I had high hopes for Los Angeles. New York had been my favorite audition city thus far, so L.A. should be equally good, right?
Hey - It's Olivia Newton John!
Well, the show kicked off with Martik aka "Eccentric." Apparently he is a panther. Eccentric is a man of many talents. That would be of course in his own mind. First he danced, or prowled or something. He shed clothing in the process. He finally did sing. It was enough to cause the girl who hands out the golden tickets to crack up. I could see her back there. I wonder how you get that job.
Next was Sholandric Stallworth. He seemed to think we needed to bring the romance back into music. Funny enough he kind of reminded me a bit of a young Barry White. Unfortunately for him he couldn't sing like Barry White. Upon hearing that this young man would be singing 'If Ever You're In My Arms Again', Paula remarked, "I love that song." Note to Paula: If you say that to contestants, you may regret it after the audition.
Angela Mo made me say Eek!
Grace Pugal was riding a cow...and singing badly.
Sophat Peau wore a banana costume. If he was gonna do that he should have sang B - A - N - A - N - A - S.
It was Marianna Riccio's turn. Her mom apparently sang with Dean Martin. These types of stories either turn out wonderfully or badly. In Marianna's case it was not good. She wasn't a horrific singer, but she wasn't that great either. And here came the begging. The girl even dragged her mother in to see the judges because she knew Simon would think she was hot. Yeah - that'll convince 'em.
Then we're treated to a montage of others who ain't too proud to beg.
Ah - finally! It was Alaina Alexander who melted the judges' icy hearts. I was a little worried at first but once she let loose she was much better. Simon really, really liked her. She was definitely good enough for Hollywood, but I don't know about Top 24 just yet.
Next we had Phuong. Simon called her Pong. She liked Taylor Hicks a whole lot. This may have been her downfall. This is a girl - and feel free to kick me - who if she could keep her voice and herself in general under control, she wouldn't be a horrific singer. It was all the flailing around and theatrics that made it so bad. And shame on her mother for telling her she isn't pretty enough. She actually was pretty, just not the best singer.
Brandon Rogers was a professional. While so many try and imitate X-Tina, he has actually sung for her. Just based on this, I figured he'd have to be good and he was. He sang, "Always on My Mind"...great song and great voice. Thumbs up.
Immediately following was someone who had experience in the American Idol Hollywood round - Brian Miller. I'll have to side with Simon. I don't remember him either. He really does have a good voice but he didn't show me any star quality. He didn't stand out, which is probably why he didn't make Top 24 before.
Next was a very sad story. When I first saw Sherman Pore in previews I rolled my eyes. When I found out why he was there it brought tears to my eyes. His push to be on American Idol gave his wife some peace before she passed away and now Sherman can have some peace too....very sad.
Cavett and Darold brought us back to Idol hilarity...ahhhh young people in love. Apparently the love didn't run that deep though as Cavett was flirting with Simon to snatch a golden ticket. Darold didn't care though. They both couldn't sing, but the judges loved them.
Anthony Adams sang 'You Light up My Life' and butchered it and then agreed that he butchered it.
Lastly was Eric Mueller. Eric trained very hard to be on American Idol. As we later found out he even used Randy and Paula's DVD. Simon delighted in this. Sad thing is that I honestly think Eric took this whole thing seriously. It sure made Simon happy though.
On the next episode Idol makes its last stop in San Antonio. After that - on to Hollywood baby!