A couple of notes before the recap:
Hollywood Contestant, Spoilerai left me a comment reminding me that, “lots of people were cut by phone” (I’ve heard a figure as high as 90!) “but they’re still considered Hollywood contestants–no different than those cut the first day in Hollywood. Remember Irish girl was DQd and she is still considered one of the 11. We earned our gold tickets and went through the same crap all the other HW contestants went through as far as contracts so please continue to treat us as HW royalty until those shows air!”
Just for the record, I think anybody who earned a Gold Ticket deserves major props no matter where they were cut. I have no idea what a telephone cut means–it could be connected to the background checks for some–but others could have fallen victim to a necessary whittling down of the initial group. Maybe the producers overbook Hollywood the way airlines overbook flights and ultimately some have to be pruned away prior to the round.
I’m making a big fuss about this for two reasons. It appears the contestants aren’t told at the outset they could be cut before the round, and once they’re cut, they aren’t given a reason why. That seems kind of harsh. Also, I think viewers assume that nearly every contestant who is handed a Gold Ticket is flown to Hollywood, unless the circumstances are extraordinary. Well, I guess the lesson is–don’t assume anything.
A couple of words about the Austin auditions:
A message to Jason Horn’s family and friends: Jason is funny, cute and not a dork. At all. And he sings beautifully. But that whole undertaker thing? Definitely got him more screen time than if he were, say, a lawyer. And that’s NOT a bad thing. :). Good luck to Jason in Hollywood! More on Jason tomorrow when I post my full Austin recap.
Oh, the Austin auditions? Except for Jason and a few others? Another total snore-fest…
And now, a day late and a dollar short, as usual. My big LAS VEGAS recap…
THREE Hollywood contestants were featured tonight. Say what?
No Whitney or Aretha Franklin for Heather Ward! Nope. She’s a “Red Neck Woman” baby! And she was awesome. She’s certainly more convincing than some of the pop country tarts heard on country radio these days…Errrrm, including Carrie Underwood… Personally, I couldn’t believe the judges weren’t more enthusiastic about her performance.
Mecca Madison is not only a singer, but a belly dancer too! And she’s only 18 and cute as a button. She made it to Hollywood based more on her quirky personality than on solid vocals.
Taylor Hicks may be the most experienced performer ever chosen to compete on American Idol. His looks aside, back in December when I read on various websites what he had going on, I just couldn’t believe he’d be interested in, let alone eligible for AI. In mid December he appeared to be in the midst of a tour in support of a CD. A local Birmingham PBS radio station had just broadcast an interview with him. He seemed to have deep connections in the music industry. But, here is what Taylor had to say when Simon asked him why he auditioned:
Simon: Why are you here?
Taylor: I want my voice heard.
Taylor: Cause I feel like I got one
Maybe Taylor, who’d been kicking around forever, wanted an opportunity to reach a wider audience. And appearing on American Idol is certainly one way to do that.
The Not So Bad:
I think poor Pepe was done in by his gimmick, even though he wisely put it away for the audition. I found this guy really funny and totally likable. His schtick didn’t annoy me at all. And what made it work was the way he gracefully slid back into his real personality, after hamming it up, as if he didn’t have to be “on” all the time. Jason Andino performed really well in front of the judges and deserved to move on to Hollywood. Simon seemed unable to take Jason seriously, even as he left the schtick at the door. Favorite line from Jason For Obvious Reasons: “What Happens in Las Vegas…goes on my Website.”
Sarah Sue Kelley auditioned again this year, believing a new haircut and a more contemporary sound might bring her more luck. Back in December I posted an article in which she appears to have no clue that her talent isn’t what got her on TV when she was featured on AI4 last year. And wouldn’t ya know it, instead of advancing to Hollywood, this time around poor Sarah Sue is featured in a montage of “Untalented” contestants. Sarah Sue is not untalented. She’s just a misfit who’s ripe for the mocking.
Wow. This guy was for real, I think. He sincerely seemed unaware of the fact that he could not sing on pitch, or that his weird falsetto was kind of painful. You’d think his animal-loving girlfriend would at least tell him the truth.
Mean Simon Line Again Making It Obvious That The Producers Don’t Give a Crap What the Activists Think: “It’s just as well, we couldn’t afford the food bill”
The trouble with Vegas, is that every two-bit wanna be actor with a crappy schtick was probably trying to get their sad act in front of the judges, just for the TV time. Something tells me Bobbie May, psychic and talent manager is one of these people. In other words. FAAAAKKKKEEEE. And that goes for her “sister” too.
So Unbelievably Fake Part Deux:
The first clue that “foreigner” Haggai Yedidya, was probably the fakest faker that ever faked was the fact that we never find out where he comes from. He speaks and sings in one of those put on accents that sounds vaguely European, but not really. His bit–singing “Proud to Be an American” badly was so obviously meant to be ironic–a newly arrived immigrant would never get that or think it was funny. Hugging the fake family at the end was a nice touch.
ARRRRGGGGHHH. TWINS. HATE. HATE. TWINS. The best that can be said for the Pearson Twins is that they have some good taste in music. They performed the Cranberries’ “Dreams.” Unfortunately, it was in ear-splitting harmony. The giggling and the talking in unison was pretty annoying. Ultimately, though, I felt bad when they were turned away. To add insult to injury, Randy called these two 16 year-olds “weird” right to their faces. Is it really necessary to be so harsh on the younguns?
The Road to Hollywood
Only 11…whoops…make that 10…nope…make that NINE truly advanced–ya know like they actually made the trip–to Hollywood. Tora is second row, second photo…