Sitting with Amarylis By Morning (up from san antone), Hurricane Rhett, JustFish and his wifey wife KellFish, the reviews are in... Idol... is pretty good. Okay, JustFish and KellFish didn't really give an opinion, but Amarylis By Morning (up from san antone) and Hurricane Rhett are digging it. And so is The Lovely Steph Leann and so am I.
Tonight, its the third episode of Idol 2.0, with Steven Tyler, J-Lo and Randy the Dawg, and we open up with Steven and Randy doing a little freelance version of "Sweet Emotion", one of my favorite Aerosmith songs. No joke, its a great driving song.
We're coming from Milwaukee, WI, the home of The Widower Danny Gokey... and in fact, we see The Goke himself talking to some of the crowd.
Scotty from Garner, NC, is up first. He's clean cut, he's dressed to the nines, and he's 16. If Paula Abdul was here, her room keys would be thrown at Scotty's feet. "Your Man" by Josh Turner is his song... and I'm glad he's singing this song, because that's one of those songs that I keep hearing, but didn't know who sang it. I'm going to download it right now.
The Lovely Steph Leann looks up at me, and says, "He's so smooth...."
At the judges request, Scotty from Garner sings "Put Some Drive in Your Country" by Travis Tritt, which makes Steven Tyler say something about getting something, get the matches, &#*$ a duck and see what hatches. What the?
Scotty from Garner heads to Hollywood.
The Lovely Steph Leann looks up at me from under her blanket and says, "I'd listen to him on the radio..."
I just down loaded "Your Man" by Josh Turner.
And the judges know this is going to be bad too. He says he is 19, but he could pass for 31. And when he says he's going to sing "The Longest Time" by Billy Joel, both The Lovely Steph Leann and I groan. And when he actually starts singing, she grimaces, I giggle, Steven Tyler sways and J-Lo hangs her head.
Steven Tyler says, "Do not quit your day job. Brutally honest." The others agree. And Joe jumps into the classic Idol mistake of, "They hated my first song, so I'll sing something without being prompted so they will hear me sing beautifully..." and in all my years of watching Idol, I have never seen this work.
From the previous commercial break, we see a chick saying something original like, "This is my dream", while crying. Well, now we see her and her family in an SUV, and she tells us how she was 5 when Kelly Clarkson won the first Idol (The Lovely Steph Leann whimpers, "We are so old"), and how they came from Colorado, and drove 16 hours to Milwaukee.
Emma Henry, 15, is singing "True Colors" from Cyndi Lauper... personally its one of my least favorite songs ever, but she's not doing as badly as I thought she would. Steven Tyler says he likes her character, J-Lo says she needs to keep working on her quality, and Randy the Dawg says he's not sure that she is ready. J-Lo says no, and she needs to work on it. Steven Tyler says yes.
"I want this so badly, music is my life..." she starts crying, cue the sad music. Randy the Dawg says she's going to be swallowed up in this whole process. She whimpers, and says, "I'm going to work so hard!" Randy the Dawg relents, and Emma Henry shouts for joy as she gets her golden ticket.
My own opinion? She's got talent, and she's pretty good... but she needs to be trained up. She needs more work, and I think she'll be pheeeeenomonal. The Lovely Steph Leann agrees.
Trailer for "The Roommate" comes on. The Lovely Steph Leann pipes up, "I've seen that movie!" When I look at her, bewildered she's seen a movie that hasn't been released yet, she says, "Yeah, I've seen it. Its called 'Single White Female' with Jennifer Jason Leigh!"
And we're back, with a quick montage of people who think they can sing, but cannot sing. ATTENTION IDOLOONIES... DO NOT AUDITION WITH LADY GAGA. DOESN'T MATTER THE SONG, DON'T AUDITION WITH LADY GAGA'S MUSIC. BAD, BAD, BAAAAA IDEA. Thanks.
And now, we hear about SummerFest, a huge music festival in Milwaukee, and we meet Aduba Malukaahaa, or whatever her name is, who works ground crew at SummerFest. And Idol will change her life. Sometimes she cries because her music means so much to her. Her words, not mine.
So Naiuma Arkardapoo is going to sing Donnie Hathaway, and shockingly... she's not bad. Actually, she's pretty good. Here I was all set to make fun of Noxema Alahyoudaoo, and here she goes and does her thing right. And she goes to Hollywood with three yes votes.
I look forward to not being able to spell, type or pronounce Nobooboo Arachanidco's name in the future.
Back from break! We see a somersaulting contestant somersault straight into a cameraman and it was awesome. Here's the montage of bad songs... including a "Jenny from the Block" take.
Jerome Bell, a bar-mitzvah singer, is singing "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye. He brings it loud, a little over the top. I'd like to think of Song of Solomon had a soundtrack, this song would be it. Yay God.
The judges dig Jerome's groove, and he's headed to Hollywood.
The Lovely Steph Leann: I'd like one single year without that song being used in an audition.
Me: I haven't heard any Mariah or Whitney so far
The Lovely Steph Leann: I'm okay with that too. But no more "Let's Get It On".
Seacrusty discusses the age limit being dropped to 15, partly due to the popularity of 9 year old Justin Bieber. Thia Megea is 15, one of the many 15 year olds who have auditioned.
"Chasing Paper" by Adele is her song. And she's fantastic. She sounds like she's 29 years old, and a veteran. And she kinda sounds like a sista, too, though her look is more Hawaiia'n.... and they all say yes, so Thia is headed to Hollywood.
And every 15 year old that came in walked out with a Golden Ticket. Steven Tyler says, "Thank God for people who can sing..." And we see the teaser for the bad, bad singers to come.
When Nate walks in, J-Lo mutters, "oh no..." And she was right for saying that... because "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is being slaughtered with a Civil War musket. And the judges mock him, though Steven Tyler does it a little more discreetly.
This next guy can barely start, he's so nervous, and he ends up facing the other wall, composing himself. He should have just walked out. Yikes. Neither me or the woman knows the song, but it doesn't matter, because it was gawd-awful.
The next girl? "I am an intern at the White House and I'm in love with this president." I now don't like this chick and will root against her completely. She went to Harvard, so she is probably extremely book smart... but seriously? In love with the President? "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" is her song of choice, and she's not as bad as I want her to be. Molly Swenson is her name, by the way. Or I'll just call her The Idealistic Ignorant Molly. She goes to Hollywood.
After the break, its Day Two!
Back from break, its Day Two!
The bubbly, pretty, toothy Haley Reinhart comes in, telling us this is everything she wants. She auditioned last year, and didn't make it, so now she's back. "Oh Darling" is her song, and I guess she got better, because she sounds great. Steven Tyler loves her. J-Lo loves her. Randy the Dawg loves her. Haley is Hollywood!
And from Chicago, its Tiwan! He's busting out some Sam Cooke, and The Lovely Steph Leann pipes up, "I like him. He needs braces. But I do like him." He sounds good. They all like him, and Tiwan and his Elliott Yamean teeth head to Hollywood.
"It looks like his mouth needs, you know, three more teeth to fill in the spaces," The Lovely Steph Leann adds in.
Steve is a CPA, and is an auditor... "So I really don't have many friends," he says. He adds, "I'm a wedding and funeral singer... weddings tend to be more fun." And he has the humor of an auditor. His voice is not great, but its not bad. Both The Lovely Steph Leann and I are going back and forth on whether we like him or not...
Steven Tyler likes him. Randy the Dawg says yes. J-Lo says yes. And Steve the auditor goes to Hollywood.
And here comes the girl from the teaser, when Seacrusty said, "And the judges have a showdown..." Vernika is singing "Loving You" by Minnie Riperton, and "singing" is a stretch. I just looked around and the glass on the front door of The Cabana just cracked.
J-Lo tells her no, and how its not going to work. Steven Tyler says she won't work for this show. Vernika declares that "half'a dese peoples don't even sing good, I sing better than then half'a dese people. Its cause I ain't skinny." And she walks out, straight past Seacrest and the camera.
We get a few crying chicks, including a few choice words by some, a mama who is protective of her kid (who she then tells to shut up), and a dude who drops his own words.
Back from break, we get Albert Rogers III, who thinks he sounds like Usher, Ruuuuuben Studdard and Luther Vandross. He's going to sing "Stand By Me", and J-Lo starts to giggle. She knows what's coming. And its a disaster. Albert Part III is trying way, way too hard... and he gets a no from the judges.
Scott Dangerfield comes out, a 22 year old student teacher in shorts, a long sleeve button and square glasses. He's going to sing "Dreamin'" by Amos Lee. And right out'ta gate, Scott throws down and does it right. J-Lo says, "You might just be my favorite so far." All the judges say YES enthusiastically. The Lovely Steph Leann says, "I wasn't expecting that... and he kinda has a Jodie Foster look about him."
Back from Break!
And now we see one of the Green Bay Packers biggest fans ever. Or so she says. She loves the Green-n-Gold... her name is Megan Frasier, 20, and yells "Go Pack Go!" to the judges. She's going to sing "Baby" by The Beebs, and its atrocious. The judges all yell, "NO!" at the same time.
Alyson Jados is shown in tears when Steven Tyler came through the crowd early in the day. And now, she goes to meet the judges, Steven Tyler included, who gives her a giggly-inducing hug. She's going to sing "Come Together" and gives it that rocker edge, sort of a Allison Iraheta tone.
She continues with "Dream On", though she admits she can't hit that last note, which Steven Tyler fills in. He then tells her she's very pitchy, J-Lo tells her she's got a good quality, and Randy the Dawg says he doesn't think she's ready. J-Lo says yes. Now, its up to Steven Tyler to determine a yes or no. Of course, he says yes.
And now we get one last guy, which is our Sob Story (always disguised by the phrase, "his incredible journey") of the night. Chris Medina is 26, from Chicago. He's engaged to be married, and she works at a Starbucks! She was recently in an accident, and she has a traumatic brain injury... and in a month or so, she woke up, with severe movement disabilities.
"Break Even" by The Script is his song, and he slows it down to a bluesy kinda of jam. Snapping fingers, he belts it out, and sounds great. The judges ask to meet his girlfriend, and they wheel her in to meet the judges. They shower her with hugs, kisses and love, and its probably one of the most sincere moments I've ever seen on Idol.
You wouldn't see that with Simon.
Milwaukee puts forth 53 contestants to Hollywood, out of the 1000s that showed up... and tomorrow night, its Nashville!