American Idol Season 8 – San Francisco Auditions – Recap

Update: Photos and Recap, after the JUMP – I fixed the John Twiford link…

  • Tatiana Del Toro – Age 23 – San Juan, Puerto Rico – Singer/Actress Model –   “Never Loved a Man” by Aretha Franklin – YES – VIDEO
  • Dean-Anthony Bradford – Age 27 – Pasadena, CA – Entrepreneur – “Stars” by Simply Red – NO – VIDEO
  • Jesus Valenzula – Age 29 – North Highlands, CA – Fleet Manager – “Nice and Slow” by Usher – YES – VIDEO
  • Dalton Powell   – Age 18 – Manteca, CA – Unemployed – “Ooh Baby Baby” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – NO – VIDEO
  • Akilah Askew-Gholston – Age 26 – Oakland, CA – Aspiring Songwriter – “Make Sweet Love”, Original – NO – VIDEO
  • John Twiford – Age 27 – Sherman Oaks, CA – Music Teacher – “Overjoyed” by Stevie Wonder – YES – VIDEO (plus Allison and Raquel)
  • Allison Iraheta – Age 16 – Los Angeles, CA – High School Student – “Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin – YES
  • Raquel Houghton – Age 28 – Los Angeles, CA – Waitress/Bartender – “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield – YES
  • Annie Murdoch – Age 28 – Novato, CA – Unemployed – “Summertime” – NO – VIDEO
  • Adam Lambert – Age 26 – Hollywood, CA – Stage Actor – “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen – YES – VIDEO
  • Kai Kalama – Age 26 – San Clemente, CA – Musician – “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” by the Platters – YES – VIDEO

So, what the hell is wrong with San Francisco? A mere 12 contestants advance to Hollywood?   That’s pretty pathetic, if you ask me. Outside of Adam Lambert and Kai Kalama (maybe), the talent on tonight’s episode was dire.   Oh sure, there was a tiny montage of a few promising singers, but it was tough to really assess their talents in such short bites.

And this week we get to see the new gal, Kara, mix it up with Simon.   We knew that was coming, didn’t we?   I love Kara, she’s a big mouthed Italian girl, and as someone who comes from a family of those, I hope the live shows feature her routinely smacking Simon around.   That would be totally awesome.   And maybe while she’s at it, she can can give Randy a sharp elbow when he starts repeating himself.

On with the recap…

Katharine McPhee and William Hung…both found in San Francisco.   And Kara DioGuardi loves San Francisco. No, she really really loves it. Oh look!   A couple of fame-whores got married on line!   I hope chucking the wedding with family and friends was worth the 2 seconds of screen time…

Tatiana Del Toro – Age 23 – San Juan, Puerto Rico – Singer/Actress Model –   “Never Loved a Man” by Aretha Franklin – YES – Holy Mother of God.   This chick is so freaking annoying.   In fact, she’s so annoying, I expect her to make the Top 36, as the producers seem hell-bent on making the show “Big Brother” with singing. Her vocals are average, but her over-the-top antics are just made for TV.   And that laugh? Is so fake. –   VIDEO

Dean-Anthony Bradford – Age 27 – Pasadena, CA – Entrepreneur – “Stars” by Simply Red – NO – Wow, that outfit (“How many sofas do you think had to die to make that coat?” says Ryan).   That hair (he claims “the drapes” are multi-colored as well–TMI!).   The goofy grin (EEP!).   The really bad singing (Yikes!). Dean describes himself as a failed entrepreneur, and that ain’t all. “At least you’re not going to be cold, ” says Simon. –   VIDEO

Jesus Valenzula – Age 29 – North Highlands, CA – Fleet Manager – “Nice and Slow” by Usher – Jesus warbles a few bars of Usher, and it’s pretty clear he’s mediocre, but before you know it, his adorable sign-wielding kids are being ushered into the room to the meet the judges (and get a hug from Simon), and after that, how can anyone say no? Well, except for Simon of course. As Jesus won’t be bringing his kids to Hollywood, I suspect he won’t make it past the first day. YES – VIDEO

Dalton Powell   – Age 18 – Manteca, CA – Unemployed – “Ooh Baby Baby, ” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – After displaying his teensy-tiny falsetto stylings, Rubiks cube master (25 seconds to solve the puzzle!), Dalton Powell, admits that he’s a fan of the show. “Simon keeps it interesting, ” he says. But even appealing to Simon’s vanity can’t move him to say yes to Dalton’s weird, affect-free performance.   It’s a NO. – VIDEO

Next, it’s the “brewing feud” between Simon and Kara!   Kara seems to have no problem telling Simon to STFU.   Good stuff.

Akilah Askew-Gholston – Age 26 – Oakland, CA – Aspiring Songwriter – “Make Sweet Love”, Original – Akilah’s strides into her audition with pages and pages of technical information on the physiology of training a gospel singer (is there such a thing?)   and of course she mispronounces all the big words!   The cynical me says this is all a put on, but whatever.   Akilah and her adorable malapropisms take up entirely too much air time, although telling the judges that she sang from “the wrong rectum” did make me lolz. The “original” song was kind of hilarious too. Akilah’s never-ending chatter even runs Paula out of the room. – NO – VIDEO

Not too short, are the they-go-by-in-a flash auditions of John Twiford, (“Overjoyed” by Stevie Wonder) Allison Iraheta (“Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin) and Raquel Houghton (“Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springflield)   All three have voices I would have appreciated hearing more of, but since this episode seems to be all about showcasing the losers, we only get brief flashes of their vocal abilities, and the judges putting them through. Oh well. – YES – VIDEO

Annie Murdoch – Age 28 – Novato, CA – Unemployed – “Summertime” – Annie says she “loves to scat like Ella” or, in other words,   “I’m about to assault your eardrums. Get your cats out of the room.”   Annie can’t decide what to sing “Should I butcher sing a Bonnie Raitt song?” But she finally decides, if she’s going to destroy a song, it might as well be a classic. Simon says, “It sounded like you were drunk.” – NO – VIDEO

Adam Lambert – Age 26 – Hollywood, CA – Stage Actor – “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen – Finally–the first really good audition of the night comes at the 50 minute mark.   Adam Lambert is an actor who has already been in numerous stage productions.   So much experience, that he’ll be bringing an already-existing fanbase into the competition.   TPTB pony up the dough to set his video package against Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida?”–they are totally pimping this guy.   His audition song, “Bohemian Rhapsody” shows off his mad vocal range and penchant for theatrics.   Indeed, Simon calls him on his theatricality (not for the first, time, I’m sure) but says yes anyway.   Adam gushes to Paula, “I saw you when I was 10, ” and it’s a kiss on the hand before he leaves the room with 4 yeses. – YES – VIDEO

Kai Kalama – Age 26 – San Clemente, CA – Musician – “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” by the Platters – Tonight’s sob story centers around Kai and his mom, “the only woman in my life right now.” Kai spends his nights working clubs as a musician, and his days taking care of mom, who developed a seizure disorder in the past year.   Kai’s got a baritone that’s like warm honey–very nice.   But the judges think he lacks stage presence.   Hilariously, Simon suggests that Kai watch him on American Idol in order to build confidence.   Even more hilarious is Kara smacking Simon down like an annoying fly when he tries to interrupt her.   Good stuff!   Question is, who takes care of mom if Kai advances? – YES – VIDEO

So, that was pretty lame.   Bring on Louisville…

About mj santilli 30193 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, 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!