So… Avril Lavigne was a complete waste of space on the panel. The only semi-interesting thing she had to say was to the Worship leader/Dad Jim Ranger, questioning whether he could manage a showbiz career with church and family. But really, it’s moot, cause plenty of contestants with families have made it pretty far on Idol, and a few (Chris Daughtry…hello!) managed to have careers afterward.
I got the feeling many of Katy Perry’s best lines were left on the cutting room floor, which is too bad. Katy had a few great moments tonight. Calling Kara out during Chris (Orphan Boy) Golightly’s audition for harping on his backstory was all kinds of awesome.
But, during the montage of catty remarks, Katy had Kara set in her sights, and it went a little overboard, I think. Although, who hasn’t wanted to throw a coke in Kara’s face at one time or another?
I was a little disappointed in LA. Too many obviously self-aware a-holes trying to get their couple of minutes of fame. It’s hard to believe there wasn’t more talent. Or that the producers decided not to showcase it.
The standouts for tonight were:
Andrew Garcia, whose nice guy personna and smooth vocals = the chicks will go bonkers. Plus, he’s got a ton of great You Tubes still out on the net to get peeps excited. He’s definitely going into this thing with an advantange.
Mary Powers: Yeah, she’s a bit of a Hot Topic cliche, but I loved her raspy rock vocals on “Love is a Battlefield.”
Tasha Layton: The part-time minister demonstrated natural timing and phrasing, and a beautiful tone on Joss Stone’s “Baby Baby Baby”.
Videos and Live blog after the JUMP…
Idol goes home for the Los Angeles auditions tonight. Avril Lavigne and Katy Perry are tonight’s guest judges.
Eleven thousand hopefuls lined up at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Ryan Seacrest announces from his KIIS FM radio studio… Now for a little Yay! Hollywood! video package.
Avril Lavigne judges the first day. She’s wearing a hoodie with devil horns. No, seriously. What’s up with that?
Neil Goldstein – 19 – Redlands, CA – “Rock and Roll Dreams Come True” by Meatloaf – Neil brags that he has an IQ of 168, and a thousand different hobbies. His shiny, sweaty face is in desperate need of a nice fluffy towel, or some powder. Ew. This dude is so OTT, he has to be a put on. He says the title of his album would be “Hope”. As in I hope I don’t flop? He’s determined to go to Hollywood. When he speaks, he’s got a distracting throat tick. And when he sings…well, of course he sucks. And as his type typically does, he begins arguing with Simon. “I don’t feel you’re suited for the business” says Simon. Uh oh. Another contestant who refuses to leave the audition room. Neil finally leaves when he’s threatened with security. – VIDEO
Jim Ranger – 27 – Bakersfield, CA – “Drive” – Jim’s a worship leader with 3 kids. Aw, look at his awesome kids. He tries to impress the judges with a self penned song. Jim reminds me of a guy I’d see singing covers at the local bar. Nothing special, and not much in the way of charisma. Simon likes him–calls him “authentic” (Simon’s new favorite word?) Avril says no. She gives him a big lecture about how tough the showbiz life will be on his family. Eh, hook him up with Daughty, he’ll set the dude straight on multitasking. But, since Randy and Kara say yes (with a little fake-out as Kara hesitates) Jim is on to Hollywood. – VIDEO
Next a montage of the truly earsplittingly bad.
Damien Lefavor – 26 – Seattle, WA – “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” – He’s a martial artist/sandwich maker. That he can’t remember the name of the song he’s about to sing is a bad sign. He sounds like a cat caught in a lawnmower. Or something like that. He slinks out of the audition, embarrassed, after he forgets the words. – VIDEO
After the break? GAH.
A montage of the children who are there to cheer their mom/dad/sister/brother/aunt/uncle on. “That was crap, ” says one little one.
Mary Powers – 28 – Burbank, CA – “Love is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar – First really good audition of the night. She’s got one of those big raspy rock vocals. Simon thinks she’s got a good voice, but is cliched. Avril says she’s got a cool character to her voice. Everyone says yes. Mary’s 8 year old daughter meets Simon after the audition. She likes Simon cause he’s mean. Simon wonders if she’s really his daughter. – VIDEO
AJ Mendoza – 20 – Upland, CA – “Cult of Personality” by In Living Color – Next, a clip of Adam Lambert singing “We Are the Champions” (eta: the montage included Project Runway’s Daniel Franco and Michael Castro, Jason’s little brother) Ryan explains there were Adam clones everywhere. One of the clones swears he shopped a demo to Adam, who loved it. Erm. AJ sings. He’s loud. He’s off-key. He barely moves his mouth, resulting in some really strange phrasing. “It sounded like you’d gone to the dentist about 10 minutes ago with anesthetic”. Everyone says no. And then mocks his weird singing. “Oh My God!” says Avril. – VIDEO
Day One is over. And Avril? We barely knew ye. Katy Perry is up next. She looks sensational in a red dress. She swears to be a “brutally honest judge” And, she thinks it’s ridiculous that the judges are arriving by helicopter. Somebody had to say it.
Austin Fullmer – 19 – Glendale, CA – “Surrender” by Cheap Trick – Water treatment guy, Austin, says he wouldn’t mind at all if his fans felt him up. He’d love the Idol tour, then. But hell, no tour for him. Or Hollywood. OMG he’s ridiculous. Fake screamy British accent, spastic movements, Weird faces. He thinks singing is his purpose in life. Simon informs him that it is not. More arguing with Simon. Everyone says no, no, no… – VIDEO
More bad contestants. Bad contestants who are crying. OMG it’s Crying Girl!
Andrew Garcia – 23 – Moreno Valley, CA – “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5 – Andrew is a dad. Aw, his little boy is cute. We meet his parents–they were involved with gangs when they were young. But they left Compton to make a better life for their kids. Dad cries–he’s very proud of his son. Aw, big hug between Dad and son. Andrew sings, and he’s got a very smooth, soulful voice. Effortless. Simon thinks he’s a genuinely good singer, and loved his song choice. Kara really likes him too. “You got mad vocals” says Randy. “110%” says Kara. Katy says yes. This guy is going to be one to watch. Mark my words, peeps. – VIDEO
Tasha Layton – 26 – Granada Hills, CA – “Baby Baby Baby” by Josh Stone. This part-time minister has a really good, soulful voice, and natural rhythm. I like this. Oh look, Katy is smiling. When is she going to be mean like she promised? “I love a good southern bell, ” says Katy. Simon thinks people will like her. Everyone says yes. Tasha’s on her way to Hollywood, but wonders, “What do I do now” – VIDEO
Jason Greene – 21 – Los Angeles, CA – “I Touch Myself” by the Divinyls – Los Angeles is certainly bringing out the fakeity fake fame whores, isn’t it? After slithering and slinking his way through the racy song, Katy tells him “I feel dirty.” On his knees, Jason invites Simon to join him. This kid must be thrilled that his plans to get on TV are working out so far. When he leaves the audition, he gives Ryan his phone number, but Ryan directs him to a big burly security guard who he swears is Jason’s type. Hey, I thought Idol was done with the gay baiting? Guess not. – VIDEO
A montage of Kara and Katy being catty to bad contestants, but mostly to each other. Uh. Katy threatens to throw a coke in Kara’s face. That was stupid. Girl power? Seriously?
Chris Golightly – 25 – Los Angeles, CA – “Stand By Me” – Chris has been in foster care since 18 months. He’s lived with over 25 families. He talks about wanting to be loved as a kid. Music made him feel secure. Chris has got a beautiful tenor voice, but he’s not very current sounding. Randy finds him interesting. He’s Kara’s favorite–she basically tells him that his voice paired with his backstory will push him far into the competition. “This is not a Lifetime movie” says Katy. Ha! Calling Kara out on the backstory bullsh*t is awesome. Simon thinks he’s old-fashioned and isn’t impressed, but he says yes anyway. So does Katy. It’s two big yeses for Kara and Randy. And, the Orphan is on his way to Hollywood, to the strains of Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb”. – VIDEO
22 auditioners are through to Hollywood.