No other show, except for maybe Lost, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and maybe Heroes, and also Survivor, and of course Amazing Race, and Grey's Anatomy, and awards shows, and oh, anytime the AFI has a Top 100 Movie list... but besides those, no other show has captured the attention of both myself and The Lovely Steph Leann like American Idol. And after last's season being a total disappointment, this season promises to be much better--fewer "mentors" like Jon Bon Jovi and Gwen Stefani, the fact they can audition with instruments now, and hopefully, the return of Baylie Brown.
Here's what you can expect to see in any American Idol audition... at least one of the following:
(A) Somebody in a weird outfit that cannot sing
(B) Somebody who cannot sing that will be bleeped later telling Simon what he can do and where he can go
(C) Somebody who legitimately can sing, but will be refused Hollywood because they aren't "it"
(D) Somebody totally weird, bizarre, whacked out that cannot sing (anyone remember "Panther"?)
(E) Somebody will butcher Celine, Whitney and/or Alicia
(F) Somebody will attempt a Stevie song that should not attempt a Stevie song
(G) Somebody who really is so sweet and nice and you want to be able to sing, but just can't do it, and you feel bad for them....
(H) Somebody who gave up everything to come audition, but will absolutely suck
(I) Somebody who says "I want to sing to share my voice with the world"
(J) And somebody who will sing another song, badly, unprompted, after its very obvious that the first song was terrible
We open up the season in Philly, with crowds reminding me of DeuceFestDeuce in 2001. And then... here we go...
An Anthony Federov knockoff (ie, a contestant with a heartwarming story and odd glasses) is up first, this guy having lost over 200 pounds. He's "ready to do dis". He's doing "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5, a band that I didn't like to begin with... but am liking more and more as we go along. And Joey, the guy in question, isn't bad. And we start off with Joey going to Hollywood!
Ah, the yearly foreign guy, this one who loves listening to "Mr. The Bee Gees", who wants a girl with hair to... the navel? The nivel? The nipple? I dunno. And Paula can actually walk through the gap in this guy's teeth. He's singing "Mr The Bee Gees" song "How Deep Is Your Love", including doing his own harmony. Steph Leann is laughing loudly... we can check "G" off of our list.
Melanie Nyema, who used to sing backup for Taylor Hicks, sings a little Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten". And she does well enough to make it. And the guy after Melanie Nyema? Bad suit, bad voice, Steph Leann and Randy Jackson are both hiding their heads. And let's mark "J" off of our list.
And in a throwback to the "Creepiest Idol Auditions Ever" catagory... both Steph Leann and I miss Nick Zitzmann.
One that should have made our list was "Somebody will butcher Unchained Melody". And someone just did. And here's a guy, a black guy no less, singing Elton John... and doing it justice. And one of my people (Hispanic) doing something in Spanish, and doing it well. And stepping right out of a boy band, here's one more doing his thang. Black Elton, Jose and Boy Band Crakkah make it to Hollywood.
Never, ever, ever bet on a big chick named Temptress, and one that plays football. No, I didn't just make that up. She's a flippin' middle linebacker. No, seriously, I'm not just making that up cause she's a big chick (Katie Roberts, seriously, I didn't make this up!). Chalk up another "G". I think my ears are bleeding. The best part about this entire segment is that Paula is wearing a see-through shirt. And that's not saying alot... I mean, its Paula, not Kate Winslet.
Steph Leann just suggested "Temptress Dollar". Not sure I like that. I do like The Sport's Guy take on baby names though... it seems that when a mama puts a "La" or a "D'" in front of a name, then that makes the kid athletic. Like, we're thinking of the name "Campbell" or "Collin" for a boys name... so "LaCampbell" or "D'Collin". I can dig it. Or heck, if we name our little girl "LaLorelei D'Addison", then she's destined to play basketball for the Tennessee Vols and win a title.
Here's another foreigner, Udi (oo-dee) trying to dance, and actually using the words "Elvis" and "pimp look" to describe himself. When asked the question "Who do you sound like?", its NEVER a good sign when the guy says "Oh, Sinatra, some people say Manilow...", cause they will NEVER sound like those guys. Steph Leann says, "Stop him! Okay! Stop him!" I mean, if I may name is Udi, I'm getting my band together, and calling them the Blowfish.
Here's a montage of people singing "I Love Rock & Roll" by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. We just knocked out both "A" and "D" several times over, including seeing several faces that we saw last year.
Ah, straight from the Waffle House, its Alexis Cohen. Covered in glitter and incense, and the fact she's from Allentown and just said "Oh, there's a song written about Allentown, I think it was done by Bon Jovi..." means she's not very smart. It was Billy Joel, genius, written about 8 years before Bon Jovi got popular. Waffle House Alexis just gave us a pep talk before going in to sing... and you know what's coming. She's comparing herself to Pat Benatar, Grace Slick and Janis Joplin... which means she'll be terrible. And guess what? She actually sounds like Grace Slick... Simon says "It sounded possessed." I think we just got "C" and I have a feeling we're about to see "B"... and yep, here comes lots and lots of "B".
It always makes me laugh when someone goes off on Simon, when truly, no one wanted Waffle House Alexis to go to Hollywood. She has aspirations though... she says she wants to pursue "actressing". And she leaves us with the old reliable "I'm going to hit it big, and then I'll show all of you that you shoulda picked me!", which is also funny, because I don't know a single artist popular now that can say "I was rejected by American Idol, but I made it big anyway!!"
Oh boy... here comes the heartwarming story. Angela's daughter has a degenerative disease that is slowly taking her life. Darn it... Angela has to be good! American Idol can't show this kind of story, and then Angela not be good! And she's trying Stevie... and she signs, she seals, she delivers!!! Honestly? I love this chick... she's through to Hollywood! I have an early favorite!
Some chick named Elyse just kicked Nina Simone's "Feelin' Good" on the ground, and the puked on it. Very sad. Another chick, Teresa, just took 15 seconds to sing one note. And yet another chick just killed Heart, which saddens Steph Leann, who loves Heart.
An old guy is here, wants to sing a song "No Sex Aloud", as a message of hope to the young people of the world. Milo, from NJ, writes songs that "need to be heard by millions of people". The Lovely Steph Leann is hiding her head. We haven't put up all of our Christmas ornaments yet, which is good, because I just grabbed one and stuck it in my eye.
Here's a chick named Christy Cook! I went out with a chick named Christy Cook in college... she turned out to be a lesbian. No, I didn't date her, because had I, she wouldn't be a lesbian now... um, anyhoo... And no, its not the same Christy Cook. She's a cage fighter! And its actually Kristy Lee Cook. Sounds good, and she's off to Hollywood!
And with Ben, we have "A" and "D" wrapped up in one. A grown, chunky man wearing a Princess Leia bikini outfit. I wish I were kidding. Then, the montage of "**** you, Simon! **** you, Idol, you suck!" when they're rejected." Then, a creepy guy singing to Paula Abdul. I almost expect to see Chris Hansen come out, just on principal. The Lovely Steph Leann is shrieking in horror and fear. And hiding her face. He manages to use the words calk, chalk, stalk, walk, balk and Peter Falk all to describe his affection for Paula.
Hot chick alert! Beth Stalker (what a last name... I wonder if she has a cousin named Jennifer Restraining Order) is a mom, 28 and ready to blow us away. Simon doesn't liker her, she's in danger of becoming a "C", but Randy and Paula send her to Hollywood.
So Ben Haar, the Princess Leia bikini guy, took Paula's advice when she said "shave your chest and come back". So he did. And, in an example of a guy who is only interested in being on TV, trys to sing "Don't Cha", and gets approximately "Don't cha..." before he's stopped. And kicked out.
Chris, with dreadlocks, comes in, to which The Lovely Steph Leann says "Look at those cheekbones!" And he sings Uncle Kracker, which is kinda fun, and he sounds good. He is going to Hollywood, and rightly so.
I'm disappointed... no Celine... no Whitney... no Alicia... no bad Stevie... what is this? American Idol from another world?? Here comes a chick named Christina, wearing Princess Leia hair buns, and wearing a Star Wars belt buckle. I'll be honest... I think I'd rather see Ben Haar in the Princess Leia bikini than this chick. She looks like Sara Sidle crossed with... I dunno, a monkey? Weird.
So, Christina wasn't doing so bad until, well, maybe four seconds after she started. Then it got terrible. Really terrible. Steph Leann is silent. So is Simon. She reminds me of a not-as-fun Scooter Girl from a few years ago. Christina on American Idol, not Steph Leann.
And finally... its Brooke White, from California. Who has never seen a Rated R movie... she said it, not me. And a very, very good voice. Randy says "pure", while Simon says "sincere", and Paula says "Yes!". Welcome to Hollywood!
All in all, 29 from Philly heads to Hollywood. And Christina the weird Princess Leia chick is bitter. Tomorrow they head to Dallas, TX, where we perhaps will finish our checklist. I'm waiting for the bad Celine...