Tuesday, January 19, 2010

AI Season 9, 01-19-10 Chicago Auditions

I missed the first few minutes of the episode because of a phone call, but I managed to note that the crew is in Chicago, and that Shania Twain is the guest judge, and that there are a whole lotta hopefuls waiting (and for the record, we all know that the stadium shots and first culls happen days or weeks before the judges get to any given tryout city. I don't know why they continue to pretend that it all happens on the same day).

First up, in a pink babydoll dress, foofy hair, and pirate boots, is Katelyn Epperley, whose voice is pleasant and solid. It's nice to hear a good singer first, for a change.

I don't know which is more unfortuante, Randy's soul patch, or his mis-matching plaids.

Some sort of tour guide rattles off the many names of Chicago (which list, I note, does not include Chicagoland, a term Sam Champion from GMA often employs. Here in Dakotaville, we have an irrational hatred for that designation).

I have high hopes for 26 year old Amy Lang, with the flower in her hair. I love The Big Girls, especially Big Girls who josh with Ryan (sporting a Kris Allen costume tonight). Unfortunately, Amy's boobs are hugely talented, but her voice is not.

Charity DeVance, lives in a beauty salon in Arkansas. She's 16 and is wearing a cute swirly skirt and shortie sweater. She sings Summertime. Her voice is thin but okay, and her lower range is nicer. She gets a ticket, but I don't expect her to make it very far in Hollywood.

Evidently, Chicago has a lot of bad hairstyles (not that everyone massed there was from Chicago, or that AI Cattle Callers are a statistical sample, but lordy, there was a lot of horrrible hair). Ditto the wackos.

I recognize 28 year old Angela Martin, as well I should- she tried out in Season 7, making it to Hollywood before being cut, and Season 8, making it to the Top 50  before having to bow out for a court appearance (details were sketchy- I'm sure someone on The Interwebz will ferret out the details before morning). In addition to being a proven talent, she has a special needs child, a story of tragedy and death, and traffic court. She's a shoe-in.

Altogether, 7 kids moved on to Hollywood on Day 1. It surely would have been nice to hear each of them, given that this is a singing contest. Note to Katelyn: no prancing unless you're on a yellow brick road.

Day 2: Shania is wearing a flowing flower print, Kara is in black satin, Randy has wisely opted for navy blue (though he's still sporting the soul patch), and omigod, Simon is wearing v-neck white tee under a gray grandpa cardigan with the sleeves pushed up to the elbows.

Curly Newbern is 26 and dressed like an orderly. Dogs in three counties howl as he "sings", and Shania can barely hold it together as he massacres whatever song it is that he's "performing".

Alannah H is not only totally untalented, she's clueless as well, not understanding the judge's request to start lower.

Next we have a black and white montage of unfortunates. Then Brian Krause makes Tiny Tim look (and sound) talented. By noon on Day 2, there have been no gold tickets awarded.

Lucky for us, Harold Davis is as awful as those who came before him, because his arrogance is already wearisome and he's only been on camera for a minute. He cries what my mom used to call Crocodile Tears, when he's sent packing.

The show has been looking for a male Asian singer for a long time, and may finally have found one in John Park. He sings an obscure Three Dog Night oldie (which is probably an older blues song, I just happen to know it from TDN. And high school) in a lovely, deep voice. Shania compliments his bottom end, meaning his lower range, and of course that segues into a series of double entendres that goes on far too long.

Paige DeChausse has asthma. We spend a lot of time talking about that. She sings Sam Cooke's A Change is Gonna Come (which happens to be the song that made me fall in love with Taylor Hicks). She changes up it up a bit and does okay with it.

Justin Ray has a head of dense, improbable curls, Keith Semple has a mohawk, and Marcus Jones has very little hair. All three are moving on to Hollywood.

Only 13 golden tickets from 12,000 auditioners. Broken record time: since so few were awarded, why couldn't we hear them all?

Tomorrow- Orlando and an unnamed guest judge.

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