American Idol likes to go to Las Vegas, Nevada for auditions. Why not? It’s a place known for its great entertainment. Somehow the talent pool doesn’t seem to be as deep, though, this year. Has all the good talent already been picked over too many times?
Right out of the starting block we have a unique talent. Alexa “Dylon” Linchneta comes dressed as a Rastafarian, including a wig and a t-shirt reading, “Jamaica Good Music.” He answers that with, “Yes, I do,” in a very obviously fake accent. Randy calls him out on the fake accent right away, and Alexa comes clean, saying he’s really a theater usher from Bakersfield, California.
Alexa sings a song he calls, American Idol, The Reggae, which is a mixture of reggae and rap. Paula says the audition was fun, but not right for American Idol, and Simon calls it stupid. Paula changes her tune and says it wasn’t fun at all. Dejected, Alexa says he should have come as himself and not with the gimmicks. That’s right. And let that be a lesson for all of you. Gimmicks get you on TV, but not to Hollywood. It’s too late for the guy in the jester’s hat, but the rest of you should take note.
Bobbie Mae’s gimmick last year was saying she was a psychic, and predicting top ten for herself. After her psychic abilities failed her, Bobbie changed occupations, becoming a manager and vocal coach for her sister, Erica Davis. Bobbie says she knows now she can’t sing, but she believes Erica can outsing her.
Well, at least Erica sings in tune, although very monotone. Simon thinks this has to be the maddest family he as ever met in his life, and when Bobbie offers to come back next year, Simon asks her to please not. Bobbie has predictions for this season, but wishes to keep them to herself.
Belly dancer Mecca Madison, 18, says she is named after the capitol of Arabia. Such a big singing voice comes out of this small-statured girl. Paula calls her wonderful and a breath of fresh air. Simon calls her very talented, and thinks her voice might be one of those better on a recording than live. Randy agrees and sends her to Hollywood with a 100% yes.
Ryan hart, 18, says the judges have never heard his type of singing. Y’know, this isn’t starting out too well already. After he swears, he tells the judges he’s not a family guy. Is Fox plugging one of their other shows? He sings Silver Steed Smashed Into Pieces which starts out in a guttural yell, moves to a nice tone, then goes back to the guttural yell. Simon dryly calls it, “catchy,” then says he’s bored. Ryan retorts he’s bored with Simon. That’s a sure way to win him over. Randy and Simon mock the gutterall yell on Ryan’s way out.
Simon tells Heather Ward, in charge of male inmates at a correctional center, that he was told to be nice to her, as apparently she has handcuffs. Heather says that’s true, and Simon mocks shock. Ryan admonishes Simon that surely he’s been handcuffed before, and he replies back he’s usually the one doing the handcuffing. TMI … well, admittedly an interesting TMI. Heather sings a spirited version of Red Neck Woman, and Randy tells her he loves the fact she came in singing that. Simon tells Heather she stands out, and Paula loves her as well. She’s going to Hollywood.
Jason Andino, 23, works captaining a gondola at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. On the job he is called Pepe. He sings Stand By Me, and I think he has a beautiful tone. Apparently I know nothing, as Simon asks what else he does, and Paula doesn’t see him as a break out star. Jason says American Idol Five will be Pepe-less.
“Crazy-eyed” JC Gray is back again this year. Perhaps he’s the new and improved version as he is now sporting a mullet and driving a bus for a living. Since he had made stabbing motions while singing last time, Simon asks if he’s packing a knife, and says sometimes he can mentally say no before someone starts singing. JC takes the hint, leaves, and literally peels out of the parking garage.
Anthony Andolino, 28, says before he and his girlfriend moved in together, he only had one dog. Now they have a total of seventy-five animals altogether. He tells the judges he wants to fulfill a destiny, and sings Lately. He has a good tone, but there is too much scream, runs and other stuff. Paula tells him he can sing, but is more theatrical, and not pop. Anthony says he can do pop, and Simon points out that was a pop tune. Randy says he has to say no, as he wasn’t in tune, “Dude.” Anthony receives three nos and walks out. To counter his asking in an earlier audition after a heavier girl made it through if they were going to have an bigger stage this year, Simon says they couldn’t afford the food bill if Anthony had made it. Very low, but at least his comments are equal opportunity.
For tonight’s twins, it’s left to Maureen and Marnelli Pearson. They were inspired by their dad who is a musician and plays all instruments. They sing Dreams, and Simon refers to it as pleasant, but dull. The bad news is they don’t make it through, but the good news is they don’t land in jail.
David Mandzack lives in Las Vegas, and says he dances and sings pretty well. He is there to become a performer. He sings As Long As You Love Me, and Randy and Paula aren’t able to control their laughter, but Randy does sing and dance along. In the end it’s left for Randy to say David just isn’t right for the show.
In a pretty funny bit, the show organizes some of the worst auditions into a collection they feel is suited for CSI: American Idol. Each contestant is shown with a crime and punishment. Included are Passing A Counterfeit C-Note, Mimes Against Humanity, Bouncing Czechs, Hummicide (punished by twelve years in Sing Sing), Performing With A Concealed Weapon, Writhing Without A License, and Assault and Buttery, as a heavier girl sings Baby Got Back.
Haggai Yedidya is focused on becoming an American. He believes the key to a good audition is having great eye contact. Wearing a flag shirt, he walks into the audition with a tuner on a key chain to start him out in the right key. Simon mentions it sounds a little low, and Haggai asks Simon if he has batteries. Haggai sings Proud To Be An American, and while he sings Simon is chewing and sucking on a pen. Normally Simon’s pen is pretty close to his mouth, but it’s usually not in his mouth. When he is rejected three times over, Haggai says when you have perfect pitch like he does, you can become a good singer in two months with a vocal coach. He is told he does not have good pitch, and he says the judges didn’t have good eye contact. Seems like this was doomed to fail.
Princess Brewer, which she says is her real name, has some great confidence. She says she’s admittedly conceited and sounds like Aretha Franklin. As Princes sings That’s What Friends Are For, Simon sits wide-eyed, and Paula and Randy laugh. Simon closes his eyes and mutters, “Shut her up. Stop it. It’s giving me a headache.” Paula thinks there were some sweet moments in the song, and Simon challenges her to point them out, saying it was one of the worst that day. Randy says those high notes were “woah!”
Taylor Hicks, 29, says his hair started turning gray when he was fifteen or fourteen. He sings Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke. He has a very unique sound, with lots of soul. Paula says she didn’t expect that, and asks for twenty seconds of something else. Randy likes it, and notices a little Ray Charles influence along with the Sam Cooke. Simon says it’s not just about the voice, and Paula says she likes his personality too. Paula and Randy put him through over Simon’s rejections.
That’s it. No more. That’s it. Only two girls and one guy are shown making it through to Hollywood, and Ryan tells us throughout the day only eleven in total made it. Was Las Vegas really worth the trip? Out of the three we saw, there wasn’t even anybody that knocked our socks off. Let’s hope for more tomorrow in Texas.
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