Wednesday, January 29, 2014
AI Season 13- Salt Lake City Auditions
We open with crickets and a single-wide trailer out in a meadow. Inside, a young father named Casey Thrasher is feeding a baby. The ticker says that was 4 months ago. Then we see clips of other auditioners, and then we go to the opening credits.
We're in Utah, Salt Lake City specifically, tonight. JLo is wearing a black leather raincoat over a pink print top. I think those are flowers, but we never get close enough to see for sure. She's wearing a matching pink head band, pink sunglasses, pink lipstick, and big hoop earrings. Her hair is soft and sort of draped over one shoulder.
First up is Austen Wolf, who is a girl (which you wouldn't know just from her name.) She's an 18 year old blue-eyed blonde in a tie dye dress and a black cardigan. Like a lot of kids this year, she's singing Radioactive. She's singing it a capella, and it's not really an a capella song. She gets 3 yesses.
18 year old Kylee Adamson is a lumberjack and she's okay, though she's wearing a white mullet skirt and a denim jacket. I like Kylee's voice better than Austen's. The judges like her too.
Keith Sanders, 28, is a BGWG (black guy with guitar).
Michael Simpson, 16, is a WGWG (white guy with guitar).
Tessa Norman is 16, w/o a G. She's wearing a long wig, and a gray fishnet sweater over an electric green shirt. I'm not hot on her at all.
All three move on.
Samantha Townsend has raspberry hair, a straw fedora and a really terrible voice. Luckily, the judges think so too.
Alex Preston is 20, and he has poorly-styled retro-hip hair. It's plain that Alex here is an odd kid- he's not handsome, he has zero charm, he makes weird faces while he sings... but... but... I like him, and his original song is interesting. He gets 3 yesses.
Samantha Calmes is 25, and she appears to be a hippie. She practices the judges' names while in The Chamber. She's a WGWG (white girl with guitar). Her original song has far too many spoken interludes, but when she sings, it's intriguing. It gets even moreso when she launches into the theme song for The Jeffersons. The judges are charmed.
We meet Ellie Duke, Phaya, Evan Sharp, and Julie Awful. We do not get to hear Ellie Duke, Phaya, Evan Sharp, or Julie Awful sing, we just get to contemplate their stage-ready names.
Lebryant Crew is 24, and he has a very nice, smooth jazz voice.
Laurel Wright is 28, and she has a sweet voice and a nice original song.
The Two L's get Golden Tickets.
D.J. Bradley is 20, but looks 16, what with his styled-but-purposely-messy-Beiber-adjacent-hair. He needs a shower and his clothes look dirty. For some reason, the judges like him.
Aha- Julie Awful (that's how she pronounced her name, and I didn't see it on the screen, so that's how I'm spelling it for now) is the You Guess. I think she sounds awful and she should go home. I am wrong. (Well, I'm right because that's what I actually think, but I'm wrong in my guess as to what happens to her on the show).
Kensey Hall is 16. She wears tan booties, a gray sweater, black pants, and a blue sweater tied around her waist. She's blonde and cute and rattled, but she relaxes eventually and earns 3 yesses.
Paisley Van Patten is a recovering alcoholic (I wouldn't mention it, but she did, multiple times). She's wearing a pink and gray print blazer over khaki jeans. She's one of the very few auditioners this year without a guitar. She sings with a lovely, mature voice. It's a pleasure to listen to her. She gets 3yesses, and then does a spot-on Cher impression.
I'm pretty sure that Haydn Olsen, 16, thinks she's singing. The judges disagree. I am so glad they did.
Chase Boyle, 23, has very long, surfer boy curls.
Julia Missy Cyclops (seriously) has blue hair.
We won't be seeing either one again.
C.J. Harris is 22. He's another BGWG, and he admits to a checkered past. He's wearing a plaid shirt and a ball cap. I like his voice. A lot. He has a very happy, teary girlfriend.
Day 2- JLo is wearing a slinky, long-sleeved, tight, calf-length, red lace dress. Her hair is lovely, as is her makeup.
Oh lordy- usually I love me some Big Girls, but Tequila here is overcompensating in a big way. She shouts and writhes and screams, and in general, makes a pest of herself in the main room, and is not very restrained in front of the judges either. I think her voice is thin, and her personality is grating. She's trying way too hard, but the judges like her. Please Tequila, dial it back a notch or two. I want to like you.
Chase Thorton, 20, says he's a runway model, but man, I doubt it. He's wearing manpris, flip flops and has very very white teeth. The fact that he cannot sing appears to be news to Chase.
Jessica Basset, 22, has braces and brown hair. I seriously think this girl has a great voice, but all three judges say no. They must have heard something that isn't coming through my TV.
Keith started out on a competition show at age 16, where those judges shot him down. He was a goofy looking kid, but he grew into himself rather well (and had some dental work in the interim). We all know that JLo was a Fly Girl on In Living Color. And HCJ was performing in front of crowds at age 10.
Full Disclosure: Though I have never met her, I have a connection to 17 year old Emily Rottler- her older brother is my high school best friend's son-in-law (him, I've met). I was worried about hearing Emily audition, wondering if I would feel the need to tone down the snark. But Emily, in mustard yellow tights, a blue and yellow skirt, black top and brown booties, needs no soft-soaping. She's good. Quite good. Whew!
Farm boy/hunting dog trainer Dexter Roberts, in his plaid shirt and hunting cap, confuses JLo a little with his good 'ol boy style, but he still gets 3 yesses.
Ally Roundy looks like an 18 year old Carole King. The judges tell her to come back next year and try again.
Briston Maroney is 15, with Young Tom Hanks hair. He comes from musical family, and plays his great-grandfather's guitar. Briston's grandfather was a Nashville recording artist. When asked what name the old guy used, Briston says, "Grandpa.". I love Briston's playing, but not so much his voice. He's pushing and growling way too hard, though I can't fault his song choice ("You Can't Always Get What You Want"). I hope Briston tones it down just a tad in Hollywood.
Leia "Fish" Louteli has a very large entourage. He's wearing a camo zip-front hoodie, a bow tie, and a backwards hat. Said entourage is very happy for Fish.
Carson Henline is 16 and I'll eat Fish's backward hat if Carson isn't in musical theater. He gets 3 nos.
Sabrina Lentini looks like a 16 year old Paula Abdul. She gets a ticket.
Johnny Newcomb, 16, is a cute kid, with brown curls and big brown eyes. He sings Last Kiss with an inauthentic growl. They ask him to sing again, in his own voice, and he sings something else in another inauthentic growl. I do like his voice though (whether it's his or not), and he gets enough yesses to move on.
Kimberley Tosti is 26 and looks 40. She says she's trained in opera, but the way she sings Barracuda makes me doubt it. She's going home.
Carmen Delgina is 24. Her father is Wonder Mike, and I think I'm supposed to know who that is. She has a nice, low speaking voice, and oddly, she looks like Lionel Richie. I like her voice, and she goes through, but all 3 judges waffled on the decision. A lot.
Cassandra Castenada has a far more mature voice than her 16 years would lead you to expect. She's inconsistent though, and only gets 2 yesses (which is enough, but still, not unanimous).
Kenneth "Woodie" Gaddie is a Big Fella. He sings with a sweet voice. Did he go through? Who knows.
So, we're back to Casey Thrasher, the guy from the opener with the cute little baby. He also has an adorable toddler son. It seems that Casey is a single dad- at least no mother/wife/girlfriend is mentioned or appears on camera. Someone should take Casey aside and tell him that when it comes to fancy headbands on baby girls, that the flower goes to the side, and not smack in the middle of the forehead. At any rate, Casey sings well, in a nice country voice, sometimes using his guitar, sometimes not. There was way too much time spent on Casey for him not to go through.
So, 30 tickets were handed out in SLC, with a total of 193 so far.
Tomorrow night we'll be in Omaha- the last of the audition shows. We're bookin' this year.