Wednesday, January 24, 2007

American Idol Night 4: NYC

Time for 2 hours of Idol. Or five minutes of good people and an hour and fifty-five of people who blow like Dizzy Gillespie on a meth binge.

We're in New York, which is all well and good. Apparently the Northerners want someone from their region to finally win. Two words, though: Sundance and Melissa. If there are any better than those two from last night, they are going to have to really wear it out!

Paula looks wasted from the get-go. Either that or she got maybe one hour of sleep. Joining them tonight as a guest judge is the corpse of Laura Branigan... no, wait, it's Carol Bayer Sager, a songwriter who gave us the cheesiest songs of the 1980's.

Up first, it's the guy from So You Think You Can Dance. So I think he can bite me. He was a plant on the other show, and he's a plant on this one. He wants to be a household name. Like John. You know, the thing you sit on when you take a dump? Horrific over-actor. I'm just guessing, but this is going to be the guy that makes GLAAD start writing letters this year. I'd really like to throw him out of a really really high window. Ian Benardo is a waste of skin. He does the lip-purse thing, which makes me want to hit him in them even harder. He keeps talking about something, but none of humanity cares about him. Actor. A behemoth from the deep escorts him out the door. I'd bet his name was Vinny. Lovin' the leather jacket tough guy look. Okay, can we cut now? Ian was never amusing, and he's not any better now.

Sarah Burgess is auditioning against her parents' wishes. Y'know, that would be impressive if she was 16, but you're 19, baby girl. You can do what you want. She's going to be the crier this year. The chick from Nightmare Before Christmas looks on in amazement. Sarah sings "Call Me" as done by Blondie. I sort of like it, but there's that nasal quality, and you know how crazy that drove me last year. That being said, I do like her, and I enjoy her spunk. The personality wins me over. The judges lavish her with praise, and the waterworks begin again. Vinny brings in a couple of buckets and a mop. She's going to Hollywood, and sadly, she has no one to celebrate with outside the door. Good luck, darlin'. She makes the phone call to dear ol' dad with Seacrest on the line. Through tears she admits that she's auditioning for Idol and that she made it to Hollywood. Dad kind of gets it, and I'm wondering how much of this drama is for real now. Ok. Done with the crying. Wrap it up.

After the break, Simon doesn't understand...


This town was Constantine Maroulis's hometown. Therefore, the producers are forced to equate him with a Greek girl named Fania Tsakalakos (say that five times fast) who is forty years old if she's a second. The ghost of Anne Frank asks her if she's a dancer. Obviously she is. She'd be a pelican if you asked her to be. She sings Toto's "Africa," and that's kind of the length of geography that I'd run to in order to escape this auditory onslaught. Wretched. And goodbye.

Ashanti Johnson has been to Hollywood twice. I sort of think I remember her. Maybe it is a good idea to come back. After all, who knows if third time's a charm? She's peppy. She's got a decent voice, but a creepy grin. Then it all just falls apart. Ouch...can you say flat? It's a bit high and warbly for my taste, but she does have a nice voice and can hit the Mariah Carey notes. Simon didn't like it, and the word "cabaret" is used again in an unflattering manner. Somewhere, Peisha McPhee is cringing. It's a "no" from everyone else, and she'll be back for AI7. She pleads for her career, but it is all for naught. Okay, enough with the speechifying, already. Somebody please buy this girl some sincerity! Have some class, exit gracefully, and ... oh just go, will ya??? She refuses to leave and continues to sing. I liked her at first, but I'm sort of wishing that someone would apply a topical creme to her and make her vanish. Melodrama, much?

After the break, hottie twins...


On to a montage of people who are snoring.

Amanda and Antonella are friends that most guys only dream about.! Still, what do you want to bet they're really catty when the cameras are off? I'm almost certain there's a fat girl somewhere that's going to therapy over these two. They make the hideous mistake of auditioning together. Somewhere, a pep squad is missing its co-captains. They sound okay, but they're not in tune with each other. Almost a fatal mistake, but they're allowed to audition separately.

Amanda Coluccio starts out with Patsy Cline for her solo audition, and I'm feelin' her just a bit. I don't know if it's because I think she's pretty or because I actually care for her voice. I like her, but I don't know if she did enough to set herself apart. It was kind of weak, but she'll go through. Paula says yes, and Simon weighs her looks and agrees. Randy gives her another shot. Death Warmed Over also agrees. Four for four, and she's through.

Antonella Barbo is the friend that's left over. I like her. Despite her claim of lack of training, her audition is better than Amanda's. I could be happy with her ending up in the Top 12. She needs to ditch the friend, and the teaser seems to indicate that they'll have a falling out. That should be fun. The judges are ALL down, and the duo don't have to get catty with each other just yet.

After the break, GLAAD warms up their letter-writing fingers...


Didn't you just know that someone would play the harmonica this year? Clifton Biddle plays a bit, but he ain't no Taylor Hicks. I'm trying desperately not to let the editing of the intro piece color my opinion of him, but uh...I'm being unsuccessful at it. He's going to sing "Tush" as done by ZZ Top. Sing, or scream? He sort of has a subdued Crazy Dave quality. I'd like to hear him REALLY sing, because I suspect he can. Instead he pulls out the harp and blows his shot. See ya. He claims to have been shot down like an F-150. Does he realize that's a pickup truck and not a fighter jet? Or perhaps where he's from, people hunt Ford trucks for sport.

Phillip Burton was the suck.

An astronaut? Really? Who thought that would work?

Jose Vadell does his best Flock of Seagulls impersonation, at least with his hair. Voice ain't nowhere close.

William Van Stone, Jr. gets the distinction of being the guy this year with the estrogen voice. Fortunately, they didn't go to the same Matthew Miller length this year. Because, y'know, Idol has class. Or something.

The last contestant of Day One looks familiar to me for some reason. I'm gonna have to look into this one. Kia Thornton is going to sing an Aretha song. Oh my! I love Aretha, and this girl is singing it right. The high notes are a little off, but other than that, girl can sang! Simon repeats what I just said. Jackie Collins gives her a bit of criticism, but likes her. Paula cautions against oversinging. Randy likes her, and everybody is 100 percent yes. I'm happy with this one. Can't wait to see how she fares later on.

After the break, Day Two...


The sun rises on the city that doesn't sleep. Simon is late because he got a bit too tipsy the night before.

Tyrese Gibson gets to audition? Jenry Bejarano is a dead ringer for the model. The girls are gonna love him. He's got the backstory, and I smell golden ticket. He's singing Gerald Levert, which makes me like him already. Awww yeah! Give this guy all the rest of the golden tickets, please? The girls are into it. He's great, and Paula's sprung, if only he was older than 16. The mop from the janitor's closet agrees with Paula, and she says yes. Randy is looking forward to dropping this kid's name as someone he produced to contestants in the tenth season. Big time yes. I love this kid.

Up next is Nakia Nicole Claiborne. I think she's an animated character. She sort of looks like Dora the Explorer went on a donut binge. She's going to do "Dancing in the Street" as done by Martha and the Vandellas. Y'know, I've heard worse. I'm actually very surprised by her, and I like her energy. Paula thinks she's infectious, and Lily Munster wants to hear something more subdued before she passes judgment. The second performance wasn't quite as good. I mean, not horrific, but flat and affected. I'd have put her through on the first one, but It's done. She's gone. Or she's supposed to be. Yet she hangs around and squanders all good will she built up by whining. Sad, but no. And it's time for the director's cut of Nakia losing and blubbering. I feel sorry for her, but I'm getting tired of seeing her.

Sarah Goldberg is up next. She comes in mugging for the camera. I'm not going to like her very much, am I? Hairstylist, ain't just a suggestion, either. She's not real. Can't be. Nope. Can we install a trap door in the arena floor to dispose of these wastes of time? One of the McDonald's Fry Guys wants to know why she came to the show, if she's obviously not a singer. She believes she could be the next American Idol even though she's not a singer. She also believes that wrestling is real. I give her props as an actor for being able to make herself cry, but that's about it. Go waste someone else's time. Other door. The actor tries for her Emmy out in the waiting room.

After the break, Simon's headache has cleared up...


We haven't had a crooner yet this year, but Antonio Torres not-so-Junior is going to try unsuccessfully to change that. Don't they check IDs? He's so old, he farts dust!

Jory Steinberg is about twenty versions of HOT. She has been around the world, in the company of royalty, and I'd hook her up with a friend if she were single. She's going to sing Tina Arena's "Chains." She does it fairly well. She's sort of subdued, and I'd really like for her to really knock it out. She finally cuts loose, and I like it well enough, even though the judges don't have any expression on their faces. It looks like she'll go through. It's unanimous. She sort of seems like the really hot girl who gets voted off early because of her hotness (see also "Cox, Heather.")

Maribel Petino considers herself the American Idol Soldier. She works out every morning. So do lots of people, but they can't sing either. It's cool that she dropped all that weight, though. She sleazes it up in her audition, just to capture the guys' eyes. She's kind of a butterface. Everything looks hot, but her face. She tries to sing a Mary J. Blige song. It's alright, but I'm sort of put off by how trashy she looks. She has some skill. Paula likes her. The Dust Bunny passes her too. The judges get some lovin', touchin' and squeezin', but Simon isn't feeling the connection. Either that or he doesn't want to get something on him that Clorox can't get out.

After the break, a Simon vs. Paula spat...


The judges mispronounce lots of names. Forgive them. They've never met these people before. I wouldn't have any idea how to pronounce half these names either.

Wait, who was that blonde guest judge? Where did she come from??

Christopher Henry thinks he looks like Simon Cowell. Only not really. Actually, not at all. Nor like George Michael, as he claims. Cardinal sin of A.I. number 27: Do not sing a Kelly Clarkson song, unless you are, technically, Kelly Clarkson. I've never seen it work once. This one is excruciating. Simon says that Chris should be a drag queen. I doubt Simon will ever be invited to a pride parade. Paula is going to suggest that he seek employment as a cartoon voice-over person. I just know she is. Yup! There she goes. Simon and Paula get into it, and Paula calls Simon an A-hole. Then she gets up and man-handles him a bit. And Paula gets all up in Simon's kool-aid after the weirdo leaves.

Rachel Zevita thinks she'll lose her scholarship at the opera school if they find out she's on the show. Good move, going on national TV and all. Kiss that scholarship goodbye. I can feel it before she even starts. I don't know what she's trying to do. I mean, there's something there below the surface, but this ain't quite it. When she changes to the Oleta Adams song, I like her much better. Yeah, now I'm feeling her. A bit of a makeover, a bit of coaching, and maybe yes. She's very talented in the opera genre. She's definitely versatile. She gets a big yes. Wow...that was a bit of a surprise.

After the


We're back, and it's time for people to ruin a Lionel Richie song. Alvin from the Chipmunks screams it out, and then Kermit does his thing. Various other cartoon characters, including Slimey from Sesame Street and the Pillsbury Dough Boy, vie for camera time. know when people do stupid stuff like this, or like go on Maury and admitting they slept with their sister, right? DON'T YOU PEOPLE EVER HAVE TO GO HOME??? I mean, when you get back to your peer group, are you able to look at them?

Christopher Richardson is going to do his best Elliott. Seriously, the Donny Hathaway thing, by all reports, was WAY overused in the auditions, and even on this show it's getting hackneyed by now, and I say that even though I love me some Donny. Chris sings it well, but he's no Sundance. On the other hand, he does have nice vocal control. Elvira says yes. Randy likes him. Paula goes with the flow. Simon thinks he could improve. I like Chris's demeanor and his attitude, but he's going to have to make something his own.

After the break, a former drop-out and the restaurant scene from When Harry Met Sally...


We're back in New York, and some chick is bellowing something. Probably something to do with how she really needs to have tomatoes thrown in her direction at the first available opportunity. Then someone tries to do "I Want to Be Your Man" by Roger. That was talented, but not in a good way. Aside from the Castro guy last night, schtick isn't really scoring this year.

Nicholas Pedro left the competition last year, because he couldn't remember the words to "Buttercup." It didn't help that he was sleep deprived. Hopefully this year he's got his stuff together though. I have to be honest here... I have no memory of this guy. I'm sure he was a nice guy. Paula remembers him through the haze, as though she weren't prompted by the producers. Wow! Much improvement. I'm diggin' it. He's a bit more boy-band-ish than I'd like, but I'd love to hear him against a jazz background. Morticia Addams approves. Randy does also. Paula wipes the drool off her lip and says yes. Simon makes it unanimous.

After the break, some spastic chick with a guitar is going to make herself look like the south end of a northbound horse.


The auditions are winding down, but we are forced to endure Isadora Furman. She doesn't want us to know her first name, because she doesn't want us mailing her flaming bags of dog poop. Supposedly this ACTOR is a clairvoyant. Instead, she smells just a bit like another proven actor, Mary Roach. She's acting so much, but she's not very good at it, because she can't contain her own laughter. FAKE. PLANT. She tries to sing "Lady Marmalade," and stinks the joint up. The problem is that she's a poor actor, and a halfway decent voice occasionally peeks through. I suppose it's time for that fake orgasm that they've been touting in every teaser this episode since, seemingly, the beginning of recorded history. Frankenstein's Bride looks at her like she's from another planet. Simon thinks it's terrible. Durrrrrr. Goodbye, FAKER. Obligatory BS exit interview, yadda yadda yadda, let's all go to the bathroom. Think she'll be the one to get the makeover this year?

NYC is over, and 35 people made it to Hollywood. Not that it matters, because Sundance is going to win. Next week, the most successful A.I. city ever, Birmingham.


At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya know, I am so sick of these audition shows. I would rather watch 2 hours of people that can sing, but can they sing well enough to be put through? This is Season 6 and we have seen all the tricks of the trade and it is just immature and B-O-R-I-N-G.

I can't remember names, it is all a blur, but so far I am with everyone else that Sundance will be in the finals unless he totally screws up somewhere. Love Melinda too.

Moving on to tonight, NYC!

I really liked the best friends, the second one was the best. (Antonella?). But if they start catfighting in Hollywood, I will want them both to go home. I hate that stuff.

I liked the "A Song For You" guy, the one that came back after dropping out, the Bolivian family adoptee?? (I think) and the Justin T. lookalike. I am sure I am getting everyone mixed up. That is why you do the "recaps" and I don't!!

That gal that did a "Rocky" work out for a year to get in shape was okay but she was kinda hard looking.

You were so right about the gal lying to her Dad about skipping school to try out. She is 19!! She needs too much approval from others, I think she would crumble in this business, always trying to please Dad. Good voice though. But, I am sick of cry babies.

I also didn't enjoy the opera, pop, rocker gal. She'll be gone soon.

I think we have seen some good talent so far but Sundance is different, that is why I think we have already seen the next American Idol. Of course there are many we have not seen yet, so who knows.

It still gets me angry that the entire top 24 doesn't get the same exposure. IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE!! Many people already have visons of "Sundance" dancing in their heads! These teeny boppers see someone that is "cute" and bam, a fan club is formed. I don't think Sundance will appeal to the teen crowd as much as adults though.

Oh well, it looks like a good year!

Thanks again J.D. for your wit and wisdom.

At 12:55 AM, Anonymous Cleo said...

I haven't watched a whole lot of audition shows. Maybe this is why I liked this one so much -- this part of A.I. is still new to me.

After last night, I thought Sundance and Melinda (it is Melinda, right, not Melissa?) would be the ones to beat. But after hearing Kia and Jenry, now I'm not so sure. Those two have pipes. My favorite from tonight, though, is Elliott-er-Chris, probably because he sings so much like Elliott (my favorite from last year), plus he's better looking. I also like the girl from "Welcome to the Dollhouse". I believe what she said: that she can sing anything. She doesn't really have "the look", though. They could give her better hair and clothes, but I don't think the braces are ready to go, and I don't think they'll go so far as to give her a boob job. Being a flat-chested girl meself, I know how much of a detriment it can be. *sigh*

At 4:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, who was that blonde guest judge? Where did she come from??

I believe it was Olivia Newton-John who I think was announced as a guest judge for this audition season. The clip montage was from more than just the NYC auditions.

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that I sort of knew Ian Benardo in college (SUNY Geneseo). We weren't friends or anything, and I know he'd never remember me, but a friend of mine knew him pretty well.

I'll just say that there's a lot more to him than what you saw on TV. There is a real person behind all of what you saw on TV, and he's actually a very intelligent guy.

I also found him to be a rather sympathetic for various reasons. There's a lot about his life that no one on here would ever know or guess.



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