What was up with Chicago?  Only 13 golden tickets were handed out in two days, and as a result, we got a show full of freaks and geeks with a few decent auditions sprinkled in.

The best of tonight:  The soulful Katelyn Epperly (but I hope all that blather about auditioning for her mother was for the TV cameras), the big voiced (and tragic) Angela Martin and R&B singer, John Park.

I wanted to hear more from Shania Twain, who had good constructive criticism (even if it was a little racy! Heh) for the hopefuls.  It was a bunch of blah blah blah from the rest of them.

Tomorrow, it’s Kristin Chenoweth in Orlando Fl, the city Randy Jackson called “weird”. That should be something.

Live blog and Videos after the JUMP…

Shania Twain is the guest judge on tonight’s hour long audition episode in Chicago IL.

12,000 people arrive at the Chicago cattle call….

Oh look, a nod to Chicagoan, President Obama. Crowd chanting “Yes we can, yes we can” Because American Idol is just like the presidential election!

Kara loves her some Shania Twain!. Shania said she’d pee herself if she had to stand in front of the judges. TMI!

Katelyn Epperly – 19 – West Des Moines, IA – “Syrup and Honey” by Duffy – Sob story! Katelyn’s father left the family high and dry very recently. Katelyn is trying out for Idol for her mom. Oh, that’s a perfect reason! Mom living through her kids. That works (never). Oh, Katelyn’s got that soulful white-girl thing that’s been so popular lately. Kind of a Duffy thing, but sorta not. Her huge mane of blonde curly hair makes her striking. Ryan says she doesn’t sound like Duffy. Kara wants her to be a little perkier. Simon says the lights are off. But Shania thinks she’s got a voice that could sing a hit song. She gets 4 yeses. – VIDEO

Amy Lang – 26 – Westchester, OH – “Dr. Feelgood” by Aretha Franklin – She’s a Broadway baby! Really unessessary and weird flirting going on with Ryan. She drops to the ground like a narcoleptic, and then pops up to sing in a really shouty voice. Nobody liked it. All nos! She was pretty abrasive. That thing she did with her humongous breasts? Just no. – VIDEO

Charity Vance – 16 – Little Rock, AK – “Summertime” – She works at her parents hair salon. There she is, sweeping up hair! She’s got a really nice jazzy tone. It’s sweet and light, unique sounding. She sounds older than 16 (like so many do). Wonder how she handled Hollywood? Shania is giving some really good critiques! Simon likes Charity a lot. All 4 judges say yes. – VIDEO

Our first parade of truly odious singers. Oh look at all the crazy contestants!

Only 4 golden tickets have been given away so far.

Angela Martin – 28 – Chicago – “Just Fine” by Mary J. Blige – Poor Angela Martin. She’s got a sick daughter. Her Dad was killed. She had a traffic warrant that scuttled her last attempt in Hollywood. I knew she made the Top 50 last year, but had no idea about the tickets. That sucks. Angela strong, soulful voice pwns Lil Rounds. She’s got great control. (unlike Lil) Simon says she’s really talented, and needs a break. The judges really like her, and they move her on. Of course, many of you know that Angela’s mom went missing right after Christmas. This poor chick cannot catch a break. – VIDEO

A little montage of peeps getting their golden tickets.

Day 2

Curly Newbern – 26 – Chicago – “A Women’s Work” by Maxwell – His teeny-tiny falsetto coming out of his great big body is really really weird. Simon and Randy can’t stop laughing. The guy walks away before he even gets his answer – VIDEO

Alannah Halbert – 19 – Chicago, IL – She also sucks. Shania tries to give her constructive criticism, but it’s pretty much a lost cause. Chick is in a total daze. What’s wrong with her? – VIDEO

Brian Krause – 27 – Pittsburgh PA – “Tip Toe Through the Tulips” by Tiny Tim – OMG. This guy isn’t serious. He’s actually got a pretty funny Tiny Tim impression going on there. He swears he’s not joking (but, of course he is). – VIDEO

Harold Davis – 25 – Chicago, IL – “Nice and Slow” by Usher – This guy can hold a note for a really, really long time. And that makes him a champ! This dude isn’t terrible enough to be an entertaining bad audition. Why are they giving this guy screen time? He gets nos from everyone, then breaks down and cries. Oh, that’s why.  This is embarrassing. – VIDEO

No golden tickets yet!

And the parade of truly sucky auditions continue….

John Park – 20 – Northbrook, IL – “I Love Me More Than You’ll Ever Know” by Al Cooper – Says he could be the next American Idol! He’s got a nice, smooth soulful voice. A drop of sweet rain in a night of suck! Shania says she was very surprised and compliments John’s bottom end (she means tone, really) and then compliments his lips. Shania can’t stop with the double entendres! Folks are surprised that an Asian can sing soul. Didn’t they sort that out last year with Anoop Desai? 4 yeses for John Park. - VIDEO

Paige Dechausse – 21 – Morris, IL – “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke – Her entire family came to the audition in a Limo, thanks to Grandma! When Paige was young, she nearly died from an asthma attack. Simon calls her indulgent. Shania isn’t totally convinced, but says yes. Kara thinks she has potential. Randy is holding out, but Kara and Shania convince him to say yes. I dunno, I thought she was pretty good, a strong, blusey voice. Sure, she over sang and tried a little too hard, but they’ve said yes to worse. – VIDEO

Justin Ray – 20 – Marysville, IN – “Why Does it Hurt So Bad” by Justin Ray – Keith Semple – 27 – Hanover Park, Il – “Heaven” by Bryan Adams. Marcus Jones – 18 – Gary, IN – “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain – Finally, a bunch of contestants we barely get to see get passed through to Hollywood. – VIDEO

13 contestants advance to Hollywood from Chicago.

 
  • Jx223

    I hope that Shania is a decent judge tonight.

    I think that Katelyn has a decent voice.

  • sbalk017

    Katelyn looked EXACTLY like Taylor Swift. Same hair, dress…

  • SpenserJ

    My feelings on Amy were summed up by the look on Shania’s face. She looked like she wanted to punch her as hard as I did.

  • http://www.gleerpg.com gleeRPG

    I actually liked Amy. She had personality. Maybe it was a bit much at times, but I think there was a decent voice in there.

    I really liked Charity’s voice, too. I think so far, she’s one of my favorites of the auditions (not just of tonight, but of all of the episodes so far).

  • rayni

    I liked Katelyn and Charity and Shania is doing a great job judging. And did you notice Simon is hanging all over her???

    The site is so wonky for me tonight I decided I better get all my comments in at once.

  • Jx223

    I liked Katelyn and Charity and Shania is doing a great job judging

    She is doing a good job so far, she is pleasant and she is giving out decent advice.

  • terps

    Wow, shania is doing good

  • Jx223

    Angela did a good job. I didn’t like her auditons in the past as much as I liked her audition tonight, but I thought that she did a good job tonight. And I liked the song by Mary J. Blige that she auditioned with.

  • CathyMK

    Judging from the look on Simon’s face when Katelyn walked into the room, he was going to put her through no matter how she sounded, so I’m glad she could actually sing.

    What’s with Randy impatiently hurrying everyone along? You mean he has to earn that paycheck?

    Shania is great so far. She’s the only one of the judges who’s engaged and giving succinct, accurate critiques. Hmm, should she replace Randy or Kara permanently? Tough call.

  • SpenserJ

    Shania is awesome compared to the others. Also, Angela Martin is extremely talented.

  • http://www.dallascowboys.com GeminiDolly

    I like Katelyn. Good voice, pretty look. Way to go Shania. Best guest judge, so far.

  • SpenserJ

    Also, I actually like Kara, but girl never show up sporting a five-head when there’s a woman as gorgeous as Shania 2 chairs down.

  • Jx223

    I noticed that they haven’t shown any good male singers auditions yet tonight. Hopefully they will show some during the second half hour.

  • blmetsfan

    Shania is wonderful as a guest judge!

  • Jx223

    I wish that the show really could find a guy that could sing like Maxwell.

  • SpenserJ

    Some of those group shots they show just cause me pain. Doesn’t anyone look in the mirror before they leave the house anymore?

  • rayni

    “sporting a five-head”

    LOL – but what is this?

  • rayni

    When somebody shows up whose eyes look in different directions, do they automatically put the poor saps through? Geesh.

  • Jx223

    LOL at Brian. I definitely think that he just wanted to get on TV.

  • hayden0604

    MJ, would you STFU about Lil?! She’s great ok? And so is Angela on that note:)

    Shania is the best judge so far!

  • rayni

    John Park = niiicccce! Shania likey.

  • SpenserJ

    Rayni, it’s a really huge forehead :). That middle part isn’t working for Kara tonight.

  • smartcookie

    Liked John Park a lot. And Shania Twain is an awesome judge. Let’s keep her and throw out the other three.

  • blmetsfan

    Oooh Shania can get a little crazy too. So she can replace Kara and Paula at the same time. :)

  • CathyMK

    Okay, I’ve decided. Shania can replace Randy, since he’s the one acting like a bored 3 year old.

    Liked Jon Park’s audition a lot, and it’s always fun to see a group of buddies celebrating!

  • rayni

    Ha! It was funny when I read it SpenserJ and now that I know what it is I’m rolling! I think Kara may be a little intimidated by the lovely and articulate Shania.

  • JudyL

    I really shows that Kara is jealous of Shania and I don’t blame her. Shania is beautiful, loaded with personality, funny and knows how to interact with contestants. Oh how I wish she could replace Kara.

  • rayni

    I love Shania. Can’t we have her all the time? Really – I am just crazy about her.

  • Jx223

    Shania is beautiful, loaded with personality, funny and knows how to interact with contestants.

    I agree and I would prefer her as judge than Kara. And I think that she would have been a good replacement for Paula.

    I like Marcus and I think Kevin?, (the one that sung “Heaven”) I would have liked to see more of those two auditions, but they went by fast. It wouldn’t surprise me that they would rush the talented guy singers at the end, because it definitely seems like TPTB want a girl to win this year.

  • will

    I’ve forgotten — what happens in the unlikely event that there are two yeses and two nos from the judges? Is Simon the the decider?

  • will

    lol – I just discovered edit’s gone again. I’ll try to be more careful from now on.

  • Jx223

    I’ve forgotten — what happens in the unlikely event that there are two yeses and two nos from the judges? Is Simon the the decider?

    Simon is the deciding factor if there are two yeses and two nos.

  • smartcookie

    You have to have at least three yeses to move on, so two and two is an automatic no,

  • incarcerate

    Loved Shania as a judge – would love to have her on the judging panel permanently.

  • jpfan

    Wow, what an underwhelming episode. And Shania was my least favorite of the guest judges so far. She cam across as too bitchy.

  • sunnysider

    I’m glad they put Paige through. I thought she was good and I was surprised she didn’t get 4 fast yes votes. Good thing Shania and Kara were able to sway Randy.

  • will

    You have to have at least three yeses to move on, so two and two is an automatic no,

    That sounds right, thanks. I can’t remember the last time that happened though.

  • movin2thabeet

    I really liked John Paul. Beautiful voice. He made the show worth watching for me. Also liked Angela Martin and maybe Paige.

  • jpfan

    I guess John will this season’s Anoop.

  • Miss Chaos

    I thought the guy at the end with the dark hair and guitar sounded like Rod Stewart. And YES on Shania Twain from me too!!!!

  • sunnysider

    I liked John Park a lot. It really irks me though when all the judges say, “You really surprised me,” to a contestant. How can they be surprised or unsurprised by anything considering this is the first time they are hearing these singers? Maybe the judges shouldn’t stereotype people before hearing a single note? (You think they would have learned this lesson with Susan Boyle.)

  • khomphuong

    John Park is the only one who is worth to watch tonight.

  • Jx223

    <blockquote.I thought the guy at the end with the dark hair and guitar sounded like Rod Stewart.

    I really dug his voice. We don’t typically see that many guys who sound like that on Idol. I haven’t seen read the spoilers yet, so I don’t know how far he gets. But I am definitely interested in seeing how he does in Hollywood (if they show him singing there).

  • will

    I would assume the judges meant they were “surprised” by the deep bass tone of John Park’s voice, not that they were surprised he did well.

  • cookcricket

    Okay, I missed seeing Kris on the backdrop. :( However, I guess coming in from the other side makes it possible to see David Cook and some of the others. I know, I know, I probably sound like a whiner, but I just wanted to mention this. :)

    Shania did a pretty good job! She was hilarious with John Parks.

    Wow, so few went through tonight. LOL. Now that the spoilers are up it doesn’t really matter for me.

  • seriously

    Actually I loved seeing Cook on the background. Much to my fams dismay every five minutes I would go “Look, Cookie!”

  • will

    I thought the guy at the end with the dark hair and guitar sounded like Rod Stewart.

    Who? I must have blinked and missed him.

  • soccerboi

    Not a lot of talent in Chicago this year… :(

    Although I do think we have a good judge in Shania.

  • http://MJO judes

    “Wow, so few went through tonight. LOL. Now that the spoilers are up it doesn’t really matter for me.”

    That’s why I don’t look at the spoilers- for me it “spoils” the fun !!

  • TopCatDC

    “Maybe the judges shouldn’t stereotype people before hearing a single note? (You think they would have learned this lesson with Susan Boyle.)”

    I think it’s quite the opposite. They are trying to create a Susan Boyle moment. (Not avoid one.)

  • earthy

    Not a very good show. I think the only one I liked was the first girl Katelyn and the rest weren’t too impressive.

    Not to be negative but the target market Angela Martin would appeal to is so strong she would drown. I feel bad for her with rough things in her life over the past few years but I still can’t let that influence my feeling about her from a vocal standpoint.

  • cookcricket

    “””Actually I loved seeing Cook on the background. Much to my fams dismay every five minutes I would go “Look, Cookie!”””””

    LOL seriously, it’s my kids who continue to point them out to me. :)

    I enjoy DC too, but he got a lot time last yr. LOL! ;)

  • will

    That’s why I don’t look at the spoilers- for me it “spoils” the fun !!

    Amen! I just want to say that I do appreciate the fact that people seem to be sensitive enough to leave spoiler info out of other threads, for those of us that want to avoid them at all costs.

  • gulfluv

    Since cookcricket brought it up, I missed looking at Kris on the background tonight, too, :( but I did enjoy looking at David :)

  • Mtlfan

    I did look at Kris every time he showed up :D — i’m so happy to see him there … squeee —

    I really liked Shania as a judge. Good comments and she was lively. What a difference from M.J Blige and to a lesser extent to Victoria Beckam.
    Charity got my attention. Special voice. I liked also Katelyn and Angela

  • holeighannie

    Shania was awesome, I really enjoyed her critiques…and the obvious way Kara was trying to compete with her. :P

    Still don’t like the chick on her third try at Hollywood, regardless of her horrible personal life. Same with asthma girl…it feels like you have to have almost died to get a shot this season. Sorry that happened, but if you’re so bad you need to have your inhaler in hand at all times, maybe you should rethink some stuff.

    Liked the guy at the end with the guitar very much, unique voice. Other than that, and some of the random girls, kind of a huge void of talent in Chicago.

  • gangreen29

    I didn’t see any tension between Shania and Kara….. Why does it always have to be two women with strong opinions are rivals or bitchy?

  • will

    Katelyn is very talented and certainly has Kara’s “package artist” look going for her. But why oh why did we have to get that sob story about her parents’ divorce? That strikes me as a new low for Idol. Parents get divorced all the time! I bet half the contestants are from broken homes. And it also seemed like she was auditioning much more for her mother than for herself, never a good idea.

  • Mtlfan

    “I didn’t see any tension between Shania and Kara….. Why does it always have to be two women with strong opinions are rivals or bitchy?”

    I agree with gangreen29. Kara said at the start that she was a big fan of her (not the exact words but it was the meaning)… so uh! for the rivalry thing

  • hersheydog1

    The 9:00 p.m. news teaser they ran after Idol in Chicago was “tune in at 9 to find out why ‘guitar guy’ lost his golden ticket to Hollywood”.

  • Jx223

    But why oh why did we have to get that sob story about her parents’ divorce? That strikes me as a new low for Idol. Parents get divorced all the time! I bet half the contestants are from broken homes.

    I think that this year and especially last year Idol was heavy on the sad stories, but I agree that a divorce should not be considered a “sob” story. Unfortunately divorce is a very common thing and a lot of people go through it/have parents that go through it. It’s not something that should be considered a “sob” story IMO.

    The did something similar last year with Megan, when they tried to create a background story about her divorcing her husband.

    The background story that I liked the most so far, was Charity. Just a regular kid, with two parents who have jobs working in a salon. It let us know a little bit more about her, and it wasn’t a very sad story.

    I would mind seeing more background stories like that, and less sad stories. But I think the sad stories are one of the producers ways of trying to get us to connect/care about the contestants.

    Stuff like what they showed of Charity’s family and last year when they talked about Anoop doing his thesis on BBQ, is more of the stuff I would like to see instead of a lot of sad stories. Even though it is IMO admirable to see what some of the contestants have overcome.

  • will

    I swear I hadn’t had time to read MJ’s recaps until just now, and I see I repeated her points about Katelyn’s “sob story” and her mother. Great minds.

  • ann10

    “The 9:00 p.m. news teaser they ran after Idol in Chicago was “tune in at 9 to find out why ‘guitar guy’ lost his golden ticket to Hollywood”.”

    Anyone see this news report? My sister is in Chicago but her cable went out just as the news was coming on. Curious to see what this was about.

  • ann10
  • http://98er.blogspot.com Paulie

    There was a Brian Krause? This is not the whitelighter from Charmed, right? :P

  • cookcricket

    “”””But why oh why did we have to get that sob story about her parents’ divorce? That strikes me as a new low for Idol.””””””

    Eh, it brought tears to my eyes because my parents got divorced when I was about her age and it wasn’t an easy thing.

  • will

    No Paulie, far from it. Take a look at the video MJ posted.

  • iluvai

    Shania was a great judge!

  • Ratna12

    AI haven’t aired yet, but just read how good Shania is as a judge.

    Shania and Cheryl Cole (British X Factor judge) can be twins.
    Both really gorgeous and have the same face structures. If Simon ever think of bringing Cheryl here, don’t. He should just bring in Shania as a judge.

  • holeighannie

    Sucks about guitar guy. At least it wasn’t some felony offense like some people have gotten saddled with after making it to Hollywood, haha.

    And I didn’t say that Kara was being bitchy to Shania, not at all. But it was obvious that she responded to being around somebody else who knows about songwriting and technical terms, which is supposed to be why Kara is there.

  • Pam
  • tierbee

    (Pokes head in on very brief work break and shame-facedly admits to too much happy every time they showed Cookie on the wall).

    I don’t know who I like yet this season… which is fine, I never stick with who I *think* I’ll like anyway. I did enjoy dancing Ryan, though. He’s a good sport, lol.

  • JRB5776

    MJ,

    Put this on a sticky note on your computer monitor.

    AK = Alaska
    AR = Arkansas

    LOL

  • Esqt

    8:35 pm right now. sooooo it’s David Cook & Jordin’s turn this time… you’re really drawn to the background when you’re watching the audition (never realized that until now) & the boobs of course… ok back to watching again

  • SpenserJ

    The thing that really bugged me about Katelyn’s divorce Sob Story, was how needy and narcissistic her mother seemed. Get out of the camera shot mom! No, you’re not going to Hollywood. Your kid is! The way she acted like her husband divorced them as a group. Saying “I know she’s doing this partly for me” or whatever. Then, Katelyn gets in there and says “of course I have to take my mom’s side, but I still talk to my dad”.

    You know those kids have been getting the “Your dad left us” speech. Instead of the “kids, we’re getting a divorce, but we both still love you” one. That woman is using her kids as pawns, and I hate that shit.

    So, Katelyn’s okay, but her mother sucks.

  • Esqt

    oooh god…my ears!

  • MalwareDie

    Chicago sucked pretty badly.

  • sunny2

    Shania was amazing tonight. I really enjoyed her. She had alot to say, and was compassionate unlike Mary J Blidge who was just plain rude. Too bad they didn’t sign her to replace Paula.

  • Bearcatgrad9912

    “Folks are surprised that an Asian can sing soul. Didn’t they sort that out last year with Anoop Desai?”

    Wasn’t Anoop Indian?

  • Esqt

    nice tone, John Park! 4 yeses to Shania too…as a guest judge. i like her; she always has something to say unlike the previous judges; never redundant. kara ‘s trying too hard.

  • chearts77

    Thank God for Shania!! Tonight’s episode was a snoozer. She was the highlight!! Yeah, a couple of good contestants. They should seriously consider hiring Shania on full time. She gave some great tips/pointers.

  • Bearcatgrad9912

    I agree MJ. Paige was pretty good! Definite potential.

  • bananafish

    Seems like a disgrace to me that of the 12,000 that showed up for the cattle calls, the producers only allowed 13 decent singers through to the judges and filled the two days with “joke” auditions.

  • Mark

    “Wasn’t Anoop Indian?”

    We’ve had this discussion elsewhere on the MJs, but I’ll reiterate that Indian-American is a subcategory of Asian-American. That is all.

    Anyway, Shania stole the show. Really. She made the entire judging panel look terrible by comparison, Cowell included. In particular, look at the commentary made to Charity. Randy and Simon gave some, yet again, version of “you made it your own”; Shania gave a critique of the vocal which took less time then both and said about 200x more in that time. (Especially good for noting that Charity needs to clearly work out what parts of her range work well for her tone)

  • Esqt

    me likey Keith something. so far, it’s him & John Park voice-wise tonight. and once again, Shania is awesome.

  • Truthiness

    “Folks are surprised that an Asian can sing soul. Didn’t they sort that out last year with Anoop Desai?”

    Wasn’t Anoop Indian?

    Well India is part of the Asian continent, so there is that.

  • jammasta

    ““Folks are surprised that an Asian can sing soul. Didn’t they sort that out last year with Anoop Desai?”

    Wasn’t Anoop Indian?”

    Yes, but India is in Asia >_>.

    I’m half-Filipino I usually use Asian to describe Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, some of the farther eastern Asian countries in general. I’ve never really seen an Indian join an Asian club. To be honest, it never crossed my mind that Anoop is Asian until now. So yeah, I was pleasantly surprised to see an “Asian guy with soul” tonight.

    Meh, tonight was pretty lame.

    John Park, Angela Martin, and Charity Vance are the ones to watch from tonight. I kinda don’t wanna see Angela because if she doesn’t get through it’ll be really painful to watch, but she’s good. My God, I hope she finds SOMETHING. I think she’s great, but it’s just so painful to see her get tortured by her own dreams :(.

  • rkt

    I am Asian and I think John Park is more of a Broadway singer. he may have a good voice but that was it. Anoop is a much better singer. Chicago really sucked big time, the only thing good about tonight’s show was Shania.

  • Ratna12

    I think this is the worst audition, in terms of all the “fake” auditions, but having said that, I really enjoyed Shania Twain.

    Totally she should be a judge . Simon, bring her to X factor. She is Cheryl Cole’s long lost twin. I wish that she is a judge on Idol though replacing Ellen. She is beautiful, funny, great singer & songwriter, great performer. She has it all.

  • cakeygirl

    seems like simon should try to put a person that is/was huge in america (shania) over someone who barely anyone knows (cheryl cole)……..bringing cheryl cole to x factor makes no sense

  • selena

    Shania, please replace Kara. You were awesome tonight.

  • progression

    On the plus side, Shania was great. Can she replace Randy or Kara for the rest of the season? Please?? On the minus side there was, well, pretty much everything else. Really boring episode and not much good singing going on. The only standout for me was Katelyn Epperley.

  • Jayd

    Yeah, not much to see here, except Shania did a great job, which was really the highlight. Originally, I was annoyed because I wanted two hours, but it’s ok, really. I noticed it’s Orlando on Wednesday, and isn’t that the city that Kristin Chenoweth is supposed to be a gj in? Why didn’t they show her, or did I miss a memo that she wasn’t there?

  • Dlynne

    I LOVED Shania! I agree, she is Cheryl Cole’s long-lost twin. I would love to see her as a permanent judge on Idol or X-Factor.

    I liked the girls this time around a lot more than the guys. I’m glad they let Paige through. I like her voice. Pretty sad, however, that only 13 made it over the two days.

  • nyc

    “Wasn’t Anoop Indian?”

    Yes. I don’t know any Indian-Americans who call themselves Asian or want to be referred to as such.

  • soverymel

    So am I the only one that was bored by Shania? Not that I liked Posh or Mary J either, but Shania and Simon had a weird energy or something, it was like she muted him. LOL maybe that’s what everyone likes.

  • http://MJO judes

    Wow Soverymel- I’ll look forward to watching tonight- if Shania can mute Simon, that will be worth watching!! Maybe he was just mesmerised & struck dumb by her beauty ?

  • Bearcatgrad9912

    I’d love it if Shania replaced Simon next year! She’s got CONSTRUCTIVE critques rather than DESTRUCTIVE ones that Simon uses.

  • soverymel

    judes:

    Ya know, that could totally be it. He was fluttering around like a schoolgirl at the beginning of the audition ep.

  • http://www.lindafoltz.com linda2u

    Shania is my favorite guest judge so far. She gives relevant feedback and is really supportive of the good singers without making fun of the not-so-good ones. My LEAST favorite by far – and I can’t imagine anyone going lower – is MJ Blige.

    Here’s the CHARITY video link: http://video.yahoo.com/watch/6812528/17712565

    MJ seems to have inadvertently left it out.

    A side note: Have you noticed how they’re giving most of the time to the good girl singers – hardly show the guys that are getting through at all? (except for Tyler of the broken hands and Justin who had cancer).

  • will

    Folks, Shania ain’t never going to leave her castle on Lake Geneva to become a full-time judge on a reality show. Sorry.

    http://www.high-end-travel-switzerland.com/Shania-Twain.html

  • will

    OOPS! It pays to read the link before posting. She has left the castle. But she’s not going to move or commute from Switzerland.

  • BootStar

    I think there’s more to the Katelyn daddy-dumped-mommy store than we’ve been privy to so far. Based on that photo of the happy couple they regrettably shared with America, I’ll wager that daddy left mommy for a dude.

    Shania was awesome. Hoping Kristen brings her game face tonight.

    Re the contestants, how stupid do they think the viewers at home are to try to sell the story that out of 12,000 auditioners, those 13 were the best they could find and the only folks worth putting through? Liked a few of them, but I’m not investing any energy whatsoever until we get the final 24.

    And somebody who lives there correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t “Asian” commonly used to describe Indians and Pakistanis in the UK? (Wikipedia says “British Asians” are from former British colonies in South Asia and are distinguished from “British East Asians,” whom we in American tend to think of as just plain “Asian” or *cringe* “Oriental.”)

  • chessguy99

    Shania has been the best guest judge, so far. None of the Chicago gold tickets really impressed me, with John Park being the best. Trouble is, his type of singer hasn’t done well last few seasons.

  • JohnP

    “seems like simon should try to put a person that is/was huge in america (shania) over someone who barely anyone knows (cheryl cole)……..bringing cheryl cole to x factor makes no sense”

    I’m no big fan of Cheryl Cole but the major networks a decade ago said the same about a certain unknown Simon Cowell, when they dismissed Idol as unsuitable for America, thus allowing the smaller FoxTV to pick it up.

    On the India/Asia thing. In the UK, where I live, Asia is more associated with the Indian Sub-continent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc) rather than the “far east” because they were part of the old British Empire, now Commonwealth – and, of course, many now live in the UK. It’s noticeable that the Pacific-rim countries of Asia associate themselves more with the USA than other Asian countries, hence the confusion on this thread. Probably stems from the Second World War where the USA concentrated in that area while other countries were further west. There’s now recent evidence that the formerly very culturally “British” countries of Australia and New Zealand are becoming more American in their influences eg TV and music – maybe something to do with being on that Pacific rim. They are becoming more like Canada regarding their influences.

  • Adamdebomb

    I think Epperly is a wonderful singer, however, watching her, I wondered how any mother might allow such a pretty girl to get a butt ugly tattoo across her back. Every time I see these tats on young girls I picture the future-they are senior citizens, changing at the Y for senior agua aerobics and are covered with fading, ugly tats. Perhaps I’m old fashioned, but I just don’t get it.

  • Kirsten

    Shania was an awesome judge. Constructive, coherent and compassionate. Too bad she doesn’t need the gig. She even made Kara more pleasant.

    I wasn’t too impressed with the contestants that got through. For me (for you for me), Katelyn was clearly the star of the episode. She needs to work on her backstory. How is “I’m trying to get my Mom to stop crying” going to compete with all the near-death and sick grandma stories we are getting this year? If you can’t come up with a major catastrophe in your life, you’re better off not mentioning at all. Cede the field and move onto what you can win at.

    Paige actually has a pretty good voice, but she suffers from too much vocal training. She’s had every inch of individuality drained out of her. There is nothing wrong with taking classes. In fact, vocal classes can help out most people, but Paige seems to have overdone it. When you focus too much on all that training and not enough on feeling the song, it just doesn’t connect with people. She needs to let loose.

    Charity has a very pleasant voice, but she should have waited a couple of years.

    John has a nice deep voice. We haven’t had too many contestants that feature that. Can he survive on Idol where the high note is all anybody seems to care about?

  • http://MJO judes

    “John has a nice deep voice. We haven’t had too many contestants that feature that. Can he survive on Idol where the high note is all anybody seems to care about?”

    Oh yes, I said to my family “hallelujah, we finally have a male with a deep voice “- I can’t stand wimpy high pitched male voices!! Mind you we haven’t seen that many good male singers so far – they’ve mostly shown the wacky ones !!

  • Mary102

    Wow – Chicago really majorly sucked. And I suddenly appreciate so much more those people who actually do go to Hollywood – when you think that, out of 12,000, only 13 went through – that is INSANELY small.

    John Park was good, and for some reason reminded me of Anoop – similar R&B ballad style, imo, and not bad on the eyes either ;-)

    That girl toward the end ruined it for me when she did A Change is Gonna Come – especially since I recently rewatched Top 2 from last year, and so had Adam’s AMAZING version stuck in my head. Hard to match up to that.

    Hoping for better auditions tonight. Way too many bad performers in Chicago (but I enjoyed looking at the scenery)

  • Mary102

    I wasn’t too impressed with the contestants that got through. For me (for you for me), Katelyn was clearly the star of the episode. She needs to work on her backstory. How is “I’m trying to get my Mom to stop crying” going to compete with all the near-death and sick grandma stories we are getting this year? If you can’t come up with a major catastrophe in your life, you’re better off not mentioning at all. Cede the field and move onto what you can win at.

    LOL – IDK Kirsten, don’t underestimate talent trumping a great backstory ;-) From my POV last year, Danny was the #1 sob story, and luckily had the talent to match it, but Kris and Adam had, like, zippo backstory, and they did pretty well for themselves on talent alone ;-) (Allison too, for that matter). In the end, talent, imo, carries you through.

    I think I get your point, though: don’t even bother with the backstory angle if you can’t match the big stories. But then, it probably has more to do with TPTB putting that footage together, rather than the contestant.

  • alli lurker

    Loved Shania as a guest judge – she was by far the brightest light in the room. They should have her back as a guest mentor, if not a permanent judge.

  • Mary102

    Interesting that the camera angle this show featured Cook in the background banner shot, rather than Kris (though he did get the Ford commercial, which was great). I guess they want to spread the wealth.

    I also noticed that they added more people to the background banner – like they’re adding one every city or something – lol.

  • Mary102

    alli lurker - ohh, definitely agree that Shania should at least be a guest mentor – that would be great (musical double entendres not withstanding ;-))

  • http://myspace.com/susanatfox sumidol

    yay – I could get on today! Last night was the worst show, soooo boring – I am so over the bad singers, I dont find them amusing or interesting- just cant wait to get on with the actual show please!!!!

  • will

    I think Epperly is a wonderful singer, however, watching her, I wondered how any mother might allow such a pretty girl to get a butt ugly tattoo across her back.

    She’s nineteen years old, old enough to make her own choices. Her age is another reason I found the whole backstory with her parents’ divorce gratuitous.

  • thesheriff

    I can’t decide if I’d rather have no backstory or backstory. If there is no backstory then there’s no getting to know the contestant. If there is backstory, Idol produces it in the corniest way!!!! The father leaving my mother thing….really??? What’s the divorce rate – 50 – 60%? Happens all the time. It just didn’t work for me.

  • PattyH

    The highlight, for me, was Shania Twain! Man, Chicago was awful!!!!!

  • SarahP

    i loved shania. she didn’t overdress and tried too much…very genuine and i’m glad she found john park’s lip worth commenting :P he’s my favourite tonight

    i got to confess that i find some of the “bad auditions” in AI kinda funny but chicago was pretty boring inc. the tip toeing guy and the boob-boxing girl

  • SarahP

    and yeah, i missed seeing kris in the background! sads

  • hcpoirot

    Thx God Chigago audition episode only one hour long. :D

    Shania is great.

  • revcat

    John Park was good. This is America, not Britain, and in America he would be described as Asian; I didn’t read all the comments so don’t know why this is an issue. He can definitely sing, but as long as we are discussing qualities other than singing, he’s good looking!

    I hope Angela Martin does well, I’m not reading the spoiler alerts and will probably have to refrain from reading comments because I don’t want to know anything ahead of time, but am definitely sending good thoughts and best wishes to her. She’s cute and she can sing. Plus I think her personality is appealing.

  • justantonio

    Out of all of them I liked Keith Semple…mostly because his voice sounds like brian adams

  • Pam

    Here you go MJ:

    Justin Ray, Keith Sample, and Marcus Jones even though you already have Marcus’ audition. lol
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey3ilBtbzrE

  • agathe.hb

    I really liked Shania – well what do you expect – Canadians do have class ;)
    I like John very much I hope he gets to top 24 :)

  • wand3rful

    Folks are surprised that an Asian can sing soul. Didn’t they sort that out last year with Anoop Desai? 4 yeses for John Park

    Actually, Im surprised that you (and Slezak) are surprised that the judges were surprised. LOL

    the way a nerdy white kid with a soulful voice would be surprising, so is an Asian American or Indian American. typically we dont see this, thus its not that odd for the judges to be (pleasantly) taken back. remember Clay’s audition, and how the judges couldnt believe a skinny white kid could belt out Luther?

  • wand3rful

    and yeah, I liked Paige. she should tone down her runs, but she has a (good/maybe great) voice. sometimes the judges’ reasoning is confusing….in other words, business as usual on Idol :)

  • Reflections On Life

    i haven’t watched AI this season so far on TV, but thanks to MJ i’ve been catching the videos on this blog. so far no one’s audition has impressed me at all, maybe after all the kradisons, davids, and melindas, i’m kinda jaded now. i hope season 9 proves me wrong.

    does simon appear checked out? phoning it in? lame duck?

    while i think john park’s vocals are too crisp & clean for american pop music, i appreciate his deep tone, and he could probably use AI as a launching pad for a foray into j-pop, k-pop, or any other east-asian pop music scene, where the vocals tend to be more crisp & clean.

    having said that, asian-american males (i.e. east-asian) are severely underrepresented in american public life, be it entertainment (music, tv, movies, comedians), newscasters, sports, politicians, or CEOs of large corporations. chong of cheech & chong, harold of harold & kumar, ichiro from baseball (mariners), michael chang from tennis, a WA governor, a Hawaii senator, jerry yang of yahoo, and not a single anchorman or tv role or singer or band member of any repute. not so true of south-asian-american males (i.e. indian subcontinent), despite their arrival in the usa being much more recent than east asians (1960s brain-drain vs 1880s railroads). so if it’s a backstory that we’re talking about, so long as john park has the talent & drive, i’d love to see him go at least as far as anoop did on AI, simply to give asian-american males more face-time on tv.