Seacrest welcomes us to tonight’s American Idol by informing us they auditioned over 100,000 people in order to narrow down to 147 that we have in Hollywood. Wow. Come with me after the jump for all the profanity, tears, and meltdowns that come with the Best Week Ever: Hollywood Week.
When we finally see Seacrest, he has on a sweater vest over a blue button down. When did Ryan Seacrest turn into Mr. Rogers? I half-expect him to take off his shoes and say, “Howdy neighbor.” He ushers us into the Kodak Theatre and the contestants welcome the judges.
The stars are given American Idol makeovers and vocal coaching before their first day. Remember, the first two days are when they have 30-60 seconds to sing, in lines of 8, and then right away some are kept and some are dismissed. It’s very the first 15 minutes of A Chorus Line.
I see that Barry Manilow is there to help coach. My mom must be going bonkers, she loves The Manilow. I will confess to being a sucker for “Copacabana” and “Mandy.”
The first group of 8 shows us Lil Rounds from Kansas City. She sings “I Will Always Love You” and it sounds sharp to me and kind of shrieky. Hmm. The judges act like it was really good, which puzzles me. It wasn’t bad, per se, but I don’t think it was standing-ovation worthy.
Dennis Brigham is shown next (he was the guy from KC who reminded me of Meshach Taylor from Mannequin and Designing Women) singing “For Once in My Life” and it’s far too nasally plus there are some freaky-ass facials. Simon notices them as well. After deliberations, the ones who step forward are Asia, Alexander, and Lil. They are through to the next round. Dennis decides he needs to grab the microphone and address the judges like the little punk that he is. Gross. Go home, you little baby. He sings to the camera that “America’s gonna be mad ’cause y’all cut me.” Um, speaking for America… nope. Not mad here.
Montage of the Day 2 group. They are sight-seeing today. Looks like fun.
The next group of 8 takes the stage and Nathaniel Marshall is featured first. He sings “The Anchor Holds” and he has a very interesting voice, I dig it. Paula criticizes his song choice but says he has beautiful vocals. He then talks about music as his anchor, which is sweet, but then he starts to cry, which may swing the pendulum the other way, away from sympathy and into “nutcase” territory.
Anoop Desai sings “If It’s Magic” and Jasmine Murray sings “The Trouble With Love Is” and they are both great. Finally Rose Flack takes the stage and we get footage from the day before of her Idol bootcamp experience where she really struggled and subsequently broke down. That’s hard, I’d like to see her pull it together. She sings “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” and it’s crunchy and gravelly but she has lost her spark from the initial audition. I don’t know if that was enough.
Simon fakes them out with an “You’re unfortunately all in the same boat… you’re all going through to the next round.” Oooh, mean. And also why we all love Simon.
The third group of 8 are up now. Von Smith and Jorge Nunez (whom we have both seen before) and Stephen Fowler (whom we have not) are the featured singers. Stephen sings “Superwoman” (lot of Stevie Wonder tonight) and he has a very smooth R&B voice, I liked it a lot. Randy is impressed by him tackling such a hard song. Jorge sings “Just Another Day” and he also does an excellent job. Finally Von sings “If the Rain Must Fall” and it’s a little shouty plus he’s making these scary Gumby-faces. Simon calls it “indulgent nonsense” and a horrible song. I’m inclined to agree with Simon. I also remember thinking this about him when he auditioned in Kansas City. Hmph.
Out of this group, Stephen, Jorge (Kara calls him “George,” the dumb woman), Von and some other people are through to the next round. Hmmm.
Montage of Bad Song Choices and Tears.
We now have a montage of Nick Mitchell, aka “Norman Gentle” from New York City. He sings “You’re Gonna Love Me” and it’s part Ethel Merman, part actual good song. Plus he’s hilarious and calls out Seacrest in the balcony. Randy calls him “banoodles,” which is awesome. He also points out that Nick can genuinely sing and he’s genuinely funny. Simon takes him down a peg, calling him a joke. I’ll be honest… he’s actually a good singer and he is honestly funny, but he’s not right for this competition. He should be on America’s Got Talent. In this group, of which we don’t see anyone else, they put 6 people through, including Frankie Jordan, Scott MacIntyre and Nick Mitchell.
Day 2 kicks off for the other half of the contestants. After a vertible Ford Pimpomercial, we get back to the Kodak Theatre.
Jackie Tohn, a cool rocker chick from NYC, is in the first group of 8. She sings “Rock Me Right” and she definitely makes some weird body-movement choices, like she has trouble controlling all her limbs. But the singing is cool. She’s the only one we see from this group of 8 and she is through to the next round.
Montage of Idol Friendships. Nothing will top the Brokeback Mountain quartet from a couple years ago. Hahaha.
Now we have Danny Gokey, who we are reminded lost his wife a few months ago, and Danny’s friend Jamar Rogers. Jamar sings “California Dreamin'” and I cannot get over how much he reminds me of Clay Aiken. Danny then sings “Kiss from a Rose” and it’s 100% in pitch. This song might be too hard for him, all the jumping around from falsetto to low notes. Hmm. I’d give him another chance, but I would advise him to choose a different song. They both make it through to the next round.
Montage of Good Singers, then… oh lord. Bikini Girl. If this girl makes the Top 36, I will resign my post as the American Idol blogger.
I hate this girl. I hate her. She can’t sing and while she has a nice figure, her face isn’t that pretty. Bikini Not-Nice-Word has the audacity to say that Kara was insecure and that’s why she sang during Bikini Girl’s audition. Really? That’s the girl who is insecure? Not the girl who needs to go on national television to receive validation about her body? Hmmm…
Bikini Not-Nice-Word sings “Breathe” and it’s better than “Vision of Love,” but that’s because Faith Hill is easier to sing than Mariah. It’s still too nasally and thin. Kara totally agrees with me and Simon makes cat-fight noises, which is ridiculous. She can’t sing. Nobody makes cat-fight noises when Simon makes fun of mentally-ill people or gay men. He’s told closeted gay auditionees to join drag shows, which is far more insidious than Kara honestly not thinking Katrina can sing. Gross.
This is the kind of thing that makes me hate being a woman. I’m sure there are people who will accuse me of being catty because I don’t like Bikini Girl either. But that’s not it. It’s because she can’t sing (and this is a singing competition), she’s arrogant and she seems like she acts dumb just for the facade, which is something I really hate that girls do. The fact that Katrina says that Kara “just doesn’t like [her]” is such a clear indication of the lack of self-awareness and pure self-centeredness that cause girls like Katrina think that if a female doesn’t like them, the other girl must just be jealous. They would never DEIGN to think that it’s because they are annoying or dumb or full of themselves. Ugh. Girls like Katrina make me want to vomit.
We now check in on some of my initial audition favorites: Jessica Paige Furney, Sharon Wilbur, and Patricia Roman Lewis. We don’t get to see their Hollywood Week performances, which is crap, but we at least know they are out. I’m disappointed about Jessica and Sharon particularly.
In the next group of 8, Michael Sarver sings “I’m Gonna Love You More Than Anyone” and it’s very nice. Jesus Valenzuela sings “Lately,” by (you guessed it!) Stevie Wonder. His is a little thinner than I’d like, but still not bad. Unfortunately, Michael is through and Jesus is not.
Last group of the day. David Osmond sings “The Way You Look Tonight” and sounds very nice, Erika Wesley sings “I Gave Her My Heart but She Wanted My Soul” and also sounds very pretty and finally Emily Wynne-Hughes practices “I Put a Spell on You” and gets raves from the vocal coaches, but then gets up on stage and sings “Excuse Me, Mister,” which she hasn’t rehearsed. Hmmm. I liked it, but it was a little plain. The judges dislike the song choice too. Yikes. From this group, we get David and Emily plus the 6 others. Erika is the only person out of that group who doesn’t make it through. She then grabs the microphone and asks for another chance. It’s pathetic. She even says, “It’s my cousin’s birthday.” Umm, big effing deal?!?! Gross. Be a gracious loser, Erika.
Montage of Alexis Grace, Brent Keith, Anne Marie Boskovich, and Adam Lambert making it to the next round. Seacrest tells us that 104 contestants are through to the next round. Which means we get to watch 104 crazy-pants people sing in groups, which is awesome. It’s so mean. This is a competition for a solo recording artist and they make them sing in groups. Kick. Ass.
Join me tomorrow night for the group round. MWAHAHAHAHA.