After sitting through the "epic" Mariah-Nicki catfight that wasn't on Wednesday, American Idol
decided to cut us a break by only subjecting us to one hour of auditions in Baton Rouge. It's the home of the Dawg, and Randy is hoping the bayou doesn't do him dirty.
But seriously, how little do the audition shows really mean? Apparently the ratings were down initially, but it's because no one remembers the audition people anyway. Hollywood and Las Vegas weeks are entertaining, but no one really cares until the live shows begin. That's when singers start to stand out and develop. There might be one or two auditions that stick in your mind, but for the most part, the clutter of previously featured performers and really talented newbies who we never saw just make it difficult to keep track of everything.
The only ones who remember these people are the writers and bloggers who put their names down on "paper" each week. It's like meeting 100 people all at the same time at a bar and trying to commit their names to memory, all while knowing there's another 100 who are awesome but you just didn't have time to say hi to. Whether you agree or disagree, vote in the poll at the bottom of this article to either back me up or contradict me.
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Mariah kicks off the show by touching up Randy's makeup for his hometown date (like it's The Bachelor!), but all I notice is how WHITE his teeth are. It's just not natural.
The best part about this show only being an hour is that there will hopefully be a lot more singers to remember than horrible performers to forget. Let's find out...
Singers to Remember
Megan Miller is the current Miss Baton Rouge, but with her headband, I will call her Pocahontas. She was recently in a car accident and the doctors wanted her hospitalized over the weekend, but she said hell no! She is auditioning, and then going RIGHT into surgery. Keith grins like a schoolboy when she sings, and it's like Nicole Kidman is still married to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes is just an infant. Nicki Minaj, who has a wide range of pimped-out sailor caps, calls Megan a superstar. Now let's just pray against a botched surgery so we can see her in Hollywood (Don't get offended, she said it wasn't life threatening). And then Ryan assures us it was a success.
Charlie Askew is self-described as socially awkward, and he apparently grew up with Charlie Askew Syndrome, which means he's in his own category and just a weird guy. He's the one that you HOPE is going to be amazing but usually isn't, because when he's good, there's no one else like him. And that's why he falls under this heading, because while he doesn't quite reach goose bump level, he has that surprising voice you just don't expect. He's unique, and it bodes well for his chances in this competition. Nicki and Randy dub him the "Mystery Man."
Maddie Assel was nominated by her grandmother, Sylvia, and Randy surprises her while she sings at an outdoor coffee shop. Anyone else notice that Randy is the only one who has to make all these house calls for potential Idols? What happened, Mariah Carey didn't want to ride on the Staten Island Ferry? Nicki Minaj didn't want to travel to Alphabeticallville High School (that's sort of close)? Maddie crushes it and gets the first goose bump moment to go along with her Sarah Palin sexy librarian glasses.
Paul Jolley is 22 years old and has Robin Thicke hair and wears white pants. Music is his calling in life and he has so much to give to people, which means he is awesome and will absolutely make someone of either gender incredibly happy in life. He recently lost his grandfather, who is a veteran and an great role model. The judges note the honestly in his voice, and dude has top 40 written all over him. Remember him (as the section heading advises you to). When he leaves with the golden ticket, Grandma whispers to him that this is for Grandpa. And when you really think about, that moment is the best you can hope for in life.
Dr. Calvin Peters is in the third year of his residency at a veterans' hospital, and he deals mostly with burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and muscular-skeletal injuries. That means he is probably the best singer we've ever heard. His talent is matched only by the Randy-like whiteness of his teeth (and the whiteness of Nicki's outfit).
Michelle Montezeri (and her bare midriff), Breanna Steer (and her self-described American Idol-hotness) and Brandy Hotard (it is literally IN her last name) all advance to Hollywood. But would you remember them more if they weren't part of a montage?
Baton Rouge firefighter Dustin Watts gets an immediate "Do you have a girlfriend?" comment from Nicki. He is another big, burly guy who has a sweet voice but probably won't make it past Hollywood. Why do most of the beefcakes have such a hard time moving past the initial audition? His fellow firefighters are super psyched for him, because if they're not he'll beat the crap out of them.
The final bayou performance goes to Burnell Taylor, a 19-year-old New Orleans guy who grew up in a musical household. He's been singing since he was tiny, but he didn't realize his talent until after Katrina. His family lost everything, and they moved to Baton Rouge, where he appreciates everything he has now. I wonder if we'll ever see the same kind of thing up here in the northeast (where I'm writing this from) in relation to Hurricane Sandy. I would never disparage anyone or any region, but that part of the south has a much higher sympathy level than I assume the Rockaways and Staten Island will get, even though they were devastated. We will see.
Burnell gets smiles from all the judges and a childlike giddy laugh from Keith that made me feel uncomfortable. That was followed by a standing ovation and Mariah tears, which are like raindrops from a unicorn cloud. If you keep an audition cheat sheet, add his name.
(Image courtesy of FOX)