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Atlanta auditions didn’t offer as much talent as Boston. And if it were possible, Mary J. Blige was an even less effective guest judge than Victoria Beckham in Boston. Really, I was expecting so much more from Mary J. Unless her comments were edited out, she barely contributed, and when she did, it was super-tentative. But that’s always the way with guest judges, who typically sit on the panel like lumps.
Speaking of judges, Kara is still a loudmouth who talks over everyone, with many of the segments ending in chaos. I don’t really miss Paula, but that doesn’t mean I’m digging the panel more than I did in the past.
Live Blog and Videos and Pre-Idol Info after the jump:
Miss America contestant, Keia Johnson has that big R&B voice Idol loves. But we’ve heard better (Doolittle, Hudoson, Fantasia). Vanessa Wolfe, the country girl from Tennessee, is a singer with potential, but I get the sense she’ll wilt when forced outside her genre. Mallorie Haley and her country-bluesy voice was the best of night. She’s got potential, as does, policeman, Bryan Walker. Altanta was full of diamonds-in-the-rough. We’ll see if any of them can break through.
It turns out 3 of the 6 Idol winners auditioned during the second night of auditions. But, I’m not seeing a winner here, at least amongst the hopefuls we got the chance to see.
And Oh Em Gee, this year’s over-aged joke contestant, and tonight’s most memorable contestant, 62-year old General Larry Platt–has created the catch phrase of the season “Pants on the Ground.” See ya at the finale, General!
- Brian Mansfield uncovers the General’s history as a civil rights leader in Atlanta. Check it out HERE. Secret video taken by a fellow auditoner in the waiting room HERE. Note the BFF chicks in the bacground looking all WTF?
- Holly Hardin, the annoying chick dressed as a guitar was an annoying chick on America’s Got Talent a couple of season’s ago. She was heavy on shtick back then too. Check her out HERE. A tubey of Holly performing with the Dry Country Band HERE.
- Vote for the Worst dug up some dirt on Antonio “Skii Bo Ski” Wheeler. He was tased by police officers after swallowing some crack cocaine in 2006 for cocaine. Check it out HERE.
- Pre-Idol – Jermaine Sellers (Dude who helps his sick mom) singing “Keep Your Head to the Sky” HERE. More from Idol Chatter HERE.
- Pre-Idol – Soul singer, Keia Johnson (Miss Congeniality) covers Erykah Baduh’s “On and On” HERE. Kirsten’s Season 9 preview of Keia HERE.
- A list of all the Atlanta golden-ticket holders from Idol 360 HERE.
Idol has visited Atlanta 5 times. And it’s Ryan’s hometown! That photo of a chubby bespectacled Ryan never fails to make my jaw drop.
10,000 in Atlanta…
Guest judge Mary J. Blige couldn’t be more excited!
Dewone Robinson – “Self-penned” – His great uncle “invented” Gladys Knight and the Pips and another relative played in the Motown band. Based on that, you’d expect greatness right? You’d be wrong! But, when he announced he’d be singing a song he wrote, I had a feeling he’d suck. And his singing is an octave defying horror! “Did you write that as a duet.” (He did) “..it’s one of the worst original songs I ever heard,” said Simon. Dewone wants to keep singing, but finally, the judges call security to escort him out. – VIDEO
Keia Johnson – 26 – Memphis, TN – “My Heart Goes On” – She has a huge voice. Mary J. is smiling! The ebulliant Keia won Miss Congeniality in a beauty pageant. Simon teases her for winning the consolation prize, but Keia says she didn’t mind. Kara says her personality really comes across in her singing. Mary and Randy loved her phrasing. Simon likes her but he isn’t convinced, but he says yes anyway. Keia is on her way to Hollywood. – VIDEO
Miriam Lemnouni – 25 – Atlanta, GA, Noel Reese – 16 – Sophia, NC, Tisha Holland – 18 – Riverdale, GA – 3 Awesome singers are going to Hollywood. I wish we saw more. – VIDEO
Jermaine Sellers – 26 – Jolliet IL – Backstory ahead! His mom has spina bifida, and he’s been taking care of her since he was 17. Dude’s got a big gospel voice (he’s a church singer) but Holy Freaking Oversinging! Yikes. Out of control, dude. Way too many runs. The judges are slobbering all over him. “This is the real deal right here,” said Randy. “It was anointed,” says Mary J. 4 yeses and his on his way to Hollywood. – VIDEO
Kristy Marie Agronow – 25 – Atlanta, GA – “Love is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar – She’s a TV personality! OMG! She’s so annoying! She over! dramatizes! every! single! syllable! Kill me now “It was a terrible version of that song,” says Simon. The show she hosts is called the 411. “You need to call 911” says Simon. – VIDEO
Vanessa Wolfe – 19 – Venora, TN – Now for some stereotypical southerners! Vanessa likes jumpin’ bridges! She and her ma never git out! She dudn’t really have very much… Except she can sing. A very Dolly Parton-like vibe. Old school country. Boy, she’s perfect for Idol…plucked right out of the hollow. She’s a diamond in the rough. “You were a lot better than I thought you would be,” says Kara. Huh? Simon says she likes her. She’s ill prepared, he says, but authentic. She must have sung a pop song too, “we like the country girl…keep singing country,” they said. So green, she’ll probably crash and burn in Hollywood – VIDEO
Day One in Atlanta ends
Jesse Hamilton – 26 – Anniston, AL – “If Tomorrow Never Comes” by Garth Brookes – He almost died 3 times, and describes each bizarre incident. OMG this is really stereotypical. They’re mocking the dumb southern hick. Jesse thinks his brush with death means he’s meant for something special, so he auditions despite never having sung in public. Yeah, he’s terrible. But in a really boring way. Mary J. the newbie, is cracking up so hard, she can barely hold it together. “I didn’t recognize that,” says Simon, “go back to welding.” – VIDEO
Holly Hardin – 20 – Rockmart, GA – “You ain’t woman enough to take my man” – Stupid costume alert! She’s a human guitar, and boy she sure looks stupid. Simon groans. Her singing is ok, but the outfit ensures she isn’t going anywhere. Simon said she looks like an insect. But she’s fun! Kara calls her a ballsy girl. She likes her. Mary J. doesn’t get it. Randy and Kara says yes. Mary J says no. And Simon says yes! Ok, I take it back. Costumes almost never work. – VIDEO.
Mallorie Haley – 20 – Winner, SD – “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin – Mallory’s got a rock tinged country voice. She’s good. Mary J. loved it. Kara likes her confidence. Simon calls her fearless, with great fun and great energy. “I like you,” he says. 4 yeses and she’s on to Hollywood. – VIDEO
Hollywood montage to Kris Allen’s “Before We Come Undone”.
Antonio “Skii Bo Ski” Wheeler – 22 – Orlando, FL – Ok, with such a stupid name, and some ridiculous shtick, (dumb outfit, stupid rhymes) I expected him to totally suck. But he can sing. Simon hates him. Kara thinks he has a good voice. Mary J. thinks he can sing, but he’s got to change his image. Yeah. “I would lose all the other nonsense,” says Randy. Simon is unable to get over his lame shtick and says no. – VIDEO
Lauren Sanders – 18 – Baxley, Ga and Carmen Turner -19 – Baxley Ga – Oh, the Idol loves the silly female best friends. I’m shocked they didn’t film them in bikinis, or having a pillow fight. Carmen and Lauren are extra ditzy “Annoying, annoying, annoying,” says Simon. Once they settle down enough to sing, it turns out Carmen can sing, and Lauren not so much. Simon thinks they should be put through as a pair–he finds them to be good TV as a team. The others aren’t as concerned with the TV drama, and only put through Carmen. Lots of tears and hugs. Whatevs. As Simon says, Carmen will be reunited with her BFF soon enough. – VIDEO
Soo…Simon decides to skip a couple of auditions? Simon, really, it’s not much longer.
Bryan Walker – 25- Sevierville, TN – “Superstar” by Leon Russell – Dude, a police officer, looks like a beady-eyed alien, but he’s a good singer. Kara is absolutely shocked by the huge revelation that….homely people can sing! OMG. Who woulda thunk it. Randy is too, and loves it! Calls it the “fake out.” *eyes roll* This guy could go far. With a makeover, he might not be half-bad looking either. Idol loves that sh*t. – VIDEO
Lamar Royal – 20 – Goldsboro, NC – “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal – Dude looooves him some Mary J. Blige. He’s a terrible singer, but the dude isn’t listening to the judges. They keep telling him he’s not ready. He keeps singing. Then he goes all psycho bitch and begins swearing at the judges. He’s still singing as the security guards escort him out. And still singing–psych screaming is more like it-out on the sidewalk. Bizarre! I don’t think he’s faking it. Skeery. – VIDEO
General Larry Platt – 62 – Atlanta, GA – “Pants on the Ground” – This year’s over-aged joke contestant! There’s always got to be one. I halfway expected him to drop his drawers “I have a horrible feeling that song could be a hit” says Simon. “Pants on the Ground” is trending on twitter! Whoopie. I hope the General enjoys the 15 minutes of fame that’s coming… – VIDEO