home Archive American Idol, January 23rd – Sundance, Not Only a Film Festival

American Idol, January 23rd – Sundance, Not Only a Film Festival

Anyone else other than me happy to set the “Are they more cruel or not” drama behind us this week? I don’t think I could stand to read another minute of it. But in case you just can’t get enough of that argument, here’s a commentary I did on the whole thing a few days ago. Cruel, But Defnitely Not Unusual Punishment

We’re traveling tonight with the American Idol judges to Memphis Tennessee, which Ryan shows us is a deserted ghost town. And, of course, it’s because everyone in the town is at the auditions. Kind of hokey there, Ryan.

The first auditioner certainly brings a lot of excitement with him. Frank “Franks and Beans” Byers, 21, of Waldo, Arkansas, isn’t only a cheerleader at Southern University, he also coaches the squad. I’ll add that I couldn’t tell what the first word was in the name of the university, so I googled, and opened up a picture of the cheerleading squad to see if I could recognize the uniform, and there he is, listed as Captain, Frank Byers. The internet is a wonderful thing. As his squad, who have accompanied him to the auditions, cheer, “Be Kind, Simon,” Frank says he has always felt loved, but this has left him speechless, and he calls it amazing.

Frank walks into the audition and says he believes in his heart he can win. He sings Heard It Through the Grapevine, and Simon says after that he hated it. He thought it was corny, over the top, and cabaret. Well, duh! The guy is a cheerleader!Frank launches into Unchain My Heart, prompting Simon to say he still hasn’t changed his mind, but Frank keeps singing. Frank just keeps on going, and Simon says he’s not going to change his mind, but he still has Randy and Paula that might send him through. Unfortunately, Ryan says it wasn’t a great audition and Paula says he can sing, but was a little over the top.

This is where it gets funny, as when Frank leaves, his cheerleaders launch into routines trying to cheer him up, and even lift Ryan onto their shoulders. Paula, a former Laker Girl, says “Cheerleaders … they’re just there for you.” Simon asks if someone would please tell them that Frank didn’t make it, then does it himself, walking out of the audition room, and saying, “I’m not being rude, but can you shut up? Ryan leans his head in the door, and says, “Someone’s a bit of a [bleep] here,” as Randy explains they’re trying to do auditions

Ryan tells us the auditions need enthusiasm, energy, and personality, and Timika Sims, 16, of Memphis, is “brimming with all three.” This is our cue that Ryan is being facetious. In the most dull, monotone voice ever, Timika tells us she’s from Chicago, but is staying in Memphis. People either call her Mika or Meeky. That’s great! I think she needs a little Franks and Beans. Ryan asks her what is different about her, and she replies she doesn’t know. He advises her to think about it, in case it comes up.

Walking into her audition, Timika says she’s there to be the next American Idol. They don’t ask what comes next, but figure it out pretty quickly, as she says she thinks she could be a Mayer. Simon questions if she said “mayor,” and the two go back and forth, one mumbling, one with an accent, trying to figure out what the other is saying. Finally, Randy advises Simon Mayer is a singer, and I can only imagine he means like John. The music Timika is singing, though, is Ashante’s Rock With You. And her excitement shows through her singing, just as it did through her speaking. Randy and Paula are both trying to hide their laughter, and finally Simon speaks up, saying he couldn’t understand a single word of it. She asks if she can try again and is told no. Asked who she sounds most like, she thinks it’s Ashante, of course. Which is puzzling to me, then, why she thought she could be the next Mayer. Randy tells her it wasn’t good, and she asks again if she can sing another song. Simon tells her it’s pointless, but she launches into Secret Lover anyway. Randy sits with his mouth open, and when all three tell her no again, she leaves, flipping them off. Randy comments, though, that he thinks she was happy.

Christopher Rivera, 18, of Black Mountain, North Carolina, auditions singing Superstition by Stevie Wonder. He’s got pants on that look like someone wrapped garland around them very loosely. Simon didn’t understand what he was singing either, and Ryan tells Christopher after he was rejected, that maybe something was lost in the translation, yet Christopher is still calling it all very depressing.


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