American Idol: The Road to Hollywood, Live Thoughts (Page 1/2)
American Idol: The Road to Hollywood, Live Thoughts (Page 1/2)
Even though they said that Denver was the last stop in American Idol's nationwide audition tour, they lied. Because tonight we'll cram other noteworthy auditions that didn't quite make it in the city-specific episodes over the last few weeks into tonight's show. This episode was originally called "The Best of the Rest", until the folks at Fox changed it to "The Road to Hollywood". That makes tonight's episode a little pointless, at least to me. Uhh, why do we have to do this again? Can't we just go straight to Hollywood and Ellen DeGeneres?

Well, we're here anyway. And take comfort: this is the last audition show before Hollywood. One more hour of train wrecks (unless we believe the "we saved the best for last" line in last night's tease), delusional contestants, and Ryan Seacrest being very patronizing about contestants who are either "survivors" or have "faced the odds". And, yes, one more hour of auditioners who will hopefully blow our minds. And then, no more: we're one step closer to the actual competition. Let's just hope this hour is all worth it. I'll be here for the next hour, and I'll also be on Twitter, possibly ranting in between train wrecks. Let's all answer my question together: do we actually need this episode?

I apologize for sounding so cynical. Watching weeks of audition episodes has that effect.

They're really calling this a "last stop" before Hollywood, but this is more of a compilation. But I already said that. Anyway, we begin with a look back at Larry Platt, singing "Pants on the Ground", and Ryan suggests it's the only thing we remember from the auditions, going to show a lot of clips from homes, colleges and the world of politics. But I remember the other faces you showed earlier. Well, you showed Tasha but you didn't show Maegan.

Jessica Furney

She did Joplin last season, and now she's singing "Footprints in the Sand", which was co-written by Simon Cowell. She does pretty fine, a bit ordinary for me, but she hits the big notes quite effortlessly. After Posh (we're in Denver, by the way) gushes over Simon's songwriting, she gives a yes, and with three more yeses, she gets an easy pass to Hollywood.

Commercial break already? With another train wreck? I sooo saw that coming.

Amanda Shectman

She starts by doing this Britney Spears impersonation. Then Ryan dares her to do Lil Wayne. She does grab attention, but I smell a silly shtick coming on. She wants her true voice to shine, and it does. Again, pretty ordinary on me, but her voice is perfect for ballads. Simon thinks she connects with him, while Posh (we're in Boston now) and Kara think she should look at her gestures. Apparently this girl's done theater. She looks flustered but there isn't really a reason to do so. And then Simon starts acting out--what the heck?--which flustered Amanda even more. Four yeses, still. I'll be honest: the judges annoyed me this time.

Lee Dewyze

He does "Ain't No Sunshine" and hums as part of his instrumentation. I like him. Raspy and soft at the same time.

Crystal Bowersox

She's on the list! She's got a good voice but she's dread-locked, not in a Jason Castro way. Not really a good first impression, methinks. She came in with a guitar but she can't use it, of course. She did quite well. Both those names got four yeses.

And then Ryan starts talking about fake-outs. Shticks, instruments, and now fake-outs. I smell a lecture on the science of Idol auditions. Is this show over? Anyway, there's this interesting fake-out with Simon bluntly telling an auditioner's entourage that it's over--and then dude comes out with a golden ticket. Harsh. Necessary.

Now, a lesson on repeat auditioners, and whether the judges remember them. One of them wears a disguise, knowing she'll be remembered. One thing we learned: Simon's forgetful. This is a Simon Cowell highlight reel!

Lacey Brown

We go to Orlando, and to Lacey, who was cut last year. (Yes, I remember her. She was cut at the same time my favorite Megan Joy made it!) She does "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and it's no surprise why she went very far last season. A good tone of voice, sultry yet fun, and not very pretentious. Four yeses, of course.

Stephanie Fisher

It's her seventh attempt. Lucky seven, she figures. And she's doubly excited because Posh is the guest judge. She starts nicely and then comes off too strong. I think I lost her with her attempts to look sexy. Simon goes "terrible". Stephanie gets a second chance, since she's getting distracted by Posh, but Simon calls her "horrible" again. Posh gives her a hug and some fashion advice... and Stephanie leaves before the judges can say no.

(Image courtesy of Fox)