We missed the start of [[American Idol (2010 Series)|American Idol]] tonight, but the auditions show is in Los Angeles and today’s guest judge is little miss Avril Lavigne. Oooh, and [[Katy Perry]]? It’s a day for hot pop starlets then.
We pick the episode up with a somewhat freakish fella called Neil displaying a pretty huge chip on his shoulder to Simon. It turns out that Simon had accidentally knocked him with a door on the way out of the audition room. I have no idea what he sounded like, but I’m guessing – mostly on appearances, I admit – that it wasn’t a wonderful vocal performance from someone who probably rates himself higher than the record-buying public would.
Family man and pastor (and possibly coolest name of the series), Jim Ranger, comes on with a self-penned tune called Drive. I like his bluesy voice and it’s a decent composition. Avril tells him that he’s got a good voice, but she doesn’t understand how he can be a pop star and manage his church and family at the same time. Kara echoes those sentiments, but the Ranger still walks away with a golden ticket.
Oh no! A comedy martial arts routine from a guy who looks like the lost Wilson brother comes along. He’s a sandwich maker. And he’s an atrocious singer – strangling a version of You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling by the Righteous Brothers. Simon doesn’t even bother with a vote situation, he just tells him to leave.
Mary’s got a cute rock chick look going on. She sings a Pat Benetar song. It’s a passable vocal. Simon says he thinks everything about her is cliched as Randy chuckles. Avril’s every utterance sounds horrible, so I won’t cover what she says, but the judges generally approve of Mary, who will hitherforth be known as the ‘rock artist’ from this year.
A. J. Mendoza
Out of the zillions of Adam Lambert copycats, Mr Mendoza gives a gusty, over the top performance which is actually quite grating. Simon: “It sounded like you’d gone to the dentist about 10 minutes ago.” He asks if he can go again, to which Kara responds “No honey, close that”, meaning his mouth. Awful.
If we need convincing of his awfulness, his friends swear at the camera and he gives the finger in the interview booth. Great attitude, great.
We leave awful Avril behind, thankfully, since she comes across as a 16 year old. Katy Perry arrives, looking yummy in a red dress.
Wearing what looks like a leather Freddie Kreuger jumper, Austin gives a retarded performance which Katy kindly likens to Mick Jagger or Iggy Pop. What a freakish performance. File this under “why didn’t the parents try to discourage him?”
Yeah, boi! Straight outta Compton is Andrew Garcia and his entire family. Daddy was a gang banger (so many rap lyrics are flooding my head right now!), but now that Andrew is a daddy, he wants to provide for his own child by going off on year-long tours and selling lots of records.
To be honest, Garcia doesn’t need the feeble sob story. He delivers a smokey vocal and receives a lot of strong compliments from the judges. Randy tells him “Dude, you got great vocals.” Andrew is headed for Hollywood.
Minister by night, Tasha, gives our valiant judges a blast of a Joss Stone song, sings it sweetly. Simon thinks she has the likeability factor, and the other three judges concurr, so Tasha will be joining Mr Garcia in Hollywood.
Camp old Jason is like the gay reincarnation of Mariah Carey. He sings I Touch Myself by the Divinyls, descending into new levels of cliche. He gives Simon some uncomfortable come-ons, and Katy Perry tells him he made her feel dirty, and not in that way…
He looks like he’s about to molest [[Ryan Seacrest]] on the way out the door, even handing the presenter his card. Seacrest does the right thing – he passes the card to a huge hairy dude. Looks like Jason might have to solicit elsewhere…unless he like his guys on the heavy side.
Surely we can end on a high note? Yes, we can. Orphan Chris sings the classic Stand By Me for the judges and does a wonderful job of it. Randy describes him as “interesting”, while Kara claims he’s one of her favourites at the same time as recognising his “amazing story”. Oh, lord.
Simon’s not a fan. He says “I’m not jumping out of my chair” Katy is likewise underwhelmed, but both cynical judges still give him a pass to Hollywood.
I have to say, I can see why Stevie was so snarky in his review of the LA auditions – talent was thin on the ground tonight – too much focus on the freaks and not enough decent singers. It’s nights like this that lose me – make me think the pool of talent is quite shallow and the finalists will be overhyped to compensate. Please don’t make this mistake, American Idol!