American Idol Season 9 – Denver Auditions – VIDEO

Finally, an audition episode that’s chock-full of talented singers…and I’ll be damned if I can remember any of them! With so much talent from Denver–26 contestants moving on to Hollywood–it’s a wonder the episode wasn’t more memorable.

But, maybe, after 7 episodes, I’m burnt out on Idol auditions. I enjoy the Idol audition phase less and less every year. I’m really looking forward to next week, when the Hollywood episodes begin–if only to see how Ellen DeGeneres steps into her new role as judge.

We got a better glimpse of Victoria Beckham as guest judge than we did in Boston, and I have to say, if fashion advice is all she had for the auditioners, her remarks were better left on the cutting room floor.

It’s not as if Ms. Posh Spice doesn’t sing, so you’d think she’d have more to say than just “nice dress!” or “I love your look!” Total GAH! at having to endure two audition episodes with Beckham. More Neil Patrick Harris and Shania Twain please!

Tonight’s episode could have been subtitled, American Idol Daycare, with the emphasis on the contestant’s kids, or their friend’s kids, or the kids’ friends. Yeah, there were a lot of kids, especially in the first half hour.

My favorites from tonight:

Haeley Vaughn is something we haven’t really on Idol yet–an African American country singer. Talented and vivacious, I’m looking forward to seeing what Haely’s got.

Anybody who picks a Squeeze song to perform in front of the judges is OK in my book, so I found myself really digging Mark Labriola, whose jokey-joke audition made way for some surprisingly good vocals.

Not only is Kimberly Kerbow a cutie, but she’s got a sweet, lilting voice, and a nice girl-singer-songwriter thing going on. I’m looking forward to hearing more from her in Hollywood.

Video and Recap after the JUMP…

Tonight, on American Idol, it’s the final audition city, Denver. Spice chick, Victoria Beckham, is back as judge.

Chris Daughtry pimping! He auditioned for Idol in Denver in 2005. The altitude the confuses the judges. Someone told Randy he was the darker version of David Beckham. Right.

Mark Labriola – 28 – Aurora, CO – “Tempted” By Squeeze – Mark gets compared to to Jack Black, “a lot”. He starts off the audition all jokey-jokey, but then launches into this crazy story about his crazy mom who kidnapped him away from his Dad. Simon is fascinated with the story, grilling Mark like a detective. Mark’s dad found him a few years later and brought him back to Denver. The dialogue between Mark and Simon goes all “Who’s on First” and the judges panel degenerates into chaos. Geez, Kara needs to calm down! But then, Mark sings, and….I was expecting this guy to suck with the setup he got. Not only does he have great taste in music, but he’s a pretty good singer. Everyone says yes, and Mark is through to the next round. Outside the judges room, holding his son, he cries after he gets his golden ticket. He’s 28 and his dream isn’t over. – VIDEO

Mario Galvan 25 – Denver, CO – “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley – Simon is mocking his nervous laugh. And the rest of the panel thinks it’s hilarious. So mean! Dude, with that horrible bellowing voice, has actually gotten parts in musical theater productions. Yikes. – VIDEO

Kimberly Kerbow – 24 – Marina Del Rey, CA – “I am” by Ingrid Michaelson – Kimberly brings her cute little 5 year old daughter to the audition. The panel cracks up when Kimberly (flirtatiously!) sings the line “I will buy you Rogaine” at Simon, and he’s mock insulted, but underneath, it’s obvious he’s a little smitten with Kimberly. And it’s no wonder, she is very cute, and has that Ingrid/Colbie singer-girl thing down pat. Kimberly gets a yes from everyone. After Simon gets a tiny bit insulted that Kimberly would suggest she buy him Rogaine, he notes that Kimberly was wearing a wig, which Victoria confirms. Was she? Now I’m going to go through the video, to Zapruder Kimberly’s head. – VIDEO

Lots of talent in Denver! Lots of yeses.

Danelle Hays – 24 – Seattle, WA – “I’m The Only One” by Melissa Ethridge – She hosts a karaoke bar and has a 3 year old son. Once she gets in front of the judges, she tears up. It’s so much work, she says. The judges are smiling, but I think she’s kind of yelly. No finesse. Simon notes that she’s “broken.” Simon wants to rescue her from corporate hell. Kara is moved by her audition. Everyone says yes. Hm, I think the big response is to her open vulnerability rather than her talent. – VIDEO

Now, a montage of contestants dressed in ridiculous costumes set to Bowie’s “Fashion”.

Casey James – 27 – Fort Worth, TX –  “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” by John Mayer – Casey was in a bad motorcycle accident when he was 21. The doctor told him he’d never play guitar again. There was lots of pain, but he got through it. After he sings, Simon tells him it’s a bad audition. Kara disagrees, she likes him a lot, but not exactly for his singing. Victoria asks him to take his hair down. The girls think he’s got a great look. Kara asks him to unbutton his shirt, then Randy (sarcastically) asks him to take it off, which he does, cause he’s “willing to do anything.” Kara and Victoria need to pick their tongues up off the floor. They’re treating him like a piece of meat. Can you imagine if Simon and Randy were treating a girl this way? Simon calls the entire scene “really embarrassing”. Randy says yes, “for the girls, ” but basically tells him to get a personality between now and Hollywood. Simon is not convinced. And yeah, Casey’s countrified John Mayer is decent, but isn’t all that, even with his shirt off. – VIDEO

Torri Kelly – 16 – Canyon Lake, CA – “Gravity” by John Mayer – Torri brings her sister inside the judges room, to present the pictures she drew of each one. Simon jokes that Randy’s big orange blob of a drawing is really a photo. Torri is another singer-girl-chick and she’s pretty good, but Simon isn’t buying it. He thinks her voice is annoying. He also tells her she looks like an orange–sparing no criticism, even with a kid in the room. The rest of the panel love her. Victoria, thinking she’s on America’s Top Model says she likes her outfit. With Simon the only dissenter, Torri is on to Hollywood. – VIDEO

14 contesants advance to Hollywood on Day 1.

Austin Paul – 22- Washington, DC – In college he studies music AND plays football. The singing is slightly underpitch and goatie in his falsetto. Really unpleasant. And he makes ridiculous faces. When Randy asks him if he always sings that way, Austin smugly answers that it’s one of his “tricks”. Some trick. Eep. Kara tells him he comes off a bit cocky. Simon thinks he could become really annoying, fast. Austin made Victoria itchy (whatever that means). Kara says no, and is really enjoying taking Austin down a peg or two. Austin’s grating personality earns him a no from all the judges. – VIDEO

Kenny Everett – 24 – Durham, NC – “Without You” by Mary J. Blige – He says he’s the male Mary J. Blige and calls his singing “a public service for everyone.” That takes nads, or a heavy dose of delusion (which is likely the case) Of course, he totally sucks. The fake microphone was a nice touch. So was his very special way with melisma, which includes a lot of yelping and jumping from note to note. Kenny won’t take no for an answer. But finally, he’s convinced to leave. – VIDEO

Now, for a montage of really bad singers (to Kat McPhee’s “Had it All”. Whoever her manager is? He rocks)

Nicci Nix – 22 – Florence, Italy – “Something Kind of Oooh” by Girls Aloud – Nikki’s got one of those weird helium voices that will probably sound fine when she sings. She flew all the way from Florence to audition. The judges are impressed. Victoria, who is all about the voice (not) compliments Nicci on her dress. I was right–once Nicci begins singing, the helium voice goes completely away. Simon jokes that the Girls Aloud lyrics are “meaningful” (they aren’t–they’re really stupid) and calls Nicci a “funny little thing.” Randy and Kara love her a lot–Randy a million percent, but Kara only one thousand percent? C’mon girl, you can do better than that! Uhm. Nicci Nix cannot be her real name… – VIDEO

Haeley Vaughn – 16 – Fort Collins, CO – “Last Name” by Carrie Underwood – Hailey was a premie, only 2 lbs when she was born. She says it was a miracle she survived. Her dad died when she was 10. She misses him. Haeley calls herself a black country pop singer. Simon thinks she’s a cute little thing and likes that she hasn’t gone for the typical R&B vibe. More fashion commentary from Victoria, who likes her outfit. Haeley definitely has potential, and if she’s good, could bring an interesting twist to the show. Haely brings her family in to meet the judges, just in time to hear all 4 judges send Haeley to Hollywood (100 Million Percent for Randy!) – VIDEO

11 hopefuls advance to Hollywood on day to, for a total of 26.

Ty Hemmerling – For a minute, I thought they were bringing back bikini girl, and I was alll–“Oh Crap”. But it’s a dude (a very well built dude) wearing a bikini. (Too funny!) – VIDEO

Tomorrow is the “Best of the Rest” show. So, I’m thinking the producers will use the episode to pimp their favorites.

About mj santilli 34829 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!