Idol-Talk: Season 9 Auditions
Welcome back to Idol-Talk, returning again for the second time on the T.W.O. BLOG. You may have noticed that the last few or so Idol-Talk posts from last season are missing. During those weeks, I had problems with uploading the text and never ended up returning to put them up. I will say, though, that I have not forgotten about the absent commentary, and hope to have them up sometime in the coming months.
Well, here we are again for another season of American Idol, the show that takes over our lives not just during the five months that the show airs, but all year long with concerts, CD's, movies, and the like.
This post will cover this season's eight audition episodes. Remember, as I have done in the past for the auditions, I mainly just list the names of my favorites and others who stand out. An * will appear next to those who stand out the most to me from each episode, and the comments I make in the brackets next to names are just the quick notes I took to remember certain people. So, without further ado, here we go:
American Idol: Boston Auditions
Airdate: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 [8-10pm]
Guest Judge: Victoria Beckham
- *Maddy Curtis [siblings w/ Down Syndrome; "Hallelulah"]
- Ashley Rodriguez [Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You"]
- Mike Davis [Codzilla boat; The Beatles' "Yesterday"]
- *Katie Stevens [Grandma has Alzheimer's; "At Last"]
- Justin Williams [cancer survivor; "Feeling Good"]
- Leah Laurenti [strict parents; "Blue Skies"]
Boston Highlights: Andrew Fenton didn't want to wait around for his audition and complained to the judges, who in turn got mad at him. During Bosa Mora's audition, Posh saw Simon rolling his eyes and make some comments about it]
Reaction to Guest Judge Posh Spice: One word: Pointless. She provided nothing of value to the judge's table or to the show.
31 Advance to Hollywood.
American Idol: Atlanta Auditions
Airdate: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 [8-9:30pm]
Guest Judge: Mary J. Blige
- *Keia Johnson [Ms. Congeniality; "My Heart will Go On"]
- Tisha Holland
- Jermaine Sellers [mother has Spina Bifida; "What If God Was One of Us"]
- Vanessa Wolfe [country singer; Kellie Pickler-ish]
- Holly Harden [guitar costume; country singer; was on America's Got Talent]
- *Mallorie Haley [country singer; "Piece of My Heart"]
- Bryan Walker [police officer; "Superstar"]
Atlanta Highlights: Jesse Hamilton almost died three times and MJB was uncontrollably laughing during his audition. Skii Bo Ski - good voice, but big ego. Security has to take Lamar Royal out of the audition room. General Larry Platts sings "Pants on the Ground," which has spread like wildlife across the country and the world. After his audition, that song was stuck in my head. And we all know the producers will be inviting him back to perform at the finale. That's a given.
Reaction to Guest Judge Mary J. Blige: Disappointed. I was really looking forward to her being a guest judge on Idol, since she's an enormous talent and I thought she would provide great insight and comments. But the most we got from her was constant laughter. Now, don't get me wrong, she made me laugh whenever she laughed, but in terms of her comments, there's was much there.
25 Advance to Hollywood.
American Idol: Chicago Auditions
Airdate: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 [8-9pm]
Guest Judge: Shania Twain
- Katelyn Epperly [dad left family; sang Duffy]
- Charity Vance [jazz; "Summertime"]
- Angela Martin [3rd time auditioning; I remember her from before and am glad to see she's back]
- John Park [Shania says he has a good bottom end, referring to his lower register; hilarious!]
- Paige Dechausse [has asthma; "A Change is Gonna Come"]
The Return of My Pet Peeve: For those who have read my Idol-Talk commentary before know that my biggest pet peeve with regards to American Idol is whenever the show runs past their scheduled time. And whenever they purposely schedule it to run long, I'm fine with that, because they've planned that in advance, but when they say it will end at such and such time, I expect it to end at that time, and not a minute later. This audition episode was supposed to get over at 9:00pm and got over at 9:01pm. I know it's only a minute, but when I'm anticipating the premiere of Lost at 9:00pm, I don't want Idol to run long. And I realize that when the Tuesday performance episodes begin, they will most likely run long, whether it is scheduled or not, so I will have to deal with that when it comes. Thankfully, when I turned it over to Lost at 9:01pm, they were still in the middle of the "Previously on Lost..." part.
Reaction to Guest Judge Shania Twain: She is the best guest judge so far this year. She has provided credible comments and fits in well on the judge's panel. Many people have said she should return, and I agree.
13 Advance to Hollywood [12,000 auditioned].
American Idol: Orlando Auditions
Airdate: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 [8-9pm]
Guest Judge: Kristin Chenoweth (Day 1 only)
- Seth Rollins [has son with autism]
- Shelby Dressel [right side of her face is paralyzes; forgot words near end]
- Janell Wheeler
- *Matthew Lawrence [robbed bank at age 15; country singer; I wasn't sure at first, but was impressed with his range in the last half of the song]
Orlando Highlights: Cornelius Edwards split his pants when he did the splits; the sound that it made was horrible!. Security had to take Jarrodd Norrell out of the audition room and ended up putting him in handcuff somewhere in the hallway; I'm not sure what warranted the handcuffs, but it must have been something they couldn't show on TV]
Reaction to Guest Judge Kristin Chenoweth: I just love Kristin! And I love it whenever she belts out that high note, as got to see during the auditions. She and Kara were getting along great, teaming up to bug Simon, which I loved as well. It's unfortunate, though, that she could only be there for Day 1. But Day 2 showed that Idol is fine with three judges; I'm just saying.
31 Advance to Hollywood (10,000 auditioned).
American Idol: Los Angeles Auditions
Airdate: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 [8-9:01pm]
Guest Judges: Avril Lavigne (Day 1) & Katy Perry (Day 2)
- *Jim Ranger [pastor]
- Mary Powers [rock singer; has 8-year-old singer who meets Simon; "Love is a Battlefield"]
- *Andrew Garcia [parental problems; jazz; "Sunday Morning"]
- Tasha Layton [pastor by night]
Los Angeles Highlights: We saw a brief glimpse of Crying Girl from season 6. Why didn't they show her audition? I heard that the producers didn't recognize her, so that is probably why. Of the good talent we saw, there was some strong talent in Los Angeles.
Followup and Clarification to Pet Peeve Comments: In the case of the Los Angeles audition, this episode was scheduled in advance to get over at 9:01pm, so I can't complain.
Reaction to Guest Judges Avril Lavigne & Katy Perry: We didn't see enough of Avril to get a sense of her role at the table. Maybe that was because she didn't provide anything of use. Such an opposite to Katy, who I loved as a guest judge. Let me take the opportunity to retract some comments I made last summer. Not too long after we found out she was going to be one of the guest judges, she was a celebrity contestant on the 10th anniversary run of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. After seeing the way she was on that show, I said (on Twitter, I believe) that if that is what we can expect from her, then she shouldn't be guesting on Idol. But after seeing her in the audition room, I have to retract those comments. I loved her snarky comments, including "Are they frisked before they come in?" Hilarious! When one auditioner was singing "I Touch Myself," Katy said she feels dirty. She was not afraid to speak her mind, and was at odds many times with one wanting a contestant to go through and the other saying the opposite. Afterwards, people on the Internet were talking about how they hate each other. I don't think they hate each other. Just because they weren't agreeing doesn't mean that's the case.
22 Advance to Hollywood (11,000 auditioned).
American Idol: Dallas Auditions
Airdate: Wednesday, January 17, 2010 [8-9pm]
Guest Judges: Neil Patrick Harris (Day 1) & Joe Jonas (Day 2)
- *Lloyd Thomas [works on the docks; Ruben-like; "Overjoyed"]
- *Kimerly Carver
- Erica Rhodes [was on Barney as a child; judges had her sing theme song; came into audition room with a whip]
- Maegan Wright [parents divorced]
Reaction to Guest Judges NPH & Jonas: Joe was only on for 20 minutes of the hour long episode, which seems to mean that he didn't provide anything useful. But of the short time they did show him, did he even say anything? But Neil Patrick Harris, on the other hand, was the total opposite. He was assertive as if he were a permanent judge at the table. And just as with the Katy Perry and Kara disagreements, NPH and Simon were the ones disagreeing this time. But I didn't hear same type of comments from the blogosphere this time. It seems that when two women do that, everyone thinks it is a cat fight and they hate each other. Come on, get real!
31 Advance to Hollywood.
American Idol: Denver Auditions
Airdate: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 [8-9pm]
Guest Judge: Victoria Beckham
- ?-Mark Labriola [kidnapped by mom and taken all over the country; dad eventually got him back]
- ?-Kimerly Kerbow [single mom; sang about Rogaine to Simon]
- Danelle Hayes [works at a live karaoke; from Seattle (in my home state); "I'm the Only One"]
- ?-Tori Kelly [a little girl gave drawings to the judges]
- ?-Nicci Nix [high talking voice, opposite singing voice, like Paris Bennett]
- Haeley Vaughn [born premature at 2lbs; pop country singer; "Last Name"]
The reason why I have question marks by many of the names is because even though they were good singers, I will probably not remember anybody who auditioned during this episode. The two singers without question marks were better singers, but I wouldn't put an * by their names because they weren't that good.
Denver Highlight (or rather, Lowlight): Bikini Boy. It almost seemed as if they stuck in this clip last minute, because it looked like the episode was over, then they hastily showed this auditioner. When this happened, I was worried the show would run long and I would miss the start of Lost. Fortunately, that wasn't the case.
Reaction to Returning Guest Judge Victoria Beckham: Last time, I said she was pointless. Why did they have her return? I mean, come on! The only things she talked about were the fashion and looks of the contestants, and didn't talk about their voices, which is the whole point of this show. But since we're on the subject of fashion and looks, what was up with her hair? If she's going to be giving out fashion tips, maybe she should look in the mirror herself.
26 Advance to Hollywood.
American Idol: Road to Hollywood Auditions (aka: Leftovers from previous audition eps)
Airdate: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 [9-10pm]
- *Jessica Furney [auditioned last year; sang Leona Lewis' "Footprints in the Sand," co-written by Simon; I never knew he wrote any songs]
- Crystal Bowersox
- Lacey Brown [jazz; "Over the Rainbow"]
- Rachel Hubbard [age 16]
- Michael Lynche [weight lifter?]
- *Didi Benami [friend almost died 4 years ago; jazz; "Hey Judge"]
- Aaron Kelly [age 16; adopted by aunt and uncle; "The Climb"]
Road to Hollywood Highlights: We saw Rose Flack again. She auditioned last year, and I was glad to see her again this year.
Total: 181 Advance to Hollywood from all auditions (out of a total of over 100,000 who auditioned initially).
Now that the auditions are over, the focus is on Hollywood Week and the entrance of Ellen DeGeneres to the judge's table. Once Hollywood Week is over and we have our semifinalists, my next Idol-Talk will be up for season 9. See you then...
Posted by Webmaster Dodgeroo54
at 3:35 PM PST