Hello Milwaukee! American Idol comes to town

by Ruth Anne Boulet

Scott Dangerfield of Milwaukee auditions in his hometown

Ok, so I’ve been reading some of the blogs talking about the first week of season 10 of American Idol. Most folks, it seems, like the new judges especially Steven Tyler. While I agree that he seems entertaining & quite articulate about each contestant, I’m not sure how any of them will be once we get going with the live show. I’m going to reserve final judgment on them until that time. In the meantime, 3 things.

1. Can we cut down on the ‘pervy Steven’ clips, Idol? Huh? I’m not a prude but ew.

2. The Milwaukee episode keeps showing Seacrest telling a guy “to put the gun down.” Now, I know he’s talking to a Civil War reenactor guy, but given the whole very recent shooting in Arizona, do you think that that type of promo is maybe in poor taste? I don’t think whatever bit needs to be cut out of the show, but using ‘Seacrest might get shot’ as a tease is a little much. Discuss.

3. I also want to see how the judges handle NOT agreeing with one another. Haven’t seen that yet. I want to see how they interact when someone’s on the fence. That’s when Simon would really shine.

The Milwaukee episode begins! The world gets to see the hidden gem north of Chicago. Can you tell I live here & I love it?

I don’t love that in Idol terms we’re best known for Danny Gokey. Forget him & show the art museum again. Way better representation. Look at those Calatrava wings. They’re lovely. Ignore the guy in glasses in the corner. He’s annoying.

JLo thinks Lake Michigan is the ocean. Oy.

First up is a kid from Garner, North Carolina with a wicked-deep country voice, Scotty McCreery. We are given the impression that Garner is small-town America. When I look at my atlas, however, I see it’s just a ‘burb of Raleigh. I guess kids from the ‘burbs only sing angsty music that makes it into John Hughes movies (RIP, man) and not country. Whatever, Idol. I deride your attempted emotion-sway editing! The judges love him. I can’t stand country music for the most part, so I’d rather not hear him for the next 5 months.

Ryan Seacrest is cold. Wuss. This episode was shot in early October. I was still riding my bike 12 miles to work in shorts, Seacrest. Toughen up, man.

Next we spend a lot of time on a DJ from Toledo who has no chance in hell making it on the show. Why, Idol?

The next contestant, Emma Henry, drove from Littleton, Colorado to Milwaukee to audition. On her learner’s permit. Yes, her family was in the car. She sings Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors. The judges like her but don’t think she’s quite ready — and we get our first conflict! JLo says no for now, Steven says yes and Randy thinks she’ll be swallowed up. I agree. But since this is the year of sending everyone through, she’s in. JLo agrees that she’ll be swallowed up.

Time for a montage of crappy singers! One of them asks for a drink from Randy’s Coke. Weird.

We show off Summerfest next and are introduced to Naima Adedapo, and Kathy kinda freaks ’cause she taught her during her brief stint as a middle-school teacher. She sings a Donny Hathaway song. The judges like her, so yes she’s going to Hollywood.

Holding room antics! Complete Jackass move with a guy doing a roundhouse onto a cameraguy’s chest. Please don’t try that at home, kids.

Jerome Bell is auditioning in Milwaukee instead of somewhere closer to his small-town of NYC. He sings Let’s Get It On. I thought it was overall pretty loud, but the judges think he’s great. And he’s going to Hollywood.

Somehow they got a 5-year-old to ‘audition.’ She’s very cute, but reminds me of Idol Kids, that show that lasted a hot minute. We conclude the ‘younguns’ package with Thia Megia from California singing Chasing Pavement. I thought she started off rough & mellowed out. Kathy wants to hear her do something else to hear how she can really sing. Doesn’t matter what we think. She’s through to Hollywood.

Apparently on this particular day in Milwaukee every 15-year-old got a golden ticket. Eeesch. I don’t watch American Idol to listen to the Brady Bunch. Seriously.

Coming up — the angry rejected! But first, the Civil War reenactors! He apparently objects when people call his dad a hippie! His dad is not a hippie! Hippies believe in sex! Eeesch. He’s singing The Lion Sings Tonight. Of course he is. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen Randy laugh into his Coke. Steven is slack-jawed. JLo looks like she’s a deer caught in headlights.

A West Alien was dared by his friends to audition. That’s the only explanation for his really weird audition — completely monotone. Yikes.

Molly Swensen calls Randy out for smacking her in the face when he was high-fiving contestants in the holding room. Thankfully Idol cameramen caught it on film. We get to see it over & over again. Don’t feel bad for Molly. She just graduated from Harvard & is working as a White House intern. Thankfully Idol didn’t give her the ‘she’s had to struggle’ package. Even they couldn’t stretch things that far. Ayla Brown #2 is on her way to Hollywood.

Haley auditioned last year & was told to come back this year. Randy thinks she’s so much better this year. Whatever, Randy, you don’t remember her. Doesn’t matter, she’s through to Hollywood. The guy that I assume is her dad looks like Michael McKean. Or Lenny, in Milwaukee talk.

Haley Reinhart is on her way to Hollywood after her second audition

Tiwan Strong sings Twisting The Night Away dressed completely in white. He’s through to Hollywood. One of his supporters is so excited she gets a charlie horse. None of the other supporters really cares, even when she almost doubles over in pain. They’re wacky! They’re completely unaware of each other! It’s The Strong Sassys!

Steve Beghun is an auditor from MN. Idol editors tried to make it seem like he worked in downtown Milwaukee. He’s got a little Kermit in his voice, but not to the point of weirdness. He’s going to Hollywood.

Who does Loving You as an audition number? Vernica does. She also thinks that getting belligerent with the judges is the way to go when they don’t like her rendition. She thinks she’s not going to Hollywood because she’s not skinny. Oh, honey. She storms out before she even gets an answer from the judges. Of course she gets followed by camerapeople all the way out.

We then cut to people crying outside the Bradley Center even though those auditions took place back in July when the new judges hadn’t even been picked yet.

Albert Rogers does a Barack Obama impersonation and thinks all songs should last at least 15 minutes. He did not make it to Hollywood.

Scott Dangerfield apparently made out with a girl in line before his audition. He sings an Amos Lee song & J Lo thinks he might be her favorite thus far. He breezes through to Hollywood.

Megan Frazier loves the Green & Gold and is from Green Bay. She must be in heaven this week. She’s getting her 5 minutes of fame AND the Pack is in the Super Bowl. She does an operatic version of Justin Bieber’s Baby. She tells them that’s what Idol is looking for. I think a Green Bay radio station put her up to it. While I enjoy the Pack, I really love the Green & Gold flavors Kopp’s custard has been putting out for the playoffs. One was green apple & caramel. The other was buttermint & butterscotch. I can’t wait to see what they’ll do for the Super Bowl.

Alyson Jados, Steven Tyler’s biggest fan, is freaking out during her audition. He almost makes an inappropriate comment, but nicely refrains. She sings Come Together and does a pretty good job. They talk her into singing Dream On and Steven nicely sings the high note for her. He then actually takes her to task for being pitchy. I think that’s the first time I’ve heard him make that kind of comment. Randy says no; J Lo says yes and Steven breaks the tie to put her through.

Fifty-three were put through from the Milwaukee auditions. But before we wrap up, we get a guy who’s hyped like the second coming of Gokey. Chris Medina is engaged, but his fiancee was in an accident & survived but needs constant care. It is a sad story, as Gokey’s was, and he’s got a good voice. The judges want to meet his girlfriend & wait until she’s in the room to tell him he’s going to Hollywood. Don’t turn into a douchebag over the course of the show, dude. Stay nice and see how far you go. That goes for the rest of you too, contestants.

Photos Credits: Michael Becker/FOX


  1. I’m fairly sure she was joking. As an airline pilot out of Chicago, people ask if is it the ocean all the time. But she snickers as she says it. I’m pretty sure she was making fun of those that DO think it is an ocean.

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