Wednesday, January 23, 2013

AI Season 12- Charlotte Auditions

Did you know that Charlotte has a race track? Evidently I was supposed to know that already. Oh well.

The TMZ yahoos and everyone else in the media world buzzed and buzzed over the feud between Mariah and Nikki. I don't believe in it, or at least I think that the original incident was prodded and embroidered and increased and roiled to an incredible degree just to drum up viewership, because lord knows, no one would tune into this silly show just for the singing. At any rate, whatever happened, we'll see it tonight, and for some reason, that is supposed to excite us.

Randy is channeling Simon in a black v-neck tee shirt. Keith is in a blue short-sleeved plaid shirt. Mariah is in a green knit dress with a black belt and a whole lotta cleavage. Nikki is in a huge pink cotton candy wig (which sticks out on the sides but is strangely flat in the back), and a rather cute white puffy-sleeved dress with a demure high neckline. Well, it was cute until I saw the bubble hem, but still, it's far more normal than anything else I've seen her wear.

First up is Naomi Morriss, 20. Naomi is wearing a home-made studded bra which barely contains her heaving bosom. This studded bra (and the nearly uncontained flesh) peek proudly from an orange blazer, all worn over a very tight black skirt. I do not say this lightly: she looks like a stripper. She's singing Respect, and oh... it's so, so, so terrible. I'm glad it's terrible. I don't ever want to see (or hear) Naomi again. Mariah looks like she's in physical pain, Nikki is playing nice and complimenting the outfit. The guys are hyperventilating. Thank goodness they all say no.

What's with the Pina Colada song? They keep playing it in the background. Does it have some connection to Charlotte?

Joel  Nemoyer, 20, is hyper, geeky, clumsy, and a trainwreck. He wants to sing lying down because he got that nifty idea from American Idol itself. It's worse than I thought it would be because in addition to terrible singing from the floor, we get several shots from the nostril cam. .

Brian Rittenberry, 27, is a big guy, a book keeper with a son, and a wife who I fully expect to be dead (long sad story about cancer). I'm glad to learn that she recovered. So it's a Happy Sob Story. Anyway, Brian sings Let It Be in a nice, gospel-style voice, and his very happy, living wife gets to plant a big smooch on Keith Urban's cheek. Happiness all around.

Keith shares his snacks with Nikki. How sweet.

Jimmy Smith is 25. He has shaggy blond hair, and he looks like a smug surfer boy. Jimmy, however, says he's country through and through. He auditioned online and was selected, so here he is, singing in an adequate voice with terrible breath control. The judges love him.

A quick montage of yesses: Sarina-Jo (I didn't write anything descriptive, but I did remember the hyphen), Haley Davis (in a filmy top and black bra), and Na'Chelle, whose upper range only dogs can hear. And a bunch of other happy people whose voices we don't get to hear.

It's obvious that we're supposed to be really excited about the coming meltdown because we keep getting hints and portents and foreshadowing and The Music of Impending Doom. They're going to be so disappointed that I don't care.

Scotty McCreery drops in and smiles encouragement at the throng.

Matthew Muse, 23, is very very tall. He wears a cowboy hat over his greasy hair, which makes him look even taller. He has a scraggly mustache and beard, and I'm tired of him already. He thinks he sounds like Brad Paisley, and he walks around as he sorta sings. He's completely hopeless and has no idea how bad he really is.

Randy hopped on a school bus to get Isabelle Gonzales, 16, from her high school. Isabelle is a normal, adorable kid, and she's very surprised that her aunt nominated her for the show. She's wearing a blue flowered dress and has bobby pins in her hair and booties on her feet. I like her jazzy voice. She bobbled a bit at the end, but she's as cute as a bug's ear and was plenty good enough to move on to Hollywood. Her family celebrates with Silly String.

Taisha Betha, 21, is the only girl in a rock band. She has long hair, a nose ring, a striped knit shirt, and skinny jeans. She says she's an alternative rock singer, but then she sings Folsom Prison Blues, sounding pretty much like any girl who sings that song. She's a little breathy but okay. Then she sings a snip of Alanis Morrissette which isn't nearly as good as the Cash bit. Keith and Nikki say yes, Randy and Mariah say no. For some reason, Keith has the deciding vote tonight, so Taisha goes through.

They keep trying to convince us that tensions are rising. We keep not caring.

I didn't catch Summer's last name. She's blonde and is wearing a floaty peach and cream zig-zag striped top. She's okay, but not great. And here's how things unfold: Nikki likes her. Keith asks what kind of music she wants to sing, Summer says that she did the *country thing* and is now ready to move on. Keith is visibly offended at the dismissal of his genre. Randy says that Summer should sing Country. Mariah is earnest and also thinks that Summer should sing Country. Keith pointedly says that it's a singing contest, and on that alone, he votes yes (meaning that Summer herself can drop off the face of the earth for all he cares). Mariah and Randy both say yes but they make it sound conditional, only if Summer agrees to sing Country. Nikki is confused and annoyed and very much not liking the notion that the auditioners have to climb into their little boxes and stay there, especially if it's not the box that they want to get into (she has never watched this show, I guess). Mariah responds snottily. Nikki responds more snottily, and then with a bleep, Nikki walks out, and production shuts down for the day.

That was it. That was the Big Feud. The Huge Dustup. The Major Setback. The Media Buzz. The Ratings Bonanza.

God, this show sometimes. I can't even.

You know what I can't even more? The fact that Nikki was right. Words I never thought I'd type.

Day 2- oooh, can you feel the tension, the angst?

Randy is in a blue and white stripey preppy sweater. Keith is in a blue tee shirt with some sort of orange duck (or maybe it's a woodpecker) on it. Mariah, unsmiling, is in a purple dress with a deep neckline and a highly superior attitude. Nikki looks like a psychedelic cab driver, in yet another ridiculous hat, and long, straight, pink hair. Unless I say otherwise, assume that her lipstick always matches her hair.

Brandy Hamilton is pretty, and here's something else I thought I'd never type in conjunction with this show: I love her outfit. She's a solid gal, wearing a tight black and white horizontally striped knit dress, black leggings, and an orange sweater. Somehow, this looks terrific on her. Brava Brandy! Brandy sings Etta James, but not the one we usually hear. She has a big, lovely voice and gets four yesses. On her way out, she lectures the judges, telling them that they make everyone sad when they fight. I roll my eyes, but Nikki looks abashed.

Ashley Smith, is 22. She is wearing an ugly, cheap blonde wig that is carelessly styled, dark glasses, a stained pink shirt, and white lipstick. She also has nose jewelry that hangs from the nostril divider, like a bull ring. Ashley is a motormouth- talking and moving constantly. Ashley clomps in front of the judges and declares an intention to sing Carrie Underwood's Cowboy Casanova  a song that sounds pretty terrible even when Carrie sings it. Everyone braces for the onslaught, but you know what? Ashley has a good voice. Ashley may even have an excellent voice. I want her to go clothes shopping with Brandy Hamilton before they all get together in Hollywood.

Nikki likes nicknames- she gives one to every single auditioner. Most of Nikki's nicknames make no sense at all. You know what else makes no sense? Nikki's clothes. We see clips from future episodes and there is some batshit crazy coming our way.

Janelle Arthur, 22, has interestingly highlighted blonde hair (I'm not being snarky- it is interesting, and really kind of pretty, all sort of stripey). She's wearing a long, layered, floaty sundress and feather earrings. Janelle was a child of the musical theater. Her voice is not my style, but she's fine and is going to Hollywood.

Ah, the Bad Singer Montage. But not the Angry Bad Singer Montage, for which I am grateful.

Rodney Barber looks like Darrel from The Office. He's a street singer with lots of hair restrained by a black bandana and an oddly perched purple ball cap. Rodney used to be homeless, and now he helps other homeless folks. Rodney has a rich, unadorned voice, and he sings without too many runs (always a plus in my book). He moves like a street singer and not a stage performer, so it'll be interesting to see how he develops.

Keith leaves for a concert, so Randy moves in between Nikki and Mariah, though they appear to have called a truce.

Candice Glover was cut last year in Vegas. She has purple and black hair, white pants, a pink sleeveless top (over a black bra- sigh), and a very pointy necklace that looks like it would be painful in a hug. She needs some makeup. Candice has a Big Voice. A Huge Voice. She's this year's Jennifer Hudson. Everyone loves her. Nikki says that she wants to skin Candice and wear her. Yes. Seriously. She actually says that.

Jo'Brio Barber looks very much like someone we saw last week, but I guess not. She's a cute girl in a shortie denim vest and floaty skirt. She hunts, fries, and eats frogs- just the legs, though, not the gooshy belly. Everyone makes croaking jokes. Jo'Brio sings very well,-excellent tone, and does not indulge in a single run. The judges overlook that whole frog-killer aspect and send her to Hollywood.

Brad Harris, 28, is wearing a yellow and gray striped knit shirt, and a driver's cap. He brags that he did a lot of head banging. Literal head banging. I think there may be some residual damage there. He says he used to rap under the name B'akon, which leads into a whole discussion about bacon. He sings A Whole New World (one of Ruben Studdard's best performances in Season 2, back when this show could still surprise you). It's awful. It's worse than awful. The judges are rude to Brad, refusing even to shake his hand on the way out.

Finally, the last audition of the show, which means we're in for another Sob Story. Seretha Guinn is 26. She's a hairstylist and the mother of a purely adorable little girl named London. Seretha's boyfriend was seriously injured in a car accident- so seriously that he's still recovering. Seretha's boyfriend does not know that she is auditioning, and Seretha thinks this will be a wonderful surprise for him. Surprise, Seretha's Boyfriend- your girlfriend is going to leave you and your daughter for months to be on a reality singing show. Aren't you happy?

Seretha comes in with London (resplendent in shy smiles and a tutu) who is carrying a stuffed Hello Kitty that is nearly as big as she is. Seretha explains that London loves Nikki and even has a pet name for her, and that London wants to give the stuffed Kitty to Nikki. I groan a bit when Seretha says she's going to sing Fresh Prince of Bel Aire, because how in the world are the judges going to be able to send her home in front of that adorable little girl? Not to worry- Seretha has one of those high, jazzy voices, and the song is interesting. She sings another, more melodic, song, and that's good too. She's good to go.  Nikki cries, and now Seretha gets to surprise her healing boyfriend. He'll be so happy for her.

37 Golden tickets were handed out in Charlotte. Tomorrow: Baton Rouge


Jody said...

I sent the link to my daughter who is a big fan of the show. I rarely watch it, but sometimes stop in & catch a few minutes.
Enjoyed reading your take on it.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your synopsis of the show. It saves me the pain of having to watch it. To me, the auditions are an exercise in cruelty. For sure, the really horrid singers don't get past the preliminary auditions and are just sent to the 'celebrity judges' to be demeaned.

I cannot watch Nikki Minaj.