Here’s your American Idol 11 St. Louis, MO auditions recap post. I’ll be live blogging tonight at Entertainment Weekly. Do join me there if you’d like! I’ll be back here as soon as the episode ends on the East Coast to post videos, polls and a full recap!
For you chat fans, I also set up a client here if you’d like to gab Idol.
American Idol producers sure love them some Carrie Underwood. And why not? After she won the 4th Season of Idol she went on to take country music by storm. Her biggest hits, like “Before He Cheats” crossed over to pop radio. She’s won scads of awards. And she never forgets where she came from. She’s an awesome ambassador for the show. So it’s no surprise that producers chose to open the St. Louis auditions with a clip of the journey which brought Carrie to audition in St. Louis in the summer of 2004.
Tonight’s final audition city was one of Idol’s better episodes so far. There was Johnny Keyser, a handsome, charismatic blue-eyed soul singer who had been featured on Idol promos. And and an uncharacteristically humorous “bad” audition starring an employee of the hotel where auditions were being held. His co-workers loved him, despite evidence to the contrary.
I personally liked the all-silent bad audition–a super-cute take off on the movie “The Artist” complete with an adorable jumping dog!
Rachelle Lamb brought some spunk. Reis Kloeckener and Ethan Jones pulled at the heart strings. Overall, a real nice mix of hopefuls. But I’m still thrilled the auditions are done. It’s on to the DRAMA of Hollywood next week!
The judges are still rubber stamping (or not) hopefuls in unison. Oh panel. Please step up your game in the live shows. PLEASE.
Ten thousand hopefuls turned out to audition. Forty-Six hopefuls headed to Hollywood.
Carrie Underwood Video
What was up with Walter the Taxi driver? He’s driving down a nearly empty expressway complaining about all the traffic American Idol is going to bring. Alrighty.
Johnny Keyser – A Change Is Gonna Come – 22 – Pompono Beach FL – It’s just Johnny and his dad after his parents divorced. I wonder what happened to mom? Johnny was featured in an American Idol promo. You may recall Jennifer Lopez in the promo telling a young hopeful to “Keep on singing!” She does that here, too. Johnny’s got that sweet blue-eyed soul thing going on, but unfortunately as the trio egg him on to “keep singing” he begins show boating with the runs and riffs. It kinda ruined his performance for me. Honestly, kiddos? Less is really really more. Still, I look forward to seeing what Johnny can deliver in Hollywood. The entire family got to watch him sing for the judges on monitors outside, so it’s a good thing the audition went well.
David Coleman – 28 – St. Louis Park, MN – “The Contestant” – SEND THAT DOG TO HOLLYWOOD! STAT.
Rachelle Lamb – – Find Somebody New by Faith Hill – When Rachelle first hit my TV screen and began her much too familiar Idol sob story: Single mom, my man done me wrong, that’s why I’m not a famous star, Idol’s gonna save my career–I was ready to write her off. But dang, girl’s got a big ole country voice with a lot of verve and sass. If she puts away the sob story now (her kid Madison auditioned right along side mommy. She was cute. But NO) I may find myself rooting for her. Steven liked her “moxie”. Jennifer complimented her pure tone. 3 yeses mean she’s on her way to Hollywood.
Reis Kloeckener – 20 – St. Louis MO – Lean On Me by Bill Withers – Reis, a small and shy boy, was constantly bullied in high school. One of his teachers who heard him sing in the hallways suggested he try out for the school choir. When he was accepted, his life completely turned around. Finally, he found a place where he belonged. Sounds like a real life Glee story, doesn’t it? Reis has an interesting tone. Very sweet. Steven said it was so beautiful, it almost made him cry. Reis was completely overwhelmed by the compliments. He’s got potential, but doesn’t seem to have much experience outside of school. I’m afraid he’ll be eaten alive in Hollywood. I have to say I find it a little ironic that Idol would highlight this particular backstory in light of the show’s history of bullying sad deluded singers. Maybe sharing Reis’ story is a way to make amends. And also jump on to the “It Gets Better” bandwagon. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Ethan Jones – 22 – Pontoon Beach, IL – I’ll Be by Edwin McCain – Ethan’s dad had to go to rehab for alcohol and drug problems, something Steven Tyler can relate to. “He can be a power of example to you and everyone else around him,” says Steven, “I work hard to do that as well.” It’s a touching story that serves to humanize Ethan. Otherwise, I would find myself not caring a bit for this generic boy and his bland version of “I’ll Be”–a song that needs to be banned from Idol forever. Randy is once again saying stupid sh*t. “You walk in…you look nothing like the way you sound.” Is that Randy’s new catch phrase? Because it’s idiotic. I wanted to forget Ethan the Living Ken Doll, but when a tear slid down his cheek as he told his dad the good news over the phone, (3 yeses mean Hollywood!) I found myself rooting for him. Damn you Idol!
Mark Ingram – 28 – Conninsville, IL – “Over Joyed” by Stevie Wonder – Mark works at the hotel where the auditions are taking place, so he’s got a built in cheering section. The staff gathers in the audition room to watch Mark sing. They swear their co-worker is fantastic. And, of course he’s not. For the first bar or two I have a little hope, but once he goes for the high notes, his voice turns into an annoying squawk–like the way a changing teenage voice might crack. By the end of the song, he’s barely singing in tune Nevertheless, the hotel staff thought he sang great! Mark begs for another chance, and is even worse on the 2nd tune, “Part Time Lover”. Randy says “You aren’t quite ready for this.” Uh. YEAH. One co-worker that Ryan cornered was semi-honest, “He needs a little work.” Ya think? “But he’ll be back next year. Nooooo! Mark is an object lesson in how bad singers stay deluded. ENABLERS!
Lauren Gray – 22 – Hardy AR – “One and Only” by Adele – Lauren’s family owns a one-stop wedding shop. A daddy’s girl, she sings with her father in a southern rock band on the weekend. It’s always been Dad’s dream that she make it on Idol. Ryan is surprised that rock dude dad runs a floral shop. I’m surprised he cares about American Idol at all. Lauren describes her voice as bluesy, and to say she belted out the song would be an understatement. She’s shouty in a really unpleasant way. Maybe she’s nervous, but if she weren’t pushing it to the brink, she’d have something. I can hear a nice tone in there, and her phrasing has some neat little inflections. The judges were all “wow”. Jennifer wipes her eye, “I didn’t need to hear that song right now.” Adele’s got her thinking of the exes, I assume. Steven doesn’t care that her voice broke. He considers her fearless. Randy echoes the sentiment, “You’ve got to be willing to take chances and jump off that ledge as a singer.” “You’re one of the best female voices we’ve heard,” says Jennifer. Three yeses and Lauren is on her way to Hollywood.