You know what’s funny about watching [[American Idol (2010 Series)|American Idol]] when you’ve never been to America? You’ve heard of all these cities, but you haven’t got a clue where they are!!!
Tonight’s audition rounds are in Denver, which by way of Mork and Mindy I know is in Colorado. After a quick bit of Google mapping, I discover Colorado is kind of in the middle of America – and actually not too far from Texas (I had a hunch they were close). So, a quick plea to the American Idol producers – can we have some idea of where in your ginormous country you are each week? I’m guessing a geography lesson might help out some of the natives over there too…
And over to the auditions – the trio of permanent judges are joined once again by real-life stick figure and footballer’s wife, Victoria Beckham. Personally, I liked Posh Spice as a judge last time round, so let’s see if she impresses yet again.
Our first auditionee is deluded enough to believe that he looks like Jack Black. Not only that, he’s deluded enough to believe looking like Jack Black is a good thing. It’s not. Have you even seen Jack Black? Add to that his patter to the camera, which is a classic example of how to use words to say absolutely nothing at all – “I’m the guy doin’ the thing that dudes do. And I’m here.” Excellent.
Anyhow, after a thrilling story about how he was abducted by his mother, Mark begins to sing. I’d started to doubt he’d get round to actually auditioning! Posh says she was really surprised. She admits – and is backed up by [[Simon Cowell|Simon]] and Randy – that she thought he was a joke act. Mark’s actually a good singer with a quirky, interesting look, and walks away with a golden ticket from our judges.
Nervous giggler Mario arrives in ‘fetching’ green trenchcoat. He auditions with a bit of Elvis and Jailhouse Rock. Now it’s the judges’ turn to giggle. They laugh at him uncomfortably before harshly bursting his bubble.
Moving on from an unfunny audition, we are treated (and I mean treated) to a series of failed auditionees walking out of the venue ready to kill. One guy takes jabs at the camera, another girl swears at the cameraman as she tries to pull her dress up over her ample cleavage while talking on her phone. She could be Multitasking Idol! And so cruelly, I had to laugh, the camera pursues an overweight girl who tries to squeeze between two concrete planters and gets stuck. I couldn’t help it, I laughed! I know, I’m bad. Sorry, America 🙁
Bringing along her cute daughter for support, Kimberly sings The Way I Am for the judges. I was expecting Timbaland’s The Way I Are, and got a bit disappointed about this. The 24 year old sings with a beautiful voice, and gives a few flirty looks toward Simon.
No messing around with unnecessary comments from the judges tonight – she just gets four yeses, but Simon tells her he thinks she’s trouble. Simon guesses that Kimberly was wearing a wig and stylemeister Beckham agrees.
Seattle girl and karaoke queen, Danelle has a weep before the judges when she becomes overwhelmed by the possibility of moving on to something greater through American Idol. And you know what? For once, I believe her. We hear all these stories week after week, but something about Danelle seems genuine.
She sings a Melissa Etheridge song for the judges – it’s a big, belter of a voice. If she goes through, she’ll be labelled the ‘rock one’. Simon describes her as “almost broken” and ironically suggests that she came in just in time “to rescue you from corporate hell”. Excuse me? Mr Moneybags is the antithesis of corporate hell? [[Kara DioGuardi]] describes it as “the most moving audition”, and all the judges send Danelle through to Hollywood round.
Motorbike crash survivor and good-looking rocker Casey James tells us how he almost lost the ability to play guitar (now, that would be upsetting, wouldn’t it?). Without much messing around, we see his audition. Don’t know the song, but he’s got a slight country tinge to his voice. Simon disagrees – no charisma, no effort, no attempt. Posh, disregarding all that singing nonsense, asks him to take his hair down.
When he says he’ll do anything he has to to get famous, Kara seizes the opportunity and asks him to take his shirt off. Slightly desperate, Casey, but way to get yourself noticed. Randy tells him to go get some star persona pills or something.
We take a break while Tori’s daughter (no? must be a sister – Tori’s only 16!) shows the judges some of her drawings. Hilariously, her drawing of [[Randy Jackson]] looks for all the world like Chef out of South Park!
She sings a John Mayer song – and though I didn’t think she’d have a good voice, she really does. Simon earns his nasty stripes for the episode by telling her in front of the child, that her voice is quite annoying. Vicky B argues “quite the opposite – I love the way you look.” She tells Simon that her look does matter. Only three yeses for Tori, but that’s enough to get her through to Hollywood.
Music composition student, Austin, looks like a cool dude. Judging by his antics in the audition waiting area, he’s pretty loose and unreserved, which I immediately like. He gives an…um…unique performance for his audition, quite an offbeat vocal style. Simon looks perturbed. Kara says “You come off a bit cocky.” Simon: “I think you could become very annoying. That’s the kind of voice you’ve got.” And Victoria says “For me, it felt a little bit arrogant. I got a little bit itchy from it.”
The judges reject him, but Kara says she feels he needs to be knocked down a little bit. Afterwards though, Austin is almost speechless. Awwww…
Next up is Kenny Everett, who bills himself as the best singer in the world. He obviously hasn’t heard the old adage under-promise and over-deliver, because he calls himself the male Mary J Blige. Kenny also describes his activities singing in a public park as a ‘service’ to others. He sounds more and more like a drunk homeless guy.
As you might have expected, the singing is all manner of attrocious. It sounds like someone shouting while being sick at the same time. Kenny doesn’t appreciate the reality check he gets from the judges and continues to sing on. In a rare moment, I’m pretty sure I heard Simon Cowell call him ‘dude’. The word doesn’t sound right coming from his plummy English mouth.
Squeaky-voiced wannabe Nicci claims to have flown from Florence to get to today’s auditions. She sings a Girls Aloud song – which surprises me, since I didn’t figure they were well known in the States.
Simon says that she “sings so much deeper than when she talks”. Victoria likes her look and attitude. Randy loves her and Kara agrees. Weirdly, this helium-voiced girl gets a ticket to Hollywood. What the hell? Could this year’s American Idol really be an Alvin and the Chipmunks soundalike?
Haeley gives the now-requisite Inventory of Adversity: born prematurely, father died when she was young. It’s always the last act with the saddest story who sings the best. And it’s always this point where I get angry at the need to exploit someone’s background when they should be sailing through on their talent!
Haeley sings in a country style, and she wants to be one of the first black female country artists. Simon calls her a cute little thing and “what I like about you is you’re different” and Victoria again likes her dress sense. based on her comments in the Denver auditions, we have to wonder if Victoria thought she was judging a fashion show. It’s all been about the dress sense tonight!
More usefully, Randy tells her that he likes that she’s shooting for a specific goal, but warns that she shouldn’t try to sound too much like Carrie Underwood. Kara tells her that she needs to sing lower in her register. Haeley gets a full pass to Hollywood – and she may actually be one to watch in the competition.
Oh, a bonus audition! Clearly tonight’s fake audition, judging by the fact that Ty is the last person to audition after everyone else has cleared out. He walks into the room in a bikini and the judges all literally swear and walk out. Not even remotely funny. Sorry.
And tomorrow night (to us UK viewers, anyway), the final night of auditions before Idol takes us to Hollywood. I can’t wait to find out who’s going to stay on, and no, I haven’t been reading the spoilers!