Do tiny Tatiana and a super-sized Justin Guarini have what it takes to wow 'em in Hollywood? As is our weekly wont, TVGuide.com spoke with Kimberly Caldwell and Rosanna Tavarez, the hosts of TV Guide Channel's Idol Chat and Reality Chat, about the Los Angeles and Birmingham auditions for Fox's American Idol. Plus: A possible answer to our own burning question about Paula....
TVGuide.com: Before we get started, I'm hearing that Justin Guarini is quite the natural on Idol Chat.
Kimberly Caldwell: Oh, I love me some Justin Guarini.
Rosanna Tavarez: We have lots of sassy, but Justin has some sassy in his back pocket we didn't know of! I felt like he was going to be the Paula to our Randy and Simon, but what happened is he is another Simon! Actually, he's another Simon to our Simon and Simon. [Laughs] He fit right in.
Kimberly: I thought that we were going to have to break him in and everything, but he walks on the set and he totally fits, perfectly. I think we needed a little testosterone. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Who was your favorite from Week 3? I imagine at least one of you was feeling Tatiana [pictured above right].
Kimberly: Yeah, she was absolutely amazing! My favorite was actually Brandon, the guy who used to sing backup for Christina Aguilera. Thought he had the looks, he has style, he has the voice... the total package. From standing back and watching Christina take the stage so many times, he's really become comfortable with himself, and knows what he has to do to become a star.Rosanna: Would it be totally wrong to tell you that I liked someone who was completely talentless? They didn't get a golden ticket, but I like them because they made me laugh repeatedly, since I had them on my TiVo. It was Lakia, the scrawny, African-American girl who sang, "How Did You Get Here." She comes in and she's like [Sings really high-pitched]. She was like a Chipmunk who had way too much helium.
TVGuide.com: That Jack Osbourne look-alike, Chris, did a nice job on "Kiss from a Rose."
Kimberly: I loved him! So many people, even myself at my first audition, don't show their comedy side or the best side of themselves, but he totally went in there as a natural and came up big. He was just adorable. The best thing that he said was that the only reason he tried out for American Idol was "to make David Hasselhoff cry" [as Taylor Hicks did in last season's finale]. That was my favorite sentence in the history of Idol.
Rosanna: He was wonderful. And Simon likened him to Justin Guarini! [Laughs] Chris was one of those contestants where right before he went in, you didn't know if he was going to sing well or not. That's happened several times already.
TVGuide.com: On any given week, how many singers get "golden tickets" that you yourselves think they're not necessarily worthy of? And vice versa: how many get sent home when you felt they had potential?
Kimberly: There really wasn't anybody I saw not go through that I thought needed to.... All the people who are the William Hungs are, for me, starting to fade into one another. At this point of the supposed "bad" auditions, it's time to really start showing us what American Idol is going to be about this year. Because we've only really seen, maybe, five or six really good people.
Rosanna: Maybe it's the person in me who tries to go for the underdog, but I really do look at people's potential. I can hear in someone's voice whether or not they have potential to improve. They don't always have to come in sounding incredible. I root for the people I think are going to evolve and grow on the show. And I also get excited for the ones who sound like they should have a record deal yesterday.
TVGuide.com: And lastly, a burning question of my own, and maybe you have some insight into it: Who is it that Paula keeps glancing at off-camera to her right? Whoever it is doesn't seem to distract Randy or Simon as often or as conspicuously.
Rosanna: The person who provides the spiked Coca-Cola? [Laughs] I'm kidding!
Kimberly: It's probably not even one person. When I auditioned, there was an executive producer, three or four camera guys, audio guys, and then also security. It's probably Paula's hair and makeup people.
Rosanna: Yeah, she probably looks at her producer or someone she gets along with. We sometimes do the same thing [on Idol Chat].
TVGuide.com: It's always in the vein of, "This is a good TV moment. Don't you agree, unseen person?"
Kimberly: Right, yeah. I feel like she's looking at her friends, [like] the hair and makeup people, to say, "Hey, what do you think?"
Rosanna: I'm going to stick to "the person who spikes her Coca-Cola." [Laughs]
Next week in TVGuide.com's Idol Chat: Kimberly and Rosanna weigh in on the remainder of the tryouts, and look ahead to Hollywood.
Idol Chat and Reality Chat air exclusively on TV Guide Channel. Click here for complete listings.
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