by Ruth Anne Boulet
We visit 4 cities this week, and to me one contestant stands out. He stands out because he claims he can live without physics. I’m here to tell you, George, that in fact, you cannot live without physics. Seriously. Don’t believe me? Then read the words of my American Idol, Neil deGrasse Tyson.
See? No physics = no people = no American Idol. Physics comes first, George. Physics comes first. If the laws of physics stopped applying, we may all fly off into space & have our heads blow up like Homer & Bart Simpson when they ejected themselves from the spaceship headed straight for the sun.
George does think about other things besides physics & singing. His big dream is to have a nice house with nice floors. Marble (physics). He sings ‘Walking on Sunshine’ like he’s Eeyore wrapped in a thick blanket & he’s not trying to get out of it.
The rest of the contestants shook out thusly:
We begin with lots of clips of Randy’s awesome ’80s hair. Shots of the Imperial Senate, I mean, American Idol audience.
Justin Guarini dude, a.k.a. annoying sound effects Joshua – this guy actually likes being compared to Justin Guarini, simply for the name recognition. Dude, that’s just sad. He’s got a decent voice, but he craps it up with all the ticks. Simon calls him Inspector Gadget. Randy thinks he’s ‘not boring.’
‘My dog relaxes me’ girl – Sharon. Ok, Sasha the dog is super cute, but she’s annoying. And she’s wearing a roach clip in her hair. Come on. Did she come to the audition after she went to the county fair? Not to diss fairs. I love the Wisconsin State Fair, but I wouldn’t dress for the fair & then head on over to the audition of a lifetime. This audition also features the Paula/Kara makeout that almost made Kara lose her top
Two 16-year-olds are hyped before the commercial. One is really bad, and doesn’t believe Simon when he tells her she’s bad. Her mother also thinks Simon’s wrong. They’re both super-upbeat, which is refreshing.
Julissa decides that she needs to bring the Latin flavor to American Idol. Wearing a tiara and sash that says Candidata usually means that the singer is going to be painfully bad, but she’s ok. During judging, Paula decides to leave the room. Because Julissa can convince Paula to come back, she gets a golden ticket.
Darin Darnell knows how to work a room, and although he’s super-confident initially, he gets really upset when the friend he made in line gets cut just before him. He’s so upset he cries before his audition. Do I have to tell you he’s not good? He’s not good.
Slow-motion Randy fan Samantha gets to sit on Randy’s lap. So Paula sits on Simon’s lap. Kara insists that Ryan sit on her lap. Naomi, of course, sings ‘Loving You.’ Does anyone who can sing actually select this song for their audition? Her friend, still planted on Randy’s lap, is even making pained faces. This time, Simon makes the ‘is this a joke’ gaffe. Naomi cries, but she gets a group hug.
Jasmine is the second 16-year-old that was hyped early in the episode. Kara’s decided that Jacksonville is the city for cleavage, although most shots have a strategically placed Coca-Cola glass. The judges are liking her, even though I think she’s a bit nasal.
Anne Marie has to come back as a superstar. She’s too mousy. So she ‘finds’ the makeup artist & some other shoes & she’s transformed! Transformed, I tell you! That, and singing ‘Bubbly’ gets her through to Hollywood.
TK has auditioned previously, but apparently didn’t get so far that they won’t let him come back. Simon doesn’t want to give him another chance, but the rest of the judges put him through.
Michael can’t see himself doing anything but music. He’s told that he can’t audition with his guitar and he promptly freaks out about it. Apparently he’s never watched the show because no one has auditioned with an instrument, unless they’re doing it as a joke. He’s ok, but he starts to beg. Simon tells him to get with a band and work at it since he’s only 18. Of course, he’s 18, so this is tragic to him. He tells his family that he didn’t make it & he won’t let his mother or brother touch him to comfort him.
Salt Lake City
First up, an Osmond. Yes, one of the Osmonds. And he has MS. And he seems super put-together & nice. It does make the stomach churn a bit, but it’s hard not to root for the guy. Of course they draw out the will-he-or-won’t-he get the freakin’ ticket. Please, of course he’s getting the golden ticket.
We get the treat of goth girl. But don’t judge her based on her look. She also has ESP, but she can’t see if she’s going to win or not. Nope, no way, not gonna win. Not even getting to Hollywood. Any other HD watchers? What the heck was up with her lipstick? It looked really dry and spotty, like she had chewed some of it off & never licks her lips. She isn’t happy when the judges don’t like her voice.
We get the montage of freakily bad singers, including cross-eyed, big ’80s hair rocker with the huge tongue. Freaky. Another guy with a Simon Cowell T-shirt and mask brought his good luck bunny. His good luck bunny is his big buddy in a big pink bunny suit. He’s like Ralphie all growed up.
Frankie Jordan is confident. She sings the Amy Winehouse song that’s in Raving Rabbid’s TV Party. I’ve way screwed up that song in that game. She’s got a good voice, but I prefer it sung by a deranged rabbit.
Megan’s a single mom with a huge tattoo on her right arm. She’s very retro sounding, but it’ll be interesting to hear her sing something not in that scatty-style. The judges love her, but I’m not 100% sure she can just sing something straight.
Then there’s the super-earnest high-school senior class president. First he does a Train song. The judges don’t like that, so he goes with his second choice. Raffi. Yes, Raffi. Kid, song choice. Seriously.
We’re then treated to the crying jag montage. They show a girl with a puppet coming out of the audition room & crying. You brought a puppet! Nothing says I was set up by a radio station like bringing a puppet.
Taylor is a tall drink of water. She’s 5’11” without heels. I don’t know what that’s like. Taylor tells me it’s ok. Sometimes.
It’s today’s heartbreak story! Rose used to live in van with her dad, but now she’s living with a friend since he’s died. Her mother also died when she was young. She’s only 17. She’s got a hippie style that Simon seems to like and she sings barefoot. She also stays barefoot as she goes outside. Her feet are absolutely, completely black.
Have you noticed in the Idol intro the person raising their fist in victory is male one day & female the next? No subliminal messaging here. Anyone can win!
New York, NY and Puerto Rico
We start with New York and the first girl quit her job because she KNOWS she’s going to Hollywood. Of course she’s awful, but I’m even more distracted by the ship behind the judges bobbing up & down on the water. Simon offers to phone her boss for her to get her job back. She doesn’t take him up on it, but Simon insists to staff that they have to call. He gets her job back for her.
And cut over to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The first contestant there sings with his heart. Unlike everyone else who auditions for American Idol. Ok, maybe the folks put up by the radio stations aren’t singing with their hearts, but everyone else is. He sings ‘My Way’ in Spanish. He’s actually ok.
A Michigan native took a trip to San Juan to audition. She wins a ton of contests, even singing contests. She’s not horrible, but she’s really, really loud. She’s also a bit of a brat & won’t take their criticism.
Which leads us into a group of folks who think the judges are wrong, wrong, wrong.
To bring us back up, we get dancing naked girl. Seriously. She doesn’t dance naked for the judges, but she talks about it. She feels there’s a shift in the universe & she wants to be a part of it. With all of her hippie happiness, she’s got an ok voice. She’s going to Hollywood, but she’ll have to keep her clothes on.
Jackie sings like she’s been smoking a couple of packs of cigarettes a day, but she gets through. The judges have the sunscreen almost fall on them, but Jackie gets through.
Then we get the treat of the crazy guys of the NY and Puerto Rico auditions. Ryan talks about how they use their shtick to get to Hollywood. No, Ryan, they use their shtick to get on TV. In Puerto Rico, we get The Human iPod. He likes to yell at people on the street & resorts to a lion sock puppet for his Lion King audition. At some point after his audition, he ‘transforms’ into a superhero & plunges in the pool. Hope it was worth it for you, dude.
New York’s crazy dude, Norman, casts his headband & goofy glasses aside. But he’s soon trading quips with Simon about crotch injuries. But then Simon finally convinces him to just sing something, and he starts singing ‘Amazing Grace’ surprisingly well. Norman, however, can’t help himself from making goofy faces. It’s addictive! After much debate, he’s going to Hollywood. Enjoy the flight, Norman, cause if you can’t rein it in, you won’t be able to enjoy the hotel.
The next contestant tries the cute kid brother trick. She even brings him into the audition room. When the judges ask little brother if she’s picked the right song, he counsels to ‘think carefully.’ She’s a bit too high school in her stage presence. Randy and Kara say no; Paula says yes, so of course Simon says yes. I mean, come on, they’ve let much worse through & her brother’s super cute. She’s got a lot of work to do, though.
Chanting the traditional Buddhist chant is last year’s favorite freak, Alexis. Yes, the girl who was going to try ‘actressing’ after being told that she’s horrible. She’s back with a new, positive attitude. However, she doesn’t have a good voice and she comes off as a freak, still. Simon thinks she got worse. Alexis thanks the judges, but then the true Alexis comes back & she flips the bird to the judging panel. She claims that she’s had thousands of people clamoring for more Alexis. I don’t know if those thousands of people are in her head or what, but I’ve never met them.
San Juan’s last auditioner starts off by singing Whitney Houston. Mistake. Singing Whitney always brings the Whitney comparison. She tries to get them again by singing a more traditional-sounding song in Spanish. That’s what gets her the golden ticket to Hollywood.
But will it matter? For most, it won’t matter at all because now it’s Hollywood week. It’s the test that turns most contestants into a quivering mass of goo. As one contestant says, “How did we know we were going to hate each other?” That’s the question of the ages, my boy, the question of the ages.
We’ll find out the answer next week on American Idol.