The new season of AI begins in one hour, and sadly, Ish is not here to enjoy it with me. Therefore, I bring you Another Liveblog Until I Fall Asleep.
Note the first: I have a serious post below that you might want to read, it's actually heartfelt. But you know. American Idol.
Note the second: I will actually update this in real time, during commercial breaks (or as close to them as I can come).
Note the third: As with the Golden Globes, I am not well informed and will make no attempts to keep you informed. I will simply tell you my version of what's happening and we can both try to figure out why we watch these trainwrecks. Fun for the whole family! (Well, except for the parts where I use the eff word.)
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Oooh. Inspirational quote and flashback montage. Done quite well, I must say.
It's official. Ryan has said it. "THIS. Is American Idol."
We begin with an internet video from last year's results, featuring a handful of pre-teen girls who were watching the results live...except they really wanted the OTHER David to win. So David Cook's name is announced and they all scream in horror and start crying. What a weird note to start on.
We move on to more inspirational music accompanying a montage of auditioners we haven't seen yet.
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Ryan is walking along the Grand Canyon to emphasize that they are in Phoenix.
Oh, right. We have a new, fourth judge. Her name is Kara DioGuardi and she's all music business-y and I don't know why she's here. I am skeptical.
A half-Vietnamese boy with a gigantic fro is our first audition. He thinks his robot dancing makes him more marketable. OH! and in the middle of "The Way You Make Me Feel" he did a little tap number. Yikes. It was not good. It wasn't the worst, not by far, but no.
A girl named Emily with pink hair and tattoos is next, and her clip starts with all kinds of background on her and video of her mom. This is a good indicator that she's going through. She's the lead singer of an all-girl rock band. She ROCKS "Barracuda," which is IMPOSSIBLE to sing. Her voice is powerful AND pretty. They send her through, after giving her a REALLY hard time about leaving her band behind. Ouch.
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Oh, dear. We have another (self-proclaimed) rocker named Eddie. He claims he's just another "blue collar" guy working in "a cubicle." Hmm. Let's not spend too much time dissecting the issues with that. He's wearing very rock-y gear. He's also crying before his audition because of how much this will change his life. ALL of these things are very, very bad signs. He sings, "Livin' on a Prayer." He's gotten some of the words wrong. Simon calls it "wimpy." Eddie replies saying he's not "classically trained." Um? Simon says that dressing like a rock star doesn't make you a rock star. Eddie cries a little more. It's four no's, and he's devastated.
Quick clip of some awesome Asian guy named JB. Simon wants him to loosen up, but he goes through with four yeses. Awww, and after he gets emotional saying that this could change his whole life, his whole family's life.
Trainwreck alert: very nerdy boy with a lisp named Michael comes in and says he will be singing something by Kerry (Kerri?) Underwood. The set-up before-hand is bad. And OH MY GOD. It is awful. He makes some horrible, breathy-whine sounds. And then they ask him to sing again, just to hear him be bad some more. He leaves and announces to Ryan that he doesn't feel so well. He looks like he's going to puke.
As an aside: Ish is convinced that Ryan Seacrest is a sociopath; that he's smart and cunning enough to appear empathetic, but actually couldn't care less about the contestants. I tend to agree.
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Quick clip of someone doing something pornographically awful to a Tears for Fears song. And then someone else butchering Celine. Oh, and then Dionne Warwick.
Randy says, "We've hit a rough patch in Phoenix." Mmm.
Crazypants kid named X-Ray comes bouncing in, literally. He has a guitar and very curly hair. There is dancing. Tall lanky boy marionette dancing. With clapping. His name is Aundre. He's got a good sense of humor, but the judges don't seem to think that he's serious. Now he's being escorted out by a bouncer.
Next is a 16-year-old adorable girl who started a program for seniors called adopt-a-grandfriend or something. She's so sweet she makes my teeth hurt. This all bodes well for her. Everyone loves adorable girls who do community service, and Simon takes this opportunity to call Paula elderly. Arianna starts singing and she's got a good voice. I don't think she's got any power when she stretches into her high ranges -- I would be surprised if she makes it past Holllywood. But for now, she's going to California.
Nine others go through on day one of Phoenix. I love how the winner is almost always someone we never saw audition. Ho hum.
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Day two in AZ.
Dude. We begin with a man named Elijah, who has the lowest speaking voice I have ever heard in my life. Simon is highly skeptical. Uh huh, and with super good reason. Elijah is, for all intents and purposes, tone deaf. There is no melody whatsoever. Simon asks if Elijah is even aware of what show he's auditioning for. Paula provides her usual optimism by saying that he should pursue voiceover work. And then adds, to be nice except actually adding insult to injury, "...like for movies with monsters in them." Poor Elijah.
Trainwreck alert. A girl in a pink cowboy hat from CONNECTICUT is up next and claims to be a cross between Hillary Duff and Madonna. She also claims to have written over 100 original songs, and is Kara (remember her?)'s BIGGEST fan. Oh good grief. Way to represent, Connecticut. Lea Marie finally meets the judges and sings a dance song. It's not horrible, but it's not the worst we've heard. It's nasally in a kid's musical theatre kind of way. All in all, she seemed a little too giggly/smiley/dot-the-i's-with-hearts kind of giddy. Drugs? After Lea Marie leaves, Kara wonders what it says about her that THAT is her biggest fan. Ouch again.
Next is Stevie, another 16-year-old girl named after Stevie Nicks. She has a big mouth and a soulful sounding speaking voice. And she sings "At Last." She's quite good, and then send her through. Again I agree, but don't think she'll make it past Hollywood, either. I could totally be wrong -- I just can't tell how much power she has yet.
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Next up is guy who works as a "roughneck" on an oil rig. We are seeing footage of his work (which is a good indicator that he's going through), so now we just have to hope he doesn't get killed on the job between his audition and when he goes to California. Simon calls this big, tough man "the exact opposite of Ryan Seacrest." Ha! Michael sings a country-esque song I've never heard. It's quite excellent from an "I can do runs" kind of way. Overall, he looks like a sweet-faced linebacker who sounds like a boy band singer from back in the day. He goes through.
We are treated to another Montage of Awful.
Can you hear my eyes rolling into the back of my head? Here comes the girl who has shown up at American Idol auditions in her bikini. She meets Ryan and tells him they're going to make out when she gets her golden ticket. Ryan looks as uncomfortable as I've ever seen him. He won't even look at her. Simon is blushing and Randy is spooked. Her name is Katrina. She sings MUCH better than I expected. I'm not sure that she stayed in key. Simon immediately says yes, as does Randy. Kara is putting the brakes on this. She sings a few bars herself, demonstrating how the song should "swing." Katrina decides to start singing over Kara's feedback, with ZERO panache. Kara finally says that Katrina-bikina does "not have the chops to sing that song." Katrina snottily says, "But your demonstration wasn't any better." At which point Paula shrieks and stands up in horrified, drama queen protest. After some additional bitter back and forth between the bikini and Kara, Paula says, "Okay, okay. Here's the deal. You're going to Hollywood." Um? The entire charade sets feminism back oh, a good 15 years.
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We're back with an audition from a man who goes by the name Sexual Chocolate. No, really. It's even tattooed on his back. I don't think Mr. Chocolate is very bright. He gives us a little Stevie Wonder. Simon says it's "not great." He gets four no's.
Then we get a little montage of upset people who have been rejected by the judges.
Brianna is next and sings "Let's Hear It For The Boy." Woo! Footloose soundtrack! They aren't convinced. She tries to sing "Killing Me Softly." She's friggin' awesome in personality (she calls Simon "Simey"), and even though her voice isn't so strong (it's fine, though, really) and Randy and Kara say no, Paula and Simon put her through. Simon says, "I like you," and Brianna says, "I like you too!"
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Deanna is all interestingly attractive and country. They all say yes with enthusiasm. The poor girl didn't have anyone with her (awwww), but they caught her calling her mom on tape, and that was pretty cool.
Okay, so next is some hipster boy named Cody. Cody has a far more exacting haircut than I have. He's got an interesting hipsteresque family we're introduced to first. There's a woman who says she's his mom, and standing next to her is a very androgynous-looking woman who we don't get to meet. His other mom? Dad? "Aunt"? We learn that Cody likes to make gorey horror movies. He sings "Wonderful World" by James Morrison. He, too, sounds a little nasally to me, but I don't know anything. He goes through.
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"I missed a Spanish test for this." Maybe my favorite line ever. A kid named Alex is next, and we get this pre-audition speech about how he used to practice singing in his closet. And then they learned that there was a lot of mold in the closet (ewwwww) and he got really sick. And now he's missing a Spanish test. Will nothing go right for poor Alex? Then he says he's going to sing "Baby Come to Me" but only if Randy will join him on the chorus. I'm a little shocked. Simon didn't like it. Randy did, as did Paula. Woop, Kara says yes, too. He probably won't do so well (as Simon says), but that's not the point right now.
Montage of Awful returns. You'd pretty much just have to see it.
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American Idol is wrapping up tonight with the blind guy. The tokenism is a little cloying, but the idea is still a good one. His name is Scott Macintyre. He's quite obviously an accomplished musician, seeing as he plays the piano and does ballroom dancing. He went to college from the age of 14-19. He sings "And So It Goes," and it's pretty beautiful. They all say yes. Awesome, all around.
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And that will do it for the American Idol liveblog. I hope someone out there enjoyed it. For what it's worth, my favorite was Emily Wynne-Hughes, the rocker who dared to do Barracuda and nailed it. She's got range, chops, a great look and strength as a performer.
And now back to our regularly scheduled program...