San Francisco and Louisville Welcome American Idol

by Ruth Anne Boulet

This week’s auditions take our intrepid American Idol team to San Francisco, CA and Louisville, KY. One city known for its uniqueness; another for a 2-minute horse race & big hats. These locations should bring a nice blend of crazies and talent.

Why is a girl with the psychotic laugh from Puerto Rico auditioning in San Francisco? Tatiana wants it more than anyone has ever wanted it. Ever. She brought the judges a ‘gift’ of her press kit. She actually sounds ok. I expected her to be horrendous. Simon, though, hates her and she replies by clutching her hands to her breasts and closing her eyes. Dramatically. She also keeps singing, which usually doesn’t work. She also keeps up the freaky & maniacal laughing.

And, those of you watching in Standard Definition will have to tell me — did her teeth look completely yellow to you guys too?  ‘Cause someone could be a friend and get her some Crest Whitestrips.

Quick question: why would anyone sing the Jefferson Airplane travesty ‘We Built This City on Rock & Roll?’ A 16-year-old, that’s who.

This episode of American Idol provided a first for me. It’s the first time I’ve heard the phrase ‘the carpet matches the drapes.’ Thanks coat guy! You just made American Idol history!

But really, while coat guy was entertaining, nothing was going to come close to Akilah Askew-Gholston. She’s done a lot of research. A lot of research. Ryan takes a look at her research & comments that ‘this is right out of health class.’ No, Akilah tells him, it’s from the Internet.

Akilah speaks to many subjects — the health of the trashea. Silly Ryan pronounces it trachea. Akilah helpfully corrects him. She informs the viewing audience that when singing acapella-y people tend to notice the singer’s voice more. Wow. Do I have to tell you that she’s awful? It’s not her fault, really, as she sang from the wrong rectum. She also let Randy, Paula & Simon iraqutidate her. She felt like one of those auditioners who can’t sing, even though that’s so not her. Wow. Akilah just left me with wow. She had me at trachea. Sorry, trashea.

Annie hadn’t decided what she was going to sing & debated her choice in front of the judges. She finally settled on “Summertime.” Simon thinks she’s drunk. I think she’s a tweaker, mostly because she can’t stand still to save her life. Either way, she’s not going to Hollywood.

Adam has been in the cast of Wicked for the past year & a half. He kind of looks like Daniela Sea from The L Word. Without the really bad soul patch. He saw Paula Abdul in concert when he was 10, which isn’t the best thing in the world to bring up when trying to impress a judge. Hey! You were at the height of your career when I was a kid! Isn’t that cool? Not great strategy, but he’s a pro, so he’s a grown-up in the audition room.

Kai is the inspiration story Idol has been saving for the last of the day. He takes care of his mother, who has a seizure disorder. He doesn’t have much in the way of stage presence, but he’s got a great voice and a Cat Stevens vibe. He’s going to Hollywood and I’m assuming another family member will be taking over mom duties.

And we’re on to Louisville…

Beginning with sparkly Tiffany. Tiffany makes her mother melt when she sings. She also has very large fake eyelashes. Her promise of leaving with a good attitude goes out the window when she doesn’t get a ticket to Hollywood. She’s got that goat-like singing voice. Her mother talks her out of giving up on her singing career. Sigh.

Our next contestant is Mark Mudd. Mr. Mudd has had a streak of bad luck. We don’t get too many details about this streak of bad luck, but that’s ok. He mentions something about almost dying 5 times. Sounds like someone should be a little more cautious. One of his ancestors was the doctor who treated John Wilkes Booth after he shot Lincoln. That’s probably where his bad luck started. He’s the guy Idol was hyping for ‘threatening’ the judges. His ‘threat’ is that he tells the judges to ‘be careful.’  Now, I don’t know if that was really a threat or just someone without the best social skills. He did have a bit of a psychotic look about him, though.

I officially love Ryan Benningfield. He was the guy who themed his outfit with the song he was singing. It’s the first time I’ve heard anyone sing a Tori Amos song. I love that. I’m assuming he chose “Mr. Zebra” just so he could theme his outfit. A bold choice, but I would’ve gone with “The Waitress” or “Raspberry Swirl.” You could totally theme an outfit around those as well.

Day 2 in Louisville and Paula decides to go all skanky 80s and wear the black lacy bra poking out of her pink top. Nice Paula, nice. I must say, though, all of the judges look good in HD. Not all of the contestants are so lucky.

Alexis, stay at home mom. She’s ok, but loud. Kara tells her not to wear pink, get dirty & make love to her fiancé.

Aaron Williamson is pumped. Whoo! He’s also here to be America’s Next Top Model. I love it when there’s cross-show confusion. He blows Paula out of her chair with his power. Whoo! He’s got energy, that’s for sure. Simon thinks he should find a job that involves shouting. He seems a decent fellow; he just needs to take it down a notch.

Rebecca got featured on Fox News while she was standing in line. She’s got 1 purple & black vinyl glove and lyrics written on her arm. She’s awful & Kara sees that she was voted ‘Most Humorous’ in high school and so she assumes that her audition is a joke. It’s not. Ouch.

Leneshe is tonight’s featured inspirational story. Unlike Kai, her mom is just fine, but the family has been struggling with poverty. She sang an original song that’s fun & quirky. The judges love her. Then Paula messes with her head by saying no. Just kidding — she’s so going to Hollywood!

Once again, like all of these auditions, we’ll see if folks who have been featured make it into the Hollywood footage.

Next week: Jacksonville, FL.