Now that Bikini Girl fever has died down a little bit, let’s move on to the Midwest, shall we? Kansas City, Missouri is tonight’s stop on American Idol’s nearly month-long audition tour, and I have high hopes. Arizonans – I can generally do without them. Now, Kansas City folk – salt of the earth, no nonsense. There were a multitude of theatrics on last night’s episode of American Idol, and I expect less tonight. I also believe that some real talent will be unearthed in Kansas City. Kara DioGuardi seemed to fit right in with the other three judges on her debut last night, and I was mildly impressed. Everyone, please, just sit back, relax and enjoy your third and fourth hour of American Idol 8. I will be present right here, riding this specific internet tube, for the entirety of tonight’s two-hour audition episode. Feel free to read along. I would very much appreciate it. So would my mother.
I’ve opted to move to my home desk for tonight’s episode. Last night, I worked the couch. I think we’ll all be better off tonight as a result.
It’s David Cook’s home turf. As always, there are a lot of people who showed up to audition. We get it – you can stop putting everyone in an auditorium. No need to flex your muscle, FOX. People in the crowd love Simon Cowell. And Seacrest. Jason Castro is here today to support his brother, who will be trying out.
Chelsea Marquardt, an attractive blonde girl with confidence issues (“Can I buy you a drink, Chelsea?”), is the first audition. Oh, this is actually a surprise. She’s really, really terrible. She sings “Without You” by Harry Nilson. It’s the same song that the girl in the bathtub killed herself to in “The Rules of Attraction.” Simon and Randy are absolutely brutal and mean. Simon said it sounded like the sound a cat makes as it plummets from the top of a skyscraper. Quite accurate.
Ashley Anderson is singing a song by Leona Lewis that was co-written by Simon. Simon immediately corrects her on a wrong word. Ashley has a pretty good, delicate voice. It gets shaky on louder, higher stuff. All the judges say yes, though. She wasn’t that good, in my humble, unassailable opinion.
Casey Carlson is an adorable, bosomy girl form Minneapolis. She starts out kind if shaky, but gets into a groove. She has a different sound, unique voice. She gets a pass to Hollywood. She didn’t deserve to get out of their without some criticism, but whatever. Maybe she’s a ringer.
Hey, look at all the weird people in the audition line.
Brian Hettler. Bearded dude is a trained opera singer, apparently. He stopped singing for two years, and now HE’S BACK! I predict that he will suck. He’s sings “Think” by Aretha Franklin. It’s very loud and very weird. He actually might not have been horrible if he picked a better song. He wears a terrible v-neck t-shirt. Simon rips him a new one. He sings some Josh Groban and Simon is pissed. Brian is not happy and then he cries. And, then other people cry.
American Idol takes the opportunity to flog David Cook some more. Next, it’s a skinny guy with a terrible voice. Oh, Billy Vinson, you are an atrocity. Chris Jones, stop it. Deandre Hopkins sings Amazing Grace, and it is an abomination.
Vaughan Smith is a somewhat douche-y guy who wears a stupid hat and says he “tries things that other guys won’t.” He sings “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” He starts off terribly, but shows off some powerful pipes as the song goes on. He sings really, really loud, but with no subtlety. We’ll learn his fate after the commercial. OK, commercial is over. Really a bizarre audition. But, the judges put him through to Hollywood.
Time for Castro 2.0. Just so we’re clear, I was a Jason Castro fan. Let’s see how good Michael Castro is. He’s also bad at being interviewed. He says that Jason is more girly than him. He only started singing twenty days before the audition. He sings a Gavin DeGraw song. His voice is a little rough, but he’s kind of a natural also (if he was indeed telling the truth). Kara thinks he might have a secret. Whatever. He gets four yeses, and he’s through to Hollywood. I bet he plays some instruments.
Vaughn English sings a song about a banana. He wears a yellow and orange suit. It’s really weird.
Matt Breitzke is a big, bouncer looking dude. He’s got a bald head, a goatee, a wife and a kid. He wanted to sing for a living. Let’s hope he’s good. He’s really big. He sings “Ain’t No Sunshine” by the immortal Bill Withers. He’s got a raspy, soul voice. It’s not spectacular, but it’s solid. I like him. He also plays the guitar, which could come in handy. It’s a no from Randy, but Paula and Kara give him a yes. Which means it’s down to Simon. He agrees with the girls – he’s goin’ Hollywood.
Jasmine Joseph is a seventeen year old chick who prefers to go by “Jazz.” She might be delusional. She’s a weirdo. She sings “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Jazz is not good. But, she is scary, to her credit. Her hair is rainbow colored, you see. I can’t even watch her. The hair really accentuates the paleness of her face. She leaves without the judges even saying a thing. I’m guessing that was edited.
Jessica Page Furney is 19, and she’s from the city of Oz. She lives with her 93-year-old grandma. Her grandma is pretty much deaf. She also plays a guitar. Likable lass, this one. She sings “Crybaby” by Janis Joplin. Jessica is very good. Big voice, a little different. Randy calls her a natural. Four yeses. It’s her birthday too!
Jamal and Danny are brothers, but not really, cause Jamal is black and Danny is really white. But, first…two sisters (and sistahs) will be rapping for the judges. I think they’re rapping about eating fast food and then pooping, but it’s hard to be sure. But, then they sing. Asia, the big, big one sings first. She’s bad. India goes next. She’s better, but not that good. Simon likes India. She gets a golden ticket. Asia does not.
Jamar Rogers, the bartender, sings “California Dreamin’” and he’s really loud. He’s got a pretty good, powerful voice. I wish he would quiet down a bit. The judges, save Simon, agree. But, they send him to Hollywood anyway.
Danny Gokey, Jamar’s best friend, is up next. After the break. Danny has a story. Four weeks before the audition, his wife died. She had a heart condition and needed a lot surgeries. Wow, this really sucks. He’s still got a lot of grief. Danny is a music teacher. He sings “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” and he’s actually really good. A lot of soul. The judges all love him – Randy calls it one of the best he’s seen. Good for him. He’s through.
Crappy female singers. They all have frightening eyes. One has a really long front tooth. One is just really humongous.
Anoop Desai, a dead ringer for Kal Penn, sings “Thank You” by Boyz II Men. And he’s really, really good. Kind of a nerdy looking dude, and the judges didn’t expect what they got. Soul voice. This guy could go places. Simon makes a semi-racist comment. He’s going to Hollywood. Annop is a cool guy.
The song that everyone sings crappily tonight is “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” We all know that this is edited to look like the judges are actually watching these performances, though they’re clearly not, right?
God, there are so many stupid montages.
Andrew Lang has two cheerleaders introduce him with an extended routine. The intro ends with the overweight cheerleader doing the splits. Andrew sings “My Girl.” He does a lot of stupid runs, and his performance is incredibly disjointed. His voice isn’t all that bad, but I don’t like how he sings. Randy was leaning towards a yes, but after a ten second second chance, everyone changes their mind. It’s awkward when he leaves without a golden ticket. The cheerleaders cry.
Asa Barnes is a middle school band director. He’s a guy for the kids to look up to. Asa also has a 4-year-old daughter. “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson is what he sings. I’m loving his voice, but he has a tendency to sing out of tune a bit. I think this guy could have serious potential come Hollywood. That’s an impossible song to sing, and he got through it.
Michael Nicewonder is a nerd with bleached hair who won a medal, that he wears proudly, for best vocalizing. He says that he’s a “star that has yet to be discovered.” Wow, his mother doesn’t think he can sing. It’s safe to say that this is a bad omen. He sings an original song that actually has the lyric “way slowly” and “I want to build a bridge that I can cross over so I can hold your heart forever.” He wrote the song for his mother. Next, Simon insists that he song the he wrote for his grandma. This is so bad. I feel awful. This kid is clueless. He needs be put out of his misery – send him out of the room, please. They do, and they’re nice about it.
Crazy hyper guy is next, as it gets very late in the day in Kansas City. Due to technical difficulties, I missed his name. It’s the black dude with the sunglasses who snaps and dances and has the nasally voice. He wasn’t very good, and he tries to keep singing after they stop him. He wants this “so bad, y’all.” Paula gives him a very kind yes. Simon, because he cannot be melted by obscene sentimentality, says no. And…more technical difficulties. Did this joker get through? Somebody help me.
New Disney movie. It’s called “Hotel for Dogs.” Any guesses on a tagline? “Check into the Doghouse?” No. “Who Let the Dogs In?” No. “Raise the Woof?” Bingo.
Mia Conley, who sleeps in the waiting room, is next. She sings “Loving You,” but not the Stamos version. It’s quite poor. She’s very bad. She’s pissed. I don’t care.
The last contestant is Lil Rounds. She is a 23-year-old mother of three. A tornado made the family of five vacate their apartment. Kara likes her name. She sings “All I Do” by Stevie Wonder. Nothing special, a little out of tune, but good enough to get a pass to Hollywood. She gets out of control on the high stuff. The judges are big fans (though, they might be a little loopy after a long day).
And that is all for American Idol this week. 27 people, same as Arizona, advance from KC to Hollywood. We’ll have oodles and oodles of more Idol coverage as we lead in to week 2.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)