PLEASE KILL ME NOW
UPDATE: Just added some screen caps. Click on the jump…
Ok, now that I’ve got that off my chest–tonight’s show was definitely an improvement over last night’s craptastic premier. The Hollywood contestants featured in Seattle were MUCH better than those advanced in Minneapolis. Unfortunately again, the good auditions were few and far between. To get to the good stuff, one had to suffer through the interminable. Seriously, I think the TPTB have run out of schtick. Practically everything they did tonight was a rip-off of prior bits. How many new ways can a singer sing a song badly? After 5 seasons it’s all been done, done, done, DONE to death. There are 6 more nights of auditions to endure. I am not looking forward to the next few weeks.
On with the re-crap. (not a typo, peeps) Sigh.
It’s raining in Seattle. Well, that probably made the producers happy. A sunny day in Seattle would have just ruined the script.
Brandon Groves, 26 Wheeling WV (left): Remember the “I Shot the Sheriff” guy from last year? He’s back, inexplicably. Even crazier: The producers put him through again. This year, he’s dressed like the Apollo Creed dude from last night, but his hat is even stupider. He sings “God Bless America”. It’s not an improvement on last year.
Jennifer “The Hotness” Chapton, 23 Seattle WA: She is not hot. Two words: Cover Girl. Or maybe Maybelline.
Amy Salgado, 23 Seattle WA (left): She has a six-year old son. Her husband thinks auditioning is a waste of time. He is right, of course. But honestly, I do not enjoy watching truly delusional auditioners having their dreams crushed by the judges. It’s neither fun nor funny.
Darwin Reedy, 27 Seattle WA (left): Mom comes along. Mom and Daughter are an odd pair who look alike with matching bangs and glasses. Darwin sings “Doncha” by the Pussycat Dolls. It’s dreadful. Why am I picturing the early sixties at Sarah Lawrence College? Maybe it’s a huge joke, and these two are really performance artists. My word for Darwin? Playtex. It lifts and separates.
Thomas Daniels, 21 Troutdale, OR: 30 minutes into the broadcast, we finally hear a talented singer. Tommy quit his job as a gas attendant. He slept next to some trash cans waiting to audition. This is his third Idol audition. He auditioned two years ago in Las Vegas and then three years ago in Los Angeles. He says that Idol is his elevator to the top…this way he doesn’t have to bust his butt…let’s go America, vote for me. It’s refreshing that he admits this. Regardless, dude is good. He sings “Arms of a Woman” by Amos Lee with a sweet, warm tone. Very nice. The judges put him through unanimously. Oh, he had the cutest little pet chiuaua.
Melissa Stravros, 22 Seattle WA: She brought her dog too. She butchers Christina Aguilera. At least she knows it. I think the pooch would have sung it better. My word for Melissa: Coppertone.
Blake Lewis, 25 Bothell WA (left): He’s a champion beatboxer. He demonstrates the skill, and it comes off a bit gimmicky. He does a nice job with Seal’s “Crazy”, even though he throws in a few too many embellishments. Simon says “You’re good, but you’re very over the top…I don’t know if you’re as good as you think you are.” Blake has the audacity to say he’s never been discovered because he’s from Seattle and not LA. Uh huh. Paula loves him. Simon says yes, reluctantly. Blake is the second contestant tonight put through to Hollywood. Watch this one.
After the break comes a string of bad auditions that are so boring and predictable, they aren’t worth mentioning. And anyway, I’m feeling lazy tonight.
Next up: A brother and sister who come to the audition together, but audition separately. Their dad is a classical Indian musician. Sibling rivalry is definitely part of the script.
Shyamali Malakar, 19 Lacey WA: She performs a pleasant version of “Summertime”. She lacks power, but she’s a’ight. Simon says she’s nothing unique (I agree) but Randy and Paula really like her.
Sanjaya Malakar, 17 Lacey WA: Stevie Wonder is his Idol. He sings “Signed Sealed and Delivered”. He is better than his sister, but young and undeveloped. Simon says he’s a lot better than his sister. Randy thinks so too.
Pay attention to these two. Think Leah and Brooke Barrettsmith from last year…
The Power of Bauer! Just thought I’d throw that in.
Nicholas Zitzmann, 27 Midvale UT (left): Nick is a software engineer. That’s supposed to be significant somehow. Because, you know, computer geeks are weird, y’all. He says that his co-workers encouraged him to try out. Come to think of it, if I announced to my co-workers that I was trying out for American Idol, they’d encourage me too. The snark would never stop. Trouble is, like all of the “bad” contestants so far, Nick’s endless, dire version of “Unchained Melody” is terrible in a way we veteran Idol watchers have heard many, many times before. The thrill is just sooo gone. My word for Nick? Murine.
Rudy Cardenas 28, North Hollywood, CA (left): Rudy is the last contestant of the day. He sings “Open Arms” (HATE this song) by Journey. Rudy has a decent voice, with some power on the high notes. But he’s not knock-your-socks-off great Simon looks bored and says no. Paula says to Simon, “Are you kidding me? 100% YES!” Randy says yes. Rudy advances to Hollywood. Check this one out, sez I.
“Bad Day” is the soundtrack for a montage of the day’s catastrophes. And it’s time for a break. But not before a preview of Day 2, which looks to be the Freaks and Geeks portion of tonight’s broadcast.
Can I stop now? No? I have to finish the re-crap? Sigh.
Retread Part 1: Remember Dirk and Kirk, or whatever the hell they were called from Season 4? The contestants who met on line and became BFF? You know, the guys who got to meet their hero (!!!) David Hasselhoff at the finale? Well, the producers must have thought that bit was awesome (it wasn’t), ’cause they bring it back every season.
This years version is Kenneth Briggs, 23 Bothell WA and Jonathan Jayne, 20 Renton WA. Question: At least one of these guys is actually mentally challenged. I mean what the hell? When did American Idol turn into South Park? Bleah.
Retread Part 2: Let’s play SAT analogies! Eric Chapman is to Taylor Hicks, Season 6 as Michael Sandecki is to Clay Aiken, Season 5. Remember Michael? His wonderfully candid moment when Clay Aiken surprised him on stage during last year’s season finale was a highlight. However, Michael’s Clay Aiken schtick at the Boston auditions last year was aggressively unfunny. Eric, the gray-haired hairdresser is also untalented and unfunny. Except when he tries to put some hair goop on Simon and the security guards nearly wrestle him to the ground. Now, that would have been funny…
Anna Kearns, 20 Wichita, KS (left): Anna’s backstory is that she’s 6′ 7″ in high heels. She towers over Ryan. The producers must think tallness = an awesome backstory, ’cause Anna’s shouty version of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” earns her a ticket to Hollywood.
Jordin Sparks, 16 Glendale AZ: She sings “Because You Love Me” by Celine Dion. Jordan has a very Kat Mcphee-like tendency to lose it on the high notes. Randy and Paula love her, Simon has reservations, but he puts her through. Methinks Jordan is another undevloped teenager who will choke at some point during the competition. It’s just a matter of when. Sidenote: Her dad is Felipe Sparks, who played in the NFL for 9 years.
Steven “Red” Thoen, 27 Seattle WA: This year’s contestant who most resembles a mass-murderer. He sings “Bohemian Rhapsody” in a high-pitched whine. Last word for Red: Invisaline.
And thank Jeebus, it’s over. Three more weeks of this. Damn.
The Stats: 9, 000 came out to audition in Seattle. 14 contestants are advanced to Hollywood–Seven on the first day, Seven on the second.
Tuesday audition city: Memphis TN.