Welcome back, Idol fans. Let's do a rundown of all the things we need to survive a two-hour audition night. Comfortable chair? Check. Nice hi-def TV? Set. Last, and most importantly, earplugs and/or the mute button within reach? Check and check. Okay then. Let's get started.
Today's two hours of
agonyauditions come from the city of Dallas, where (lest we forget) Kelly Clarkson auditioned back in the day. Over thirteen thousand people showed up for the cattle call, and we'll wager at least twelve thousand of those are completely deluded.
First up to face our Trio of judges is Jessica Brown. The mom of two has a sob story that she brings to the table – she was a meth user in her younger days, but she's cleaned up since then. How does she sing? Singing I'll Stand By You, it's a good performance all the way. Simon says it was a good audition, Randy says it was a bit pitchy, and we never hear what Paula says. Next thing we know, she's out of the room – with a golden ticket. So Dallas is off to a good start – but, unfortunately, it doesn't last very long.
Next up is Paul Strafford, a park attendant who decided to bust some moves in the holding room. Yikes. When Simon asks Paul to tell him something interesting about him, we find out he's a roller coaster enthusiast. In short, he likes things that scare people and make them puke. Fun, eh?
His singing is, appropriately, puke-worthy. We feel sorry for Elliott Yamin already, since Paul decided to butcher one of his songs. Paula describes it as “joyful”; Simon asks if he's ever sung it in public, and we find out his family gave him the two thumbs up. Paul's a nice enough guy, but no one sends him to Hollywood. He heads back to his normal life of cleaning home plate. And what do we have here? A nice Simon? Did someone give him Paula's meds?
Did someone call FEMA?
Beth Maddocks is next. Our singing waitress/Kelly Clarkson fan is singing... Beautiful Disaster. To paraphrase Simon, it is pretty much a disaster. Maybe that's a little harsh – she's not really a terrible singer, but not all that good either. Maybe next year, Beth.
We get a quick montage of people who clearly can't sing. Reach for the mute button, folks.
Eventually we reach Alaina Whitaker, who says she's been compared to Carrie Underwood. She's a pretty blonde, but, as Randy asks, can she sing like her? The answer would be: Alaina sings good enough to make it to Hollywood. Simon says, though, she's not as good as she thinks she is. Anyway, she has her golden ticket and ends up in the arms of her family waiting outside.
The key to what?
Coming from the break, we're greeted by a brother-sister sibling who decide to sing together. Poorly. They're dismissed from the audition room with nothing more than a look from Simon.
And then it's on to another fruitcake. Oh boy. We're introduced to Bruce Dickson. He's never kissed a girl, nor has he been in any intimate relationship with one. Oh boy. When he was 16, his father gave him... a key. And his dad has the matching heart. Oh joy. And he's 19. Yep, this is... strange.
Amazingly, Bruce turns out to sing okay. Who knew one of the lunatics they brought in actually had a good voice? Simon looks pretty shocked, to be honest. The Trio, however, isn't quite sure about him, but they don't send him through. Aww shucks. Wouldn't it have been worth it to send him to Hollywood just for the comic relief?
Next up is a Pia “Zpia” Easley, a model/musician/background singer. (I swear, folks, we're not making this up.) As far as the singing is concerned, it's pretty good. Simon likes her – and he adds that unlike most background singers, she has confidence. Something about not looking like a whipped donkey. Anyway, it's three yeses for her, and she's off to Hollywood.
There's collecting, and there's collecting.
When we meet our next contestant, Brandon Green, we learn that he has an interesting hobby: he collects his fingernails. From sixth grade. Even Ryan says it's disgusting, which is saying something. Did we really need closeups of his plastic baggie full of clippings, Fox?
Anyway, he eventually ends up in front of our judges. Our fingernail collector turns out to have a nice singing voice. Paula liked it, and so did Randy – even if Simon thought it was forgettable. Still, by audition standards, it was pretty good. There's some muddled banter between the judges which we really don't care about anymore. Simon votes no, but Randy and Paula overrule him. Still, we can't get over the fingernails. Brandon will probably not be the next American Idol.
Next up is farm girl Kayla Hatfield. She lives on a farm with eight horses, and she has a sob story too. When she was eighteen, she got involved in a car crash. She suffered some pretty significant injuries to the left side of her face, including her eye. She seems to have made a good recovery, and if there's one word to describe her, it's... energetic. And perky.
It's really a mixed bag as far as her performance goes. Decent in some spots, but overall, meh. Simon says he'd like to be her for one (or two) hours a day, and she says she's so happy. He surprises us all by saying yes. Paula thinks she's not ready, even if she likes Kayla (who couldn't, really?) Randy says there were pitch problems, but he really likes her – and votes yes. Yes, there was a split verdict where Paula said no. How frequently does that happen?
After a few more bad auditions (where we get our mean-Simon comments for the day), we end up with the last audition of the day. Kady Malloy does vocal impersonations of a few singers, and we actually get some bars of Britney Spears. Now why anyone would want to impersonate Britney singing, we have no idea.
She starts out her audition with Before He Cheats, but before she can get very far Simon tells her to stop and stop imitating Carrie. In any case, she's very good. Simon goes as far as saying she's the best they've seen so far. It's a universal yes for Kady – and the smart money is on her lasting long in the competition as well.
Still, the harvest is a little thin on day one. A total of twelve people – count them, twelve – made it.
Day two – day of insanity.
The second day of Dallas auditions beckons. The first person up today is... Douglas Davidson. Judging by the half-comedic music while he's being introduced, bad things are in wait for us. Really, where did they find this guy?
When he finally faces the judges, he claims that he's nervous, so he “warms up” by producing a delightfully strange series of noises. Eventually, he segues into his version of Bon Jovi. To say its awful would be an understatement. It's more a strange series of noises than singing. Simon has to ask “what the bloody hell was that?” Douglas even looks like he's been through a marathon.
Ah, wait, we're not done yet! After taking a drink of some water, walking around and more of his “warming up”, he tries another song. It's just as bad. And so is the third song. Did Douglas forgot his meds? There's no other explanation, really. Eventually, the AI bouncers come in and escort him out. According to Simon, they're taking him to a “safe place”. Would that be a mental institution?
Next up before us is Angela Riley. Or at least, she was Angela Riley, because she just got married. Chad (the hubby) is dragged into the audition room, and it turns out he helped pick the songs. First up is Baby Love. Hubby, of course, thinks, it was fantastic. How was it? Well, to quote Simon, love is deaf. It was just okay, and the same could be said for her singing.
Oh, and one more thing. Randy: no thanks for implanting the idea of you and Simon in Speedos. Needless to say, it's a no for Angela, and another no for Randy and Simon from us.
I'm the Idol Guy, and I approve this message.
Day 2 continues its weirdness with someone who mistook the Idol auditions for an election campaign. Welcome to Kyle Ensley.
Dear old Kyle Ensley gets a video package that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Mitt Romney would kill for. Except for the hidden footage and the multiple takes. He would like to, one day, become the governor of Oklahoma. (Don't say we didn't warn you.) Did we mention he looks kind of nerdish in his tie and glasses?
As one would expect, the singing isn't all that good. Simon says he wasn't as bad as he thought it would be... and gives it a yes. (This is the newer, kinder, Simon, apparently.) Randy thinks it's all academic, and says no. It's now up to Paula, but not before our resident Englishman takes a swipe again at Clay Aiken. Somehow, though, he gets Paula to say yes. Which means will be seeing a lot more of him in Hollywood. Oh the humanity.
victimIdol wannabe is Tammy Tuzinski. She proceeds to not only prove to be tongue-tied, but also woefully incapable of singing Celine Dion. I think we will ask you to... stop singing.
Next up is Colton Swon. He describes himself as a “musician”. Let's see how he sings first, shall we?
It's an okay performance of a song we don't recognize, which is exactly what Simon says. Simon says “either way”, which Randy turns into a yes. It's a unanimous yes from all three.
Ryan Seacrest, are you one of them
Coming back from the break, we get another montage of bad auditions. It seems to be that the theme is... crossdressers, transvestites, and other, uh, such, minorities. One brings in her pictures... as a guy. And another promotes not wearing pants. Too much information!
Next up is someone else from the farm, Drew Poppelreiter. We get a pretty lengthy background segment from him, and he says if he makes it to Hollywood it'll be the first time on his plane. Hmmm. Have we heard this before?
In front of our judges, he turns out to be a pretty good singer. Simon says no (he rarely gets country, does he?) It's up to Paula. However, she thinks there's not much star appeal there. Eventually, however, she says yes. So it's a split vote once again, but he should be another interesting rocker.
Following our country singer is “rocker” Kyle Reinnick. That's what he claims, at any rate. He looks like he has a fake tan and eyeliner, and the overall look is borderline creepy. He's a nice guy – he helps out with kids – but as a singer, no. He brings to the table another Kelly Clarkson song. We can't even tell which one it is. Yep, it's another bad audition. Suffice to say, all three of our judges say no.
And last, but not the least
Coming back from the break, we get another montage of bad songs. The theme is they're all singing Kelly Clarkson's song Since You've Been Gone. Can they all be gone from my screen? Thank you.
Keeping up with the theme is Nina Shaw, also from Kelly Clarkson's hometown. Make no mistake: she looks terrific, and fortunately she's got the voice to match. Simon doesn't like it, saying it's very cabaret, while Paula thinks it's pageanty. She gives us a second song, but this gets a favorable reaction from Randy. Two yeses and a no send Nina to Hollywood.
And last, but not the least, is Renaldo Lapuz. Just from the outfit we know it'll be a rough audition. He's in this crazy white outfit with a silver cape. Talking with Ryan, he claims people bow to him. Running away is more like it, in our humble opinion.
Anyway, he enters the audition room to laughs from Randy. Not a good sign. He'll be singing an original composition of his. Not a good sign again. Did we mention he's way, way, way, overage?
Words will fail to describe how horrific the singing is. Our judges are having a good laugh, though. Evenetually, both Randy and Paula “join in”, as it were. Ryan gets dragged in as well later on. It really is comedy at its AI best. That may not be saying much. One word, all my faithful readers. Youtube. Hey, any moment that can get a hug from Simon is noteworthy.
And that's it for Dallas, where the auditions went about as well the Cowboys played last week. Check back in next week, but your regular recappers AJane and MotherSister will bring you all the scoop.
Coming up next week: a special Idol Guy season preview. For all comments, PM us.