FYI... when I do an Idol recap, I usually do it as I'm watching it... which means my first impressions are truly my first impressions... then I go back and add links, pics and videos. Just know that reading this is just like my reactions as it happens! Facebook users.. go to Clouds in My Coffee to get some real love and some pants on the ground!
Its been cold as cold can be... but guess what's making Atlanta hot? The American Idol Auditions!
I have no idea where American Idol held auditions this year, but I do know that it might be likely that winners of the American Idol Experience down at Hollywood Studios would come to this particular one... here's how it works--they have three people perform on their stage during each show, all throughout the day. The audience votes, and the winner comes back that evening to the day's finale. The winner of THAT show gets a special golden ticket, which sends them to the front of any American Idol audition line, anytime, anywhere in the country. I've heard that you get "Star" treatment as well, with special food, nicer waiting rooms and so on.
I've also heard that they've had a slight problem getting good talent to perform as well... on a recent Inside the Magic podcast, someone said that the quality of winners for some days is much lower than you'd think it would be--based on who tries out.
Either way, being this is a Fox show, I'm not sure they'll do much promotion on an Disney/ABC attraction--although its good PR, I guess.
This is not to disparage Mary J in any way... I think she's awesome. I just don't know who else does.
First up, Dewone Robinson, telling us all about how he would sing as a kid. He gets on the elevator, going up to the 27th floor of the audition building. He's going to sing one of his own songs... one he calls "Lady We're Not Together Anymore". He tries to harmonize on his own, and do every voice in a Boyz II Men group, singing the line "...its over, its over, its over..." Its kinda foretelling. I like that Mary J just puts her head on the table.
We see another guy who just didn't make it, and with his high pitched voice ended up killing three birds and a boom mic operator in the process.
Big smiles from Keia Johnson with the frizzy afro--I can dig the frizzy afro. And she belts out some Celine Dion, loud and proud, and gets all the notes right. Mary J is almost speechless. Randy liked the phrasing. Kara the Hotness calls her geniune. Simon liked her, but called it more Broadwayey than anything else. However, Princess Keia gets the nod to Hollywood! And the 3,882 people waiting for her at the bottom of the elevator ride celebrate with her.
Miriam Lemnouni (we have our first "The Climb" reference... but I liked her anyway), Noel Reese and Tisha Holland all wow the judges (and I dug on Tisha's bluesy style)... all three head to Hollywood.
Jermaine Sellers is 26, and is a church singer. He's wanted this his whole entire life... and he takes care of his mother, who has Spina bifida. He'll be singing "One of Us" by Joan Osborne... and you can tell he has that church influence behind him... rock on. I keep waiting for the touching story that turns into a terrible audition... but not this one. Kara the Hotness loved it, Randy the Dawg says best all day, Mary the J loved it, Simon the Brit loved it. Jermaine is headed west.
And in the background... we hear "I Gotta Feeling" from the Black Eyed Peas. Thought I'd hear it much earlier than this...
Every few audition shows, we have one of those over the top chicks who is borderline annoying... and can easily go over the line. Christy Marie Agronow is doing "Love is a Battlefied" by Pat Benatar... personally, I don't think its that... I was going to say bad, but she his one of those ending lines, and I take it back. Singing is her life, music is her passion. The judges don't like it all, Mary J is smiling, and they send her on her way. And she cries. And her big, friendly personality turns into an ugly, "I will never watch this show again" personality.
Here's your montage of people who don't make it... lots of disappointed faces, shots of the elevator door closing with people smiling, and later those same people crying as the door opens.
Straight from Baltimore, Tennessee, here's a girl who likes jumping off of bridges into the water... no, I'm not kidding at all. No, seriously... I'm not kidding. She and her family are jumping off of bridges. She plays her guitar, she's wearing a dress she bought for $4 at the dollar store, she hangs out with her mom on her mom's porch on her mom's trailer. She's like Pickles, but not nearly as cute.
She's very toothy too. She's going to be singing some Old Crow Medicine Show... Vanessa Wolfe. I was totally expecting one of those "great, tender story, terrible audition" but she was... unexpectedly, she was really good... I like how she sings "flowers" as "flerrs" and "hours" as "hurrs". Simon says, "you are incredibly unprepared, but when you are good, you are good..." Randy the Dawg says yes. Kara the Hotness says yes. Mary J says yes. Simon says yes. However, this chick (who just said, "I get to ride in an aero-plane?") is going to be fascinating to watch in Hollywood.
Though Paula is not here, I'll speak for her. "Bubbles, butterflies, daisies, snowflakes, punkin' pie".
Day one is over! Day two is up!
Jesse Hamilton from... Anniston. Yep, Anniston, Alabama. He's almost died three times... one as a baby, one in a bullet accident, and one by almost being run over. They show this in what they call a "cheap dramatization". There's a difference in "tender backstory" and "openly mocking"... American Idol is doing the latter... and I love it. Is that bad?
He sings... well, no... he attempts... well... he is about to try to attempt a Garth Brooks song. "The River"... Mary J is laughing so hard, she buries her face into Kara the Hotness's shoulders. Mary J and Kara turn around to compose themselves. He can't remember the first line of "The River" (which is " you know a dream is like a river, ever changing as it flows") so Randy suggests "If Tomorrow Never Comes", which lets Jesse launch into a terrible, warbly, scratchy tune slightly resembling "If Tomorrow Never Comes", only similiar in the fact that Jesse's version and the original song have the lines "If Tomorrow Never Comes" in them.
During the next montage of rejects, is it bad that I chuckled at the poor girl crying into her phone, "They took my dreams away..."? Cause that was kinda funny on so many levels.
Bo Bice is in a Moe's commercial. The Lovely Steph Leann and I were discussing this last night... if you take out Kelly Clarkson & Justin Whathisname, is there a bigger disparity between a winner and second place in American Idol? Bo was unlucky enough to there with Carrie Underwood... not saying Bo Bice hasn't done well for himself, but really... a local Moe's commercial? While Carrie's third album just went platinum? Again? Just sayin'.
If Pickles was an idiot (go with me here, okay?) she'd be the next chick, who is dressed up like a guitar. Simon rolls his eyes. Mary J is already laughing, and I think if we could hear what she was thinking, it would go along the lines of, "you crazy white people..."
"You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man" by Loretta Lynn is Holly Harden's audition song. She's not bad, really... I kinda thought this would be a train wreck. Kara kinda likes her and her voice. Mary J says, "I don't get it". (re: you crazy white people). Kara says yes, while Mary J says no, flat out. Simon says yes. The whole episode, we haven't seen anything from Mary J until now.
More terrible auditions. More wincing from Mary J, Simon, Randy and Kara. Here's a dude singing "Reflection", making me wish The Lovely Steph Leann was here. And here's a guy singing "Oops, I Did It Again".
Randomly, I found the video to "Real Love", which I'd never seen until just a few minutes ago. "oooooooh... when I met you I just knew that you would take my heart and run..."
Mallorie Haley is from South Dakota, and hey... she's got the looks, she's got the voice, and she's got the name, "Mallorie". That's a name I don't hear enough of. Mallorie Dollar. Hmm? Not sure. Mary J calls Mallorie's performance "Dope". Randy is wondering why Mary J took his verbage. She heads to Hollywood.
Skii Bo Ski. That's what he calls himself. Skii Bo Ski. "When I gets in that judge room, they gonna be blown away." He's singing "Heard It Through the Gravevine", and he's dressed like a discount pimp. Once again, I am expecting a train wreck... and again, its not bad. Kara and Mary J are both impressed... Mary J says, "Image wise, if you can match your voice, then you will be alright".
Skii Bo Ski says, "I'm like the dollar store... even with the dollar store, you can have everything you want in that one package, and it only costs you a dollar." In other words, he makes absolutely no sense. I'm not sure I understood a single phrase this guy uttered the entire time he was there, other than "I heard it through the grapevine..." Either way, much to Simon's dismay, he heads to Hollywood.
Carmen Turner, 19, and Lauren Sanders, 18, are besties. They've been friends since they were in the 3rd grade, and the question arises--what happens if only one makes it? They say, "That's not going to happen". We know from the teaser commercial that one doesn't make it. They are equally annoying...
Lauren goes first... I like how the subtitle says, "Lauren Sanders, Baxley, GA, Age 18, College Student/BFF". Her voice sucks. Terrible. And here comes Carmen... who is the complete opposite of Lauren, ie, good. Lauren barely whispers, Carmen throws down. I'm also dazzled by the 8 inches of blue eyeshadow on each chick.
Randy and Kara says yes to Carmen, no to Lauren. Mary J says the same. Simon would have said no to both. Carmen is through, Lauren is not. Naturally, Carmen is crying, Lauren is smiling. Simon says, "If its any consulation, you'll be back together soon enough." Kinda reminds me of The Widower Danny Gokey and his buddy last year who got split up before the finals. Cindy Jo is openly weeping right now.
While its on commercial break, its a good time for me to mention what I'm looking forward to the most about the new season... Ford Commercials! Yeah. Or not.
And we're back in Atlanta, on the 2nd day of auditions, and its time for more terrible voices, this montage under the guise of "Southern Belles", one of which makes Mary J shriek--when asked if her friends tell her she's a good singer, she says, "Not really, but I won't let them discourage me." After this, Simon passes off his mic, declares "migraine" and bugs out.
And here comes a Tennessee police officer, about to bust out "Superstar", in Ruben's style. Officer Bryan Walker starts, and whaddya know, its pretty good. Heck, its really good... what a great song... "...don't you remember you told me you loved me baby, don't you remember you said you'd be coming back this way again maybe, baby baby baby oh baby, I love you, I really do..." Even if it is about a stalker.
Kara the Hotness digs on Officer Walker, so does Mary J and Randy, and off to Hollywood he goes.
Up next is a big Mary J fan, someone who not only thinks Mary J is an Idol, but also has slits cuts in his eyebrows. Lamar Royal starts, and this is the best way I can write it out, by singing, "OOhh yeaH, thE MORe I coMPaRe yoU to a KisS FROM A roSe ON the Grave..." Each time you see a capital letter as you sing that song, shout that part of the word. Before he goes up the elevator, Lamar says he will respect whatever the judges say... so of course, when Kara the Hotness, Mary J and Randy Big Dawg say no, he not only argues, he curses, he keeps singing and he even gets told by Mary J.
And while doing the "la la la's" of "My Cherie Amour", he gets taken out by security. All the way down the elevator, he not only decides that Kara the Hotness is a nobody, but he also declares that Mary J can't sing a... thing. All the way out, followed by security, he continues his rant, throwing in a few more "la la la's" from Stevie.
Every now and again, someone comes on Idol that, despite not having a Barnett Having a Nice Meal Out chance (that means none) of winning, they still command attention. William Hung, anyone? There was the Chinese guy who barely spoke English that came out in the ridiculous costume, singing a song about togetherness and getting along... and now, there's this guy, General Larry Platt, singing a song called "Pants on the Ground", for people who need to pull their pants up.
Currently, I'm joining Kara, Randy and Mary J in laughing hysterically... this guy is cracking me up! Its so ridiculously stupid and annoying and funny all at the same time... Simon tries not to be amused, but he can't help it. At 62, General Larry is slightly over the 28 year old age limit.
Pants on the Ground, Pants on the Ground, lookin' like a foo wid yo' pants on the ground...
From Atlanta, there were 25 to make it to Hollywood... next week, its on the way to Chicago, with guest judge Shania Twain... but for tonight, here's who stood out (besides General Larry)... Mallorie Haley... Vanessa Wolfe... and Jermaine Sellers