Wednesday, January 30, 2013

AI Season 12- San Antonio/Long Beach Auditions

Two cities tonight, two hours... sigh... Texas, California, boat, horns, tension. Unfortunately, this is American Idol.

Day 1 San Antonio, in a really beautiful theater venue.

Randy is wearing a black and white quilted leather jacket. The white portions look like some sort of coded lettering. Keith is in another plaid shirt, this one half unbuttoned to expose the spiky edges of a chest tattoo. A raven exploded all over Mariah's very low cut red top. Tonight I realized that I have been spelling Nicki's name wrong... oh well. She's wearing her long straight blonde wig, and a totally ordinary casual white sweater. I can't see her lower half, so I don't  know if she carried the theme through or not.

Vincent, 29, was cut last year in the Hollywood rounds. He's bald and easily looks 40. He's wearing a striped shirt, burgundy jeans, and his suspenders are down. Vincent loves him some Mariah. He has a great voice and gets 4 yesses.

Darek and David are brunet brothers. Even in their pre-audition interviews, they're annoying- talking over each other and assuring themselves and each other just how good they are. Unfortunately for Darek and David, they can't sing together, and I'm fairly certain that they also can't sing individually. Nicki tries to be kind (actually, Nicki always tries to be kind), but all four judges say no. The clueless siblings argue and whine and talk back to the judges, and in general even wear Nicki's good will down. They continue to complain for as long as any camera will watch them.

Savannah Voitin has a five year old daughter. She has lank, dark hair, and is wearing a sparkly black tube top under a red shirt. She is not in good enough shape for her low-slung, ripped jeans. Her lipstick is applied in a way that hints that Savannah has no real idea where her lips begin and end. She says she will sing At Last and surprise of surprises, Savannah has a marvelous voice. I did not expect that. She's in dire need of a stylist, which I hope she finds in Hollywood.

Ricky Jo has red and black hair and is a nasally horror.

29 year old Christabel Clack's hair is piled on the top of her head like a soft serve ice cream cone. She's wearing a purple and black striped top with a peplum, black leggings and bootie stilettos (bootielettos? stilooties?). She has three adorable kids, and does well by Alicia Keys.

Ann Difani, former Miss University of Arkansas, was nominated by her husband, and surprised by Randy Jackson at a Razorbacks game. Ann Difani's jaw unhinges to an astonishing degree. She's wearing a green shirt, blue jeans, and slouchy brown boots. She manages to have both straight and big hair. She sings some Faith Hill song and has a nice voice. I am underwhelmed but she moves on.

San Antonio Day 2- same lovely venue.
Randy's wearing a no-collar gray wool jacket with a medal on the chest. Keith is wearing yet another plaid shirt. Nicki is in still another cabbie hat, this time purple over a black straight wig.  Mariah is in a maroon sleeveless dress. Both ladies are sporting considerable boobage.

Victoria Acosta, 20, is a Mariachi singer. We see several clips of her in ethnic costume, singing with her band. For her audition, she's wearing a flowered black tight strappy top over black shorty shorts, and very very red lipstick. She's singing some Fergie song and sounds as good as Fergie does, for whatever that's worth. Everyone thinks her voice is fine but that she isn't connecting with the material. Randy asks her to sing something Mariachi, which she does. This is much much better, and obviously the kind of music she should concentrate on.

We waste time with a montage of terrible singers.

Next is a tall boy with asymmetric lanky blonde hair. He looks maybe 15 but is in fact 19. He says he's a black woman trapped in the body of a white boy, and that he just loooooooves to dance. We'll get this out of the way right now- this kid is gay. He says his name is Papa Peachez. Oy. He sings a really terrible original song, and I do mean terrible- his voice is affected, his posture is the pits, and something he sings is bleepered out. Nicki says yes. Mariah reluctantly says yes. Keith and Randy say no. In San Antonio, Randy has the final says, so I think we'll be rid of PP, but Randy inexplicably caves and sends him through. Again: Oy.

Sanni M'Mairura is 16. His father came from Kenya, his mother from Tanzania. He's a dancer who appears to be able to dance, unlike most people who claim that skill on this show. He's wearing a red plaid shirt and a sleeveless denim jacked, and a backward hat. Sanni is maybe just a tad overconfident as he sings some obscure Michael Jackson song. It's overwrought and nothing about it appeals to me, but I'm in the minority on Sanni.

The last San Antonio auditioner is crying even before he goes in front of the judges. Adam Sanders is beefy, wearing a black and gray plaid shirt and black jeans that are too tight. His speaking voice is very feminine. He sings I'd Rather Be Blind and has a big voice, though little Rachael Crow did a much better job with this same song on The X-Factor, and she was only 13. I think it's far too too too too, but the judges give Adam a Standing O.

Day 1 Long Beach, on the Queen Mary.

California has traffic (who knew?), so Randy, in a gold wool blazer, and Keith in a black blazer over a purple knit shirt, go it alone for awhile.

Shuba Verdula has ringlets and is wearing a red dress with a lace bib over black leggings. She's singing a Christina Aguilera song exactly the way Christina Aguilera would. She gets 2 yesses, which is all she needs.

Mariah finally arrives in her blue negligee. I think from now on, unless I mention otherwise, you can just assume that Mariah's bosom is fixin' to fall out of her top.

Brian Martinez, 21, may be the palest person I've ever seen. He's upright, but I'm not sure he's actually alive. His singing voice rather makes me think otherwise.

Matt Farmer has an incredibly cute little three year old girl, whose booster seat is in the front seat of his car, which is an absolute no-no. Matt is an injured Iraq veteran who was told he'd never be able to father children, so the cutie was a miracle and a gift to him and his wife. He carries her into the audition with him, which seems like overkill to me- I mean, he's a wounded soldier, that's enough of a sob-story for this, or any, show. He sings Sam Cooke's A Change is Gonna Come, which was Taylor Hicks's audition song. It's not surprising that I am not impressed, and from the look on her face, I don't think the little one is either. But Matt gets the nod.

Stephanie Sanson is 16. She has purple hair and is in a band with her sister. The band is called You Only Live Once, which does not bode well. She says she's going to sing an Adele song, and then commences to jumping and screaming and bouncing off the walls. They say no immediately and the 16 year old flips them off. Her mother must be so proud.

Somewhere along the line, Nicki finishes rehearsals for the American Music Awards show. She arrives in a pink curly wig and a black and white cap and dress topped by a zebra fur coat (maybe faux, maybe not) with a lion ruff collar.

Jessiah is 16 and adorable in her captain's cap, blue and white polka dot ruffled skirt, and red and white top. She sings something in a competent jazzy voice but is interrupted by a siren. There is confusion as everyone is ordered to evacuate. The fire alarm is later found to be false, and they file back in and start over. Jessiah takes up exactly where she left off, totally unruffled. I like this kid, and so do the judges.

Is this the boat where the X-Files episode was filmed? The one where Mulder goes back in time and kisses Scully and she pops him one in the jaw? Where CSM was a Nazi and Skinner an American sympathizer? I think so.

Last auditioner of the night is Micah Johnson, age 24. A surgical error during a tonsillectomy left Micah with a permanent speech impediment. He's doing speech therapy but there is an obvious hitch in his spoken language. The judges are skeptical, but he's the last one of the evening, so they should know better. And so should we- Micah has a rich, deep voice and his speech impediment disappears completely while he sings. Keith sings along, and all four judges say yes.

Day 2 Long Beach/Queen Mary

Randy is in a dark brown quilted leather jacket. Keith's plaid shirt is half-way unbuttoned again. Mariah is in a one shouldered, unflattering purple caftan/toga (caftoga? togtan?). Nicki is in the long blonde wig, and a fairly sensible blue/brown/white sweater. Maybe it's a dress, but whatever it is, it's not nearly as batshit crazy as most of her outfits.

Tall, thin Rachael Hale is a motormouth. She babbles constantly in a summery red dress with an Egyptian neckline. Rachael sings People Get Ready, which Crystal Bowersox absolutely killed in her season. Rachael is no Bowersox, but she moves on. No friends or family greet her, so she celebrates alone with Ryan.

Brianna Oakley is 16. Brianna has a very high forehead and very curly hair- she makes me think of paintings of the young Elizabeth I. Brianna found early success on some show hosted by Maury Povich, but was bullied afterward by her former school friends. I don't mean to be unsympathetic but something about this story feels off to me, forced. She sings Up to the Mountain. Her voice is shrill and I'm not sure she was entirely in tune, but the judges love her.

Matteaos Hernandez is 21, and the last auditioner of the night. Matteaos is very short, but he is not a dwarf or a midget. He's just short. Very short. So short that Ryan towers over him. When Matteaos says that he was bullied, I have no doubt that he's telling the truth. Matteaos is wearing plaid shorts, a blue tee shirt and an argyle vest. Get Matteaos to a stylist, stat.  Matteaos also sings A Change is Gonna Come, and he does a much better job with it than Matt Farmer did, though Matteaos's voice is pretty nasal. He's crying before the judges finish sending him on through to Hollywood.

I'm not clear as to whether 50 kids from Long Beach were given tickets, or 50 combined from San Antonio and Long Beach. It was a bunch anyway. Oh, and that tension between Mariah and Nicki that was hinted at during the opening montage never materialized. This show is such a tease.

Tomorrow night: Oklahoma!

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