About LauraBelle

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

American Idol, January 24th – The Return


Sarah sobs, and says she can’t believe she’s crying this much about it. And when you think about it, Paris Hilton can’t sing. Randy says, but she’s not an American Idol. Sarah says she’s smart, but they don’t realize it. She’s told to look behind her at the five past idols on the wall behind here. These people can sing. Sarah counters but she can be the only American Idol to never have sung before. Everyone tells her no, and Paula tells her at least she got some fame out of it, although Ssrah says that’s not what she wanted. Outside she says they were very rude to her. They are all people, too, and have lives, just like the friends she made here, including Ray the security guy. She knows his name because she’s been there forever. She yells that the judges went out drinking until 3 o’clock in the morning, and that’s rude! I have to say, I don’t know who is more delusional, the people last week in Seattle that thought they had talent, or this girl thinking she can be the next Idol because she has no talent.

Thank God. Simon’s here. We need him to restore … something.

Jory Steinberg, 25, of Santa Monica, California. says she grew up in Ottawa, and met prime ministers, a couple different princes of Japan, and the Queen of England when she was 11. She makes it sound like she did all that because she lived in Ottawa, but there has to be more to it than that. She sings Chains by Tina Arena, and she’s definitely not the best singer, but seems to have something. Simon calls her terrific, and says she paced it well. He thinks she did everything on the money. Well, what do I know. Paula thinks she has a very professional presence, and is great already, singing like a natural. Carole says she has a hunch Jory is on her way to Hollywood, and she’s right. Simon asks why they all can’t be easy like that.

Porcelano Patino, 27, of Elmhurst, New York has been preparing for her audition like it’s boot camp. For a year, she’s been militantly getting up at 5:00 AM, and working out. She has lost fifteen to twenty pounds, and believes it takes a certain kind of attitude, and takes a New Yorker to deal with that type of life. She walks in to her audition, and Simon remarks on her “chiseled body.” Carole wonders if Porcelana has been working on her singing the same as she’s been working on her body. Porcelana has, and adds she’s obsessed. She sings Mary J. Blige’s Love Without a Limit, and Paula thinks she’s awesome, even though she admits she thought she was a little peculiar at first. But it’s not an act, it’s her. Carole agrees she’s unique, and loves that she worked this hard. She believes Porcelana deserves an opportunity. Randy also says yes, and she comes in to do a group hug with everyone, but Simon refuses to participate. What a party pooper.

Christopher Henry, 20, of Plymouth, Massachusetts, says that his looks are often compared to George Michael and Simon Cowell, and says that’s not a bad thing. He walks in to the audition, and Paula says right away she sees it totally, but Simon doesn’t, of course, but does note Christopher is very good-looking. Oddly, he sings a Kelly Clarkson tune, Before Your Love, and if you close your eyes, it sounds like a girl singing. Simon thinks his ears are shattered, and Randy is shocked it’s in his own voice. Christopher acknowledges it’s different for a male. Simon insults him, saying he should be singing in a dress and stilettos. Paula tells him that was extremely rude, but Christopher says he understands, and offers to sing another song. Randy asks for Barry White, and Paula says the point is that he is belting it out where his strength is. Christopher asks if the female range is what’s bothering them. And as Simon continues to be rude, Paula says she and Carole are trying to say something constructive. Simon tells her to write him a letter or send him an email. Christopher is let go, but Paula is steamed at Simon for being so rude when a person is standing there very vulnerable.

Rachel, 18, from Manhattan, New York, says she goes to school for opera, and she could be kicked out and possibly lose her scholarship if they find out she’s here. She has no Plan B, so she has to make it. She sings Eternal Life by Jeff Buckley, and I don’t like the rock on her. Paula asks to hear something else, and she sings I’ll Be. I don’t like this on her either. Simon calls it a little bit scary. Ryan asks for opera, and it’s like the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. Rachel says she can sing everything, and when they do a different genre every week, she knows she’ll do well. Simon says he’s not criticizing, and it could be the first time, but he continues, asking who she would like to be. She says she is a singer/songwriter/rock star. I’m shocked, but all four send her to Hollywood.

Virginia native Christoher Richardson, 22, of Chesapeake, sings a Donnie Hathaway cover of a Leon Russel song, Song For You. He seems to have a little bit of the Jon Peter Lewis quality in him with his emoting. Carole votes yes right away, and Randy says he likes his voice, and wants it noted he things he looks like Justin (I believe he means Timberlake), and sings a little like him, too. He votes yes. Paula thinks he’s very special, and says it will be interesting to see how he does in the competition. Simon wonders if he’ll surprise them in the next rounds, and votes yes. As his parents cheer for him, Simon adds the girls are gonna love him. As soon as his parents are done with him. Christopher is surrounded by three female auditioners. Was that a set-up?

Nicholas Pedro, 25, of Taunton, Massachusetts bailed out of the Hollywood round last year. He likes to say he did that honorably, as he had to learn the lyrics to Buttercup, and had a tough time, so he quit. Yet, he’s been haunted by it ever since, and doesn’t want to be an account exec that sings in his spare time. He wants redemption. He sings Fly Me To the Moon, but I think he should have proved something by showing he could learn lyrics now, by doing Buttercup. However, he has the sweetest, warm voice, and it’s obvious Paula likes him. She and Carol both shout out “Woohoo!” and Carole adds she thinks Nicholas is wonderful. Randy says yes, and Paula says she loved his voice before, and loves it even more today. Simon tells Nicholas he made it with three yeses, but he isn’t happy until he finds out what Simon’s vote would have been, and he admits it would have been another yes. Ryan tells him to go learn Buttercup now.

Isadora Furman, 26, of New York City, has a first name that starts with J, but she refuses to tell Ryan what it is, preferring to go with her middle name of Isadora. He keeps guessing, while she keeps taking the fifth. She’s a clairvoyant and reads palms for a living. She reads Ryan’s, and it’s clear she’s way off, and seemingly has no idea what she’s doing. She thinks she sounds like Pat Benatar, Stevie Knicks, Janis Joplin, and Led Zeppelin. She smiles walking into her audition, and says it’s because she is thankful for God’s gifts. She sings Lady Marmalade, and is like Cher on really bad drugs. She stomps and clanks her metal jewelry and belts all over the place. Simon asks what happens when she sings in public, and Isadora says it depends. When she sang with George Clinton, they liked it there, but other places she got arrested. And she was let in to audition. Great! Simon says she is fantastically terrible, and Isadora says that’s because they only pick pop artists, and not anyone like Led Zeppelin. The other judges bring up Chris Daughtry, and Simon smartly says rational advice isn’t necessary. She won’t talk to Ryan after, and just stands there shifting her eyes back and forth. He asks how she would sum up day two in New York, and she asks two or three. He says it’s been two for them, what was it for her? She says three, and he feels that sums it up very nicely.

These were at times odder auditions than last week, but by the end, I’m in a better mood. It’s American Idol. I have to be. I really liked Carole Bayer Sager as a guest judge. I think she was fair and gave constructive criticism, and wasn’t afraid to jump in there, kind of like Gene Simmons a few years back. Thirty-five people made it overall from New York. Next Tuesday is Birmingham, home to Ruben, Bo, and Taylor.

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

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