Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's Idol Time 2009, Part II (guest starring The Lovely Steph Leann)

Its the next night of the "2 night premier", which is really Fox's way of saying "we're going to have 2 episodes, but make sure we lump them together so that you can't miss a minute of all of it for more ad revenue!"


Is American.


Kansas City, home of David Cook... I'm here, its late, we're watching it on DVR, "we" being Yours Truly and The Lovely Steph Leann, blanket in hand, ready to cover her face when appropriate.

By the way, its Missouri, not Kansas, so get it right. The Dreadlocked One, Jason Castro, is here, because his brother is auditioning today. KT thinks he's legally handicapped, but The Lovely Steph Leann loves him.

Backstory! Right outta the gate... its Chelsea, talking about how powerful her voice is. And... The Lovely Steph Leann gasps. And I gasp. And Chelsea is awful, slaughtering Mariah's version of "Without You". Simon squints. "Make her stop" is the call from across the room, said at a painful whisper. Then, loudly, "PLEASE!!!" I kinda feel back for this chick, cause really, with her backstory she was sharing, it had us fooled... we thought she might be pretty good. And... no.

How does she have all these chick friends waiting for her, surprised she didn't make it! What were they telling her??

Ashley Anderson sings Leona Lewis, "Footprints in the Sand" though she sings "footsteps". Clever girl, as the song was co-written by Simon Cowell. Of course, if you change a comma to an apostrophe, you get a "co-written" credit. And she gets through, as well she should.

And we're back, with a commercial/ad with David Cook. Erin the Marine Wife is going nuts right about now.

Simon says, "I like Kansas alot". Remember what I said above.

Casey Carlson sings, "A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton, and really good. One of my top 100 favorite songs ever, by the way. Shut up Wookiee, its a good song. Though when I sing it, I have to add in the piano tunes as well. It used to be my ringtone, actually. I said shut up, Wookiee! Casey makes it. I think she'll make the Top 12.

If Joey Fatone, the cool N*Sync'er not named Justin, gained about 40 pounds, he'd be this next guy. Complete with bad chest hair and strange leotard thing going on. Brian, his name, though it doesn't really matter, is destroying "Think" by Aretha. The Lovely Steph Leann has her face partially covered. It was terrible. Entertaining, but different. He actually says people compare him to Josh Groban and Michael McDonald... and of course, he starts singing, hoping against hope that they will say, "Whoa!? That's awesome! We change our minds!"

Now, a montage of crying contestants who sucked. One girl is screaming and stamping her feet. And screaming. And screaming.

Has "The Simpsons" really been on for twenty years?

And now people come up, trying to take familiar favorites and put their own twists on them... a'la David Cook doing Bon Jovi. Randy hides his eyes while some guy that I'm sure I saw Chris Hansen nail on "To Catch a Predator" kills X'tina's "Reflection".

Backstory! Von Smith, who attempts things no one attempts to sing--his words, not mine. "Over the Rainbow" is his song of choice. He clears his voice, clears it again, and then belts it out. This guy is no Kat McPhee. He's going for a "look what I can do!" instead of a "I can sing!". The Lovely Steph Leann pipes up, "Gah, I would have hated to be in that room." He actually sounded decent when he wasn't screaming. The judges love his instrument, as they call it. So, dope voice and all (Randy), he goes to Hollywood.

Now, The Brother of The Dreadlocked One comes up for audition. Michael Castro, short hair, all spiked and pinkish... Melissa Clark, the Official Clouds in My Coffee Stylist, would be horrified. "In Love With the Girl" by Gavin DeGraw is his choice. Not too bad, he sounds like he could rock it out if he had to, perhaps when his vocals will be overtaken by the band. Simon says "good-ish". And just like that, The Brother of the Dreadlocked One gets through to Hollywood.

Here's another series of bad contestants. Guy in a yellow suit singing "Do You Want a Banana". That's an example.

Backstory! Gotee'd, bald dude with a wife and kid, he sings, he plays guitar, he's ready! Matt is a welder, and like everyone else in the entire world, he's been singing since he was a child. But he admits he wants to be successful to provide for his family. "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers... one of my 100 favorites. And, truthfully, I like this guy. Great version. Very raspy, though I can't help but picture Hugh Grant walking through Notting Hill in the film of the same name, in one of the best scenes ever. Though Randy says no, Simon and the chicks say yes, so Matt heads to Hollywood.

This chick is something something, but goes by the nickname Jazz. (Jasmine is her name). The Lovely Steph Leann says about the death of "Over the Rainbow": "She's scary". And she is. The Lovely Steph Leann twitches, which was honestly kinda funny. So, would the things at the bottom of her arms be called... "Jazz Hands"? Just fyi. The judges are silent, Jazz leaves.

Jessica, with guitar and a backstory, is actually kinda cute. Glasses, personality, old strange grandmother (though KT has my fave grandma of all... dementia does that). I want her to be good... please, please, please... "Crybaby" by Janis Joplin is her weapon of choice. She's really not singing it so much as she's talking loudly, in rhythm. Screaming worked for Von, so it works for Jessica Paige Furney too.

Lots of people in line just met, another lots of people came together... including the sisters who are auditioning together. And... they are rapping together. They say they are talented. India and Asia are their names... they are actually kinda funny, entertaining... rapping about a song called "Steal Your Cookies", dedicated to Randy. The jokes over, Asia sings for real... well, not for real. India sings next, much much better. By the way, they are funny together, because one is really big, one is really small. And India gets the yellow ticket. And dey mama just molest Ryan she did.

Jamar Rogers is up next, doing "California Dreamin'", another one of my favorites. Screaming again. This is where my tone hard of hearing comes in... I ask The Lovely Steph Leann, "Is he any good?" and she sighs and says, "I think they'll like him.". She's relieved when Kara says he was a big over the top--but he goes through.

Now, Jamar's best buddy Danny comes in. "Oh no, there's a backstory," I groan, and The Lovely Steph Leann chuckles, "Of course there is a backstory. Its American Idol." Danny has had an emotional sacrifice... his wife died a month ago. What? Holy poo... this is rough! He's on camera, tearing up, the few people around him are tearing up... "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye is what he belts out... and I like him better than the other guy, Jamar. And they love the guy.

And he goes the wrong way to get out. The Lovely Steph Leann: "Is it so hard to go back the way you came in? I mean, the door is right there!"

Someone who looks an ugly Ambre Lake kills some song so bad Simon just laughs. Another one kicks Mariah Carey in the face. Another guy... wait, its a girl, belches out something. Oh, its old school Loretta Lynn's "Not Woman Enough (to take my man)".

"Thank You" by Boyz II Men is what Anoop Mamood Admadeinjad is singing. Or whatever his name is. Yes, I heard Pastor Calvin's lesson, shut up. Anyway, he's really good. And they are calling him Anoop Dogg. There's a nickname I don't have to make up, at least.

A pasty white girl is taking on Stevie. And another girls teeth almost came out of the screen and tried to kill me.

Can you imagine how hard it is for a producer on this show? All the people go through the producers first, and they make the decision to who to send in front of the judges... good and bad. You have to show impartiality, possibly making people who can't sing thing they can because they made it through. I'm thinking when I started putting syringes between my fingers, they'd notice something was up.

Oh, its a montage of costumes... ninjas, rabbits, cowgirls, pimps, chickens... and cheerleaders. They are doing a cheer for the next contestant, Andrew. This cannot be good for his prospects, at least with Simon. He's going to be singing "My Girl" by The Temptations. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it wasn't great. Randy says yes, then Paula asks him to sing something else... he sings "Ain't Too Proud to Beg", Paula tells him he's too theatrical, and then Randy changes his vote. That has to be a first...

Asa is a band director, musical and ready to go. Backstory! Kind of remindes me of the teacher guy, Anwar, from years ago. "The Way You Make Me Feel" by Michael Jackson (again, good, not as creepy MJ) is his song, and he's getting it on. Go Asa! One of my favorite contestants so far this season...

Michael Nicewonder is coming up, wearing a medal that he won in vocals in elementary school, with a fortune cookie fortune slip taped to the back. "My mother doesn't think I can sing, but I'm gonna prove her wrong". He's going to sing an original song. I just chewed my tongue. The Lovely Steph Leann pipes up, "Generally if your mom tells you you can't sing... she's showing you love..."

And he's crying. He's seriously crying. The tears don't make it past his cheek, though, as his front teeth's gravitational pull draws them in.

Dennis is going to sing "With You" by Chris Brown. And it was boring and goofy and terrible. And Simon says he didnt like it, so what to do? Well, sing another one. Of course. When that fails, tell them its your dream, and how you can sing much better when you aren't so nervous. Simon says no, Paula says yes. Randy says yes. And Kara says yes. This guy won't make it past Hollywood ("and neither will Bikini Girl," says The Lovely Steph Leann)

Another montage of people who didn't make it. A few are crying, a few are not. Then more who did make it, cheering and laughing. And then there is Mia. We know she doesn't make it from the "You gonna be sorry Simon, cause I was gonna be the next American Idol!" before the break. And now, she's executing "Lovin' You" by Minnie Riperton. I mean, brutal. The Lovely Steph Leann looks up and me, closes her eyes and shakes her head. When Simon says no, she keeps singing, all the way up to the high pitch note. And even though they all say no, emphatically, she goes after Simon in her post-interview. "You made the wrong choice, and God's gonna get you". Then she curses.

Backstory! I haven't heard her sing yet, but I can tell Lil Rounds is going to make the Top 36. Lil lost her house in a tornado, so her family has been staying in a Weekly Suite place. She treads onto dangerous territory, doing Stevie, and she does it... well. Very well. They love her. I thought she was great too.

Thus ends another night of American Idol recaps. And they ruin the moment by using Fantasia's screeching voice as the background music. Twenty six are going to Hollywood from American Idol's stop in Kansas City.

By the way, I love love love Hollywood Week. Seriously. Its so freakin' nuts.

Off to bed with ya now.

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