American Idol 2009: Jacksonville FL Auditions
First, an apology for missing last Wednesday's recap. I had every intention of doing it, but I got a little irritated at the show because my last three recaps somehow resulted in me being banned from the official forums. The official line is that "some of the recaps crossed the line into bashing."
The real story, of course, is that the staff at American Idol are wetting their collective Pampers over the repercussions of the Paula Goodspeed suicide. (If you hadn't read, Paula G was a contestant during season 5 who idolized and later would stalk Paula Abdul. You can see the video of her audition here. Miss Goodspeed, who got rightfully mocked during her original audition, recently pulled the retard card and offed herself at Paula Abdul's house. See my comments on her from back then here. Obviously, as happens every time Darwinism claims a moron's life, there's a threat of a lawsuit, and so Idol is trying to act like they NEVER allow anyone to make fun of their contestants (even though the audition shows still continue to do so unabashedly). And of course in their overreaction, the moderators have classified anything other than an outrageously, slobberingly positive opinion to be "bashing" and they erase it accordingly. And thus with the kind of heavy-handed censorship that would've made Joseph Stalin beam with pride, they have essentially pulled the "American" out of Idol. This is what happened to my recaps there, after which I parodied the mods, which then precipitated the drop of the ban hammer. It ticked me off for a few days, but now I'm over it, but I didn't quite feel like recapping another cattle call of hypocrisy.
Tonight, however, I'm ready to take on the challenge.
This...is American Idol, unedited, as I see it.
Interior: Limo. Cue Ryan and Simon, riding in opulence, with the exception of all the camera crew's equipment that you just know is taking up the foot room. Seacrest and Simon talk, and Simon points out that Ryan doesn't speak in his radio voice normally. Well, duh! What radio guy goes around the house saying "it's ten minutes past the hour, a chilly 35 degrees outside and now it's time for seven in a row! What's your favorite station?!" As with all Seacrest/Cowell conversations, the talking gets awkward, and it's increasingly difficult to comprehend the fact that these two guys are actually very good friends off-screen.
A huge deal is made over Randy's stint with Journey, as though he was with Journey the whole entire time, as opposed to just one album and a couple of concert tours. And yes, that one video. Simon accuses Randy of having let all the fame go to his head, what with the police escort and all, but who is he kidding? Randy has been full of himself and been King Name-Dropper since this show began.
Joshua Olloa thinks he looks like Justin Guarini. Clearly there are similarities: they both have curly hair and no record contract! (I kid, Justin, I kid.) Beyond that, Joshua and Justin have nothing in common, unless Joshua has been in a failed beach movie with Kelly Clarkson and I didn't know about it. Joshua does a very affected version of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On," and Kara looks like she wants to accept the proposition. Is it me, or has Kara been a cat in heat all season? Joshua has good range, a good voice, and Blake's beatbox thingy, which I have decided is an automatic FAIL in my book from now on, but he only used it once so I'll let it slide. Simon compares him to Inspector Gadget, in the sense that he pulled this audition directly out of a hatch in his hindquarters. Randy feels he's entertaining. Simon, Randy, Kara and Paula all say yes, and we'll go on to see if Joshua can end up winning me over in Hollywood.
Ryan says the word "shih tzu" on air while I'm barely paying attention, causing me to jerk my head up from my computer screen, which then caused me to see a goofy looking dog named Sasha. Sharon Wilbur and her weird Kelly Clarkson hair brought her annoying dog with her to her audition. On a top ten list of "most annoying things you can do," owning a dog as a fashion accessory is at least number eight. Bringing it with you to inappropriate events is somewhere around number three. Of course she can't just leave the mutt outside, and so Simon gets to hold the dog. He looks aghast at having to hold the dog, as though he'd been asked to rub elephant dung in his hair. Sharon apparently went to the Britney Spears school of singing, which is to say she practices shallow breathing, nasal singing, and saying the word "baybay" a lot. I hate it. Absolutely despise it. I'd rather have a rabid scorpion in my underpants than hear another second of it. The whole audition jumps into the realm of the bizarre as Paula and Kara randomly make out. Kara very nearly pops out of her blouse, which is the kind of thing that happens when you dress in the dark and accidentally put on your curtains instead of a blouse. Almost as an afterthought, Sharon goes to Hollywood, and then we get back to the real important discussion, which is Kara expressing her ardent desire to have Simon make out with her. And the kink doesn't stop there, as we go out into the receiving room and see some gross guy tongue kissing the dog.
Cue Seacrest driving a golf cart fully laden with the camera and lighting crew. He gets lost on his way to the hotel, does some lame jokes about Jurassic Park, which makes him about as contemporary as a hoop skirt.
Dana Moreno puts our ears through the fire. She offers to take direction, and Simon programs in "Hell" on her GPS.
Kaneswa Finnie is going to sing an Anita Baker song. She's self-confident, but that confidence is mostly mis-placed when it comes to her singing style. Of course she's got the nightmarish stage mom who thinks that every single sound that comes from her baby's mouth, including burps and vomit noise, is pure musical perfection. Kaneswa is cute, but entirely off-key. Simon claims that it got progressively worse as it went along, which would mean it went from horrible to borderline criminal. Kara blames Kaneswa's mother for deluding her into such visions of vocal grandeur, and Simon has the bright idea to have the PA fetch the mom in for another exploitative moment. Simon implies that people would probably throw things at Kaneswa when she sings if she ever stopped moving. It kind of makes you wonder why Simon hasn't had more suicides in front of his house. Kaneswa's mom, still leaving in fantasy-land, is convinced that a travesty of justice greater than any O.J. verdict has occurred.
Julissa Veloz is labeled as a "beauty queen," despite the fact that she sort of looks like a tranny hooker. Her clothes are supposed to indicate that she's some kind of pageant veteran, but I think you'd find that ensemble worn more frequently by crazed bag ladies than by pageant winners. She's an okay singer, but kind of all over the place, lyrics and all. Unconcerned about possible future suicides, the judges proceed to make fun of her admittedly weird laugh, without directly claiming that Fran Drescher called and wants it back. On the same subject, Julissa's got some chompers on her, doesn't she? As a friend of mine used to say, that girl could eat corn off a cob through a picket fence. At this point, Paula goes mental and leaves the stage for some reason. Julissa chases her, and there's the second implication of Paula making out with a girl tonight. Julissa is on to Hollywood.
Darin Darnell gets to be the dancing fool. Nope, no racist caricatures on this show! No sirree! After several scenes of the comically-impaired Darin allowing himself to be exploited on camera, we get to meet his friend, whose name I forget, but as it happens it doesn't really matter since the guy got cut and left the arena in a heaving sobbing mess. So like every falsely confident person, Darin completely loses his crap and starts out his audition by crying like a little baby girl with snapping turtles in her diaper. And well he should, since once he starts singing, everyone within earshot begins weeping similar tears of torment and pain. Simon cuts him short, because it's gone past ridiculous. Kara reminds Darin that the music business is a cruel mistress, and that if he will cry like that during something as ridiculous as an American Idol audition, then he'll never be able to survive having to get coffee and donuts for a record company exec.
Naomi Sykes is excited, though. She compares herself to Mariah Carey. Simon says that means she's a "talented looney," again showcasing this show's empathy for performers with mental health issues. Naomi's friend wants to meet Randy. She's called in and they do some weird running thing that should be scored by Vangelis' "Chariots of Fire". The friend, Samantha, gets to sit on Randy's lap, now that he's lost weight and actually has one. Naomi sings Minnie Riperton's "Loving You". Paula sits on Simon's lap, and Ryan sits on Kara's lap. Kara actually grabs Seacrest by the man-boobs, and I've rarely seen a supposedly-heterosexual man look so out of his element. And as soon as Naomi starts singing, all the oxygen leaves the room. Paula passes out. The outcome is predictable. Naomi cries and here comes all the hugging.
Day 2 is on, with no reduction in stupid auditions to be found in this season, despite all the pre-season claims.
Jasmine Murray is a very pretty sixteen year old with a lovely family. She sings Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry," which is a song that's much too big for even Fergie. Jasmine sings it well, though, even though she projects a bit too much through the nose instead of reaching deep. Simon finds her very commercial, and she's going to Hollywood. Good luck!
George Ramirez and his beard are given the whole homeless college student treatment. You can tell he's going to be awful, and it's barely even worth going into, because you just know that he's just jockeying for more camera time. George loves physics and music equally, as we discover in his interminable feature package. Simon asks where George would see himself in 11 years, and I get the feeling that Simon sees George upgrading from cardboard box to full-fledged dumpster in that time frame. George obviously didn't write a script for this character he's playing and as a result has absolutely no answer for an excruciatingly long time, and then he says he wants a simple house with the exception of marble floors, which is sort of like saying you want a studio apartment with a three car garage. On with the awful... Well what can I say, but he's awful. Mary Roach awful, in the sense that he's an actor who is hamming it up for the camera. Dismissed!
At this time, Kara would like to announce to the world that she has cleavage. She was afraid you might not have noticed.
Anne Marie Boskovich, 24, is awestruck by Kara, whom she actually saw performing once at an expo in Nashville. Apparently the impression was so great that Anne Marie actually knows the words to one of Kara's more obscure songs. Within only a second or two, Simon automatically has a problem with Ann Marie's self-effacing attitude. Some people might call it endearing, and some recappers like myself might be absolutely enchanted with her without any change at all, but apparently the judges are really looking for the Jerk Factor this year. She's tasked with the mission of coming back as a whored-up superstar diva.
T.K. Hash is back this year after not quite making it last year. He sings an adaptation of John Lennon's "Imagine," which is barely recognizable, but quite frankly better than the original. (I hate that song. It's one of the most over-rated and least inventive songs ever.) Paula thinks he's improved from last year. Randy agrees, but thinks he improved maybe just a bit too much and is going over the top. Simon says no. Randy says yes. Paula says yes. Kara, who hasn't had her name pronounced correctly thus far by Simon OR Randy, tips the scales in favor of Hollywood.
Families butter up the contestants. Really, folks, STOP. You know your child can't sing. You've known it since your kid was five years old, belting out showtunes in the supermarket and garnering evil stares from other shoppers. You've known it since they've been rejected from every single local talent show that you consistently enter them in. STOP LYING TO YOUR CHILDREN. If your kid can't handle his physics homework, do you tell him to become an engineer?? If your child can't spell to save his life, do you encourage him to become a journalist?? No. Why would it be different with singing? It is much more kind to let them know early on in life what they are and are not able to do.
One such family surrounds Michael Perelli, who carries his guitar everywhere he goes. You just know that he is one of those guys who annoys everyone everywhere he goes. He's that guy who you stopped inviting to your parties because he would always bring that stupid guitar and start playing his ridiculous insipid songs and make everyone go home early. He's the guy whose dates never worked out because he brought the guitar and felt the need to serenade with an alarming frequency. Apparently being a musician is Michael's full time job, in the sense that he sits on the street corner and people throw money into his case to make him stop. The producers won't allow him to use the guitar in his audition, and he goes through a separation anxiety appropriate for the deaths of everyone he knows and loves. He sings Third Eye Blind's "Jumper", and its obvious that the reason he needs his guitar is to drown out his voice. It's very wrong. He's not a terrible singer, but he isn't anywhere near good either. Michael cries and cries about his stupid guitar, which fails to impress Simon, who proceeds to condemn him to garage-band-dom. Michael comes up with a ton of excuses, whines a bunch, and gets on everyone's nerves, including the judges and pretty much all of America. He gets rejected and then storms off into the holding room in a fit of self-pity and unrighteous indignance. His mother attempts to console him, to which he responds by yelling at his mother not to touch him, which makes him look like a huge jerk, so much so that Ryan Seacrest tells him off. Ryan doesn't tolerate disrespect of one's mother.
Anne Marie Boskovich is back. She elects to do Colbie Caillat's "Bubbly." She performs it quite well. She's got a fan here! She needs to work on her stage presence, but she's entirely likable, and the transformation works out in her favor. Hollywood.
A crowd of people sing us out with Katrina and the Waves' "Walkin' on Sunshine." And I'm now blind because of the guy who flashed his chest at the camera. Yikes. Later!