I’m still not feeling these auditions people! Tonight, only Todrick Hall stood out. He’s a budding playwright who worked with Fantasia in the Color Purple. It’s also possible he was part of a scheme to scam money out of small children. Sure, he only wrote and directed “Oz The Musical”, he’s not a producer, but his association with that unfortunate production does not look good. Diana DeGarmo played Dorothy in Texas, and she does not have good things to say about her experience.
So heh, other than that. Meh. Oh, except for Neil Patrick Harris who was a smart, funny and entertaining guest judge. He gets my vote as best guest judge of the Season 9 bunch. And the worst? The young Joe Jonas, who had scant screen time and even less to say. Of course, Joe, who I’m told is the “hunky” Jonas, was brought onto the panel to attract young viewers, not for his incisive wit. So, I’m sure it’s all good.
Video and Live Blog after the JUMP…
Tonight it’s the Dallas auditions, featuring guest judges, Neil Patrick Harris and Joe Jonas.
Idol has been in Texas 6 times over the years, 3rd time in Dallas. 11, 000 hopefuls in the new Dallas Cowboys stadium. Look, it’s the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders!
Neil Patrick Harris judges the first day. His goal is to shatter dreams, “If I can make 2 to 3 dozen people cry, I’ll feel like I’ve done my job.”
Julie Kevelighan – 28 – Forth Worth, TX – “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles – This loser auditioned in Season 1, now she’s back. Her shimmery blue dress and bright blue eye shadow are super-scary. Her off-key warbling isn’t even worth critiquing, Or at least NPH doesn’t think so, as he immediately begins critiquing the sign she brought instead. Wow NPH is snarky and blunt! Love him. The judges are trying to tell her NO, but she keeps singing. She sings all the way out of the judges room. “That’s just annoying, ” says NPH. Julie blames her poor vocals on her “breathing.” More like “mouth breather.” – VIDEO
Lloyd Thomas – 29 – Dallas, TX – “Overjoyed” by Stevie Wonder – He’s an airport dockworker with 2 “lovely” daughters. He grew up in the projects and wants a better life for his kids. His vocal is very sweet and smooth. Big guy, he’s like a Ruben 2.0, which is why he won’t get far in the competition. NPH likes his vocals, but suggests he bring more “flash” into his singing. Simon really likes him, calls Lloyd his favorite contestant of the day. “A billion percent yes” says Randy. And Lloyd is on his way to Hollywood. – VIDEO
A montage of Simon and NPH…disagreeing a lot! Is this tonight’s fabricated version of the Katy and Kara’s “catty” montage?
Kimberly Carver – 26 – Carver, TX – She sang an original, but it didn’t matter, she had a pretty good voice. But, it’s one of those big, booming theater voices. Simon, rightly, calls her old-fashioned, but he’s over-ridden by the rest of the panel. “This is a singing competition, isn’t it?” asks Randy (only when you want it to be, Randy) After a small argument, where Simon says Kimberley would be perfect for “Jazz TV”, everyone but Simon says yes. – VIDEO
Dexter Ward – 20 – He’s very, very, very, very, very, sure he’s going to get a golden ticket. Dexter waltzes in wearing sunglasses, a goofy Bob’s Big Boy hair-do and a giant smile. And he’s completely off key! I mean, this guy wouldn’t know a tune if it smacked him upside the head. “That looked like it hurt, ” says Randy. Simon says no, but in a rare moment of compassion, compliments his smile and attitude. Aw, Dexter is crying. He really is that clueless. Sads. – VIDEO
Tonight’s montage of sobbing contestants…goes on and on.
Ryan interviews NPH about the day so far. Neil is surprised by the level of talent. “I thought there’d be a lot of nos and a few yeses.” He doesn’t feel bad saying no to hopefuls, because if they aren’t tough at this stage, they won’t be able to handle the rest of the competition. “That kitchen’s a broiler, ” he says.
Erica Rhodes – 23 – Irving, TX – “Free Your Mind” by En Vogue – “You used to be a dinosaur or something?” asks Simon when Erica enters the room. No, she was on Barney and Friends when she was a kid. So, in an attempt to change her image (and get the judges attention) she performs sporting a black leather outfit and carrying a whip. She sings the Barney theme song prettily. But then, suddenly Erica breaks out her inner-dominatrix, cracking her whip through a fierce rendition of “Free Your Mind.” “Barney kids grow up to be dirty little girls, ” teases NPH. Her singing is average, but the judges are impressed with her personality and chutzpah and put her through. – VIDEO
Dave Pittman – 27 – Mountain Home, AR – “Bring it Home to Me” by Sam Cooke – Dude has Tourettes syndrome. No, he doesn’t swear uncontrollably, but his face twitches and he clears his throat constantly. Like many stutterers, Dave is able to sing symptom free. Dave’s got a clear, strong voice. Neil calls him “crazy brave”. Simon likes him a lot. Randy and Kara say YES! And Dave is on his way to Hollywood. – VIDEO
14 others made it to Hollywood on Day 1. Oh, do we really have to say goodbye to NPH? He totally RULED as guest judge. NPH for new Idol judge!
Joe Jonas judges Day 2. Joe only gets 20 minutes. Ha ha.
Todrick Hall – 24 – Arlington, TX – Dude’s got a theater background. He worked with Fantasia on the Color Purple. A budding playwright, Todd wrote a song just for the occasion, and it’s very clever. His vocals are beautiful, soulful, effortless. Randy says he was one of the best he’s seen. But Simon calls it a “cutsey audition, ” and “voice wise I’m not jumping out of my chair.” But Simon joins the others and says yes anyway. But mark my words…the blogosphere is gonna light up tomorrow on this one, and it’s not going to be pretty. – VIDEO
A quick montage of yeses (including Michael Castro, who was featured in yesterday’s Adam wannabe montage) Dawntoya Thomason – 27 – Dallas, TX, Stephanie Daulong – 20 – Austin, TX. – VIDEO
Maegan Wright – 20 – Richardson, TX – “To Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan – Her parents divorce brought her and her little brother closer together. Meagan has a very prettified country voice, but not a lot of power or charisma. Kara thought she was going to be a joke. Huh? Because she’s not dressed up? Simon likes her casual attire–which is odd, because he’s been known to diss a contestant who isn’t all pop-tarted out. – VIDEO
Vanessa Johnston – 22 – Waxahachie, TX – “At Last” by Etta James – She half speaks, half bellows this classic, and it is TRAGIC. She’s got some weird hand gestures–a “Britney thing” as Kara says. Simon calls her singing, “What my nightmares look and sound like..that’s what keeps me up at night.” As she’s getting dissed by the judges, she’s still HAPPY! And laughing. Outside the judges room, she tells her family what Simon said, and everyone bursts out laughing. Yeah, she’s happy. Happy she got on television. No way that girl was serious. – VIDEO
Next, Ryan explains why Simon isn’t really a dick. He’s just mean because he’s got to listen to bad audition after bad audition. He does it all for us! America! And you never know when the next Carrie-Kelly-Jordin-David or Kris will turn up!
Christian Spears – 16 – All I Can Do is Cry” by Etta James – Christian had Leukemia when she was 4, then went into remission at 8. She’s been cancer-free for 8 years. She’s got a big, strong belter’s voice and a ton of confidence. The judges love her, especially Simon, who calls her “incredibly brave”. “Billion percent yes, ” says Randy (For some reason, Randy feels the need to up the ante, it used to be a million percent yes). Christian gets 4 yeses, and she’s on her way to Hollywood. – VIDEO
Seventeen golden ticket holders on day 2, 31 total for the city of Dallas.
OMG, Joe Jonas = most useless guest judge yet! The producers only gave him 20 minutes…and he hardly said a thing. He must have been really terrible.