Season 1 was the last time American Idol held auditions in Dallas Texas. And of course, it was the Dallas auditions that introduced the world to Kelly Clarkson. Well, not exactly. Her audition wasn’t edited into the episode…but whatever! Ryan reminds us that Kelly sold, like a bajillion records, and hey, “Is there any more talent in Dallas?”
Thirteen-thousand people auditioned in Dallas, during a very hot, hot spell (accounts coming out of Dallas at the time reported auditioners succumbing to the intense heat). And they spend about 1 minute on the auditioner who went into labor waiting to sing.
She must not have been very interesting otherwise.
Jessica Brown 24 Longview, TX – “I’ll Stand By You” by the Pretenders – If Jessica had said, “by Carrie Underwood” I would have thrown something at my Tee Vee. Jessica’s road to stardom took a detour when she became a serious meth head in college. One of the first songs she sang in her recovery group was Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel”. This backstory is basically the Jessica Sierra story in reverse. Her throaty alto has a nice tone. Simon says, “You made the song interesting.” All three judges like her, and she’s on her way to Hollywood.
Paul Stafford 25 Crosby TX – “Wait For You” by Elliott Yamin – Paul appears to be…uhhm…a little “special.” He’s the grounds keeper at a ball field. He loves roller coasters. He’s constantly giving *thumbs* to everything said to him. He sings “Wait for You” like Jimmy Durante horking a loogie. Paula tries to be nice and says his audition was “joyful”. Paul utters what had to be the best line of the night: “Simon goes down on just about everybody.” Make what you will of that. Heh.
Beth Maddocks 18 Coppell, TX – “Beautiful Disaster” by Kelly Clarkson – Poor Beth. She loves Kelly Clarkson and she loves to sing. She’s a singing waitress, so one might suspect a smidgen of talent there. But, unfortunately her singing is screechy, nasal and unintelligible. I felt bad for her. She probably assumed she was being advanced ’cause she was really good. I hate when that happens.
Alaina Whitiker 16 Tulsa, OK – “Stronger” Faith Hill – Oh yay. Another blond Carrie Underwood clone. Like we need another one of those! She’s got a decent country voice, but nothing special. Simon says, “I don’t think your as good as you think you are.” Nobody seems that impressed, but they let her through anyway.
Gregory & Mia Tobias 18 & 16 Ennis, TX – I give these two props for being able to sing two completely different songs at the same time. After they abruptly stop singing, the chick has a stare-down with Simon.
Bruce Dickson 19 Backstrop TX – “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers – TMI! TMI! TMI! Memo to Bruce: Don’t really care about the weird pact you’ve made with your father to never so much as touch a girl until you’ve married. The pact includes matching key-and-heart necklaces worn by the pair…and….sorry I just found the whole backstory creepy. I’m probably going to get flamed for this. But, some information really is too much information. He’s a decent singer…but a little stiff. Oops, sorry. Everyone says no.
Pia Easley 24 Chicago, IL – “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination” by Gladys Knight – Model, musician background singer–Pia has a unique sound and look. Great vocals, especially in her lower range. Simon says, “I thought that was a very good audition…confident, stylish.” Three yeses…
Brandon Greene 21, Lucedale MS – “Rich Girl” by Hall and Oats – What possessed Brandon to mention that he’s got a huge collection of his own clipped finger nails? Never mind why he’d do that in the first place. Totally gross. In the meantime, he sings “Rich Girl”–a bit shouty, with a country twang and does not impress Simon at all. But Paula and Randy put him through. All I can think of are those nail clippings. Ew. Ew. Ew.
Kayla Hatfield 24 Campbell TX – “Piece of my Heart” by Janis Joplin – Kayla’s piece was definitely the feel-good story of the night. The mother of 2 was in a terrible car accident when she was 18. The impact basically pulled off the left side of her face. She lost the sight in that eye and seems to have a lot of scarring. She does a great job with hair and makeup to cover it up. Nevertheless she’s upbeat and grateful, and just so damn chipper. Despite the fact that her performance is screamy and earsplitting, the judges put her through. Simon makes no bones about advancing her simply because he likes her. Paula, the tough one, for once, says no. Randy says yes. The fact that she advanced despite the tonal suckage is bound to piss some people off (particularly since the judges axed cute virgin boy who could sing better). It won’t matter. She’s not going to make it past Hollywood. “Love her” says Simon…
Kady Malloy 18 Houston, TX – “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers – Kady does vocal impressions. She did Britney, and then a pretty decent Carrie Underwood. Except, that her “Before He Cheats” wasn’t supposed to be an impression. Whoops. This was a perfect seguway to Simon’s probably highly scripted remark to the blond (yes, another one. Is this year the attack of the blond clones?), “This is really important. I want to hear you.” At which point, she launches into a beautiful, full-throated vocal. Simon looks like he’s going to wet himself. Everyone says yes.Eleven people get gold tickets on the first day.
And now, it’s time for the Ford Motors “Voices in Sync” montage of AWESOMNESS. Whee! A bunch of people with gold tickets parade by.
Douglas Davidson 28 Austin TX – “Living on a Prayer” By Bon Jovi – Douglas’s bellowing tone-deaf nervous guy routine, complete with security guy escort from the room strikes me as fakeity-fake-fake. I just love the producer plants. Meaning, no. No, I don’t.
Angela Reilly 24 Dallas, TX – “Baby Love” by the Supremes – Angela just got married to a hot model whom she invites into the room. For that reason, I’ll forgive her for being yet another blond clone. Her singing is bad karaoke but hot model husband swears she’s awesome. Angela craps on another song, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and still hot husband is impressed. Says Simon, “They Say Love is Deaf…”
Kyle Ensley 21 – “Somebody to Love” by Queen – This segment is totally cheesy, but I have to admit I am taken in by the total dorkitude of Kyle Ensley. The bit presents Kyle, the shirt-and-tied International Bus/PoliSci major, as a political candidate. His “Somebody to Love by Queen” is amateur and choir-boy earnest. Which is why the judges should have passed on him. But Simon says, “You weren’t as bad as I thought you were going to be.” Surprisingly, he says “yes.” What’s up with Simon this year? Has he dipped into Pauler’s stash? Randy says yes, Paula says no. Simon must have been happy, because he had an opportunity to throw in a little Clay Aiken diss (you aren’t going to start doing weird things with your hair, are you?). A season would not be complete without Simon goofing on the Aiken.
Weird – Simon is letting people through just because he “likes” them.
Tammy Tuzinski 24, Grapevine TX – “If You Ask Me To” by Celine Dion – The goof is Tammy’s flat affect in the face of, well, just about everything. Her demeanor is so flat, you wonder if she overdosed on her Lithium that morning. It doesn’t help that she’s chosen a song by the Queen of Overwrought Emotions, Celine Dion. Tammy tells the panel that she’s singing “Power of Love” but then begins another song. It wouldn’t have mattered either way. Randy says, “You’re a nice girl, but it was awful.”
Colton Swon 18 Muskogee, OK – “Boondocks” by Little Big Town – Colton plays guitar, drums and bass. A musician, he is. He’s cute, but I couldn’t stop staring at his giant beetle brows. The stylists will take care of that in short order. Dude’s got a good voice, but I get the sense that he’s a lot more comfortable with a guitar in his hands. Simon pulls out the old “bar singer” diss, but says yes anyway. Randy likes him. Paula says yes. Colton thinks it would be funny to fake out his parents, which he does. Sort of. Awkward.
Next, is a montage of transvestites.
Awesome quote: “Give it a try, Pants can be restricting, if you know what I mean.”
Drew Poppelreiter 24 Saltillo, MS – “Check Yes or No” by George Strait – Drew works on his family-owned farm. He and his family have super-twangy accents. He says if he goes to Hollywood, it would be the first time he’s ever been on a plane. Could this kid be the real deal? Or will we find out he’s got 3 failed record deals in his past. Heh. I’m startled by how good this kid’s voice is, but Simon and Paula are not impressed. Simon says no. Randy says yes. Then Simon mocks Paula for disagreeing with Randy. Then she says yes. “Dude I did it!” says Drew.
Kyle Reinneck 20 Edwardsville, Ill- Kelly Clarkson “Never Again” – Ha, ha, ha… Kyle’s all “I’m a RAWKER! Check out my guyliner dudes!” and then he sings a Kelly Clarkson song. Badly. The intermittent fake microphone hand gestures are an added touch. This dude obviously spends a lot of time singing to himself in the mirror. Simon says his performance “was a very disturbing slightly demonic audition…it’s verging on scary.” Does Kyle’s young charges (he’s a kiddie counselor) run screaming from the room?
Nina Shaw 24 Burleson TX – “Run to You” Whitney Houston – Much is made of the fact that Nina is from Kelly Clarkson’s hometown. Nina is tall and beautiful, but her performance of Whitney Houston is pretty rote. It’s not until she busts out with a little jazz that she shows some promise, at which point, the judges pass her to Hollywood. Still, she’s no Kelly Clarkson…
Renaldo Lupez 44 Reno, NV- Renaldo is going to be the star of this year’s finale. I have a feeling. His self penned song, which I never could catch the name of, through his impossibly thick accent, isn’t really funny in itself. It’s just that the judges are so tickled by this guy, their reactions are priceless. Renaldo wears a huge feathered hat. It has a little piece of paper with “Simon” scrawled on it stuck to the front. Renaldo says, “All over the world, people speak the name of Simon.” He’s also wearing this strange white quilted jacket and a foil cape. Renaldo wants to “bring hope to the peoples in despairs.” By the time he finishes his song, he’s got Randy and Ryan singing along, Paula dancing and Simon laughing his ass off. Simon says, “I have a horrible feeling that’s going to be a hit record.”
Twenty-four Dallas auditioners are headed to Hollywood.
Tuesday’s episode features the San Diego auditions.