American Idol Episodes

2002, TV Show

American Idol Episode: "Season Premiere, Part 2"

Season 9, Episode 2
Episode Synopsis: Auditions continue in Atlanta in the conclusion of the Season 9 opener. Mary J. Blige is the guest judge.
Original Air Date: Jan 13, 2010

American Idol Episode Recap: Atlanta Auditions Season 9, Episode 2

American Idol's Season 9 audition train made its next stop in Atlanta. R&B legend Mary J. Blige joined Randy, Kara and Simon to critique all the would-be pop stars. And once again, we got a pretty decent mix of "hot," horrible and hare-brained. With the exception of a photo of a young Ryan Seacrest and the audition of a 62-year-old former General, the episode was pretty much paint-by-numbers.

Some quick thoughts on the night's best and worst.

THE GOOD

Keia Johnson, "My Heart Will Go On"
Her version of "The Titanic song" won lots of praise from Randy and Mary, with particular attention paid to her unique phrasing of the oft-covered song. I, however, found the sound of her voice to be very ordinary, as did Simon, who said she easily could easily be cast in Oklahoma. She gets through, but the real tragedy here is that Mary used one of Randy's favorite (and most useless) phrases: "You can definitely sing."

Jermaine Sellers, "One of Us"
He's a nice-guy church singer who takes care of his mother, who suffers from spinal bifida. He does a smooth, soulful interpretation of Joan Osborne's '90s hit, even if the runs at the end are distracting. He gets big props and a quick ticket to Hollywood.

Vanessa Wolfe, "Wagon Wheel"
This "aw shucks" small-town girl has a strong underdog story, but it also made me (a native Tennessean) cringe. Her uniqueness, however, is what won over Kara and Simon. I agree that her voice was good, but I think Kara calling her authentic was based mostly on the fact that she had no other idea what to say about a country singer. The segment did deliver the best lines of the night: "Instead of butterflies, I've got frogs," her mom said. And did anyone else here Vanessa say to Simon in her shock, "Are you cereal?"

Holly Harden, "You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man"
Move over, Bikini Girl: It's time for Guitar Girl to take the stage. This time around, the talent actually managed to outdo the gimmick, even though you could hardly take your eyes off the life-size guitar and insect-looking shades.

Bryan Walker, "Superstar"
Randy "love the fake-out" as Bryan the Cop came in and arrested all the judges' attention with his soulful voice. Mary said he doesn't "have to try to prove anything" because his talent is just there. This police officer has the right to remain in the competition.

Carmen Turner, "Where Is Your Heart?"
She was cute and auditioned with her BFF. She sang much better than her BFF. She, without Simon's endorsement got through to Hollywood. Her BFF did not.

THE BAD

Lauren Smith, Song Unknown
The aforementioned BFF rubbed Simon the wrong way, as he began referring to her as Miss Annoying after only 2 minutes in the room. He suggested the two be a group (The Ditzies) because they were boring without each other. Sadly for her, Lauren is the one going home solo.

Dewone Robinson, "Lady, We're Not Together Anymore"
Singing an original song (which as Simon noted really sounded like a duet) this self-proclaimed diamond in the rough was all over the place. With both high highs and low lows (all of which were terrible) this one couldn't be "over" soon enough.

Christy Marie Agronow, "Love Is a Battlefield"
Easy on the Red Bull. This TV host/producer must have thought being perky is the way to get to Hollywood. Instead, she was just annoying and as silly as her hand motions that go along with her TV show. Weirder, all her energy turned to dramatic anguish when she sang. Next.

Jessie Hamilton, "The River" "If Tomorrow Never Comes"
At least Alabama looked worse than my home state tonight. This really long segment basically just made fun of the South in general as the show produced a "cheap dramatization" of the three ways Jessie almost died. After forgetting and then massacring two Garth Brooks songs, Simon told him to stick to his day job of welding.

THE RIDICULOUS

Antonio "Skii Bo Ski" Wheeler, "Grapevine"
This guy was way too caught up on his stupid nickname, and he even misspelled it on his shirt. Skii Bo Ski may as well be from a foreign language, because even when he speaks English, he makes absolutely no sense. Somehow, though, he is given a golden ticket. His voice earns compliments, but all the judges tell him to leave his persona at home when he comes to Hollywood.

Lamar Royal, "Kiss From a Rose"
He sang the angriest love song I've ever heard. He obviously thought he could sing (and his voice wasn't terrible) but he refused to hear the judges suggest he work harder at improving. It's always pretty telling that when someone says they respect the judges' opinions in their pre-audition video yet will do the opposite after being rejected. Lamar was this season's first bleep-magnet, as he stormed out of the building.

General Larry Platt, "Pants on the Ground"
Yes, at 62 he was too old to be in the competition. And yes, his original song wasn't well-sung. But I put him in the ridiculous column as a compliment. This ditty taught an important lesson: Pull up your pants and wear a belt. It was a refreshing ending to an otherwise lackluster night. 

All in all, 25 singers from Atlanta made it to Hollywood. Who were your favorites?

 

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American Idol's Season 9 audition train made its next stop in Atlanta. R&B legend Mary J. Blige joined Randy, Kara and Simon to critique all the would-be pop stars. And once again, we got a pretty decent mix of "hot," horrible and hare-brained. With the exception of a photo of a young Ryan Seacrest and the audition of a 62-year-old former General, the episode was pretty much paint-by-numbers.

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Premiered: June 11, 2002, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: The smash reality series showcases wannabe pop stars competing for a record deal by crooning for a panel of judges, including, most entertainingly, the acid-tongued Simon Cowell, who departed the show in 2010 after serving for nine seasons. The judges review a performer's talent (or lack thereof), and at-home viewers then vote for their favorite potential star. The show helped launch the careers of such artists as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert.

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