Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Welcome back to another night of Idol play-by-play! Don't forget: these updates are in real time, so hit the refresh button during each commercial break just in case you want to read my snide remarks.

And here we are in North Carolina, home of Clay Aiken and Fantasia.

Michael Jackson boy is here. Hide all your children.

Paula expects great talent, Randy doesn't know where he is, and Simon gets his butt kissed.

Sabrina "the teenage witch" Oakley wins lots of karaoke contests and men always hit on her. Apparently they do so with ugly trucks. I'm hoping for an asteroid to hit on her at this point. Seems like a fake audition. UPDATE: Sabrina has a myspace page.

Cashet Robinson is 25, sweet, and says she's the total package. Unfortunately, it's a package full of bum notes. I'm surprised Greensboro wasn't flooded by dogs after that. Simon advises the purchase of a sound-proof shower curtain and uses "appalling" for the first time tonight.

Amanda McManaway sings "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" but should've been somewhere out of hearing range.

Kellie Pickler is wearing Carrie's outfit from last year's audition. She also looks like her. This is the girl we've been seeing for months in the promo teasers, and I suspect she's going to go far in the competition. A nice production piece means she can probably sing. Her dad is a drug user and is in jail, which is NOT Kellie's fault. She does need someone to fix her hair, but otherwise she looks great. Thankfully, Kelly Clarkson cleared her singing of "Since U Been Gone." Kellie doesn't quite have Kelly's voice, but she's no slouch job either. I like her power and excitement. She launches into "Broken Wing" by Martina McBride, which is a MUCH better performance. That was amazing. I'm going to predict that she'll be a top 12 contestant with some work. Simon really likes her, which to me means he'll probably be making Carrie-esque predictions this year. Obviously, he's going to be promoting her this year. Unanimous yes, and she's going to Hollywood. UPDATE: Kellie has 2 fansites at http://www.kelliepickler.net and http://www.kelliepickleronline.com. Kellie was in Charlotte NC's Gimme the Mike contest on WSOC, Charlotte channel 9. She lost to Karen O'Leary. Kellie is picking up support from a lot of Carrie Underwood fans at Carrie's fan site. Kellie was listed as winning Miss Greater Wilmington and won Miss Stanly County in 2003.

Somebody get Rhonetta a crotch piece to cover herself with please! More Idol chatter after the break!


Shawn DeSalazar is on a mission to revive crooning, though this is a pop contest. Little Bro is convinced that his brother should, at minimum, be appointed Emperor. Shawn brought a 7th grade science fair exhibit, for whatever the reason. I'm not impressed, and it would be nice if Simon would install a trap door in the stage as far as I'm concerned. Distinctly average, Simon's summation, was quite apt in my opinion. If he'd dropped the schtick, he might've had a chance. He folds up his display and goes off to wait more tables. Little Bro offers his opinion. I hope that he doesn't read this blog, otherwise I might have another Nicole Sticht on my hands. UPDATE: Apparently, Shawn does these shows for other people. He will be performing TOMORROW, January 25, at the 2006 South Florida Fair. The site blurb says: "A potential Sinatra in-the-wings, Shawn is starting to build a nice fan base of people all over the country." Yeah...right.

I knew it was only a matter of time before we had a ventriloquist on the show. We had a mime last year. Richard Garland is singing Ruben's "Flying Without Wings." He has a nice voice and could've done well even without the wooden dummy. Randy puts the dummy through, but not Richard. Simon says no. Unfortunately, he does not go through, which is disappointing, since Dave Hoover made it through.

Alvin and the Chipmunks...err...I mean, helium girl...I mean, uh, Ronda Jones sings Backstreet Boys on 78 RPM. I expect a Paula Adbul "cartoon voice" suggestion to be forthcoming. Simon's right; it is as good as the original. She wants it more than a whole bag of gummi bears, and I need to say no more than that. She leaves and goes back to Toon Town. UPDATE: This isn't incredibly relevant, but she wrote this review on Amazon.com.

Sgt. Steven David Jr. tries the Josh Gracin schtick with the Scott Savol accent. By the way, Steven, it's against the rules of the National Guard to use your uniform for personal gain. I'm ready to dismiss him just on attitude alone. He's got an okay voice, but I can't stand him. He oversings Marvin Gaye's "Lets Get It On." Paula fraternizes with a contestant for the first time this year. Randy says yes, Simon says yes, and Paula, natch, says I'll see you in my trailer later. He goes to Hollywood. Blah.

Rhonetta apparently gets dissed...after the break!


We're back in Greensboro, taking a look at supportive families. Halicia Thompson brought the entire country of China with her. She's a baby mamma and a people person. This is probably the first contestant that I've heard sing a TV theme song. She does it fairly well too. I enjoy her presence. Simon fraternizes. Randy is now the only one who hasn't gotten any sweet sweet lovin' this year yet. Unanimous yes, see you in Hollywood.

Atlanta Boys Choir veteran, Donnie Meacham, thinks he's the best undiscovered talent in America, yet he pulls out a tired Debby Boone song to prove it. I think he should remain undiscovered. Simon wants to convict him for murder, which in this case should be a capital crime. Mom says he did good, after which she immediately went to her audiologist.

Kendra Winston grew up in 44 foster homes and group homes. I mean no harsh judgment, but that usually indicates a discipline problem. She's divorced with two kids. She gets a long production piece which must mean a golden ticket is about to be passed down. Kendra hits on Seacrest. She sings "Ain't No Mountain High," after which thousands of Idol watchers will undoubtedly flood MCI with new long distance subscriptions. She sings it rather well. Randy almost used the word pitchy for the first time this year. Paula likes her. Simon says no to the voice, but she's going defiantly anyway. Welcome to Hollywood! UPDATE: Kendra competed in Triad Idol in Greensboro and got to the quarterfinals.

After the break, the Incredible Hulk, Michael Jackson Boy, and Rhonetta. Freaks beware!


UPDATE: The Brittenum Twins not only have a rap sheet, but apparently a record deal!

Kenneth "Chase" Bush is causing Whitney Houston to flip over in her grave, even though she's still alive. He sounds Wayne Newton-ish. Simon further enrages G.L.A.A.D. by suggesting that a male contestant should wear a dress. A loud explosion outside indicates another flurry of press releases. Simon says no, but Paula and Randy lose their mental faculties for just a moment and say yes. Seacrest invents a new American Idol drinking game centered around Simon saying "I'm not being rude."

Chonna Clepper comes to the audition nearly naked, insults Seacrest's shortness, and immediately ingratiates herself to half of her immediate family. Big shock, her mom's a stripper. There's a good voice in there somewhere, but...what to say? I think she should go home. The judges agree, and even though she's dressed to fraternize, she goes home. Simon suggests she put on more clothes, which is the smartest idea I've heard all day.

Rhonetta, thankfully, does not flash any more crotch. More after the break!


Day one in Greensboro continues.

Eric Keaton hasn't heard from us because we didn't want to hear him sing again.

Brandon Haithcox isn't helping the guys out at all. He doesn't open his eyes while he sings, and we're all hoping that we'll learn how to close our ears. "We don't need no steenking Idol" is his mantra as he leaves.

It's time for a montage of Idol nervousness. And then, in comes, Jeffery Ryan Baysden, who looks 40 and sings "Bless the Broken Road." Simon says he's the first Ryan he's ever met with talent. Score one for the guys! UPDATE: Ryan competed in “Touchstone Energy Carolina Calling Talent Search” at West Carteret High School in Morehead City, on NC public television.

Cedric Robinson, in Derek Braxton tradition, says he is related to Fantasia. Judging by his voice, he might be related to Mike Tyson. Apparently talent skipped his generation. Cedric the Anti-Entertainer leaves dejectedly.

Ann Nesby of Sounds of Blackness brought her granddaughter, Paris Bennett, who is sweet and who has a great voice. The kids this year have really brought on their A game! She really works it out with that Billie Holliday song. Definite Top 12 contender, and I wouldn't be surprised if she made it to the Top 2. This kid is amazing. UPDATE: Paris had her own site at http://www.itstimechildrecords.com/paris.html which is no longer operational, probably due to her advancement in the later stages of the competition. Watch out for her!

At the end of day one, 24 golden tickets have been passed out. Simon's birthday and Rhonetta's psychic friends are up next.


Day 2 of Greensboro auditions, and it's Simon's 500th birthday.

Marcus Behling has won approximately 10 talent shows, give or take 10. He holds a note for five years, never once keeping it on pitch. Simon looks like he wants to throw a Cheerio into his open gaping maw so he'll choke and shut up. Marcus learned to sing from the Randy and Paula DVD, which makes Simon very happy. They ask for another song because Paula and Randy need their daily whipping. Paula says he should model, which in Paula-ese means "you suck." Randy and Simon say no. Simon is on cloud nine. Marcus takes the DVD, which is mysteriously blurred out, and smashes it with a hammer.

After only one audition, it's off to commercials, after which Rhonetta and Michael Jackson Boy will undoubtedly entertain us.


We're back, and we get to see how people choose to stand out, including outlandish clothing, big bosoms, and whatnot.

Mr. Personality, Jimmy Crabtree, wants us to hear him sing with all the passion of a lobotomized goldfish, if we can only just wake up after listening to him drone. Again we get to hear "Bless the Broken Road." I don't like the song anymore after hearing Jimmy destroy it. Simon is not being rude, but Jimmy has the personality of a hippo when he sings, because, you know, Simon spends time with hippos. Yeah. Paula suggests a career change. Randy says to give it up. Mr. Personality deflates.

Sammy Neighbors has personality in spades. He's raw. I fear there will be more G.L.A.A.D. retributions after this audition. Sammy is going to sing "I Can Show You the World" otherwise known to the rest of humanity as "A Whole New World." He wraps his magic carpet around himself in a way that might possibly seduce only a complete sexual psychopath. He sings a Paula song. Simon says he looks like Sylvester Stallone's younger sister. The switchboard lines at G.L.A.A.D. melt down instantly.

Ok, the Ronetta and Michael Jackson Boy teasers are getting old. More after the break.


We're back with Tyra Schwartz, who has just broken up with her boyfriend after he cheated on her. She's got the vendetta working for her, and she has a nice personality. She looks a bit like Maya Rudolph from SNL, which is not a bad thing at all. She has a good singing voice, and she is singing one of my favorite songs, "In the Still of the Night." Simon is unsure she's a star but thinks she has a nice voice. Tyra's willing to work for it though. Someone give the girl her golden ticket already! UPDATE: Brownsoul recognizes Tyra from Making the Band 3. Thanks!

What was with the guys in Greensboro? Never again will you see a more motley crew of ugly, dorky guys. Of course, the same has been said about my personal group of friends, but that's neither here nor there.

Seth Strickland, aka Michael Jackson Boy, says "shoot doggy." How about shoot the boy in the red shirt and high waters? Surely this can't be a serious audition. Auditory hell. I'm as speechless as Randy. They let him down easy. UPDATE: Seth has an official website at www.sethstrickland.com in which he does a rather odd tribute video to Kelly Clarkson, mixing video clips of Kelly over a Kid Rock song (why he didn't use a Kelly song is beyond me.) There are other video clips of Seth there, as well. According to the site, Seth has an album coming out on the Acute Kronic label. The rest of the site, like his audition, is pretty much all over the place.

Catfight (not Gina Glocksen's band) after the break...


24 is getting way too good.

The auditions are almost over, but Rhonetta Johnson is wearing clothes that showcase her genitalia. Her mom must be so proud.

Well we've had a cop, so now it's time for a firefighter. Jordan Southerland comes in with full fire suit on, but really delivers with Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up." I liked it! Randy says it was just "OK" and says no. Paula says yes. Simon has the deciding vote and agrees with Paula. Fireman Southerland is going to Hollywood and can't shut up about it. UPDATE: According to MJ's Big Blog: "Looks like he initially won something called "Net Idol" whatever that is. And...it was a toss up between auditioning for AI5 or some Christian competition called "Exalting Him!"

In the tradition of Derek, Keith, William Hung, Leroy Wells, and Mary Roach, Rhonetta Johnson (I'll correct the spelling of her name on previous paragraphs later...) has talent in the negative numbers. I swear, if I have to see her crotch one more time... This would be the only girl I wouldn't mind them making a fat girl joke on. She's nervous, possibly because she's dressed to turn tricks. Simon goes for the fat joke early on. The judges offer her water, which she turns down, offending the crap out of Paula. She stands there for a while being silent, which is a blessing. I'm on the fence as to whether this is a real audition or not. Now it's time for her long awaited tirade on how they turned down the real superstar and how she's hotter than Paula Abdul. Rhonetta then disappeared into the Opposite Universe.

Thank God she finally shut up. UPDATES: Hoo boy, does Rhonetta have a looooong rap sheet, including, but not limited to, assault, giving false information, DUI...you know what, if you want the whole list go to her fan/goof site at rhonettajohnson.com.

After the break, more auditions...


And it's almost time to wind up this episode of Idol. Only 9 people made it to Hollywood from Day 2. We get to see a montage of Irene Cara's "Fame." I know why only 9 people made it. Sly Stallone's sister does a Mary Catherine Gallagher. Tomorrow, we'll see more talent and more losers, as well as an old person and a Randy/Simon fight.


Marcus Behling
Kenneth "Chase" Bush
Chonna Clepper
Jimmy Crabtree
Shawn DeSalazar
Richard Garland
Brandon Haithcox
Rhonetta Johnson
Ronda Jones
Eric Keaton
Amanda McManaway
Donnie Meacham
Sammy Neighbors
Sabrina Oakley
Cachet Robinson
Cedric Robinson
Seth Strickland

On to Hollywood:
Ryan Baysden
Paris Bennett
Steven David
Kellie Pickler
Tyra Schwartz
Jordan Southerland
Halicia Thompson
Kendra Winston


Kellie Pickler and Paris Bennett are clear contenders tonight. I expect Ryan Baysden to do fairly well, though I'm not sure he's a Top 12 contender. For what it's worth, I hope Sgt. David will be sent packing soon. Tyra, Halicia, and Kendra have some work to do.

Join me again, tomorrow night at 8/7c for another play-by-play, as we see more of the best and worst auditions of 2006.


At 9:59 PM, Blogger Brownsoul said...

Tonight was a pretty funny show. Kellie Pickler and Paris Bennet were the only ones to impress me.

I recognized Tyra as a Diddy reject from Making the Band 3.

I saw on the news that the Brittenum twins were signed to a production deal with So So Def.

Good stuff.

At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

rhonetta has a site!!! OH MY GOD!
rhonettajohnson.com is just insane!


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