Apparently, Simon has found the next Idol :
“The only person I can genuinely remember from the auditions that I’ve done for this season is an Irish girl that we saw in Las Vegas who now lives in America…I think she sang a Chaka Khan song and afterwards I said, ‘I think we may have found someone as good as [first season winner-turned-superstar] Kelly Clarkson.”
Oh, and then Simon adds that “he forgot the contestant’s name”. Yeah right.
This statement has caused some serious ripples in the online Idol world. Those who watch Idol closely know that Simon picks his horse early on and somehow that contestant manages to win! You know, cause Simon is so smart and prescient and stuff.
Shortly before auditions started it was announced that the Top 44 from last year would be ineligible to audition this year. This was a surpise, because in past competitions only the Top 32–the folks who got to go on and audition for the top 12–were ineligible to try out again. Only 24 contestants auditioned for the top 12 last year. So it was generally assumed–though the format was a bit different–that the 20 who were cut from the last round would be able to audition again. Simon even comforted Jaclyn Crum, the weepy 16 year old singer from Ohio cut from the top 44, by encouraging her to give it a go the following year. Not that it matters to her now, as she is about to become a a 17 year-old baby mama. JR Aquino, a 17 year-old Alaskan is plenty pissed, however.
Of course, every year there are those who feel they just did not get enough abuse from Simon. They come back for more. Here’s a list of repeat auditioners I found on the AI Forum at Survivor Sucks
Dezmond Meeks – He’s the guy that Paula successfully fought for with Simon and Randy to get through to Hollywood last season. She prolly wanted to do him ;). From his bio “Often compared to legends in the recording industry such as Prince, Michael Jackson and Tina Turner, at the age of 21…” Well, OK if you say so. I remember him being sort of a James Brown knockoff–not very original with a middling voice.
Katrina Reece – Heh. Cannibal Girl. Her audition featured a lovely anecdote about eating human flesh in a college biology class. Other than that, I got nothin’.
Sarah Sue Kelley – Sarah Sue sang “I Could Have Danced All Night” in a very operatic soprano. That alone would probably take her out of the running–well unless she was extremely HOT in the meanwhile. Unfortunately, she’s a Plain Jane even beyond her morbid obesity. Yes, she’s very fat. Here is an article about her decision to try out again. Like last year, this year she got to audition in front of the judges. Sad. She doesn’t seem to get that she was exploited for yucks.
Bao Viet Nguyen – All I remember about his audition is his super-stage dad and some douchy behavior. Oh, and he’s Vietnamese and has a horrible escape-from-communism boat story to tell. AI loves that crap. I don’t remember any remarkable singing however. I heard he made it to Hollywood this year.
Marcus Butts – The infamous Wild Card AI3 which I simultaneously LOVED and HATED. As far as I’m concerned, this show had one of the best and one of the worst moments of that whole series. Best Moment: Jon Peter Lewis performing the audacious “A Little Less Conversation” and getting through as America’s Pick for the Wild Card. Worst Moment: Lisa Leuchner, a talented vocalist denied the chance to compete in the Wild Card. Why? Probably because she was too much of a Kelly knockoff, and Simon found her unattractive. Instead, we got the likes of the affable, attractive, yet mediocre-voiced Matt Metzger. Oh wait, I was talking about Marcus Butts? Like Lisa, he was denied a spot too, and I’ll never forget the look on his face. He was all, “You got to be kidding!” His problem? I suspect Simon considered him too “Broadway”, which is Simon-Speak for “Gay”.
Alden Wynn – “Hot” looking guy who probably didn’t sing very well. I’m guessing Paula liked him a lot. Just a hunch. I actually can’t remember him. He’s obviously wearing skeery fake blue contacts in his web site pic.
And now for the newbies…
Contestants to Watch:
Ayla Brown – This girl comes from my town, and I already hate her. Dad’s a Massachusetts state senator, Mom’s a non-Fox TV station news reporter. She attends a toney private school. She’s got a basketball scholarship to Boston College. Apparently she can sing. She’s pretty. Here’s a picture:
There have been tons of articles written about her in the local Boston press. Like this, this and these. You’ll notice, the first article was written after Ayla made it to Hollywood. Interesting, as all contestants signed confidentiality agreements binding them to secrecy. This has caused some fellow auditioners to call foul .
Jordan Southerland – This guy, from North Carolina, is rumored to have made it to Hollywood. Looks like he initially won something called “Net Idol” whatever that is. And, as he posted in March, it was a toss up between auditioning for AI5 or some Christian competition called “Exalting Him!” Yeah. OK. Well, I have a bone to pick with TPTB at AI. At the Boston audition’s press conference, Simon said about the talent, “‘It’s not great so far”–leading one to believe that there was no talent. And in fact only ten auditioners from Boston made it on to Hollywood. But then Simon finally tells the truth, ”I’ll tell you what’s missing…naivete. Everyone’s a bit over-rehearsed, and I’m looking for that rough diamond.” And it turns out, many of the Boston auditioners were New Yorkers. Hmmm. Alrighty then. City slickers need not apply. And in fact, it seems, many AI contestants in the Top 12 are heavily represented by openly Christian mid-west and southerners. Ever find it kind of strange that so far, in all top-twelves, there have been no Jewish contestants? Hmmmm. Why do TPTB favor devout Christian contestants from the heartland rather than them damb non-jeebus loving east and west coasters? Maybe they figure the conservative heartland is their audience, and actually, that might be correct. I just wish they’d throw in a few more street-wise city-dwellers like Constantine Maroulis for the heathens like me. :). I got off track again? Really, I got nothin’ on this Jordan dude….
Brad Kish – I have a download of a song recorded by this Hollywood-bound contestant. Hmmm. Let’s just say he’s got, in the immortal words of Paula, a “refreshing upper register”. Very bland in a boybandy sort of way. And the song? Just bad. Like second-rate Aaron Carter. He has trouble staying on pitch. Although he’s very pretty in that Jesse McCartney/Ryan Caberra sort of way (left). Scary that I know my Boy Banders, isn’t it? Yikes.
Well, so far that’s all I got. But there will be more, and I’ll be posting stuff as it comes up. Can you contain your excitement??!!? I know I can’t! ;). Thanks to Survivor Sucks and to my chicas at the HH, who gots the AWESOME Google skillz! ;)