About LauraBelle

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

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


As Nicholas leaves, Randy says what a strange guy, and Ryan asks him when he’ll sing again. He’s not sure, but thinks maybe next year, and that’s all he has to say about that. Ryan and Nicholas sit and stare at each other for awhile, and Nicholas then asks where his stuff went. Ryan shows him where he left his sweatshirt. Nicholas wants to review the tape to see where he went wrong. He admits, though, he might scare himself. Well, how do you respond to that?

The last contestant of the day is Rudolpho “Rudy” Kardenas, 28, from North Hollywood, California. He walks in wearing black leather, and says he’s originally from Venezuela. He’s in a band that’s based in LA, and realizes he shouldn’t have admitted to that, as now they’ll be expecting something more. He announces he’ll be singing Journey, which of course perks up Randy’s ears. He sings Open Arms, and does well. Simon says it’s a no right off the bat, and Paula asks if he’s kidding, for her it’s one million percent yes. Randy says he knows he loves the song, and Paula mentions “someone” playing bass guitar on it, meaning him of course, and then says he does think Rudy has a good voice. He gets it, and says he’ll thank Simon later.

It’s the beginning of day two in Seattle, and while only seven people got through that first day, the sun is shining and things are looking up. Just like Adam and Dirk a few years ago, a friendship has been born here between Kenneth and Johnathon. They met in line and got to talking, wishing each other luck. They hope to see each other in Hollywood. Kenneth Briggs, 23, Bothell, Washington is up first, and can’t wait to tell his brother he met the judges in person. He tells them people have compared him to Justin Timberlake and Lance Bass. They know he can win this.

Kenneth sings Tearing Up My Heart, by N Sync, and does a weird contrived dance, holding his head as he dances. Johnathon is very worried outside the door. When Kenneth gets to the words about not being able to take it anymore, Simon says he can’t either, and he and Kenneth need to have a conversation. He wants to be sure he knows it’s a singing competition, and Kenneth is aware of that. He thinks he can be the next American Idol. Simon thinks he looks like a creature that lives in the jungle with those massive eyes, like a Bush Baby, although my son thinks he looks more like Gollum. Either way, Paula and Randy call Simon sick and crazy. Paula calls Kenneth a firecracker and compliments his dance moves. Yet, all three vote no in the end. He walks out and tells Johnathon Simon compared him to a monkey. Actually I think it’s more like a marsupial.

Johnathon Jayne, 20, from Renton, Washington, takes a shot with these judges, and walks in to Simon asking him if he borrowed Randy’s trousers. Not sure why, but Johnathon is a large man. He is reminded his new friend, Kenneth, didn’t do too well, and is told to do better. Johnathon thinks he can win because he’s different and has an amazing personality, and if they put him through, they’ll see it. He sings God Bless America, and Kenneth thinks outside it’s going well. Paula compliments his spirit and personality, but says she doesn’t think he’s right for Idol. Simon says he likes him, but it’s not the career path he should be taking. Randy tells him thanks, but no thanks, and he leaves. Paula reminds him to always believe in himself on the way out. He tells Ryan outside if they gave him a chance, they’d make a lot of money on him. Kenneth is still smarting about looking like a monkey, but that’s not what a Bush Baby is. The two new friends leave, patting each other on the back, literally.

Just like last year when we had Michael Sandecki thinking he looked and sounded like Clay Aiken, this year we have Eric Chapman from Renton, Washington, thinking he looks and sounds like Taylor Hicks. It has to go beyond the salt and pepper hair. Ryan wonders if Taylor was hit with a shovel if he’d look like Eric, but I think he’d have to be hooked on crack, too. Eric is a hairdresser, and says he gets in a trance working on hair. He needs to get together with the makeup artist from the Mall of America from yesterday. He says all the girls in town treat him like a celebrity, and he can do Taylor’s moves, but he’ll throw something else in like two thumbs.

Eric walks into his audition saying he won’t be the soul patrol, but the soul twist train. I think he needs a better writer, and no, I’m not volunteering. Simon says, “Whoopee.” Eric sings Dobie Gray’s Drift Away, and kills it, and I don’t mean that in a good way. That’s one of my favorite songs of all time, and to me, only Jon Peter Lewis can do it justice on Idol. Listing his age onscreen, the editors have several question marks after the age of 28, and I have to agree. Simon asks if he’s serious, and he makes Eric look him in the eyes to say he is. Simon then asks if he’s drunk. Paula says he’s just happy. I’m not going there, People, no matter how much you want me to. He’s voted out, and he tries to put some stuff in Simon’s hair as he walks out, but the bodyguards jump him and throw him out. So if he couldn’t sing for him, then he was going to try to at least win the job as his hair stylist.

Anna Kearns, 28, from Wichita Falls, Texas, is 6’4″ flat-footed, and 6’7″ in heels, and says she’s been wanting to be be on American Idol since it started. Ryan needs to jump up to hug her. She walks in and everyone is shocked at her size. It’s not on the show, but was in the previews, of Paula standing next to her. More than a foot difference it looked like. Anna was previously in the Air Force, but says she was kicked out for a weak heart a week before graduation. She sings Respect, and does okay, but nothing to write home about. Randy calls her pretty good and a little loud, Simon starts to call her very cabaret and over the top, and the other two start growling. When they won’t stop, Simon calls them unprofessional, and refuses to participate. It doesn’t matter, as Randy and Paula vote her in. She leaves, saying she needs to get some food.

Jordin Sparks, 16, from Glendale, Arizona, has been singing since she could walk, and has been waiting to audition until she was old enough. She is complimented on her smile right away by Paula. She sings Because You Love Me, by Celine Dion. She has lots of feeling in it, and sounds great, even hitting her high notes. Paula says she’s beautiful and loved her voice, and Randy says he was blown away, and can’t believe she is 16. She admits her dad is Phillippi Sparks, a past cornerback for the New York Giants. Simon says sometimes he likes to put one sugar in his coffee, and Jordin’s performance was the equivalent of 11 spoonfuls. She was a little sugary for his taste, but he likes her. Randy calls her a natural, and says this is what it’s about. He calls it perfect, but of course Simon disagrees. Paula makes a prediction she will do well.

It’s too bad the show won’t let us go out on a good note, pardon the pun, as they insist on showing us one more really bad audition before they leave Seattle. Steven Thoen , 27, from Seattle says when people want to get his attention they call out, “Red!” And others ask where that came from, noting his red hair, he wonders why. He does some karaoke every now and then, and says no one on the show has ever inspired him, although he’s only seen one or two episodes. He thinks he’s way cooler than Carrot Top.

As Red walks into his audition, he’s asked why he’s there, and he says he likes competition, so figured what the heck. He again admits he doesn’t watch the show, and says it’s because he tries to keep busy. If he was going to compare himself to another singer, he would say he’s as good as Freddie Mercury, so, of course, today he’ll sing Bohemian Rhapsody for us. Randy has to cover his face as he laughs, and Paula has her head down, while Simon just smiles. He has an out of tune falsetto he sings the whole song in. He announces he does country as well, and Paula agrees it would be a better genre for him. Simon says he’s heard weird auditions, but this is probably the weirdest he’s heard in his life. Red says he’s out of practice, though, as the last time he took lessons was in high school, and in concert choir, he got straight As. Simon is asked what he’d tell him as his coach, and he says he couldn’t, as it would be like coaching a one-legged man to win the 100 meter race. He’s dismissed with three nos, and can’t find his stuff, just like Nicholas.

There were seven more people that made it through on the second day in Seattle, so fourteen in all made it. I’m guessing it will be a few years before they return again. Either that or they need some transplants from Birmingham or North Carolina, where all the Idols seem to come from. Next week is Memphis. I have hope.

Thoughts about Idol you need to get off your chest? Email me at LauraBelle@realityshack.com


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