American Idol 10 – San Francisco Auditions Recap Live Blog

Simon Cowell, out on the media trail promoting X Factor, said in an interview that the few minutes he has seen of  the new season of American Idol reminded him of a snuggie or a bowl of soup.  He was being a little more than condescending in his description, but I’ve gotta say I get his point.

On one hand, I do like the warmer and fuzzier Idol. I don’t miss the mocking of contestants or the overload on bad talent. However, I think Nigel and company are overdoing it just a bit with the sob stories.

Tonight we had 3–a guy who nearly died in a car accident, a girl whose house burned down and the final story, a kid who: Lost his dad to drugs at 9, was diagnosed with Tourettes and Aspergers, got his girl pregnant, and is unemployed and so poor, he can’t buy his child diapers.

The hopeful, James Durbin, cried through his entire audition.  And I’d call him an annoying, whining crybaby, except I belive the fact that he’s a high level autistic is responsible for the behavior.

Which begs the question: Is Idol taking advantage of this poor kid? I’m no expert on autism, but from what I understand, those who have it don’t socialize very easily. I have to wonder if a kid like James can handle the stress of Idol.  Like the Chris Medina backstory from a few weeks ago, I think the segment was overkill.  Not to mention the buildup that never really payed off in vocal talent.  James has some raw talent, but he’s got no control or finesse.  There was a lot of LOUD SINGING and a go at some unfortunate vocal gymnastics. Eh. No.

I’m really glad the auditions are over.  Let’s get on with Hollywood. Let’s get on with some SINGING and leave the rest on the cutting room floor.

My favorites tonight were the trios of singers we saw very little of.   Really liked those three nameless girls near the end of the episode.  I also really enjoyed Brittany Mazur, Laura Johnston and Matthew Nuss.  And there was something about Clint Jun Gamboa’s warm, soulful voice that I really liked.

The judges went ga ga over Julie Zorrilla, but I found her vocals just ok and her performance style affected.  She didn’t do much for me–she reminded me of a pageant kid.

So peeps, who were your favorites? And are you as sick of the backstories as I am?

Videos and Live blog after the JUMP…

American Idol 10 heads to the very last audition city, San Francisco. The show will begin with some “crude British humor” and end with another mega sob story.

I’ll be live-blogging the hour-long show right here, so stick around for the fun. If you’re into chat, join the real-time convo in the chat room.

Cold opening: Tearful girl walking out of her audition, she thought she was going to be famous, but they wouldn’t let her finish her audition because…she farted. VIDEO

Ha ha ha ha ha….. Oy. Once again, pimped bit OVERSOLD.

Adam Lambert auditioned in San Francisco!

Inessa Lee – 22 – Los Angeles – Originally from the Ukraine. She came to Hollywood to be a star! She’s made a lot of music videos…including shower scenes. Eep. She’s an AMAZING choreographer. “I’m must a unique thing.” Ok, You know she’s going to suck. Her husband is Asian. Oh. She’s a belly dancer too. Yippie. “You’re so cute and precious, ” says Steven, “I so hoped you had the voice to go with it.” She tries to turn on the charm. “You’re cute as a button and have a great spirit, ” says Jennifer, “but it’s no.” Randy agrees. Inessa can’t believe it. Believe it girl. You cannot sing. – Part 1Part 2

Sob story preview! Looks like we’ve got two or 3 tonight. Hooray /sarcasm.

The morning talent was bombing. Just like the pooping birds. What?

Brittany Mazur – 21 – Tuscson, AZ – Nice. Raspy voice – Lara Johnston – 20 – Novato, CA – Strong throaty alto. – Matthew Nuss – 25 – Huntington Beach, CA – Good stuff. That was way too short. – VIDEO

Stefano Langone – 21 – Kent, WA – “Heart it Through the Grapevine” – Stefano was in an accident May 28 2009. (When I saw the cuts in the teaser, I thought he was a cutter or a suicide survivor. I’m glad it was neither.) His parents say when the medics pulled up they thought he was dead. But he got up on his feet in less than 4 months, even thought the docs said he’d never be the same. Dude’s got a strong, soulful vibe. “I liked that, ” says Randy. “You have real star quality, movie star good looks, your voice has a nice tone to it, ” says Jennifer. “You survived that accident for a reason, ” says Steven, “Because you’re going to Hollywood!” Oh, I’m sure that’s the reason why he didn’t die. Eeep. – Part 1Part 2

Clint Jun Gamboa – 26 – Long Beach, CA – “Billionaire” – Dude’s a karaoke host. Perfect. We see shots of him working at the club. He’s got to be decent if they went to all that trouble. June bug in the house! OMG this guy’s music was used in the cult movie “The Room”. He’s got a very warm, soulful tone. He’s got that Bruno Mars vibe going on. It’s 3 yeses and Clint moves on to Hollywood. – VIDEO

A montage of really really terrible singers is next.

Drew Beaumier – 24 – Fountain Valley, CA – “Born to Be Wild” Holy sh*t. Dude is literally dressed as a transformer. First he’s a car. Then a monster. He built it himself. He says it’s how people we get around in 10 years. Yeah, and they said we’d have flying cars by the year 2000! Of course. He sucks. But the outfit was pretty clever. – VIDEO

Oh, so the girls in San Francisco have star power! We hear a couple of talented, unnamed  hopefuls. – VIDEO

Julie Zorrilla – 20 – Los Angeles –  “Summertime” – She’s from Columbia. Oh. They’re rich Columbians. So they left everything behind to escape war and violence. She’s got a good voice, but she’s a tad affected. “Fabulous, beautiful, great star quality, and I like your shoes, ” says Steven. Boss Randy tries to move it along, but Steven isn’t done yet! Once Steven finishes it’s Jlo’s turn. “I liked it too. You have confidence, ” says Jennifer. Randy namechecks Fantasia, but not unfavorably. He says she made some interesting vocal choices. Jennifer predicts she could win. That means she won’t. – Part1Part2

Dave Combs – 25 – San Francisco – “Oh Darling” – “What happened? I thought you were going to represent. You were so far off the melody it was like another planet.” Guy begs for another chance. Steven says NO. – VIDEO

“Dude did you hit your head on the way in?”

“Do you have handcuffs” he asks a girl dressed sorta like a cop. “You ought to be arrested for that voice.”

Steven is being so mean! – VIDEO

Emily Anne Reed – 26 – Arlington, VA – Last week this chick’s house burned down. They’ve got footage and everything! American Idol could change her life! By giving her a music career! And maybe a new house. Nevertheless, she has one of those quirky little jazz voices, sorta like Madeleine Peyroux. “You have a specific and unique tone, ” says Steven, “I liked your old timey voice but your melody had a lot to be desired. You’re not ready yet.” Randy disagrees and says yes. “You have more of the singer-songwriter vibe, which Idol has had the past couple of years, ” says Jennifer. In other words YOU DON’T STAND A FREAKING CHANCE. But she says yes anyway. Steven asks her to pick up her guitar and she sings some more. When she does, Steven and Jennifer are finally impressed. – Part1Part2

People came to San Francisco from ALL OVER THE WORLD.

James Durbin – 21 – Santa Cruz – Oh jeez. Here’s the litany of bad news: His dad died of a drug overdose when he was 9. He’s crying. He never got a chance to no him. He was on medication for a sleep disorder. He was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome and Asperger’s. He met a girl! An Angel! But then oh noes. She got pregnant. More crying. He’s living in a tiny apartment, he can’t afford diapers! Whaaaaaaa. Maybe he’ll start involuntarily swearing in front of the judges. That would be entertaining. But he doesn’t He’s got a strong, LOUD LOUD LOUD voice. Sorta like Adam Lambert, but without any of the glam one’s finesse. He asks to sing “Dream On”. Steven seems to be digging it. But really dude YOU DON’T NEED TO YELL. He starts crying some more. “You go away when you sing, ” says Jennifer, “You sing from a really different place.” “That was over the top, ” says Steven. Yep. “It was so so good.” Well… More crying. The judges say yes. I understand the guy has some medical issues, which accounts for the non-stop crying and such. But still. That whole segment was just way over the top. Too much producers. TOO MUCH. – Part1Part2

Well the auditions are over. Let’s see a little re-cap of what we’ve seen so far. PIMP PIMP PIMP.


About mj santilli 34486 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!