The Best of the Rest?
I’m not only bored with the auditions, but I’m WAY bored with recapping them. I’ll muddle though this last one, just for you guys. You’ve stuck with me this far, I owe you one.
I’ve never been a great fan of the auditions, but have always been compelled to watch anyway. Amongst all the fakers, the deluded and the just plain weird are the contestants who capture your attention, and keep it throughout the competition. It’s fun to find a favorite during the auditions–whether it’s that geek who stuns you when he opens his mouth to sing, or that guy in a shirt and tie with the sweet tenor and the snarky gleam in his eye. Or, the young man with the old soul whose voice can make you cry. So I watch, hoping for a glimpse of the awesome.
This last audition episode is really a throwaway. We are treated to auditions of a few contestants who appear to be in it for the long haul. In fact, I’m betting some of you found your favorite tonight. But, beyond a few gems the rest is just filler. It would have been better to edit those few good auditions into their respective audition city episodes and given us one more night of the Hollywood Rounds. If you ask me.
But, I’m going to stop complaining. The auditions are over. Hallelujah.
The producers wrap this show up in a theme–the do’s and don’ts of Idol auditioning. It’s confusing. They start numbering the items, then stop, and then pick up again. I could re-watch the video and figure it out, but, nah. The segments have titles like “The Look”, “Seek Inspiration” and “Never Give Up”. There is also a segment about songwriting that serves as a handy way to pimp the upcoming songwriting competition.
One last time for Season 6, here is a rundown of tonight’s auditioners: UPDATE: Added Screencaps.
Christa Fazzino 19, Port Royal, SC – Christa describes herself as “a unique and entertaining person”, which as we all know by now, is code for “talent-free”. Christa is pretty, does have a flair for fashion, but it’s all very look-at-me self-conscious. If she actually was a good singer, her affectations would have been distracting. But as it turns out, she’s terrible. Sadly, she doesn’t know it. She’s another contestant who leaves the room begging for a chance. Paula, a product of pro-tools herself, sees potential in Christa’s “uniqueness” and says yes. Simon and Randy can’t get past the caterwailing and say no. Christa is left, with her pink high heels and smart Jackie-O pillbox hat to face the cold, cruel world.
Tami Gosnell 29, Lafayette, CO – Oooh, I like this girl. Tami auditioned in Memphis. I think it’s about time for Idol to pimp a blue-eyed rock and soul singer who happens to be a girl. Other than the Afro-American girls, who for some reason are allowed to have some sass and personality, the Top 12 girls are usually dominated by cookie-cutter barbie-doll types. Tami is no Barbie doll. She works as a pedi-cab driver in Denver. That means she single-handedly manages one of those rickshaw cabs. She swears she could pull all three judges uphill in her cab. She belts The Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post” in a raspy, edgy voice. Like Randy says, she’s got a great tone. Listen for yourself: Here is Tammi’s music page. Tammi is like a female Bo, and she’s not particularly feminine. I can’t imagine the producers going for that. ‘Tis a pity.
Paul Kim 25, Saratoga, CA – Paul says he was motivated to audition by William Hung. William’s popularity and appeal always had an undercurrent of racism, in my opinion. He’s the stereotypical Asian Nerd. His accent and poor English diction enhance the joke for many of those who find his shtick hilarious. Paul wants to prove that there are more to Asian entertainers than tired stereotypes. And he does so, splendidly. Paul has a smooth R&B voice. You can check out more of his singing on his My Space. As he performs, I don’t think of William Hung once. Watch this one…
Jack Odanovich 25, San Antonio TX – Bleah, who cares. I only have 45 minutes to finish this recap.
I mentioned in yesterday’s recap that one of this season’s storylines appears to be redemption–there are several contestants who are given a second chance and are rumored to go far in the competition. Some of the return auditioners: one of last year’s singing cowboys Matthew Buckstein, Marlea Stroman, who quit under pressure Season 4, Nicholas Pedro who walked out of the Orpheum Theater in Hollywood last year after he forgot the words to his group song, and John Steven’s high school pal Brian Miller who is on his 3rd go around. Also given a second chance:
Gina Glocksen 22, Naperville, IL – Gina was the dental hygienist with a big crush on Simon who auditioned in Chicago last year. She made it all the way to the rooms in Hollywood, but was cut–she flubbed the words on a crucial performance. Gina is back this year, still working the Simon crush gimmick. Ok, she’s actually working that angle to the point of annoyance, but it works for her. Last year, despite claiming to be a rocker chick, she auditioned with a Celine Dion song. This year, she performs the Alannah Myles song, “Black Velvet”. She acquits herself nicely and makes it to Hollywood once again.
Edward Sanchez 26, San Antonio TX – Speaking of crushes, Edward has one on Paula, and it seems to be the only reason he showed up to audition. Funny Simon: After Edward butchers “Donna” Simon says, “He’s not only blind, but deaf as well”. Ha.
The next segment shows auditioners pretending to work at their day jobs. Watching a clip of Chris Daughtry manning the phones at the car dealership where he really worked immediately prior to auditioning for Idol makes me realize in an instant how quickly Idol exposure can change these kid’s lives.
The “take this job and shove it” montage is a segway for a trio of pretty roller-skating carhops who audition in LA.
The lesson here is, “Always Audition on Your Own”. And it’s true. Because, inevitably, when folks audition together–whether they are friends, siblings or twins–they will inevitably be pitted against each other for dramatic effect. And who wants to be on the losing end of THAT scenario?
Quick rundown of rollergirls: (R to L)
Heather Rennie 20, Hacienda Heights CA – She’s the big loser here. She’s got an OK voice, but is the least talented of the three. She is not advanced.
Ashley Cleland 17, Cypress CA – Actually, she’s also an average singer, but she’s taller and prettier than Heather. Paula lectures Ashley on the over-use of makeup. How about the overuse of Botox? Ashley is advanced.
Ebony Jointer 23, Hacienda Heights CA – She’s truly the gem, and I suspect the entire trio was advanced to the judges based on Ebony’s charisma and talent. She’s beautiful, and has a killer voice. When she’s told by Simon that she just totally pwned her two friends, she gets this funny, mixed expression on her face. She knows she’s not supposed to be happy about that, but like, she just made it to Hollywood. I’m sure the producers were hoping for a total meltdown between Ebony and Ashley in Hollywood.
After the break, it’s time to pimp the songwriting contest. Yippy skippy. Somebody, tell me please how switching from using professional songwriters to amateurs is going to improve the quality of those ghastly coronation songs? Yeah, it’s not.
A montage of wretched songs follow, and the titles say it all:
Faithon Gooding 28, Birmingham AL – “Do it, Do It to Ya”
Melissa Ferlaak 27, Minneapolis, MN – “Flow This Desert”
Brandon Reid 28, New York NY – “Talk to Me (Baby Girl)” – Although, this guy is able to beat and sing at the same time, like a ventriloquist. Kinda cool.
William E. Samland III 28, Los Angeles, CA – “Don’t Worry Don’t Hurry” Ahh, the magic that is WES. He’s a weird mixture of delusion and bravado, and something tells me he’ll be back for the finale.
A tiny clip of Taylor Hicks doin’ his thing on the Idol stage proves once again that the dude CAN dance…
Alexander Nazario 28, Nashville TN – Alexander is flexible–bending and twisting his body in many odd ways, but he sings “Making Love on Nothing at All” in a flat, nasal falsetto. Mid-song, Alexander directs his love song straight at Simon, who looks both creeped out and annoyed.
Next, Ryan tells us that it’s time to “Play that Song”. Funny: After a fake phone number is flashed, a digitally speeded up Ryan says, “This-is-not-an-actual-competition-there-is-no-prize-the-phone-number-does-not-exist-we’re-just-having-a-joke-ha-ha” A montage of mumbling, incoherent contestants flashes by. Unintelligible song lyrics–a tried and true (cough) “comedy” staple of the Idol audition round.
Lakisha Jones 26, Fort Meade MD – Lakisha sings “Think” by Aretha Franklin. Simon calls her an “old fashioned belter” Indeed, Lakisha has the potential to be this season’s big voiced diva.
And that’s it for Season 6 auditions. Thank Finn.
One-hundred and seventy-two contestants are advanced to Hollywood. Two days of Hollywood rounds follow next week, and then it’s on to the semi-finals. And not a moment too soon…