Our local news was full of one Audri Vargas, of Sioux Falls, who was supposed to be on AI tonight. However, unless she was in one of those quick montages of the Hollywood Bound, she was nowhere to be seen. That may bode ill for her, since the Golden Ticket Unseen are often cannon fodder. On the other hand, Kris Allen, Bo Bice, Allison Iraheta, Jason Castro... oh and Kelly Clarkson, were all sprung on us in Hollywood, so it's not an automatic kiss of death. But since she wasn't actually in this episode, we'll file her name in the memory banks, and get this party started.
Speaking of Kelly, she auditioned in Dallas. And she fell down, though we didn't see that footage until after her coronation. 11,000 hopefuls would happily fall down if that would help them follow in her footsteps. Tonight's guest judge is the wonderful Neil Patrick Harris, who is nattily dressed in a striped vest, gray button-down shirt, and tie. Kara is wearing a red satin top with a wide black leather belt over pants, and 20lb eyelashes.
Julie Kevelighan, former and current horrible auditioner, and possible stripper, sings better than she did on her earlier gitcha gitcha ya ya, but she's still nowhere near good enough. NPH critiques her sign, and I think I love him.
I try and fail to decipher the logo on Ryan's red polo shirt. I don't know if it's a word or a symbol, or just some sort of Magical Ryan Imagery.
Lloyd Thomas is a dock worker, and he looks like one. He's a big fella with a white shirt and tie, a great smile, and two of the most adorable little girls this show has ever thrown at us. He also sings Stevie, which is generally a mistake. But Lloyd has a rich, lovely and unadorned voice. He does one of the best Stevies I've heard.
Kimberly Carver has dark hair and very light eyes. She sings an original song, which is also usually a mistake, but this song is good, and her jazz styling is fun, and she goes through even though Simon says no.
Speaking of Simon, he and NPH aren't agreeing to disagree, they're just disagreeing, and Simon's annoyance seems real. Or more real than the Kara/Katy kerfuffle last night. If I have to take sides, I'm going with Doogie.
Dexter Wood has sleestak hair, and that's the best thing about him. NPH looks like he's in pain.
Erica Rhodes was one of the kids on the old Barney show. She feels the need to prove that she's all grown up now, though if she hadn't emphasized her saurian past, the distinction wouldn't be necessary because surely, no one would recognize her. She strides in, cracking a whip (seriously), wearing a black leather mini dress, and stiletto boots with about 40 buckles. She sings in a thin, high-pitched voice that makes my ears bleed. And she's moving on to Hollywood.
Dave Pittman has Tourette's Syndrome, which seems to manifest itself in tics and throat clearing, but not when he sings. He has a nice enough voice, a bit too much embroidery for my taste, but good. He gets a Golden Ticket, but I wonder how he'll do in the Hollywood cauldron.
15 kids got tickets on the first day. We see a quick montage of some of them, but only a girl who collapses, and a blonde with a big black bow on the back of her head, make an impression.
Day 2 replaces NPH with Joe Jonas. I would love to plead Jonas Ignorance, but Frog, Bee, and Ladybug Girls all have huge crushes on him. They have each written gushing fan letters, mailed to an address I dutifully looked up online (which neither the unworthy young man, nor his PR staff, have answered).
Todrick Hall worked with Fantasia in The Color Purple on Broadway. He sings a little ditty that he wrote about himself as an American Idol auditioner. He has a nice voice, but gimee a break.
Dawntoya Thomason is wearing a weird necklace made of three golden flowers, and Stephanie (didn't catch her last name), has Janis hair. Both move on.
Meghan Wright has frayed shortie shorts and a blue tank top and Mardi Gras beads. She tells us a story about her divorced and remarried parents, as though that has any bearing on anything. She also introduces her annoying little brother. Luckily for her, she has a strong and sure voice, because this year, she's going to need a lot more than a broken home to garner the sympathy vote.
Vanessa Johnson is all hot pink and perky. She murders At Last.
Christian Spears is 16 and a leukemia survivor. She's wearing a white peasant blouse, a wide brown belt, and blue dirndl. She has a big talent which needs seasoning, but the judges love her.
Next week: Denver, and maybe more Posh.