About LauraBelle

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

American Idol, January 31st – Sherman Poring On the Love


Well, if we follow the format we seem to be getting for the American Idol auditions this year, tonight we’ll be shown one really good singer, a few that make it for the mere factor they’re different, some totally delusional people, and a selection of others that are so outrageous, it’s obviously a ploy to get on TV. Being that the auditions were filmed in Los Angeles, I’m a little afraid to ask what passes for outrageous. To help counter that outrageousness, Olivia Newton-John is sitting in on the auditions. I wonder if she had so much fun doing this, she moved on to Grease: You’re the One That I want, or the other way around.

Here comes the outrageousness. The first person auditioning is Martik “Eccentric” Monoukian, 24, of Tujunga, California, and he calls himself fiery, before he shakes hands with Ryan, something he calls “spreading the love.” Eccentric has plans to get into acting and modeling, and also wants to be an author, singer, songwriter, composer, and choreographer. Where at one point he was little kitty cat, he is now a full-grown panther, and he proves that to us by showing us three moves – the extension, the crawl, and the flash. He believes he is the most exciting entertainer on the planet earth. Well, this is going to be an interesting one to show Olivia a little of the difference between people trying out for American Idol and the people trying out for Grease.

Eccentric walks into the audition, throws something, turns around and fixes his shades, then takes them off and throws them. He takes his jacket off, throws it, then turns around and takes off his shirt and throws it. He crawls across the floor, then stands, walks back, does a bunch of weird-ass moves, walks up, makes panther noises, and walks back. Simon says he is not being rude (of course not!), but asks if they can please get on with the singing. He is singing Sweetest Princess by … Eccentric. Randy says, “Meow!” Before he starts singing, Eccentric whispers … “Eccentric.”

After Eccentric sings this fast-paced half rap/half singing thing, Simon asks, “What the hell was that?” He then calls the building up horrific, the outfit horrific, the meowing ridiculous, and the singing horrendous. I’d say that wraps it up. Randy is laughing, leaving it up to Simon to say no. Paula says not for the competition, but … but? What is he more suited for? Animal Planet? I think the animal cops on there need to come after him. She finishes, saying, “but I loved the roaring.” Olivia calls Eccentric original, but not for American Idol. Randy stops laughing long enough to say, “No way.” As Eccentric leaves, Simon says, “Well, that set the bar.” Eccentric tells Ryan he might be bigger than Michael Jackson. He has tears in his eyes, he says, because it’s so brilliant. He spreads the love with Ryan one last time. Anyone that calls himself Eccentric is looking for attention, and nothing else.

Cats are the theme today, as Sholandric Stallworth, 25, from Los Angeles, is auditioning, and he’s wearing a black shirt with a a tiger embroidered in white on the shoulder. He thinks it’s time to bring the romance and love back into the music, and feels like he has that to bring, as Barry White music is playing in the background. The singers he listens to sing love songs, but he doesn’t think they sing romantically. The guy that does sing that way is Julio Iglesias. Sholandric sings If Ever You’re In My Arms Again, and there is nothing romantic about it. He’s shouting and horribly pitchy. Simon flat out calls it hideous, and Randy says, “Wow, Dawg,” explaining he had about twelve keys on the chorus. Olivia tells Sholandric that unfortunately his pitch is not on. As he leaves, Randy asks what’s going on, and says this is the strangest show. Yep. And now that you’re showing all these delusioned people, it will only bring out twice as many next year.

Marianna Riccio, 20, of West Hills, California, says she’s been singing since she was 4, and with sixteen years of training, her mom has been there every step of the way. Her mom pops in saying from out of the womb, she was wailing the whole time. Well, if that’s not indicative of real talent, I don’t know what is. The mom, BTW, is Marion Thoren, was one of Dean Martin’s Golddiggers. My dad loved that show. Marianna feels she is her father’s protege, and is following in her footsteps. she wants to do her proud. She sings Should I Stay or Should I Go, and this is just one of those songs you should never sing at an audition. To me, it’s like she has a bad Cher thing going on. Simon says he knows the answer to her question, and also says she sounded like Cher, but adds after she’s been to the dentist. He calls her out, and says he doesn’t think she’s a real rocker.

And this is where the delusion starts. Marianna drops to her knees and begs, saying this opportunity means the world to her. Olivia tells her there will be other opportunities, but Marianna says she’s on her knees, and begs to do another song. Paula says she understands, but it was not the best audition. Randy votes 1000% no, Olivia votes no, and Paula says she’s sorry, and points out Marianna has plenty of time to improve. Simon tells her quite simply he doesn’t want to hear another song. It’s 100% no. As she walks out, Olivia says that’s the hard part of doing this. Marianna walks back in, and this time she has her mom with her. Marion says her daughter really is good enough, and Simon argues she is not. Marion continues, saying she’s a hell of a performer, and gets the audience going … Simon adds “in the wrong direction” to her sentence. As they walk out, Simon says he likes the mom. Randy calls her kind of hot, and Simon says, “Mom was foxy.” Good ole Dean knew how to pick ‘em.

Alaina Alexander, 24, of West Hollywood, California, calls herself a struggling performer, and says it wasn’t too long ago she decided not to do music anymore. After six years of trying, it got kind of hard, as it seemed like it would never happen. She was on her way to college, but this is her last chance, to help her decide whether to give up her dream or not. This could go either way with this buildup, bad or good. Alaina sings a Michael Buble song, and sometimes it dips down into being a little whispery, but it’s definitely more good than bad. Simon nods, and says he thinks that was really, really great. This is what Alaina’s been waiting to hear for the last six years. He says he likes her a lot. Randy likes her too, but says she was pitchy and all over the place. Paula asks if this means a lot to her, and Alaina explains she was close to quitting, and is leaving it to them to decide her destiny. She gets four yeses, but I’m left wondering, if she fails in Hollywood, will it still be enough to keep her going, or will she then give up again?


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