AMERICAN IDOL: Chicago Auditions - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

AMERICAN IDOL: Chicago Auditions

January 20, 2010 by  

It’s not every day you’re going to stumble upon a gem like “Pants on the Ground” but it’s enough to remind me that although I loathe the American Idol audition rounds, there is a certain pop culture value in checking out the early “competition”. The way I like to look at it is it’s more about getting an early peek at the real talent and less about watching others be humiliated on national TV…no matter how much they ask for it.

But the IDOL auditions can’t be ignored.  So while we’ll save the in-depth discussion for Hollywood Week and beyond, I thought it might be worthwhile to talk about just a few of the memorable auditions from Chicago (it really is my kind of town.)

Warning: I have very little patience for these episodes, so please excuse my cynical snarkiness. It can’t be helped this morning.

Joining Randy, Simon and Kara at the judge’s table was Shania Twain. Zzzzzz. Can someone wake me up when Cheno and Neil Patrick Harris are judging. What was that? Kristin Chenoweth is guest judging tonight? Well thank goodness. Perhaps that 4’11 bundle of perkiness won’t be the only one hitting the high notes tonight.

I’m not hatin’ on Shania. I like her. I do. It’s just that we already have two pointless judges on the panel – Kara and Randy.  Hard as I try, I just can’t get on board the Kara train. I’m sure she means well, but she tries way too hard to be relevant, but if we’re being honest, she really delivers criticism that’s worthwhile to the contestants.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard the judges give advice to these amateurs about how to better control their vibrato or how to get better control by using their diaphragm more.  Why not offer up something useful that isn’t related about how they are going to package themselves after the competition (i.e. “you’ve got a good look”, “the girls will like you”, “you’re unique” – they can’t do a damn thing with that.)

Ok, my rant is over…for now.

Here are a few contestants that made an impression on me last night.

Katelyn Epperly had a good voice and a good look but I wanted her thrown from the competition before she even sang a note.  Everyone is quick to blame the Idol producers for concocting these sob stories that show up in the contestants pre-package. But guess what? The producers don’t investigate the lives of the contestants. They willingly offer up the stories themselves.  So it was bad enough that we had Kately and her mother boo hoo’ing over her father leaving the family in the pre-vid, but when she stepped into the room and told the judges that she wanted to audition because her father recently left the family? Ew, ew and ew! Unfortunately for all of us she could sing well enough to move on to Hollywood.  But if I hear one more word about her woe is me life, I’m turning her off.

On the flip side, three timer Angela Martin had some real life issues that certainly weren’t concocted. Sadly I remembered Angela more for her back story than her singing.  Her daughter suffers from Rett Syndrome, a disease which requires around the clock care.  Care that Angela received from Shriners after her first Idol audition (so yay for that).  Also memorable was the passing of Angela’s father right before Hollywood Week. Yikes! As for making it to the Top 50 last year and having to leave because she had a court date for an arrest warrant for a traffic violation. That’s on her. You’re going to let an opportunity of a lifetime pass you by because you can’t get your business together?

But at least Angela could sing. I personally thought her choice of Mary J. Blige’s “Just Fine” was a bit all over the place.  Too many contestants think that the mark of a good singer is showing their ability to perform vocal runs. It was a little too much for me, but she deserved to make it through. Here’s to hoping someone’s driving her to the auditions. Girl doesn’t need any other issues.

One of the most surprising auditions for me was that of a young Charity Vance. The little blonde 16 year old who sings in her parents’ salon took on “Summertime” from ‘Porgy and Bess’. For IDOL fans, that song is so synonymous with Fantasia that it’s often thought of as untouchable. But Charity really brought something different last night. Her voice actually gave me the chills. She had complete control over a very difficult song. I’m excited to see what else is in that hat of hers come Hollywood Week.

Not all of the contestants can be Charity Vance, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have something to bring to the table. Case in point, Amy “Boob Box” Lang. An illustration of my hatred for IDOL auditions. Talk about being self indulgent, the girl thought she was the funniest thing since Carrot Top, never taking into consideration that (a) she was annoying, (b) she was humiliating herself on national TV, (c) did I mention she was annoying.  That girl could have had a voice of an angel and I never would have passed a vote on to her and her boobs.

Given the chance, I will however throw a few votes to the way of hottie John Park. And something tells me Shania will be home dialing up his number too.  His take on Blood, Sweat & Tears; “I’ll Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know” was rich with his voice taking full advantage of every single phrase and note. He showed incredible range without scatting across the whole song. He had a Buble’esque tenor to his voice but with a more soulful, R&B feel. He’s one I’ll be keeping my eye out for. As for Ms. Twain, she was all a flutter with double entendres after his audition. Complimenting him on his “beautiful bottom end” and his “nice tone down there” (she was referring to the lower part of his vocal range), his head (not sure if she meant his hair or what), and his beautiful teeth (yeah, because that’s relevant), I was worried that John Park was going to sue for sexual harassment before he even made it to Hollywood.

For every John Park we had nearly 1,000 Brian Krause‘s. I felt very uncomfortable watching Brian’s story unfold because I was never sure (and I’m not still) whether he was serious about what he was doing or if it were all an act. I’m leaning towards him being serious, and as such I really don’t want to laugh, because there are other issues going on there.  But far be it from IDOL producers to hold back on their cruelty. If they wanted a quick laugh they could have just aired his version of Tiny Tim’s “Through the Tulips” and be done with it. But showing Brian’s pre-vid was really quite icky. If you’re just a bad singer like say, Curley who butchered Maxwell’s “This Woman’s Work”, then fine. But when there’s something else going on there, I wish the producers for once who just make a judgment call. That’s just me.

Paige Dechausse also got a coveted Golden Ticket last night. Paige was the girl that almost died after an asthma attack. I wish I could have led with her voice, but it just wasn’t that memorable to me. Simon passed, but Kara and Shania liked her enough to pressure Randy into sending her through to Hollywood. Come on, like he was going to say no. I can’t remember many if any IDOL auditions were one judge was the deciding factor and they said no. I wish it would happen more. But I suppose not in Paige’s case. She could sing well enough to make it through. Especially on night where so few did move on. Good luck, Paige.

I didn’t catch the final tally of how many from Chicago made it through to Hollywood. The number was very low though. I think only about 13 Golden Tickets were handed out.  Meaning about 1 out of every 1,000 who auditioned made it through. Come on Chicago, I thought you were better than that.

Tonight the show is picking up and moving to the happiest place on earth  – Disney World. Well, ok not Disney, but Orlando, Florida. Same thing.  As I said, Kristin Chenoweth will be sitting in, so I hope that goes well.

Were there any hopefuls that you think have a shot at making it out of Hollywood Week alive?  Are you pulling for anyone yet or is it just too early in the game?  What did you think of Shania as a judge? Thoughts on the Chicago auditions? The comments are open and I turn it over to YOU!


3 Responses to “AMERICAN IDOL: Chicago Auditions”

  1. Reina on January 19th, 2010 8:16 pm

    I’m watching on a bit of delay, so I just saw the first audition, but does anyone else find it creepy the way Simon stares and smiles at the pretty girls? Get a grip, grandpa.

  2. Julie on January 19th, 2010 8:33 pm

    Why do they show all the sucky auditions but not the ones of people who make it through?

  3. Julie on January 19th, 2010 8:43 pm