The Set Was Green

February 2, 2011

‘Member a couple weeks ago when I commented that I thought the set was changing colors, but wasn’t sure if it was just me going crazy. Well, yeah, I’m a little crazy, but they do change the colors of the set each week. Last night the set was green!

Last night’s auditions were in Austin, Texas. This was a good night if you like country. I am not particularly fond of it. A few people that went through to Hollywood were really twangy to me. But what do I know. I’m not crazy about Fantasia either.

Corey Levoy starts the night off singing I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt. He made it through to Hollywood, but not before admitting that he had a JLo booty. Corey is 21 years old and only met his sister 7 years ago. They lived 15 minutes away from each other the whole time. Crazy, huh?

Holly, 17, had the nerve to try to sing Etta James’ At Last. Of course it didn’t work. But she started crying and they gave her another chance. They thought she was better on the 2nd song and sent her through.

Here’s the thing. I’m sure almost 90% of the people who are told “No” on their first try ask for another chance. Usually they get a “No” to the 2nd chance. So why give this little girl another go at it? Because her little feelings got hurt? Rules are rules. I don’t think that’s fair.

Next to the stage is John Wayne Schulz, cute country boy who loves his mama. He was so good, the judges asked him to bring his parents into the audition room. After they announced that he made it to Hollywood, his mom showed more concern for the golden ticket than John did.

Pseudo cute couple Jacqueline Dunford and Nick Fink came in as a couple and auditioned separately. She was a little pitchy to me. He was pretty good. But they both make it to the next level.

Then out of nowhere comes someone in an armadillo costume. For some reason that led the producers to putting together a Randy rant and a montage of bad singers. The way they set it up made it seem like they were actually singing Atomic Dog. Bad and cute at the same time.

Closing out the show and walking in looking nerdy with a melodic was 19 year old Casey Abrams. I braced myself for what was to come. Dude got his not from the melodic, set it down and busted out with Don’t Need No Doctor by Ray Charles. He scatted and jazzed his way right through to Hollywood.

Speaking of Hollywood, Thursday night’s auditions will be in Los Angeles. Hold on tight.


Tyler Idol

January 27, 2011

Forget American Idol, I’m a Steven Tyler fan. Throughout all 10 (has it really been 10?) seasons of this stuff, I think he has been the most brutally honest, yet most empathetic judge they’ve had. Simon just didn’t give a crap about people’s feelings, Pauler didn’t want to hurt anyone at all, and Randy is now, always has been and forever will be a parrot of all other judges. Ellen didn’t really have much input because she didn’t know a whole lot about the industry. And who was that other dude? Well, anyway both Steven and JLo bring something fresh to these stale auditions and I like it.

Steven likes to close his eyes when he listens so he can actually hear the notes, the tone, the emotion. He even admits to liking singers who are “outside the box”, but lets them know that they’re just not right for the competition. And dude can still sing! Towards the end of last night’s show, Allyson Adados sang Beatles hit, Come Together, but wasn’t really that great, so she sang a few bars from one of Aerosmith’s greatest hits, Dream On. Steven helped her out by singing the last few powerful “dream on”s. And it gave me chills.

His little quips throughout the night keep me laughing. After hearing the first contestant’s country vocals, he said something about setting ducks on fire. That’s a good thing right? Later in the show he told one guy to not quit his day job. Funny thing is, the guy wasn’t working.

The sob story of the night turned out to be a real tear jerker. Chris Medina sang Break Even, but his back story broke my heart. Back in October of 2009, two months before his wedding, his fiancé was in a terrible accident and suffered severe brain damage. She is now paralyzed in a wheelchair and cannot speak. After Chris’ wonderful performance, Steven whispered in her ear, “I see why he sings so beautifully. He’s singing to you.” You could tell it was very sincere and genuine.

I’d like to see Steven get his own reality show. Put Liv on there too and maybe they can finally do Armageddon 2 where the moon will actually blow up! Awesome.

I hope they give him lots of air time during the season. He would have the most helpful input and make the most sense I think.

Let’s see what tonight’s show has in store.

OH! I forgot to include some info on the contestants. Uh, let’s see. . .

Emma, 15, sang True Colors. Good, young talent, but was just too young. Duh. A little bickering over whether she should stay or go home. They liked her enough to send her through.

Naima Adedapo – Good strong voice and is doing this all for her kids. She cried a lot. She reminded me of my friend, Joy. Y’all know her?

Jerome Bell – Surprised me with his powerful rendition of Let’s Get it On. He was just a little off, but his energy took him through. JLo advises us to “remember his name.”

They let a whole passel of 15 year olds through. Ryan reported that every 15 year old who walked in front of the judges received a golden ticket. Having realized this, I think the producers poked fun at themselves by letting cute little 5 year old Valerie audition. Cute as a button, but didn’t make it to Hollywood. Go figure. They may have done that as a joke, but that’s the direction the show is headed. Mickey Mouse Club, here we come.

Thia Megia 15 – not sure what she sang, but she had a good voice.

Nathaniel Jones, a Civil War reenactor, sang The Lion Sleeps Tonight. We all know that’s not an easy song to sing well, but he kind of pulled it off. Steven even pointed that out. He liked it, but said it wasn’t right for the show.

One surprise performance of the night was long legged, modelesque Molly Swenson. She graduated from Harvard, and is now an intern at the White House. She admitted to loving President Obama, but not in a Monica/Bill kind of way. I think we all know that Michelle would definitely not play the role of Hillary in that situation. Molly sang Dock of the Bay, and sailed through to Hollywood.

Hailey Reinhart – Big voice for a little girl.

Tiwan Strong – Good, soulful voice

Steve Biggoon – an Accountant. Big guy with a light voice. Sang I’m Not Moving and sang it well. Surprisingly.

And the Stank Attitude Because I Just Want to be on TV award goes to Vernika Patterson, who tried to sing Minnie Ripperton’s Loving You, a song nearly impossible to sing by any lay person. When they told her she just didn’t have what it takes, she flew off the handle and said it was because she was fat. They quickly reminded her of Ruben Studdard. “He’s a man.” Yes, but he’s way fat. They pointed out the female winners who were not exactly on the skinny side, but that wasn’t good enough for Wykesha, or whatever her name is. She stormed off the set and down the street, I guess trying to take a stand for big girls across the land. Please do NOT give this girl a show.

And so went the auditions in the land of the cheese. Go Steelers.

They’re Baaaaaaaaack. . .sort of, in a way.

January 20, 2011

American Idol began its 10th season last night. Did anyone watch? I did and grudgingly so. JLo and Steven provided a new feel to the audition show, and they highlighted good singers and not so many bafoons for a change. Initially, JLo had a hard time saying no, but she got the hang of it. Thank goodness.

Things were going along fine until Tiffany Rios, a big fan of JLo, came out with stars, not in her eyes, but well, somewheres else. She actually had a good voice, but her presentation was a little over the top. Hopefully, she’ll tone it down.

And speaking of over the top, later they brought out Ashley Sullivan. She was a cross between Liza Minelli, Clay Aiken and the entire cast of The Lion King. I don’t think she’ll make it through Hollywood, but she’ll definitely provide some entertainment.

One highlight of the night was the 16 year old daughter of war refugees from Kosovo. She sang If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys and did a very good job. Hopefully, we’ll see more of that this season.

There were the usual pitiful, “apparently you have no friends” contestants, but nothing really unusual. Frankly, the show just didn’t hold my attention. Oh, but they did have the obligatory, “my family member is dying and I’m doing this for them” contestant, Briele Von Hugel, who’s dad is a former Doo-Wop singer and just won a battle with throat cancer. He was very proud that his daughter made it through to Hollywood, and she was pretty good, but really, can somone please turn the page on this neverending story?

Even though some of the better singers of the night were younger, like 16 year old Travis Orlando, I really think if they RAISED the age limit, they would get more serious singers and it wouldn’t be as much of a joke. This year the age range is 15-27. Maybe they can have a Teen Idol and a Mature Idol. American Idol is gettin’ on my nerves.

If you watched, what did you think?

Thursday night auditions are in Naw’lins. Laissez les bon temps rouler, y’all.