Other people love Simon, too, and have his likeness on underwear, shirts, and cardboard cutouts. Randy’s “fans” call him just a drummer (didn’t he play bass?) and call him a faker. Yet, it’s Paula that has the most fans, and the next auditioner, Edward Sanchez, 26, of San Antonio, admits he’s there just for Paula, and tells her the camera doesn’t do her justice. He has watched her since he was 8, with the cat. She gives him a hug, and says it’s nice to meet him. Simon and Randy laugh, saying they’re almost the same height, and maybe they were separated at birth.
Edward sings Donna, and Paula sits frozen with a plastic smile on her face, listening to her fan sing terribly. The other judges force her to speak first, and she can only say Edward was a sweetheart to come and profess his love for her and her cat. Leave it to Simon to be blunt, as he says the audition wasn’t very good, and there wasn’t a note in tune. Randy says singing isn’t Edward’s thing and passes, as does Paula. Edward tells her not to worry about it, as she’s still hot. He’s honestly not upset, so his reason for being here was only to meet Paula.
While last year we had Kellie Pickler, a roller skating waitress, this year we have it threefold with the Frisco Carhops, and this leads into Lesson 4, “Audition On Your Own.” Heather Rennie, 20, of Hacienda Heights, California, sings God Bless the Broken Road, and while she’s good, she’s certainly no Carrie Underwood, and probably not even Rascal Flatts. Ashley Celand, 17, of Cypress, California, sings Angel and does well, but is no Sarah McLachlan. Ebony Jointer, 23, of Hacienda Heights, California, sings I Believe In You and Me, and she could rival Whitney Houston, the clean one, not the one as of late that looks like she’s always coming off a bender. Come to think of it, Ebony has that same fresh-faced look that Whitney had years ago.
Simon tells Ebony she could sing the phone book and it wouldn’t matter. He sees her in a completely different league than the other two, and I have to agree. Even Ashley has to admit that Ebony is amazing. Simon tells Ashley and Heather that they are okay, but he’s heard it a million times, yet he has to admit, not on roller skates. Ebony, though, he doesn’t believe deserves to be on skates, because she’s really good. Heather receives nos across the board, including Olivia Newton-John, with Paula saying she’s good, but not great.
Ashley receives yeses from Randy and Olivia, yet Paula tells her she’s a beautiful girl, and doesn’t need all that makeup. And this is where Ashley totally doesn’t help her cause, as she tells Paula she understands she’s just giving her “motherly advice.” Ashley, dear, dear Ashley. Your fate lies in this woman’s hands, and you just called her old enough to be your mother. Not bright. Paula tells her she said the wrong thing, as Simon is pretending to stick his claws out. A better woman than me, Paula then says that that’s the whole point, though. She’s only 17 and deserves another chance. Simon votes no. Not surprisingly, Ebony gets yeses across the board, with Simon telling her she is “exquisite. 2/3 of the Frisco Carhops make it to Hollywood.
American Idol has decided to do something new this year, by having a contest to find a songwriter for the song the winner of this season will be recording as their first single. We see a montage of auditioners singing their own songs, such as Faithon Gooding, 28, of Birmingham, Alabama, singing Do it, Do It to Ya. Simon calls the song hideous, and he would be correct. Melissa Ferlaak, 27, of Minneapolis sings Flow This Desert, and it’s this weird operatic thing. Brandon Reid, 28, of New York, beat boxes his way through Talk to Me (Baby Girl), but it’s only William Emil Samland, III, 28, of Los Angeles that not only writes his own tune, but also refers to himself by an acronym, WES. He thinks his music expresses feelings, and he’s working on an album that is near completion. He believes the judges can expect an honest, soulful performance form him that is expressive and entertaining, and he’s ready to give it to them. Something tells me to not be too hopeful.
WES tells the judges he is there because he loves music, and loves to sing, write, and create it. He sings Don’t Worry; Don’t Hurry, and it’s just a bad song with a bad voice. Olivia covers her face, and WES is asked how he thinks he did, and he believes great, in the way that what he was singing was real, and he feels it inside. Randy tells him at least he got it all out, but votes no, saying the singing just wasn’t good, “Dude.” The other three judges pass as well.