Thursday, January 19, 2006

American Idol 5 - Denver auditions

OK, I know I will be writing about the American Idol this season but I know I won't be taking notes like this during the mass audition stage of the game. So, I am totally ripping off Sara Cress' blog from the Chronicle. Thank you Sara. My comments are in another color. - Marc

American Idol Season Five
Jan. 18, 2005

I guess Denver doesn't have many talented people. Where the masterminds of American Idol were able to stretch two hours of programming out of Chicago's auditions, Denver's spanned only an hour. But I'm not complaining. Any more American Idol this week would have made me irritable and sleepless.

Let's get to it:

Marlows Davis is first up. He's not nervous, he says, just excited because he's not performing for judges, he's performing for fans. Oh, he's so bad. Oh, he's going to cry. He came such a long way, he whines. They ask where he's from. He's from Denver.

It's at this point that I offer a tip for livening up AI: Allow Simon to carry a gun and cull the sad ones from the herd. OK, maybe that's harsh. How about a paintgun? You can't deny the entertainment value in emotionally fragile kids getting pounded with balls of paint. And holding a gun allows Simon to flex the muscles in his tight muscle shirts, which I suspect is the only reason he does this show anyway.

Next memorable character is David Horning, who wears an American flag as a bandana and a hideous tropical shirt. He sings the line "come on baby, run with me" a few times. Randy says: "Uh, dude? Naw." And this is Randy's second "naw" of the night. Is "naw" the new "dawg"?

And finally we get someone who can actually sing. Lisa Tucker gives me shivers even as she sings an abominable Whitney Houston song. Turns out Lisa's a pro, having appeared on the revived-then-killed-again Star Search in 2003. I'm wary, though. She's clearly been groomed for this sort of competition and I can't stand kids who have been groomed. She's got so much confidence that I sort of hate her. But that's just my own issues talking, don't listen to me. She'll go far, I'm sure. This girl is 16, she can sing.

Brett "Ace" Young is a rocker dude from Los Angeles who sings a song by Westlife. He's all right. Is he wearing blush?

Now we have our first hard-luck story of the night. Rochelle has been evicted from homes left and right. But she's a good singer, so maybe she won't be evicted from another home? I'm not sure how going to Hollywood solves her problems, but she's going.

Cheap shot of the night: Before every commercial the viewer sees teasers of an audition by what is clearly a cross-dressing young man. I guess if you're a 13-year-old girl, you find this sort of thing hilarious.

Next up is a montage of the rock dudes that show up, inspired by Bo and Constantine. Now, tell me, what self-respecting rocker shows up for an American Idol audition? And yet they do and they're horrible and an embarrassment to rock dudes everywhere.

One of them even says: "American Idol rocks!" while flashing some metal. Embarrassing.
The next feel-good story is Chris Daughtry. He has a rock band, and kids and a weepy wife who just wants him to LIVE HIS DREAM. Sob, sob. He sings Joe Cocker's The Letter as my boyfriend sings along in the kitchen: "My baby knit me a sweater." Chris is pretty good, but Simon says, "I'm not sure I'm seeing charisma here." The judges argue and the wife waits outside the door crying and he finally comes out and screams and there's hugging and more crying.

Something you may have missed: I noticed that Randy was wearing white patent-leather shoes. To which I say: Naw, dawg.

The final feel-good story is Garet Johnson. A sweetie-pie kid from Wyoming who has known nothing in his life but bein' a cowboy. He's only ever performed for his turkey. His turkey, people! Before the audition, dad says, "Garet, git-r-done." As much as I abhor that phrase, I loved hearing it in this context.

Garet sings Can You Feel the Love Tonight and there are moments that actually sound rich and deep, like old, fat Elton. And you can hear that he's putting his heart into it and he really means it. He quietly tells the judges, "I only sing in front of a turkey." The judges show concern. Could he get lessons somewhere? Would he have the money for them? Because he's got potential. But you know this kid isn't going to have money for lessons and isn't going to have another chance like this so, shockingly, Simon says yes and so does Randy. Oh, Garet! You are my new hero!

Day two brings us a couple of dumb weirdos. A guy who calls himself "Flawless" and wears these pajama outfits that match from head to toe. He calls himself an entrepreneur (well, the actual word was something like "orange-te-pre-te-newer") because he cleans houses. He's a bad singer and off he goes.

Next there's Ben Hausbach, who wants you to believe he's some kind of genius. He's invented a coaster on which your drink floats, he says, but it doesn't really. He's also horrible and when they try to get him to leave, he says, "You haven't given me a chance to evolve!" Ummm huh?

Imagine it: A paintball rings through the air, Simon's biceps glistening. Coaster Guy gets pelted in the gut with neon orange and falls over, yelling, "but I'm a genius!"

Afterward, "Flawless" tells the camera that he did what he needed to do and Coaster Guy says, "kiss my butt, guys. Kiss my butt."

Mercifully, we're nearing the end. April Walsh, a darling redhead, announces she's going to sing Bjork's It's Oh So Quiet. Randy, for some reason, laughs at this idea. But she's awesome. Simon, of course, dimisses her immediately because she's overweight. Randy and Paula save the day and send her to Hollywood. She has potential.

Oh, and now the big payoff to all those teases. It's Zachary, who is not only confusing but seems rather confused himself. He says people confuse him for a girl all the time and he thinks that's just crazy. But he's wearing girl clothes (in fact, he wore the very shirt I was wearing at the time of watching the show. I got it at Express, if you'd like to know where I shop), so now I'm confused. He sings Whitney Houston's Queen of the Night and I start to wonder if this is a joke, but he cries when they tell him he's terrible. He walks away calling them racists, which is also confusing because he's white. His family is there to comfort him, so I think he'll be OK. I don't know if I will. I'm biting my nails for him. Damn shame.

It left a lingering weirdness over what was an otherwise lovey-dovey show.

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