Thursday, January 26, 2006

auditions: starring clay aiken...

It wouldn't be an American Idol season if there weren't a stop in San Francisco, where in seasons past, we are reminded, we found LaToya, Nadia and William Hung.

If only we had been lucky enough this year.

Happy Heidi from Hawaii goes all Beverly Sills on us to kick off the fourth audition episode, and gets justified praise from the judges on her classical ability. But this ain't no Aria with the Stars, so sing us something less, uhhh, sopranic, they ask. She does. She gets kicked to the curb. Just goes to prove, those who sing pop shouldn't probably try to sing opera. And vice versa.

Heidi's not happy anymore. But hey, she lives in Hawaii, so I don't feel all that sorry for her.

And yeah, we go through the expected destruction of several songs by artists who are probably on the phones with attorneys, trying like hell to pull a Kelly Clarkson pre-cave and remove their songs from eligibility. And, just in case we're not crack viewers, we are told to notice that there is tension brewing behind the judges table.

Oh really? Tension? You mean like bickering? Meanness? Sniping? Nahhhh. This is American Idol. There's no meanness on Idol.

Matthew Paulsen tells us he's a little like Clay Aiken. But he doesn't sing just like Clay, but he's a little like Clay. Well, which is it Matthew? Are you or aren't you? To prove he's a little bit like Clay, he sings a Clay song.

He and Clay do have something in common. They're both men. And, just in case we don't truly recognize that Matthew and Clay are not equals, we are treated to a split screen comparison.

Clay wins.

Jose wants to be called "Sway." And he whips out the much-used "Superstar" to get his golden ticket to Hollywood. John Williams, freshly out of the Air Force and just months into vocal training, goes from shy to shiny with one rip of the shirt. Paula and Randy are blinded, struck both deaf and dumb and pass him through.

Tension builds!

Stage parents are out in force, powdering, patting and pandering their progeny on the path to posh living. First up is Shawna White, whose father is a "rock star" [?] from a teeny tiny town in northern California. She decides to go Rizzo on us, with a number from Grease as Daddy Rock Star presses his ear to the door. Told to try again, she whips out Alicia Keys, much to Daddy Rock Star's delight and heads out the door with a pass to the next round.

Then Katherine McPhee arrives with her vocal coach mom and gives what Randy describes as "the best audition this season." I don't know that I'd go that far, but she does do a passable version of "God Bless the Child." And she passes through too.

Finally a surly Simon leaves kicking and screaming (well, sorta) in apparent disgust over "Mozart and Beethoven's" passage of less-than-spectacular performers and a little tiff over what was said to whom in front of whom. And it's all about Clay [again].

Just for the record, Paula was right (oh gawd). Simon did tell Clay Aiken that he (Simon) preferred him (Clay) with his (Simon's) eyes closed, just as he told 27[?]-year-old Deborah Tilly. However, Paula was wrong (that's better...) when she insinuated that he (Simon) made the comment during the audition phase of season two. It was, in fact, during the finals of season two, and if you give me a couple of hours, I'll have the proof.

But we get a hissy fit!! Oh YAY!

Oh tension! Oh intrigue!

Oh brother.

tag: american idol


Blogger ChasingMoksha said...

Oh my, I was just wondering if this show came on every night and then I saw your schedule to the right.......I so don't watch this kind of stuff, but I do love you Jennifer so I hope you recognize the love I am giving you.......But I did miss it last night, again, I did not know the schedule...HAH!

I fell in a three hour hole of Law and Order.....

11:44 AM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

I have the schedule up until the finals start. And THAT'S when it gets good!

12:08 PM, January 26, 2006  
Anonymous Maggie said...

Jennifer, this was so right on and I agree with everything you said. I am sorta in a "wake me up" when we get to Hollywood frame of mind, yet still find myself tuning in to these auditions and enjoying a good laugh every now and then. I think I get a bigger kick out of the judge's facial expressions than the lack luster performances. Remember last season, the contestant's cries about airtime during these rounds? Do you think we will get to see some of the finalists a little better in hollywood this go round? Just wondering your thoughts on the matter. Ok, I'm rambling. Forgive me!

1:40 PM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

Hi Maggie! Welcome to the party! ;o)

I don't think they'll show us all of the top 24 any more than they did last year or the year before. That's one of the reasons I'd like to see them cut down on the audition episodes and add more Hollywood footage - each of the top 44 could be featured a bit more prominently so none of the top 24 would be any huge "who the heck in SHE" moments.

But they won't. And we'll hear the same whining that we heard last season.

3:11 PM, January 26, 2006  

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Thanks Rob for the awesome image!