It’s ba-ack. As usual, it’s been a long wait for the return of American Idol, but also as usual, it’s worth the wait. Ryan Seacrest greets us first from the stage where Carrie Underwood was crowed the American Idol last year. We then shoot to hearing Solider’s Field filled with contestants in the stands, singing “We Will Rock You.”
That’s right. Soldier’s Field where the Chicago Bears play. That means American Idol is in my hometown, Chicago. Ryan confirms what we have been hearing, that this year there is more unbelievable talent than before, out of the most competitive group ever. The promise of talent is backed up by a clip of the granddaughter of a woman from “Sounds of Blackness” and the guy I know as Ace Young that I’ve read so much about.
The shame for the Chicago auditioners is that it’s raining. But hey, it’s my kind of town, Chicago is. (Sorry, had to be said.) Most aren’t feeling very glamorous in this, but one girl, obviously wearing a big Hefty bag, says it may be inspired by garbage, but she believes it should be high couture.
The first contestant, Derek Dupree walks in wearing a Chicago White Sox t-shirt that has HUGE pit stains in it. He says with his passion for music, he gets himself turned on. He tells Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell that he can sing in three pitches, and offers to sing a medley he put together. In the middle of singing, Derek stops to mop his forehead with a dollar bill. He leaves his pits alone. When he is questioned on his three pitches, he sings Blue Moon to show off his low pitch. Told it was horrible by Simon, Derek begs for an hour to come up with something better and gets it. As he leaves, the judges say they think he looks at least forty-three.
Katherin Yaukey, walking in wearing platform boots and singing a hip hop tune, is told to sing something normal. When she can’t think of anything quickly enough, she is dismissed. Justin Stitch believes he has a unique voice and wants to sing two songs, one by Meatloaf and one by Bobby Darin. He also gets dismissed quickly after starting the first song. Switching to the second, he hears a quick, “Thank you, no.”
Still not seeing anyone making it to Hollywood yet, we are treated to a montage of several rejected singers swearing and getting bleeped. Included in that is a guy dressed up as Dorothy from Wizard of Oz. He says his hairy legs held him back from getting through. Yeah. I’m hoping he doesn’t came back in a different city after finding himself a Lady Bic.
Our first set of twins of the night, Derrell and Terrell Brettenum, first harmonize beautifully, then sing separately. Terrell sings My Girl, and Simon asks Derrell if he’s going to sing My Guy. Instead, he sings Ain’t Too Proud To Beg. Paula believes they make all other twins that have auditioned pale in comparison. Randy and Paula say yes to both, and the twins run out in the streets to celebrate, running up and down the street, with assorted strangers following behind.
Dental assistant Gina Glocksen normally plays in an all girl rock band, “Catfight,” but today she is singing solo for Simon who she thinks is hot. She sings Power of Love and changes the lyrics to “And Simon’s my man,” while Paula wretches. Simon appreciates the beautiful change in lyrics, and gives Gina a ticket to Hollywood. Another Gina, Gina Noriega, apologizes for her nerves while singing Blue Moon very monotine. Simon calls it appalling, and she’s gone.
Mondisa Hundley promises to bring the heat. She sings Fallin’, and I keep thinking her big voice reminds me of Frenchie Davis from season two, and Paula agrees. Simon tells her everything was terrific and sends her on to Hollywood. After she leaves, he makes a crack about her size, asking if they’re getting a bigger stage this year.
Kevin Brennemen sings The Wait in an odd voice that is throaty and whiny at the same time. Simon tells him he sounds like a wasp, a little buggy energetic thing, and Paula is back to suggesting he would be more successful finding work doing cartoon voices, like Rugrats. She and Simon argue about whether it’s better to call people a wasp or rat.
Charles Berry auditioned twice last year, and is back this year after employing the tips suggested of him. As he sings, I think he just misses the mark. Simon tells him to shave off his beard, put on a dress, and be a female impersonator. Paula is shocked Simon would say that, and he contends it’s better than calling someone a rat. Maybe he can team up with Dorothy and her hairy legs.
Amanda Rabideaux is asked to tell something interesting about herself and says she sells furniture. When that doesn’t go over well, she says she used to show beef cattle. Singing Something To Talk About, I think she just might wake the cows up with that. Simon calls it absolutely horrible, and Randy calls it painful. Paula appreciates Amanda’s passion, but still says no.
With the CHiPs theme in the background, Deputy Sheriff Brandon Groby from West Virginia walks in. Randy asks if he’s here to arrest Simon, and Brandon says it depends on what news he gives him. He sings I Shot The Sheriff … badly, but he just keeps repeating the one line over and over. “I shot the sheriff, but I didn’t shoot the deputy.” Simon asks Brandon if he has any jurisdiction here in Chicago, and hearing he doesn’t, Simon calls him terrible.
Seventeen-year-old Christine Davis walks in wearing a prom dress that resembles a wedding dress. Simon seems more interested in the dress than her voice, and asks if people in America dress like that going to prom After she sings My Heart Will Go On, Paula says she lacks experience, and Simon says he hated everything about it, including the dress. Another interesting clothing choice is Blake Boshneck from New York comes in wearing a Statue of Liberty costume. Very odd. He sings, “Start spreading …” and is shown the door … that quickly.
Ryan walked the streets with Derek Dupree and eventually found a couple of people to listen to him sing on the street. After they laughed at him, Derek still thinks he’s ready for the audition. He sings some song about Constance Fry and the bathroom wall. Simon suggests he was possessed and came back as a six-year-old. Needless to say, he gets his second no.
The grandmother of Erik Lawhon promises to hurt Simon if she rejects her grandson. His speaking voice is very squeaky, and when he is asked what makes him different, Simon just laughs. Simon thinks he sings “like an auntie.” After he’s rejected, Grandma takes exception. She finds Simon heading off to lunch and asks why he is so rude. When Ryan mentions to her how much shorter Simon is in person, she says he’s as old as her, too.
Two sisters, Brook and Leah Beardsmith from Spring Grove, Illinois show their competitiveness in an earlier filmed bit, running through a Chicago Bears corn maze. In the audition room, Brooke sings It’s In His Kiss and Leah sings something I haven’t heard before. Leah gets a yes from Randy, and Paula can’t decide, saying it’s either going to be yes to both or no to both. Simon says no to both, and Paula says she loves her sister, but … they both need to work on their vocals, but what the heck? They’re going to Hollywood.
Yvette Gomez has come all the way from California to audition. She sings How Come You Don’t Call, and Simon says it’s because he can her hear her sing. He believes she sounds like putting nine cats in a bag and pouring water on them. Randy and Paula both say no, as does Simon. Even after Yvettte has left the room, Simon won’t stop with the cat impressions … what it would sound like to pull their tail, and what it would sound like to pull their ears. We always thought he would be the type to be mean to animals, didn’t we?
Zachary Smith can’t wait to sing I’m In The Mood For Love to Paula, being it’s one of the best love songs ever. Here’s the guy I look for every year that sings with emotion. Paula is very impressed, and says he has a great vibe and quiet confidence. She votes yes. Simon calls him charming, but says vocally he’s on the fence. Randy says yes, meaning Zachary goes to Hollywood not matter which side of the fence Simon falls on.
Jessica Nelson sings some song that gets her bleeped out. Simon calls it a mess, and as she leaves she has to be bleeped out even more with her barrage to the camera. It’s a good thing she left before getting mixed up with the next two. We don’t get their names but contestants 522 and 514 argue over who is better. 514 didn’t get through, but says she feels she is better than Carrie Underwood. 522 made it through singing Beyonce’s Work It Out. 514 sings to show 522 how much better she is, but 514 refuses to comply, saying the proof is in her Hollywood paper she’s holding. I could have told them the difference of why one made it and the other didn’t. 514 is wearing a flower in her hair. I keep telling these people that doesn’t work. It sure didn’t work for Aloha Mischeaux last year. Although Aloha did sing Work It Out. Scorecard: Flower: No. Beyonce: Yes.
David Radford comes to the audition with his mom. His favorite music is Rat Pack music, and he sings Summer Wind by Frank Sinatra. Paula likes the whole package. He looks good and sang well, but she feels he is one-dimensional, yet so full of promise. Simon likes him, and says how can you not put him through when you think he has promise? Randy says no, and Simon asks Randy to change his vote so he can send David through and not worry about Paula. Randy agrees. David is going to Hollywood, although Paula thinks Simon will quickly cut him.
Crystal Parizenski shows up with her mom as well. Crystal loves everything about entertainment, saying she listens to music every day. Meeting her, Simon doesn’t care about anything other than her tan. He thinks the combination of makeup and tan she is sporting is the most strange thing … until he hears her sing. He asks to meet her mom to see who her inspiration was for this look. Meeting her mom, he immediately understands. It’s still a no.
Showing the different hats worn to the auditions, Ryan introduces a guy wearing a hat with a huge feather in it. The guy waiting next to him falls asleep and tries to cuddle up to him in the chairs. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like I’m in the bus station suddenly. Stuart Benyamin says he is from a family of singers. The outfit he is wearing, including the feather hat, is traditional Assyrian Folkore Clothes. Okay, not my choice, but he doesn’t have a tan and heavy makeup, nor does he have huge pit stains. He sings in a different language and is quickly dismissed, although Paula asks for the hat.
Ukranian Yuliya Matus is on a six month visa. If she makes it to Hollywood, she’ll get a three year performers’ visa. If she doesn’t, she has to go home. She sings Bohemian Rhapsody very … uniquely. I think she’s more suited to the Russian Circus, although Paula makes special note of her sexy movements. Simon thinks there’s a market for it in Hollywood, but not American Idol Hollywood. He suggests Fatal Attraction Three.
Another set of twins audition, Joshua and Jeremy Simmons. They sing Superstar as a harmony and include solos in it. They are the best voices they allow us to see today. After they come and hold Paula’s hand and sing to her personally, she admits to feeling a little flushed. Simon says they were good, but wonders if they would all be equally impressed if they had auditioned individually. Randy and Paula both think they would be, and they’re off to Hollywood.
A montage is shown of several singers singing Patty LaBelle’s Lady Marmalade, including Crystal. Still with the tan, but dressed a little differently. This is never explained. Did she come back the second day? Was it added in later? Was it filmed earlier?
Dave Hoover, who claims to talk to animals, is barefoot, and he tells Ryan it’s because his sandals were too gross-looking. He literally jumps into the room, not being able to stand still, and Paula and Randy jump in their seats along with him. No one likes his audition, but Randy begins making fun of him, saying he’s on the fence because Dave is going to talk to the animals for him. Simon says never and Paula says for her own reasons, YES! Simon asks Randy and Paula if they have gone completely insane.
I have to agree with Simon on this one. What the heck was that? Kind of cruel to put this guy through just to get in a pissing match with Simon. It’s like it was in direct response to David the Rat Pack singer being put through. Well, at least they both get a free ticket to see the sights in California.
The auditions are never my favorite part of American Idol, and tonight was no different. Entertaining as hell, but it’s not really why I tune in. In all thirty-five were send to Hollywood. I want the performances, the good ones, not the jokes. Usually the entertaining part of the auditions is Simon handing out funny, albeit cruel, rejections. We didn’t even get that. Just horrible, terrible, etc. Here’s hoping the fun factor will be jacked up a little in Denver tomorrow night.
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