So, they all start somewhere? Do tell.
Ryan recaps the Season 8 Finale, which I already did. He touches on Paula's departure, and the eight guest judges, and Paula's replacement, who is some lady named Ellen. We then see a quick preview of the good, the bad, and the yellow slips, crowds of auditioners, and a sea of umbrellas, and hear this year's obnoxious catch phrase, though I highly doubt that any of those particular kids will be the next American Idol.
Boston Day 1: 9,000 kids, many of them deluded and/or showing vast amounts of cleavage, gathered in the rainy city where everybody knows your name. Kara emerges from the limo in a lizard print dress and very pretty hair. Victoria Beckham is perhaps the skinniest woman in the world. You'd think that someone so rich could afford better hair. She's wearing an odd red dress and really heavy makeup. Randy and Simon are dressed exactly like Randy and Simon.
For a brief moment, I hope that Janet McNamara will break the AI First Audition Tradition, and actually be good. It was a very brief moment. Janet, in sparkly, ill-fitting clothes, is a disaster. A disaster whose armpits need a trim, and who didn't get the memo about Paula.
16 year old Maddy Curtis looks and dresses exactly like a 16 year old girl, which is refreshing. She's also the youngest girl in a large family which includes four biological and adopted Down's Syndrome brothers. She seems like an extremely sweet kid and I really hope I'm not going to watch her heart break. I groan when she says she's going to sing Hallelulia, but I needn't have worried. She miffs the high note, but has a lovely voice otherwise. She gets a ticket and sweet hugs from her big brother.
Ooooh, here's a whiny, dark-haired guy. We'll see more of him later, I'm sure.
Pat Ford, in his stripey shirt, is deeply annoying, and sings Britney badly. Randy offerrs perhaps the only relevant advice he's given in the history of the show when he suggests that Pat stop singing. Permanently.
Jennifer Hirsch scats, which is not something I care to listen to, though the judges like her.
Claire Fuller's voice is soul-y, or maybe more accurately: soul-ish. She gets through but I doubt she'll make it past Hollywood.
Jess Wolfe has adorable hair and glasses, and not so adorable tights and black boots. I like her voice a lot.
Amadeo Diricco is a large Italian man with a large Italian family. I get hungry watching the feast he prepares for them. He's 28 and sings something by Muddy Waters. I'm not sure what to make of his voice. I think he has one in there somewhere, but it was hard to tell with this song. I'll be curious to hear him in Hollywood. His brothers and cousins celebrate noisily and passionately. I'm amazed no one got hurt.
Derek has unfortunate skin which needs blotting, lanky blond hair, and is the polar opposite of Amadeo. He compares his voice to Chris Brown and The Eagles, and... oh my...if you look up nasal in the dictionary, you'll hear Derek channeling about 20 different singers, none of them Don Henley.
And here's a montage of crying girls and guys and mommas.
Commercial break: what the heck happened to Luke Wilson?
Pink-haired Mere Doyle is an Anime freak with a sour mother. Sometimes pink-haired girls attempt Janis and do okay. Mere is not one of them. She's our first back-talker, and does not gracefully accept constructive criticism.
Luke Shaffer and Benjamin Bright harmonize nicely in the anteroom. They sing well in their auditions and both move on.
Ah, here's our whiny guy. I knew we'd see him again. Sometimes the show edits footage to stack the deck either for or against the kids, and sometimes we fall for the manipulation. I don't think Andrew Fenlon needed any Evil Edits, he managed to alienate all four judges (Kara in particular) and millions of viewers (well, me anyway) in a very short period of time. His voice isn't all that bad, though he needs to work on phrasing, but he was so obnoxious that he killed his own chances on the spot. I do hope they don't bring him back purely for the drama.
Oh hey- Kris Allen! In a Fordmercial.
Bill Bloom and Michael Ryan, theater majors both, tank in a particularly theatrical manner.
Ashley Rodriguez, also a music student, with a teeny sparkly nose stud, has exactly the look and voice that the show loves. Me? not so much, though I admire her ability to jump in stilettos.
Drummer Tyler Grady broke both of his arms falling out of a tree. He has lots of hair and a chin of Leno proportions, and may actually be wearing a Qiana shirt. He sings Let's Get it On, which is one of my all-time favorite songs. I don't know if his voice really is all that good, or if I just love that song so much, but I'm glad he made it through.
We're shown a slew of successful Hollywoodians, but are not allowed to hear them sing.
Boston Day 2: Posh's hair looks better, and she's wearing a chiffon-shouldered blue dress that is fit for tea with The Queen. Kara is in purple ruffles and has her hair pulled back. Ryan gives us a dorky history lesson, wasting time that could better have been used letting us listen to a few of yesterday's kids.
Lisa Olivero is a waitress. She's not as cute as she thinks she is. Nor is she as talented.
Ryan Keane massacres Ring of Fire, followed by Next William Hung, Mohawk Girl, Some Royalty, and Fiah Fightah.
Bearded Mike Davis is a trick boat driver, a job that I didn't even know existed. He sings Yesterday with a lot of Boy Band Embroidery, but is okay. Inexplicably, Randy says no while the other Judges give him the okay.
Katie Stevens is 16 and has a Portuguese Grandma with Alzheimer's disease. The show obviously wants us to love her because we hear her singing Etta James before and during her audition. Normally, I would roll my eyes at a 16 year old attempting At Last, but this kid has a great voice. And what's more, she imbues the song with a fair amount of soul. She's my fave of the night.
Joshua Blaylock, 28, has an okay voice and is too nice to tell Simon to shut up.
We see more Lyric Forgetters, Old Cowboy who luckily has a fallback position as a dumptruck driver, and Additional William Hungs (Williams Hung?).
Justin Williams is a cancer survivor with intense blue eyes. He says he was diagnosed while on a mission in Spain. Since he doesn't mention the armed services, I assume it was a religious mission. He hails from Sandy, UT, so I think I nailed that one. He has a nice soulful voice, and a good falsetto.
Norberto Guerro defies description, though Simon comes close ("LaToya Jackson with a beard").
Bosa Mora's mama wears heroic headgear, and his many sisters root for him enthusiastically. He does not have the deep, rich voice that I expected, but it's pleasant just the same. Simon is right- he needs to sparkle.
Leah Laurenti from Long Island, in a strapless mini, is another Nose Stud Girl. She has an excellent voice and does a jazzy version of Blue Skies. The Hub pegs her as this year's fragile one.
So 32 kids, of 9,000, made it through to Hollywood from Boston. We heard 15 of them, which is a higher percentge than usual I think.
tomorrow night: Atlanta