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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

American Idol, January 17th – Blame It On the Rain


Those of us that follow American Idol news pretty intently have been hearing about the bad auditions in Seattle, Washington. Tonight, we finally get to see what they’re talking about. Can they be all that bad? Paula Abdul was on Ellen DeGeneres’ show on Tuesday and said there were equally bad and good auditions, so what makes them so bad that they deserved specific mention?

The last time American Idol went to Seattle was season one, and they had very little success. What could have possibly brought them back? The weather? Not likely. It must be the hope that the people here have figured out how to sing.

The first one up is Brandon Groves, 26, from Wheeling, West Virginia. West Virginia? What’s he doing clear across the country? He’s hear to audition … again. He was the guy that sang I Shot the Sheriff last year, and wasn’t that bad, if I recall. This year he’s in an Uncle Sam costume. Randy suggests he’s going undercover, as no one would recognize him like that. Today he sings GodBless America, and I just don’t remember him being this bad last year. And the judges agree, saying he’s worse than last year. I want to call him pitchy, but then that would require him to be on pitch to begin with with. He’s shocked he’s receiving another no. Paula suggests he’ll be dressed as an Indian chief next year.

Who better to follow Uncle Sam than “Hotness,” aka Jennifer Chapton, 23, of Seattle Washington? She’s been singing sinc she was 4 years old, starting with church choir. She doesn’t sing like anyone in particular, as she has her own unique sound and style, but if you forced her to compare, she’d think she was a little bit like Mariah, because of her large vocal range. Her label as “Hotness” started when she was in high school, as she always had a personality, and she’s not afraid to speak her mind. As she walks in, she’s chomping away on gum, and Paula tells her she knows she can’t sing with gum in her mouth. Hotness takes it out, and asks for somewhere to throw it, while Simon suggests she stick it on Taylor’s face behind her.

Hotness is singing Tenderoni’s Baby I, and I keep thinking she might sound good singing alone in the car, but not here a cappella. With lyrics of “I want your love,” Simon says they’re not going to give her any love, and Hotness says maybe she doesn’t want it. She asks if she can keep going, and is told no. Simon says the song was all over the place, and she retorts his opinion doesn’t mean anything. He asks why she’s here, and she bounces back why is he there. He’s here to judge her, and she’s here to sing. They go back forth in this manner until she says it’s all just a matter of opinion, and Randy offers up that he thought it was awful as well. Paula isn’t going to say anything bad, as she liked Hotness giving Simon crap. She tries singing something else, explaining she has all the confidence in the world. Simon tries to stop her, but she just keeps on going, as Paula mocks her. Once she stops, Simon asks her why she doesn’t get a job at the port, and she suggests he get himself to the brain surgeon for a lobotomy. Outside she says Simon doesn’t know [bleep] about music, and he probably listens to that back englishman sheep music. She wants Simon to kiss “this” indicating her ass. She meets up outside with Brandon and asks if he’ll try this again. He says it’s possible.

Amy Salgado, 23, from Seattle, is a stay-at-home-mom with a 6 year old son. He’s her biggest fan, but her husband isn’t very supportive, thinking she is wasting her time. Even if he thinks she isn’t that good, couldn’t he just play along with it? She feels he just doesn’t want to see her leave and go to Hollywood, so she thinks’ he’s being protective, which she finds kind of sweet. That’s not it, Amy. He’s not supporting something you believe in, and I’ve decided he’s an ass. Her son says to just go for it. Ever since she was small, she has struggled with herself, and singing kept her going. Her son will look at her singing, and she’ll look at him, and they’re both so impressed she can sing. She then bounces back to her insecurity again, saying it’s hard to go through life thinking you’re not good enough.

For the judges, Amy says she will try to sing Christina Aguilera’s Reflection. She’s asked why she said she’ll “try”, and she says because she has a cold, but those of us that have listened to her for the past few minutes know it’s because of her low self esteem. She tries, and it doesn’t go well, yet she is trying so hard. She again says she’s sick, and Simon wonders what she sounds like when she’s well, and thinks she’s got worse than a cold, calling it awful. She says her throat is dry, and asks for a drink of water. Trying again, it’s doesn’t improve, and when she asks for another try, Simon says it’s so utterly ridiculous as she could lie in a bath with her mouth open, and it wouldn’t help. Paula tells him to stop, and Randy suggests she drink from the river in Puget Sound. She starts singing again on her own, and Simon has to shout, “No. No. No!” to get her to stop. Paula tells her it’s an audition, and sometimes you’re just … sick. Randy points out that even when you’re sick, you still have to hear the notes.

As Amy leaves, Simon tells her not to give it to anyone else. Amy then talks about having cracklies in your voice when you’re sick, and no matter who you are, you’ll sound awful. Right. But if it’s just being sick, the singer would still be in tune. She knows she still has a beautiful son to go home to to make her smile and tell her she’s the greatest, so she’s still a winner. She needs some help with her self esteem, and it’s something she’s never going to find on this show.

Darwin Mischa Reedy, 27, from Seattle, thinks the show is a good way to show off her talent. Her mom is with her and they’re so alike, they’re different. They both have page boy haircuts, although her mom’s is longer, and they both have dark glasses. Mischa is bleached blonde, as in white hair, and her mother is dark-haired. And both could use some help with braces. They almost look like they’re in drag. Her mom is very supportive of her. Ryan asks about their look, and Mischa calls it sexy, believing sexy is more than looks, it’s an attitude and confidence. When Ryan asks the mom if Mischa got her talent and looks from her, she says she studied music, and played in the high school band.

Mischa walks into her audition, and says she is a student and writer. She has written a novella about a singing competition, and one of the characters is not so surprisingly inspired by Simon. She says that her mom encouraged her to try out, and is encouraged to bring her mom into the audition with her. Simon sees the same thing, and says the two just need to swap hair, as they look so similar. Mom talks about believing in her talent, and talks about the novella they are writing together. She also says one of the very first songs Mischa danced to was Paula’s Straight Up. After Mischa sings, Simon just says, “No.” She asks if she can sing a little bit of Sweet Home Alabama, and after Simon says he doesn’t want to be rude, but it was appalling, Paula asks Mischa’s mom how it is to hear that as a mother, and she believes Mischa is just nervous. They leave amicably and vow to still watch the show. I’m sure these two people not watching would really hurt their ratings.


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