Thursday, January 20, 2011

AI Season 10- Thursday Feb 20, New Orleans Auditions

Boo and hiss, American Idol. I have other things that I want to watch on Thursday evenings. In fact, tonight I had four shows all airing at the same time- we're recording the Barrett Jackson Auctions for The Hub, and Community for me, watching AI in the bedroom (since our DVR can only record two channels if you watch one of them, and the bedroom TV is connected to a different, DVRless receiver), and we're missing Wipeout altogether. Move back to Tues/Wed, m'kay?

That said, there is a totally different vibe this year, and I don't think it's just the lack of Simon (who I didn't love, and don't miss). It's... I don't know... gentler?

Anyway, we open with a clip from Oct. 17, and terrible Blake Patterson is playing the piano and has to be escorted out by his Mama. I am pretty sure he was in on the joke.

So, we're in NOLA, which means there will be beads and masks and sequins. Steven Tyler is wearing an incredibly stupid, tiny hat with a Dr. Seuss-style feather, perched on the back of his head. Randy is channeling Simon in a white v-neck tee. JLo's red dress has a Flash Gordian shoulder. Just one Flash Gordian shoulder. The other is bare.

Ryan, looking decades younger in an old clip, mispronounces French names.

Back in the present, Jordan Dorsey is a vocal teacher who prides himself on being a tough taskmaster. Often, when people present themselves thusly, they can't deliver, but Jordan's Somewhere Over the Rainbow is lovely, though it goes on too long and is far too embroidered for my taste (I need to make a macro for that phrase). He has a truly gorgeous voice.

Louisiana has alligators, swamps, wild pigs, Nawlins, and bad singers. Who knew?

Blonde Sarah Sellers is wearing a strappy red dress, funky glasses and black high heeled booties. She has an excellent speaking voice. Her singing voice is bluesy, and exactly the kind of voice that I love. I hesitate to choose favorites this early in the season, but I'll be watching Sarah.

23 year old ship builder, Jovany Barreto is very full of himself. He's wearing a natty vest and tie, a dark shirt, and jeans. He sings in Spanish, and has an excellent voice and he sucks up to JLo shamelessly. Then he ruins everything by taking off his shirt. Your abs do not impress me, young man. Put your clothes back on.

Fun Louisiana Facts: The Brown Pelican is the state bird. The Magnolia is the state flower. It's shaped like a boot. And it produced Randy Jackson.

Speaking of which, Jacquelyn Dupree, the daughter of Randy's high school football coach, brings not only Daddy to the room, but some old photos and clippings for Randy. She sings, and it's not terrible and it's not good. I imagine if she hadn't had a personal connection to Randy, that she would have been gently ushered out the door without a ticket.

16 year old, Carrot Toppish Brett Lowenstern, is odd. With a really odd, high-pitched speaking voice and That manner. But he has an extremely supportive family, and he wants to help other odd kids feel okay about themselves, which goal I support wholeheartedly. Guess what- he's good, with a singing voice that is nothing like his speaking voice. He sings Bohemian Rhapsody, not a song well suited to a capella, and he nails it. I am deeply impressed.

Gabriel Franks won a Steven Tyler lookalike contest. He's annoying even before he sings Bad Romance. Luckily, I have managed to know nothing about Lady Gaga's musical oeuvre, so I have no idea how close this rendition is to the original, but it does not amuse me.  It does not amuse the judges either.

This leads to a montage of terrible deluded, elderly, tone-deaf, costumeful, and just plain crazy auditioners.

Alex Attardo attended Idol Camp at age 16, and said it was an eye-opening experience. He sings Proud Mary. Oh well, at least he had fun at camp.

J.C. Batteaux, is a short, round, pink-cheeked 15 year old boy with a 12 year old voice. By all appearances, J.C, has yet to reach puberty. He sings Dock of the Bay, and if you close your eyes and listen, it sounds as though it's being sung by a woman with a good voice. If you open them, you are instantly confused.  He gets a golden ticket, but if his voice changes in mid-season, he's going to be in trouble.

The last auditioner of the evening on this hour long episode, is 23 year old Paris Tassin. Paris has a hard luck story, and she cries openly over the fact that at age 18, she gave birth to a little girl with hydrocephaly. I am not moved by Paris's tears- her daughter is adorable, and she is four years old. By now, the facts of her life should be every-day, not tear-inducing. I suspect that the tears are only for show, trotted out to win sympathy, and future votes, which hardens my tiny little heart. She tells the judges that she has a special needs daughter who she takes care of, as though that deserves some sort of medal. (side note: I really dislike this girl, don't I?). She tackles Carrie Underwood, a move that is usually a mistake. But she pulls it off with a very good performance. JLo must be tired, because she's weeping (our first Paula Moment of the season). We'll be seeing lots of Paris, unfortunately.

And that's that for this week. 37 kids are moved on to Hollywood, including a chubby girl that I would have liked to have heard (I have a soft spot for the round ones, who get very little air time on this show any more).

Next week, Milwaukee and cheese heads. Woohoo! And perhaps another pair of shows with a high percentage of good singers. I like this new mix.


Anonymous said...

My favorite season was the Jason Castro season, I haven't really watched since. Tried to watch the other night, but everything - esp. the judges - just seemed so fake!No more AL for me.

Cathy Ardrey said...

I watch Idol, too, and I mostly agree with your assessments. It seems that in some of the more recent seasons, the producers have tried to send a few unusual, but not very in-tune, voices to Hollywood. I'm glad to see that some of the more interesting voices have better technique and sing in tune this year. It does seem like the back stories of certain contestants are pushed down your throat so that you will like them. It has the opposite effect on me.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kathleen.
You have a new fan :-))
I have sitting here for over 2 hours and reading at your blog and love it.
All your knittingwork, your paperdoll, your pictures...well...I simply love it.
Litle about me:
47 year old singel mum from Norway. Leave in a small house in the countryside with my son, two German Shephard and five cats.
Without to take care of my son, I do a lot of knitting, scrapbooking and training with my dogs.
I love to use yarn from Alpaca and right now I try to make me a big blanket in Aran-style.
I get a lot of inspiration from this site: (it's a Norwegian site who translate to english)...and now I have found me a new site of inspiration...your blog

Sorry to say....I haven't any blog's under construction...
but I would be happy to hear from you.

Thanks again for you lovely blog
Hugs from Trine in Norway

Sorry for my bad english writing

Kathleen Taylor said...

Anon: I actually thought I was going to give AI up too, but I'm back.

Cathy: I feel the same way about the sob stories

Trine: Welcome! I'm so glad you found us! Your English is wonderful! I hope you stay with us!