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

American Idol 9, Jan. 19 – Where'd All the Talent Go?


I think we’ll be hard-pressed throughout this season to get anything nearly as exciting as Pants On the Ground. The combination of the song and charming man made that song into a verifiable hit reaching into all areas of the media. We’ll see what we have tonight in Chicago with guest judge Shania Twain, but I don’t see any way it can reach the fun of we had with General Larry Platt this past week.

Katelyn Epperly, 19, a student, West Des Moines, IA,is the first contestant in to audition and says her mother has been trying to get her to audition for a long time. With her father leaving the family recently, it’s hard on her, because both of her parents used to attend all her auditions and performances together. Her mom sees it as a new chapter in their lives. Katelyn tells Simon she’s auditioning because of the family problems with her mom, and Randy Jackson questions why it’s changed into Simon Cowell therapy hour.

Singing Syrup and Honey by Duffy, Katelyn is probably the best girl I have heard so far in the auditions, along with being cute as a button. Simon looks quite pleased as well. Shania thinks her voice has a lot of interesting character, making it sound very unique. Randy likes that she doesn’t sound like Duffy and thinks she has something. Kara DioGuardi sees potential, but would like to see something more perkier and more energetic. Simon thinks it’s all a little bit “the lights are off.” She gets four yeses and is through. Her remaining family members are ecstatic.

Amy Lang, 26, a waitress, Westchester, OH, figures all she needs to do is wait in line for a couple days to be famous and make her dreams come true. If someone were to write a musical about her life it would be called, ‘Amy Lang, Amy Lang, Amy Lang.” She has a thing for Ryan Seacrest and says he was the first celebrity she had an inappropriate dream about, and it turned out well for her. Okay, then. The judges tell her she looks good, and she says, “Oh thanks, stop,” and flips her hair. Simon reads that she does something with her boobs, and she tells him to just wait until during the song.

Noting she’ll be singing Dr. Feel Good by Aretha Franklin, Amy appears to faint on the stage, then shoots up and launches into the song. I think it’s the boob thing she does, as she just kind of flips her rack up, pardon the phrase. Kara calls it boobboxing. Simon votes no to her boobs, saying they’re not going to Hollywood, and Kara agrees it was too funny of an audition and not serious enough. Amy explains to Ryan that she thought it would be fun and stand out.

Charity Vance, 16, Little Rock, lives with her parents who have a salon in their house. Her parents have been doing hair together for a long time, and Charity practices performing in the salon. Her mom says they’ve been watching American Idol together for years, and it’s a big thing in their house. Charity sings and sounds good with some great emoting. Nothing beats Fantasia to me on that song, though. Randy was impressed, but didn’t know what to expect. Shania was pleasantly surprised, and says Charity was using her range, and needs to hone in on that more. What Simon liked about it was that it was unique to her. With a “full house,” Charity is through to Hollywood.

After way too many rejected contestants, one of them and her mom confronts Simon. She tells him she used to like him, but not anymore. He disagrees, knowing she still loves him and walks away.

Angela Martin, 28, a singer, Chicago, is the last contestant of the day. She’s auditioning for the third time. The first time she auditioned was season seven, Shriners Hospital agreed to take care of her daughter until she turned 21, but then her father was killed a week before Hollywood week, and the result was her getting cut in Hollywood. In season eight, she reached the top 50, but couldn’t make it to a show after having a court date because of a traffic warrant. This time, she can’t quit before she reaches her dream.

Today Angela sings Mary J. Blige’s Just Fine. She still sounds good, but I wish she’d open her eyes more. Shania thinks it’s a good choice of song and says she has the right type of attitude, and it shows in her voice. Simon says it’s people like her, talented and in need of a break, that makes him like doing the show. Is that what we need to keep him another year? What Kara likes is that she listens to the criticism, takes it in, shows up and does better. Randy agrees she has hot vocals. Simon kids her that he’s voting no, but she knows it’s just a joke. She leaves with a golden ticket and four yeses.

Starting off day two, Curley Newbern, 26, a parent (does this mean he’s a househusband?), Chicago, comes in dressed in all white. He’s singing Maxwell’s A Woman’s Work. He thinks he’s singing falsetto it appears, but it’s just a really off-pitch high voice, as Randy has to turn around and laugh out the window. Simon just does it to his face. Soon, they’re all laughing, except for Shania. Simon asks if he finds when he sings that a lot of animals turn up outside the house. They all continue to laugh, and Curley walks out.

Alannah Halbert, 19, bookstore worker, Chicago, picks up where he left off, and can’t reach her high notes, as Kara suggests she start lower. All the judges then give her the note to start out with, but it’s not going to work. She doesn’t get through and says she’s not sure why she was rejected. She also has no clue what they were doing, but she admits she had fun.


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