San Francisco Recap

San Francisco Recap!   Let’s Go!   Or maybe not.    Thirty minutes after watching this episode, I could barely remember it.   There was very little memorable singing, the trainwreck audtions were boring as usual, and that little “dustup” between the judges happens every year. YAWN.   I hope the next audition episode, Las Vegas, proves to be more entertaining.

They Made It To Hollywood:

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Here is Jose Penala, aka SWAY.   He’s rumored to be in the Top 24.   He’s got a very good voice.   He did a real nice job with “Superstar, ”  but I have a really hard time with somebody who wears a belt with a giant buckle that spells out his nickname in GIANT letters.    That’s just way too cheesy, even for American Idol.



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We caught a glimpse of Lauren Weckerly singing.   Not enough to get a sense of her, though.   The judges seemed to like her–cause she made it to Hollywood…





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John Williams auditioned with a Michael Jackson impersonation.   And really, at this point, who wants to see THAT.   Randy and Paula said yes for reasons I still don’t understand.    I’m betting his Hollywood trip was a very short one.





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Katherine McPhee’s mother is her vocal coach, and even her daughter admits that she’s kind of a stage mom.   When Simon suggested that Mom may be living her career through Katherine, she noded her head in agreement.   Katherine  sang “God Bless the Child, ” and Simon got it right when he said parts of the song were very good.   She was  fine until she  hit the high notes, where she sounded strained and off pitch.    Randy way over-praised her.   Katherine seems like a sweet girl, but with such an ambitious, driven  mom working behind her, I wonder if the apple falls far from the tree?

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Shawna White’s Dad was in a rock band.    Shawna is not.   Her first song was a tune from Grease and she sounded like  yer average kid singing in her High School musical.   It was nothing special.   She fared better with the Alicia Keys tune she sang next.   Simon said No to Shawna.   The theme of the SF auditions appeared to be that Simon was off and extry mean.   But, I think every comment he made that day was right on.   Including…

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…what he had to say about Jayne Satayana’s performance of Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love.”   Simon said the song was “too big” for her–and I think he hit the nail right on the head.   Jayne has a pleasant voice, but she wasn’t able to master the song–not the emotion nor the jazzy melody.   The only thing he got wrong…



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…in my humble opinion, was his praise  for this singer.   She was never identified, but I posted her picture here a few months ago.   Her name is Ashley Gudamuz, and she has the scariest MySpace page I think I’ve ever seen.   I thought her singing was pretty average, but Simon was impressed.   Maybe he was just trying to annoy Randy and Paula.   At any rate, she got through to Hollywood.

They Didn’t:

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Happy Heidi Fairbanks smiles too much.   Way too much.    When somebody tells you that your singing blows, it’s OK to look a little upset.   Really.     Having said that, I thought the judges were a tad bit harsh.   First of all, her pop singing was not that bad.   Second of all, her classical singing was not that good.   Despite what the judges said, the songs  weren’t far apart at all in quality.   Heidi wasn’t awesome, but I think advancing her to Hollywood would have been perfectly reasonable.

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I think this guy, Eric Cornforth,  sang Bob Dylan’s “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands”.   Unless I was hallucinating.   Well, I guess if Bob is doing Victoria Secret commercials for the moolah, I can imagine he wouldn’t have a problem with American Idol contestants butchering his songs–for the same reason.


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Self-described “poet” and singer,  Shalicia Carlisle, was probably a fake.   When  a contestant is  laughing at the end of the audtion–even after Simon tells them they’re the worst singer he’s ever heard–it’s gotta be a setup.      Shalicia told Simon that she quit her job to pursue her dream of a music career.   Alarmed, Simon offers to call her boss personally to get her job back.   When he calls, the boss agrees to re-hire Shalicia, and all is well again in the land of the untalented.

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Awww, this poor kid, however, was not a fake.   Manuel Viramontes showed up to the audition with a picture of a saint and a story about how his mom named him.   He seemed so sweet and so cute, I REALLY  hoped he’d be one of the good ones.    Unfortunately, he was awful–REALLY awful.   He did this   bizarre head-shaking thing to create  vibrato  and was completely tone-deaf.   Even though I felt bad, I have to admit I laughed when he kept singing even after the judges asked him to stop.   As if singing more would change their minds, rather than cause them to lose it.

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Look!    From the  preview  of Tuesday’s Las Vegas auditon episode, it’s  Taylor Hicks–who does look way too old to be in this competion.   He’s rumored to be Top 24, and I wonder what he’ll look like lined up on stage with all the other young’uns.   One of these things is not like the others, one of these things is  not the same.    Hey, check out how WRONG I was when I mentioned Taylor  previously here  and here.   As Nelson would say.   Ha-ha.

No matter what he looks like-dude can sing–and really that’s all that  counts.

The Road to Hollywood – San Francisco Edition.

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