At least 20,000 people (probably more) showed up to audition for American Idol
in New York and there were many a freak among them. There were some winners out there, but, like most auditions, the losers were far more abundant. The funniest aspect of this episode, however, had nothing to do with those auditioning. It came to light that the judges, after the first day of auditions, went out drinking till 3AM.
This is no big deal. In fact, I would expect no less. But, Simon Cowell
missed the first half of the second day tryouts because of his hangover. I can't imagine how hungover he would have to be to miss the auditions. There had to be people from FOX at his hotel room with a car waiting for him. Was he really that sick? Did the FOX brass decide that they'd rather sacrifice a half day without their star judge than have him show up half-drunk? Was he simply not presentable?
Here's a recap of all the featured auditions from last night's American Idol
Ian Benardo, Diva:
This flamingly gay joker from New York also appeared on the auditions for last season's So You Think You Can Dance
. There's a better than 75% chance that he's putting on a show and acting. Regardless, he sucked.
"She's a Crier":
A seventeen-year old girl who had come to New York from Ohio to try out. Her parents thought she was staying at a friend's house. Her father didn't approve of her American Idol
aspirations, apparently, and she cried profusely while relaying this tale to Seacrest. She turned out to be pretty good, with a unique voice. She's on to Hollywood.
Fanya the Greek:
She talked herself up as a Greek import who was a force to be reckoned with. She was very bad.
Ashanti, the Drama Queen:
This started off as an innocuous audition, someone pretty good but not good enough to continue on to Hollywood. And then she started talking, making her plea to go on. Then it turned into a speech. It was like a soap opera. She seemed to have a rehearsed speech prepared for the occasion. It had to be prepared. It had to. I had to look away from the TV, it was so embarrassing.
Hot Jersey Girls
: Best friends from Jersey who were featured in an annoying little canned montage that featured them shopping and living down to the negative stereotypes of stuck-up Jersey girls. However, they were both hot and good singers, both making it to Hollywood. The second of the friends was better (and hotter) and when she refused to admit that she was better than her friend, Simon offered her some sage showbiz advice: "Whenever someone's on the ground, kick them." That made me laugh my ass off.
The guy, not a bad singer, decided to add foot stomping and silly noises to his audition. When the judges asked him to sing another song, he whipped out his harmonica and played. They asked for another song, dude. The guy was an idiot.
Kia Thompson, Soul Singer:
This girl can sing, and she proved it by singer a stirring rendition of an Aretha song. A very low, powerful voice that the judges ate right up. She's going to Hollywood.
This sixteen year old, raised by a Bolivian family, was an absolute beast. He looked like a man and sang like a man, wowing the judges, especially Paula. I wouldn't be surprised to see him go far in the competition.
Ball of Energy:
Short and squat, this girl came in with a unfathomable amount of energy and impressed the judges with it. It turned out to be a smokescreen, however. When she sang a slow song, the wheels came off and the judges bid her farewell.
This psycho admits to being a bad singer, but tries to argue that they should teach her and that...who cares? This girl was crazy, and I wouldn't be surprised if it were an act. I'm almost positive she was on some sort of drug.
They listed him at 47 and he sucked. FOX, seriously, there's an age limit. Enforce it. Don't let delusional old people in just because you think it makes good TV. There are enough weirdos in the prescribed age range.
Although arrogant, this girl from Queens grew on me as her segment went along. She had transformed her body into incredible shape by training hard for the past year. What was she training for? American Idol, of course. It ended up working out, because she made it to Hollywood.
This guy said his looks get compared to either George Michael or Simon Cowell all the time. I didn't see it, but whatever. The notable part of the audition was the fact that his vocal range was that of a female soprano. Very weird, but pretty good. Judges didn't know what to do. Paula was completely slurring her words at this point.
Annoying Opera Girl:
Rail-thin opera student with an off-putting cocky attitude, she had a great voice, a chameleon of a singer, and the judges put her through to Hollywood. I hate her, though.
This Timberlake cypher sings like him and looks like him. The only reason I'm a fan is because he sang one of my all-time favorite songs: Leon Russell's "A Song for You." Simon predicted that he would surprise a lot of people in Hollywood.
Nicholas Pedora, who bowed out during the group songs in Hollywood last year because he couldn't memorize the words, returned to try out again. After last year, he said that he realized he wanted to be a full-time singer, so he devoted much of his time to work on his craft. He has a great voice and the judges sent him back to Hollywood.
The most insane contestant of the night (and that's saying something) was this street musician/clairvoyant/palm reader who sang an orgasmic rendition of some old punk song I couldn't decipher. Her exit interview kind of proved that she, like some other contestants, was drugged up (or formerly so).
No one caught my eye in New York as someone who had potential to go that far in the competition. I like the hotter of the Jersey girls, the man-child, and the JT impersonator, but that's about it in terms of finalist potential. I was expecting more from New York, especially after seeing the sheer quantity of New Yorkers who tried out this year. We'll be back next week with more coverage of brand new American Idol
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer