2nd Update: Added links to Pre-Idol material!
Update: I’m going to keep this post pinned to the top of the page until tonight. Look for breaking Idol news below
EEP! So exciting! It’s the series premiere of American Idol tonight, featuring the Boston Auditions! A couple of things:
1, I’ve got a working chat room now. Check it out HERE. 2. I’m going to try to post some videos tonight, but I’m not promising anything. I suspect they will be taken down as soon as I put them up, but I’ll give it a shot. 2. Kris Allen’s new Ford commercial premiers tonight during the broadcast, so look forward to that!
I’ll be live blogging Idol right in this space, so keep checking back.
Want to hear something really crazy? I didn’t miss Paula Abdul. Not one little bit. In fact, I didn’t even think about her until the show was over. Maybe I’ll feel her absence when the live shows begin.
I also didn’t think much about Victoria Beckham. Typical of Idol guest judges, she was pretty much a non-entity. We’ll see if some of the upcoming guest judges can change that.
And the wall? They finally gave up displaying all the winning Idols on the wall behind the auditioners. I guess they decided sticking Taylor Hicks out in the hall with Ryan Seacrest would be a bit much, even by the standards of TPTB.
A pretty good show tonight–I’m proud to say, as a Bostonian. The standouts for me were Ashley Rodriguez, Tyler Grady, Leah Laurenti and my favorite of the night, young Katie Stevens.
Live blog and videos after the JUMP…
The action begins with a re-cap of the Season 8 finale. Now, a recap of the summer drama: Paula leaves, the guest judges enter, Ellen Degeneres becomes the new judge on American Idol. “It’s a new beginning, ” says Ryan.
“Each year we get bigger and better…be prepared for this year’s talent to blow you away!”
Next, a preview of this season’s sob stories! Poverty! Sick Kids! Ordinary Americans try out for American Idol. The School teacher, the Systems Engineer, the waitress….
Season 9 starts in BOSTON! YAY BOSTON! MUSIC! So happy to hear that theme song again!
Oh dear. It’s sh*tty weather in Boston. Wall to wall umbrellas. But everyone is enthusiastic! Boston is a city of champions! The judges arrive. Introduction? Guest judge Victoria Beckham. She was as Spice Girl once upon a time. Now, she’s an…entrepreneur! And married to that soccer guy, David Beckham.
Janet McNamara – 26 – Somerville Ma – She plays the “American Idol” video game…and mastered it! She jumps up and down and tells herself she’s awesome. Wicked Awesome! Holy crap! She sings, and cats are dying across America “Is this window open?” asks Simon. Wow, that game sucks! This chick totally drank, like 10 red bulls before her audition. It’s a big fat no, of course.
Maddy Curtis – 16 – Bluemont, VA – “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen – She’s 9th of 12 kids. She has two brothers with Down Syndrome. She’s got a pretty good voice, but not distinctive. She’s probably the star of her church choir. The judges really like her though. Victoria tells her she has a “useful” voice. Kara calls her an “old soul” and compliments her ability to sing from the heart. She gets 4 enthusiastic yeses, but she’s not all that. – VIDEO – Pre-Idol Preview HERE.
Pat Ford – 17 – Derry, NH – “Womanizer” – OMG, this guy couldn’t possibly think he’s good. Hello. He tells Simon, “You’re even sassier in person than you are on TV.” He thinks he did fantastic. Randy tells him to stop singing forever. After he gets 4 nos, he says, “See you next season!”
A montage of great singers. I hate when they do this! Show us the good singers, dammit! Jennifer Hirsh – 22 – Manhattan, NY, Claire Fuller – 23 – Philadelphia, PA, Jess Wolfe – 24 – Brooklyn, NY – VIDEO
By noon, only girls got gold tickets.
Amadeo Diricco – 28 – Johnston, RI – “Hoochy Coochie Man” by Muddy Waters – Oh, an Italian dude from Providence! His family looks awesome. I want to eat at his house. Too bad his singing sucks. Passionate, but all over the place. Victoria calls him a “nice guy”. Kara says she feels like she’s home with her cousins. Everyone likes Amadeo. Simon calls him sincere and likable. “You have good energy” says Simon. Everyone says yes. Erm. OK. He was pretty average, but his outsized personality will propbably make for some good TV. – VIDEO
Derek Hilton – 19 – Bellingham, MA – “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” by Elton John – “I’m really a spiritual guy” says Derek. Derek says he sounds like Chris Brown and the Eagles. Really? Those two are so similar! Well, no. Nasally is a form of singing! Wow. “That was catchy, ” Simon says sarcastically, “Lotta people you were chanelling there.” OMG, Simon and Randy are mocking him. “Complete and utter rubish. Like there was 20 of you in there, and all of them were horrible, ” says Simon.
Now it’s time for a montage of sad, sad losers, crying their little eyes out.
Mere Doyle – 24 – Wapole, MA – “Piece of My Heart” – Janis Joplin – She’s an anime freak! She hand makes kimonos. She wants to be big in Japan! She auditions a lot. Holy crap! Screamy McScreamerton! “The singing was verging on terrible, ” says Simon. Everyone tells Mary she’s good! She can’t believe the judges are scorning her. “Singing is not your thing” says Randy. “I would love to fly to the moon, ” says Simon, “But I can’t.” Ahhh. The judges shatter another deluded contestant’s dream… She’s trained for 14 years. How dare they!
Andrew Fenlon – 25 – Boston, MA – “House of the Rising Sun” – Andrew is rather sullen boy, lacking in social skills. He’s in a bad mood–pissed because he had to wait all day. His curt replies rub Kara the wrong way. She gets into it with him: “I am now angry at you, who I do not like at all, ” says Kara. “You walked in quite sulky and rude, ” says Victoria, ” You have bad energy–you’re arrogant.” He wasn’t a bad singer, but the judges are so pissed off they all say no. Except Simon, who was probably looking forward to getting into it with him in Hollywood. Kara tells him he needs a spanking. The audition deteriorates with Kara and Simon yelling at each other. Yay. Andrew leaves, bewildered. He was actually an interesting singer, but a little scary.
ALERT: Kris Allen Ford commercial “Alright With Me” LOVE THAT SONG. – VIDEO
After the break, another montage of more really really really bad singing.
Ashley Rodriguez – 21 – Boston, MA – “If I Ain’t Got You” – Kara says she’s got the look and sound that’s very commercial. She’s a package artist! “My favorite tonight, ” she says. Simon tells her she has the “it” factor. Oh, this is one to watch! I bet she makes the Top 24. “If that’s the bar, then everyone else should go home, ” says Kara. Ashley is the contestant Ellen chose to showcase on her show today. Ashley is a good singer, polished and beautiful. I’ll be shocked if she doesn’t go far. – VIDEO – Pre-Idol Preview HERE.
Tyler Grady – 19 – Nazareth PA – “Let’s Get it On” by Marvin Gaye – He shattered both his wrists after he fell out of a tree. Simon asks him if he had binoculars around his neck. Ha. He’s a drummer, so the accident is bad. He really wants to be a front man. Dude’s got a 70’s rock vibe. And a very nice voice. Plus with his big brown eyes and curly mop of hair, he’s a fricking babe magnet. Kara is SMILING. Simon says “This will be one of those auditions I’m going to remember.” 4 yeses for Tyler. – VIDEO – Pre-Idol Preview HERE.
At the end of day one 17 contestants have advanced to Hollywood.
Totally negative Scott Brown political commericial! Ayla Brown’s dad is running for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. (Ayla was in Season 5’s Top 24)
Day Two in Boston
Lisa Olivera – 24 – Billerica, MA – Waitress – “Vision of Love” by Mariah Carey – Oh wow. This chick came in all confident, and then…Yikes. Really ear-splittingly bad. “It wasn’t good, it was terrible, ” says Randy. “It was the craziest version of Mariah Carey that I’ve ever heard.” says Simon. Tip: When a contestant swears she’s better than most singers on AI, and then announce they’ll be singing Mariah Carey? Cover your ears preemptively.
More and more really bad singers…
Mike Davis – 18 – Boston – “Yesterday” by the Beatles – Dude is a Codzilla driver–a crazy tourist boat that does 360 turns in the water. He does a very nice job with “Yesterday”. Simon calls him confident without being obnoxious. Kara likes him too. “I like that you’re emotional, ” says Kara. Now, the judges are talking over each other, and Simon gets pissed. He says yes and leaves the room. Randy says no. “I’ll leave it up to you girls, ” says Randy and HE leaves the room. The girls say yes, and Mike is on his way to Hollywood. – VIDEO
Mike was the first golden ticket of the day…
Katie Stevens – 16 – Middlebury, CT – “At Last” by Etta James. – Comes from a Portuguese family. Katie is very close to her grandma, who has Alzheimer’s. Her grandma taught her to speak Portuguese. Katie sings to her. “She’s probably not going to be here for much longer, ” , says Katie, “I want her to see me succeed in my dream before she forgets who I am. She’s very good. Very mature sounding. Beautiful phrasing. Wow. Definitely Top 24 material. Kara calls her amazing. – VIDEO – Pre-Idol Preview, including You Tubes HERE.
Joshua Blaylock – 28 – New York, NY – “God Bless The Broken Road” by Rascall Flatts – Dudes got a nice voice, and he’s easy on the eyes. But, right away, Simon decides to give him a hard time. “No presence, no power, forgettable, ” says Simon. They think he’s to nice, and bait him into telling Simon to shut up. It’s not very convincing. Randy says he could be in a group like Spandeaux Ballet. Paula left Randy her stash, obviously. He gets 4 yeses anyway. Joshua has been featured in commercials. He seems like a really sweet guy. – VIDEO – Season 9 Pre-Idol Preview HERE.
After the break…more terrible contestants.
Justin Williams – 21 – Sandy UT – “Feeling Good” – Got cancer when he was serving a mission in Spain. Multiple surgeries and chemotherapy. Now he is cancer free. Justin made Hollywood in Season 8. He was part of the “White Chocoate” group with Kris Allen and Matt Giraud. Kara says, “I am going to remember you.” Well you should! You’ve seen him before! Many times. Why are they pretending they don’t know him? – VIDEO
– Pre-Idol Preview, including You Tubes HERE.
Norberto Guerrro – 18 – Reading, PA – “Everytime We Touch” – He’s the nutty guy with the crazy mullet we way in previews. The guy’s so nervous, he keeps forgetting the words. “You sing like a 3 year old, and you’ve got a beard, ” says Simon. Randy is laughing. Kara, feeling bad, says, “Sorry no, honey.”
Bosa Mora – 22 – Columbus OH – His parents are Nigerian and very proud. They wanted to pursue music themselves. Bosa’s mom is very colorful in a bright orange tribal outfit with a big crazy headress. Bosa’s got a decent voice, but like Simon says, “Good but boring.” Victoria disagrees with Simon (and me). Victoria finds him heartfelt. Simon says no. Victoria, Kara and Randy say yes. And Bosa’s on his way to Hollywood. – VIDEO – Season 9 Pre-Idol Preview HERE.
Leah Laurenti – 22 – Medford, NY – “Blue Skies” – Her religious family would not let her listen to much secular music. She becomes very emotional speaking of her goal to become a singer. Wow, she’s got a powerful, jazzy voice. “One of the best I heard today” says Randy. “You are a very good sing…emotional, ” says Kara. 4 yeses. She’s on her way to Hollywood. – VIDEO
32 Boston auditioners advance to Hollywood!