About LauraBelle

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

American Idol 9, Feb. 2 – Rocky Mountain Not So High


We’re winding it up now. It’s our last week of auditions. It became even more real today when Ellen DeGeneres said on her show that in three weeks she’ll be doing double duty of her show and the live American Idol shows. Just think … LIVE … in three weeks. For now, it’s our last audition city, Denver, Colorado, with Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham.

Our first contestant is Mark Labriola, 28, a computer consultant, Aurora, CO. He says he hears about once a day that he looks like Jack Black … and he does. He should put that as his celebrity doppelganger on Facebook this week. He doesn’t have a problem being compared with the ugliest guy in Hollywood, because he’s funny and probably gets the girls. He’s stoked and feels it’s his day. He feels the most interesting thing about him is that he likes cheese. Hey, so do I! His mom took him on the run with her, hiding away from his dad, and his dad eventually found him when he was 10, and brought him here, with his mom being stuck in Maui. He now has his own kid, but he’s not in Maui.

Singing Tempted by Squeeze, a song I love and never hear enough, Mark is raw, but he has something there that’s interesting. He’s a good performer. Posh is surprised and was angry at first, as she thought it was going to be a joke, but it was a nice surprise. Simon liked that he was honest about his background and wants him to go to Maui to meet his mom, but he admits his mom now lives in North Carolina. Simon is confused. Mark gets four yeses and is through. He dedicates his golden ticket to his little boy and also his mom.

Mario Galvan, 25, a nicotine addicitions counselor, Denver, is described as having a queasy little laugh. As Simon continues to make fun of his laugh, and Posh comments on Mario’s white teeth. He sings Jailhouse Rock, which Simon says is brave. He’s not bad, but he’s screaming more than anything else and laughs immediately after. He tells Simon the closest he had to getting a break was the role of Jekyl and Hyde in a Broadway Review. Simon asks if the show actually opened and laughs again. Mario vows to never give up, and laughs again.

Kimberly Kerbow, 24, a collge student, Marina Del Rey, CA, brought her 5-year-old daughter to the auditions with her. She’s quite precocious, trying to dramatically say that her mom is the next Americna Idol. Kimberley sings The Way I Am, and has a great personality that I think takes her a lot further than her voice. She sings to Simon that she’ll buy him Rogaine for his hair, and he wonders if they met somewhere before and if she’ll sing that she’ll buy hm a wheelchair. He makes a crack abou her being a single mom, and al the judges give her yeses, with Simon saying she was lippy, but funny. He says after he thinks she’s wearing a wig, but the others disagree.

Danelle Hayes, 24, Seattle, hosts a live karaoke, sings in a cover band, and doess a little bit of songwriting. She knows she didn’t pick an easy living, as it’s difficult, especially trying to take care of her son. She cries just walking into her audtion, saying it’s been quite a ride, and that pursuing this career is a lot more work than she’d imagined. She sings some Melissa Etheridge and has a great raspy voice, reminding me a lot of Kimberley Caldwell.

Simon likes Danelle, but thinks by looking at her life that she’s almost broken. He thinks they need to rescue her from corporate hell, as she hasn’t been allowed to be who she should be. Kara found this the most moving audtiion, and feels that’s what people are looking for. Randy syas 100% yes with a great voice, and Victoria says yes as well and wants her to celebrate with her boy. She gets yeses from the others as well. This is one that will be fun to watch.

Casey James, 27, a musician, Forth Worth, is happy to be there, saying he was in a terrible motorcycle accident when he was 21. He thought it was the end of his life, and while it wasn’t, he had multiple compound fractures in his arm and was told he’d never play guitar again. He goes through a lot of pain on a day to day basis, but feels it’s a miracle he’s still here.

Singing for the judges, Casey doesn’t sound bad, but needs some personality, as there’s nothing there. Simon thinks it’s a bad audition, but Kara disagrees. Posh asks him to let his hair down, and thinks he looks like a model. Kara agrees he needs to work on his personality, then asks him to unbuttom his shirt, and he takes it off. Posh and Kara say yes, and Randy says yes, just for the girls. Have to say the hair and half-naked body did nothing for me.

Tori Kelly, 16, Canyon Lake, CA, has her own fan club with her family and friends there. She says this is huge and crazy for her, but she wants it really bad. One little girl with her, Hope Star, draws pictures of all the judges and hands them out. Simon calls her a very good drawer, reminding me of “Simon” on Saturday Night Live, and tells Randy the picture of him is a photograph and not a drawing, because it’s so good.. Posh tells Tori she’s gorgeous and so is her dress.

Singing Gravity by John Mayer, Tori has a little bit too much vibrato, but Kara really likes her and likes that she brought Hope Star in. Simon puts Hope through, but says he found Tori’s voice annoying. Posh likes Tori’s look and says it’s about the whole package. Randy, Posh, and Kara say yes, Simon no, but Tori is through, the last one of the day. Simon shows his soft side and asks Hope Star to sign his picture for him, then asks her to give him a little kiss.


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