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

American Idol, Jan. 25 – The Best Aspen Has to Offer

Shelby Tweten, 17, of North Mankato, MN, tells the judges singing gets her emotional these days because it has made her so happy and gotten her over so much stuff. She was diagnosed as bipolar in March, but has been struggling with depression since the fourth grade. American Idol has given her a reason to stay on her meds. Before she didn’t care, but when she’s off them, she’s incoherent and not herself. She’s had times of hypermanic episodes, and her mom will tell her to sing, and it really helps. She wants to show people that being bipolar doesn’t control who you are. Her mom just wants her daughter back.

Shelby sings Temporary Home, and it’s clear Jennifer really enjoys her. She’s like the female James Durbin, as this is similar to how music helped him over his Tourette’s and Asperger’s. J-Lo shouts “beautiful” at the sky, saying it brought tears to her eyes. She loves the song too, but someone needs to really sing it like Shelby did. Randy says she has a good voice, but she feels it as a singer, and he loves that. J-Lo thinks everything is just all in the right place. Oddly, Steven never says anything other than yes. She’s through with three yeses. Everyone told Shelby she couldn’t do it, but she wanted to prove them wrong.

Jairon Jackson, 19, a host from Denver, is choosing an original song for his audition. People have told him that might not be a good idea to sing his own composition, but he has a lot of faith in the song. He sings So Hard, and he isn’t anything to stop the presses, but isn’t bad. The problem with the song is it doesn’t have a lot of different notes to show anything. J-Lo calls him a lover, and he admits he’s a lover not a fighter. Steve calls it beautiful and gives him a yes. J-Lo thinks he’s something special, and his songwriting just helped it that much more. He gets three yeses. He does need to pull his pants up, but instead breaks a light bulb on the way out.

Angie Zeiderman, 25, a waitress from Delray Beach, FL, admits people sometimes call her Lady Gaga when she’s walking down the street. Gaga makes everything a performance, and Angie thinks she does as well. She wants to open for her then be her best friend forever. She’s sure she’ll be the next American Idol, as there hasn’t been anyone else like her. Randy likes her look. She tells the judges she wants to be just like Gaga. This has bad audition written all over it.

Angie starts singing When You Got It, Flaunt It, and sounds more theatrical than anything else, and drops to her knees in her short dress, eliciting an “Ow,” out of Randy. She mentions her show tunes, but Randy doesn’t want to hear any of that, as that’s a turnoff for him. J-Lo disagrees, as she loves musicals. She wants to know how many people came in and could do what Angie just did. She asks if they want to hear something that’s not a show tune. Randy says no, but J-Lo says yes, just to shut Randy up. She sings Blue Bayou, and she’s actually much better. Randy admits it changed his mind, as Steven says she has a great little voice. She gets three yeses, with Steven calling her a little spitfire. So she wasn’t a bad audition after all.

Magic Cyclops, no age listed, an air guitarist, says he’s from Davenport, Iowa, despite having a British accent. Here’s the bad audition. He had to leave Davenport as he has a big riverboat gambling debt. He suggests they blur his face out a little, fearful they’ll hunt him down or something. No one talks to him, because he’s frightening and looks homeless. To support this, the guy waiting next to him just stares. Magic has 11,000 air guitars, and he met a guy in Belgium that has five more than him. Is there anything he’s saying that is the truth? “There’s a storm a-brewin’, and it’s called Magic Cyclops.”

“He” tells Randy he’s a lady. Randy questions a lady with a beard. Magic explains to him and the other judges the accent is truly Davenport. He grew up in Davenport, and they were poor, meaning they only got the local PBS station which aired mostly BBC programming. It’s judges’ choice day, so they have a choice between Neil Diamond and Jimmy Buffet, as he pronounces it like “Bah-fay,” as in Phoebe. He sings Cracklin’ Rosie and tries to bring in the air guitar.

When J-Lo asks for something else, he switches to Margaritaville. Randy excuses himself to go to the bathroom, leaving the other judges to deal with him. Magic says he’d like to go to the bathroom as well, then launches firecrackers out of his pants. On the way out, Randy asks him to take off his glasses so that he can see what’s underneath, and Magic tells him he has no eyes. Walking out, Magic says he has no idea what happened … literally. He wants someone to explain it to him. He keeps going, since he has the spotlight. He’s help put Steven where he’s at, as he owns several Aerosmith CDs. He asks for the Incredible Hulk theme music as he walks away, but instead gets a tender piano.

After all that, I guess Aspen didn’t have all that talent, or at least enough that was exciting for us to see. The show always closes on excitement, and Magic Cyclops seems to be the best they had to offer.

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