Orlando auditions = totally underwhelming. The only audition worth mentioning is reformed juvenile delinquent, Matthew Lawrence and his pure, undistilled take on Ray LaMontagne’s “Trouble”.
Well, Ok, R&B singer, Jermaine Purifoy was pretty good too. And that trio of girl singers we caught a glimpse of–Janell Wheeler, Brittany Star James and Kasi Bedford left me wanting to hear more. But everyone else? Meh. I mean if you take away the singer’s backstories tonight, you were pretty much left with nothing.
It ’twas a shame that guest judge Kristin Chenoweth could only judge the first day of the auditions. Like Shania in last night’s Chicago auditions, her critiques were specific and helpful. Plus, she is hella funny.
I can’t say that I miss Paula Abdul, but there is a noticeably different tone at the judges table. Kara still hasn’t quite found her place on the panel, and the lack of chemistry between the judges is really apparent with Paula out of the picture.
Next week, it’s on to LA. With Hollywood Week finished, and the Top 24 chosen, I wonder if the remaining episodes will be edited to contain more contestant pimping? The very last episode before the Hollywood Rounds looks to be some sort of “best of” episode. I bet the producers use it to highlight those “special” contestants TPTB would like us to bond with…
Video and recap after the JUMP…
Kristin Chenoweth is tonight’s guest judge in Orlando Florida.
A shot of the space shuttle opens the show. 10, 000 hopefuls auditioned in Orlando. OMG I love shots of the crowd in Orlando, and the pretending that the stadium full of peeps are waiting for the judges who are just hours away (try like, months away) vacationing in Miami. WTF. The continuity errors are hilarious.
Theo Glinton – 22 – Fort Pierce, FL – Pat Benatar – “Heartbreaker” – OMG, what is that crap he’s wearing on his eye? Theo says, “If I’m not the next American Idol I’m going to be in the bottom 3.” Uhm. Ok. Oh lord, he’s Screamy McScreamerton with the singing. He wants to sing Whitney Houston. Please, for the love of God no. After the judges say no, Theo gets upset and Kara tries to comfort him. Then, he can’t find his way out of the room. Oh boy. – VIDEO
Coming up? Backstories galore! Plus sh*tty auditions!
Oh Kara and Kristin have become BFFs! And Simon is totally annoyed. “You sang as if you sang to a cat” Simon tells one unfortunate contestant.
Seth Rollins – 28 – Lakeland, FL – “Someone to Watch Over Me” – One of Seth’s two children, a son, has autism. Seth tears up as he talks about wanting to be able to afford the best care for him. Aw, the boy is with him at the judges audition and cries as his dad enters the judges room. Seth’s got a very sweet, but unremarkable tenor. Kristin likes his voice and song choice. Kara says she wants to keep hearing him. Simon is impressed. Randy says he has to “exude more performance, ” but says yes. Remarkably, I agree with Randy here. – VIDEO
Oh, the drama is coming in the next segment!
Jermaine Purifory – 24 – Cleveland, TN – “Smile” He auditioned back in Season 7. Hm. I think I remember this guy. Oooh. He’s got a nice tone and a beautiful falsetto. Kristin calls him “pure”. Randy was “blown away.” Kara says his voice is “honest, I believed it.” Simon says, “Good choice of song…the chicks will like you.” 4 yeses and he’s on to Hollywood. – VIDEO
Shelby Dressel – 18 – Avon Park, FL – “Turn Me On” by Nora Jones – She’s got a medical condition that paralyzed the right side of her face. She’s not unattractive, but the condition is noticeable, so it’s no wonder Shelby is a little self-conscious. She can really sing. Beautiful alto, nice tone, nice phrasing…but then she blanks out and forgets the words. The judges are cool with it. “I like you…but not blown away, ” says Simon. Randy likes her. Kristin says she’s got potential. Everyone says yes, and she’s on to Hollywood. – VIDEO
18 contestants made it to Hollywood day one.
Kristin only guest judged the first day. Well that’s unfortunate. She was entertaining!
Jay Stone – 25 – Miami, FL – “Come Together” and “Ain’t No Sunshine” – Beatboxer. Well, you know, that’s been done already–Blake Lewis. Jay can sing AND beatbox at the same time. He beatboxes “Come Together”, but you don’t get a sense of his singing voice, even though he’s singing. Sort of. He sings “Ain’t No Sunshine” next, but it’s mediocre. Kara and Randy enthusiastically beatbox during his song. Simon is all rolly-eyed and not impressed. Kara really, really likes him, and convinces Randy to say yes. – VIDEO
In quick succession: Janell Wheeler – 24 – Tampa FL – “House of the Rising Sun, Brittany Starr James – 23 – Coral Springs, FL – “American Boy” by Estelle, Kasi Bedford – 19 – Seminole, FL – “Something to Talk About” by Bonnie Raitt – VIDEO
Cornelius Edwards – 24 – Boynton Beach FL – “Proud Mary” by Ike and Tina Turner – Dude says strippers taught him his dance moves. He calls “Proud Mary” “Rollin”. Oh boy. This is going to be good… He does a giant split and his pants rip. Loudly. That sounded like it hurt like hell. The panel is so impressed and amused, they all say yes. – VIDEO
Bernadette Desimone – 27 – “Hit the Road Jack” – Amanda Desimone – 23 – “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston – Cherry Hill NJ – These sisters, Jersey Girls, help their mom out in her home beauty parlor. They’re outsized and seem to be completely devoted to each other. Their singing is OK, nothing special But, Kara likes their brash style, being a brash girl herself. Randy gives in and says yes to both. Simon likes Bernadette, but not Amanda. but it doesn’t matter, they’re both through. – Mom has a hair salon in the basement. – VIDEO
Jarrod Norrell – 28 – Marietta, GA – “Amazing Grace” – He’s horrible. Kara’s got a look on her face like she smelt something bad. Kara says he sounds like a lawn mower. Jarrod is really upset. He’s begging to sing one more song. He launches into Amazing Grace again. Randy tries to get him to stop…security comes to escort him, but he still refuses to leave. OMG they’re cuffing this dude and taking him out. Did they really arrest him? Looks like a cop there. Psycho! – VIDEO
Erm. The talent tonight? Not really impressive.
Matthew Lawrence – 25 – Starke, FL – “Trouble” by Ray La Montagne – Matt manages his dad’s business. He says in high school, he had everything going for him. He took off from home when he was 15, and robbed a bank with a beebee gun. He spent 4 birthdays in jail. He says he wants to do something that will finally make his family proud. Wow. Really nice tone–gravelly and powerful. He’s my favorite of the night. Simon calls him “brilliant” and says it felt authentic. Kara agrees completely. She compliments his control, says he’s the real deal. Randy calls him “genuine.” 4 extremely enthusiastic yeses, and Matt is off to Hollywood. – VIDEO
31 contestants got golden tickets to Hollywood.