not bad. I listened to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” he has up Youtube. He does have a bit of Adam Lambert sound to me. Will have to wait and see if he can handle the pressure.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Okay- just youtubed James Durbin. That audition really, really doesn’t do him justice. Kid’s got some pipes. Saw some band footage and he is like a whole different performer when he has a band backing him up. He’s a keeper.

    This shows another side of James Durbin.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r4teDZkLVI

    I think that he’s very talented and may go far if his backstory doesn’t interfere.

  • Ladybug

    Ok. The auditions are over. And I have yet to find someone who has made me sit up and go “Whoa”. Or even, “Hmmmm. Interesting” No Justin or Kelly or Clay or Ruben or JPL or Constantine or Bo or Taylor or Brooke or Adam.
    I HOPE someone stands out and grabs my attention in the final grouping, but I dunno. There was no one last year and I am afraid maybe no one this year for this long time Idol viewer.
    I have always felt one must have a horse in the race to back to stay very interested. I am hoping this will happen this year.

  • Mark

    Grammie – Asperger’s is not a disease, it’s just a differently wired brain. It’s not something we have, it’s something we are.

    Oh, oh! Neurodiversity guy, too?

    Mark – I find different pronunciations even among those who’ve been diagnosed for years. It surprised me at the first support group meeting I went to, but I guess people read about it first and get it in their heads a certain way.

    Yeah, I should have qualified that as either new or not as likely to be socialized with those on the spectrum. (One more important than the other) But at a certain level, I’ve found one particular pronunciation becomes pretty overwhelming.

    I had a coworker with Asberger’s, and he pronounced it so the first syllable sounded like the first syllable in raspberry, with that same “a” sound and almost a cross between an “s” and a “z” for the end of that first syllable. Is that how you pronounce it?

    Yep.

    No, JMatt, not all people with Asperger’s are like Spock but spectrum or not there are traits that have to be there in order to carry the diagnosis. Nothing in his demeanor is reminiscent of those I know with the disorder. If it’s so subtle as to almost be non-existent and he gets the diagnosis anyway, then Asperger’s has officially joined ADHD and Bipolar disorder in the “Overly Diagnosed” club.

    Way too much going on to make a call based on edited footage on what traits he has or doesn’t have. As to being diagnosed… well, I won’t go into the longer spiel on here, but it’s both true about the nature of disorders and disabilities to have a growth arc, and also true that the spectrum’s a lot more pervasive than people might assume.

    He also lacks the vocal oddities inherent in Asperger’s. Archuleta has displayed behavior that possibly indicates Aspergers. Durbin? Not so much.

    Archuleta? He strikes me mostly as a really cloistered stage kid. Maybe I don’t know him well enough, since I don’t watch regular interviews.

    The closest person I’ve seen thus far to the spectrum stereotype actually was Siobhan, so much so it was almost a little cartoonish. Now, I’m not in the business of diagnosing other people from afar. But she was one person who stuck out to me in a big way.

  • dishwalla

    As much as I love Adam Lambert (I just squealed like a fangirl at him waving at me at the buses), I honestly hate feeling like I hear about him every second of every day. “OOOH GOD HE’S NO ADAM LAMBERT” “OMG I DON’T LIKE HIM BECAUSE ADAM LAMBERT HAS BETTER FEET”. This is NOT about Adam Lambert at all, it’s about James Durbin. Two TOTALLY different people who should not be compared because that just leads to anger and frustration among James fans and disappointment among non-James fans. Think about this: Every time someone compares James Durbin to Adam Lambert, somebody gets punched in the soul.

    Well said. Adam Lambert was 27 when he was on Idol. He had already had 9 years of professional experience, working in Hollywood, on stage as well as the shows he did as a kid. He had previously recorded an album. So of course he had a huge head start by the time he got to Idol. James Durbin is only 21. Doesn’t appear he has a lot of professional training like Adam. So, it’s a moot point to even compare the two.

  • Tess

    He had previously recorded an album.

    I know this thread isn’t and shouldn’t be about Adam but I am curious as to what album he had recorded. I must have missed something.

  • sma11ie

    Missed last night’s episode, but interesting discussion. Thanks to Mark and JMatt for sharing insight through your personal experiences– and everyone else too.

    Guess I will have to try to catch up on parts of this episode before tonight. Eek, excited for Hollywood week! Wonder if they’ll let them use instruments? Will there be groups? I hope yes to both.

  • soverymel

    He had previously recorded an album.

    I know this thread isn’t and shouldn’t be about Adam but I am curious as to what album he had recorded. I must have missed something.

    I think that must be a mistaken reference to the studio vocals Adam did for rent money that the Take One people bundled up and sold under his name only after he was on Idol. Yeah, not an album.

  • Keel

    From tonight, I liked . . . the appearance of AT&T Park, home of the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants!

    ^^This! When they first showed the farting girl, I was wondering where they were because the surroundings looked so nice. Go Giants!!

  • Mary102

    I have always felt one must have a horse in the race to back to stay very interested. I am hoping this will happen this year.

    Ladybug, yeah, this was definitely my problem for season 6 and 9 too, no favorite even in the finale. I have to say though, that at least not having a big fav makes it all a lot less stressful to follow. Generally I can just look at everyone objectively then rather than see it all through the lens of “this is my fav and they’re perfect and everyone else automatically sucks” lol ;-)

  • lukien

    It’s not fair that James being compared to the loser of two year ago (yes, came second meant you lost!). James is real human with all the flaws, but he has heart and God bless him to be able to stand strong and power through all these times. Bless him more in the coming weeks. He will definetely go far. The loser is just a scheming screaming fame-seeking queen. Sadly sob stories didn’t win AI, at least for the last few years. Anywho … Kristy Lee Cook of some seasons ago definetely predicted well the winners of the last three seasons, rite? Cookie Kris & Lee :D Who to follow these three so-called white male with guitar who happened to be 23 yo? John Wayne Schulz, plus with his cougar-baiting look, squeaky clean background, mamaboy persona & country strong, he’s a soo-in for me. Yay!!! Cookie Kris Lee & John Wayne. It’s on !!!

  • J9BT

    Mary102:
    02/10/2011 at 9:34 am
    Hopefully the producers will handle this situation tactfully, allowing his talent to shine without exploiting him.

    Ok, here’s the thing. We’ve seen, like, 30 seconds if this guy sing. Definitely WAY too early to really have any sense of just how good he is. I have no real sense of what kind of “pop” or otherwise singer he would make in the real world. Beyond hitting high notes loudly (which, let’s be honest, is not exactly a pre-requisite to being a successful singer nowadays), I really don’t know what he brings to the table. Of course, we’ll soon find out in the weeks to come, but jmo.

    At this point we’ve seen more of James Durbin’s vocals than many other contestants moving on to Hollywood, and IMO based on what I did hear, he has talent. My real point is I hope he can be judged on his talent rather than his backstory.

  • hcpoirot

    Maybe the 12 finalist will be all the singers with the sob stories and the public will votes to death to the singer who had the SADDEST stories of all.

    Yuck. This season is one of the worst auditions season EVER in AI history. JUst filled with too many sob stories and not enough quality singing.

    Hoping HOllywood rounds will be better and hoping X-Factor auditions will be less sob stories.

  • JudyL

    My real point is I hope he can be judged on his talent rather than his backstory.

    I hope so too but I doubt it. If he gets to the voting stage, I am pretty sure that many are going to vote for him regardless of his talent compared to the other contestants. Today, the female host on Access Hollywood said she never cried as much as she did last night listening to his story and ‘never mind about his voice, she was going to vote for him’.

  • LoveDaRocker

    Love the Transformer guy!!!

  • Grammie Kari

    The thing is that several people have listened to his work on YouTube or Facebook. I haven’t be able to do that. But the word out is that we have a “Rocker” this year that can belt out the notes. It makes sense that Steven Tyler enjoyed James’ performance. He has the potential for a TOP 10 position WITHOUT his life story. I am willing to give him that chance.

    American Idol has a psychologist on staff. Should there be any touchy situations, perhaps this person will help James manage his Aspergers?

    sma11ie,
    I hope you do get to see the complete show from yesterday. For me, this has been a very exciting audition series (minus last Thursday) and I see a lot of good contestants!

  • J9BT

    Grammie Kari:
    02/10/2011 at 3:19 pm
    The thing is that several people have listened to his work on YouTube or Facebook. I haven’t be able to do that. But the word out is that we have a “Rocker” this year that can belt out the notes. It makes sense that Steven Tyler enjoyed James’ performance. He has the potential for a TOP 10 position WITHOUT his life story. I am willing to give him that chance.

    I couldn’t find them either, but MJ posted a few videos in another thread today. He’s definitely a rocker who can wail, at least from what I could tell!

  • NOLA

    I like Durbin, also. Great chops, kid.

  • Tony

    That James kid’s voice reminds me of a certain someone that was on Idol.

    I can’t stand either of them

  • LoveDaRocker

    Inessa Lee is BatSh!t crazy!!!
    Check out her youtube channel. She is completely insane.

  • sam.the.man.i.am

    If there is a God, please remove James Durbin from this competition asap.