Is it just me or did last night's show just fly by? It must have something to do with the elation I felt that the audition stage is almost over. I much prefer reviewing the talent and, I must say, we had some possible contestants last night.
The length of that line of waiting contestants really brought home for me just how many people try out for American Idol. The selection process must be brutal to get those numbers down to our twelve finalists. Winners have to have it all: Interesting looks, unique and musical voice, and good personality, ability to work with a group, ability to take criticism well, and a background story to capture a fan base. Some of this is very subjective stuff...different day, different outfit, different judge, and who knows what the outcome would be? It's no wonder Idol contestants attribute fate to their success.
Our first contestant, Brian Kyrish, chose Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell." Although he was full of positive energy and seemed very nice, he received three no's because he did "a lot of shouting with no melody." Maybe if Simon wasn't suffering from jetlag, the outcome would be different.
Haley Scarnato, age 24, a professional wedding band singer and very pretty, had a lovely voice but no unique factor. She received her golden ticket, and I actually like her voice better than Katherine McPhee's. I expect she will make it to the finals.
Next up was a classic example of what family pressure can do to a contestant. Jasmine Holland, age 22, entered the contest because of family prodding. She was extremely shy and nasally. Simon and Randy were incredibly rude during her audition and shy Miss Jasmine used a few expletives to tell them so. Good-bye Jasmine.
Our next contestant was Bailey Brown--sixteen year old country girl with big city dreams and a love for fashion. You could hear the ca-ching-chings of the cash register as she sang "Stronger" by Faith Hill...three yeah's and lots of prepping for stardom.
A montage of people going out the wrong door gave us a little break in all the tension...well, not quite...but it did show why the judges are exhausted at the end of the day. What does a good doorman make in Hollywood?
We have an expression in Newfoundland: as slow as cold molasses running uphill in December...which describes the speed with which William Green sang "Amazing Grace." Was he trying to make it last for an eternity? I suspect he knew himself and was there to give his cousin, Akron Watson, support. Akron has a very good voice but lacks in the personality, charisma arena. He needs to borrow that from William, who gave us the best laugh of the night as he left his own audition. In a stage whisper to the judges, he said, "Now don't mind what you hear next cause I got to save face" followed by, "Don't make me come in there and tell you again." His happiness for Akron, who received a golden ticket, was lovely. When he lifted him with one arm, my son said, "He's a plough!" Have you thought of Pro Wrestling, William?
These entertaining cousins were followed by some not so great contestants...Larissa Curry, Deborah Tyler, Sandie Chavez. Sandie sang for the mayor of Houston, who supposedly enjoyed her. Obviously a musical ear is not a qualification for the mayoral job, but tact is. She sang "Black Velvet" with her hand up to her ear (Did she have an MP3 tucked away there?). Neither the judges nor I could pick out what she was singing and, if she is a teacher, she needs enunciation lessons.
Ashlyn Carr was a first for me in my viewing of A.I. The judges, who at first rejected her, brought her back and gave her that golden ticket to Hollywood. Cheers for recognizing your mistakes! Ashlyn was very pretty and had a unique voice. Their main problem with her was her facial expressions. They suggested that she get some help in breaking some bad habits before the Hollywood round. Hopefully she listened to them.
To end on a positive note, Jimmy McNeil sang one of my all time favorites, "Cupid." He has a killer voice, is cute looking, and has a very nice personality. Simon calls him a "little fun Reuben." Thankfully he gets his golden ticket. I hope he makes it to the top 24.
San Antonio produces 22 golden ticket performers and now we have the "Best of the Rest" to enjoy. Hopefully it will let us view some of the other really talented people who are in the Hollywood round.
That's a rap for this week. Tallyho!