FOX has yet to release any American Idol photos from the Hollywood Auditions, so I chose this picture. It’s Ryan Seacrest sitting on new judge Kara DioGuardi’s lap. Ryan looks confused, and Kara looks amused. He’s a spritely fellow, that Seacrest, and Kara is probably amazed at how easy it is to support his full body weight. Nonetheless, the time for crappy auditions has passed us by, making way for the ultra-intense Hollywood auditions, where some talented singers choke it all away, and others sack up and finagle a spot in the semi-finals. This year, American Idol has extended the Hollywood Rounds for an extra week. This is a good thing, as the coverage for Hollywood has always seemed less than adequate. So – this American Idol season, we will witness buckets of tears escaping the ducts of wannabe Idols, we will see foolish young men and women play instruments when they should have just sang, and we will watch in awe as a select few actually impress us, the cynical, jaded, compassion-devoid American audience. It will be fun. As always, I will be here throughout the episode, oozing wisdom and handsomeness, guile and toughness, tenacity and frivolity, in the treacherous face of Simon’s cockneyed wit, Kara’s toothy smile and Paula’s whiskey breath. Join me, please. Fun will be had.
Whoa Nelly, am I happy the initial auditions are over. Even more, I have always been fascinated by the Hollywood auditions, and now we get two weeks of them. I always knew Simon Fuller listened to me.
And we’re underway. Dramatic opera music plays, Carmina Burana type stuff.
147 singers made it to Hollywood, and only 36 of them will make it to the semi-finals. Introducing the episode, Seacrest is wearing a horribly silly vest concoction, like the mistaken ensemble of a 4th-grade Catholic school boy.
Hollywood rounds are taking place in Kodak Theater, where the finals for Idol take place. The judges come out and address the finalists. Simon tells them that they have one shot on this first day, the first of five audition days.
For the first time ever, these people went through Idol Boot Camp. They got did up with make-up, vocal lessons, wardrobe help, and a special talking to by Barry Manilow’s Botoxed mouth. Half the contestants perform on Day 1, other half on Day 2. They get on the stage in groups of 8, and the mics are passed one by one, the singers will perform a capella. Afterwards, the judges can kick them out.
Lil Rounds is the first person we hear – she’s overrated, didn’t sing that well, but the judges give her a damn standing ovation. Kara slurps her, and I am immediately angry.
Dennis Brigham, the Kansas City guy who had absolutely no right making it to Hollywood, is next. Simon didn’t like his facial expressions. After each group, the judges will put the eight into two groups. One stays, the other goes immediately home. Lil is in, Dennis is gone. Four other randoms also make it. Dennis won’t leave the stage, and starts singing again. “Y’all suck as judges,” says Dennis as he leaves.
On Rose’s team, Bikini Girl has decided to go to bed, leaving the other teammates ill-prepared an angry. Katrina cries when she gets back to her room. Weren’t prepared for group auditions, were you, Bikini Girl. More drama with Kristen and Nate. Nate starts crying. It’s 4am, go to sleep. Can we get to the auditions. Sometimes, watching idiots yell and cry at each other just gets annoying.
Group songs start after the break.
The dawn has come, 7am, and it’s time for group singing. Tatiana says: “If you look this hot after two hours of sleep, you’re good.” And then she laughs her Satanic laughter. Meanwhile, Katrina is being a drama queen. She doesn’t feel good, and it looks like she may not want to perform. Nathaniel, Nancy and Kristen are still having issues. Katrina won’t get out of bed, and she gives up. Lame, Bikini Girl.
People are semi-freaking out prior the beginning of auditions. Oh – yay. Some groups are getting along. Well, hooray for them. Tatiana’s group is doing better. Katrina, now at 10am, has still not shown up. Oh, well, there she is. WAAAAH! “I slept, like, two hours.” Big freaking deal. She’s wearing a stupid outfit, like casual dominatrix wear or something. She shows up to her team, and her team isn’t all that excited to see her. Rose Flack is not happy about it, thinking Katrina is going to kill the group.
OK, after this break, the auditions begin. That was a half hour of “drama.” Too much. I’m currently giving the finger to the Idol producers.
The judges arrive, auditions begin. Simon makes one thing clear: “You forget the words, you’re out.” I agree with this policy.
“White Chocolate” is up first. Matt Giraud and Kris Allen are the standouts while they sing The Jackson 5’s “I Want to You Back.” All four move through. That was quite good, and there was some rapping.
Next, a montage of people messing up, forgetting the words. A few familiar faces, but no one really noteworthy. Jorge and Nick “Norman” make it through.
Alex Krugman, Emily Wynn-Hughes, Ann Marie and some dude are next. Alex is good, the other dude is Ryan Pinkston is OK. Ann Marie is all right, but it was a bad song choice. Emily forgets the words, and it’s mostly a train wreck. Emily – that’s how your going out. Emily is the rocker chick who left her band to audition. She’s got a great voice, but she choked it hard here. Ann Marie and Alex the Nerd are through. Ryan and Emily are gone.
Simon is getting all pissy. He’s not happy with the auditions so far. Danny and Jamar’s group decide to go a capella, and they’re really good. Danny, especially. He might be the leader in the clubhouse. My colleague John Kubicek has picked him to win it all. All four are through, including a girl named Taylor, who you might want to pay attention to.
Jeremy Michael Sarver, oil rig guy, and Adam Lambert are featured and are both awesome. Jesse Langseth amd Matt Breitzke are other standouts. I don’t like how they’re speeding through these people. Adam Lambert is freakin’ awesome. Huge voice. Huge voice.
The Group of Death, with Rose and Katrina are now up. Lauren, who I’d been calling Nancy, is OK. Katrina is weak. Rose forgets her words and then Ashlee Simpson-dances across the stage. The only good one is young Jasmine Murray. Katrina makes a ton of excuses for sucking, like having scoliosis and having worn heels all day. Katrina, Rose and Lauren are gonzo. Jasmine is the only one staying. Katrina is a bitch. She poses and pageant waves on her way out. Kara even calls her a bitch on the way out.
David Osmond has been eliminated, though we didn’t see any of his song. Austin Cisneros, the annoying senior class president, is also out. Sweet.
Tatiana’s team is next. They sing terrible harmonies. Tatiana is actually pretty good. All four make it through, somehow. Baffling. Tatiana blubbers like a freakin’ idiot after getting through. Lord, I despise this person.
Last group of the day. Nathaniel, Nancy (ah, yes, this is the Nancy) and Kristen. We shall see. They pray before singing. That’s not going to work. Singing well will work. Kristen is kind of funny. Nathaniel is pretty dramatic, but pretty good. Nancy sings way out of tune. Kristen is actually really good. Surprising. Nancy is eliminated. Kristen and Nate are through. Nancy storms off, bitter as all hell. She swears at Kristen on her way out. Yikes.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)