American Idol Episodes

2002, TV Show

American Idol Episode: "Auditions #5: Los Angeles"

Season 9, Episode 5
Episode Synopsis: Los Angeles serves as the setting for open auditions. Pop songstresses Avril Lavigne and Katy Perry are the guest judges.
Original Air Date: Jan 26, 2010

American Idol Episode Recap: Los Angeles Auditions Season 9, Episode 5

American Idol calls Los Angeles home, so the show was searching its own backyard for talent Tuesday. Host Ryan Seacrest says in voice-over that L.A. is the home of entertainment, but ironically, I found this to be the least entertaining episode of the season so far. Only 22 contestants made it through, and only five were featured in this marathon of mediocre talent.  Guest judges Avril Lavigne and Katy Perry didn't help matters much, though I did appreciate Perry getting up in Kara DioGuardi's grill about her critiques. Alas, I still long for these early rounds to be done. For now, some quick thoughts on the evening's singers:

THE GOOD
Jim Ranger, "Drive"
This pastor and family man sang an original song and struck the judges with his authentic voice. (For those sleeping in class, "authentic" has become this season's buzzword.) Lavigne plays buzzkill, suggesting being a pop star requires much travel and time away from his family and church. Although she says no and gives Kara pause, he ultimately is given a ticket.

Mary Powers, "Love Is a Battlefield"
Aside from her terribly clichéd rocker chick look, she did have a decent voice. (Her little girl, who desperately wanted to meet Simon, was quite adorable.) Her version of the Pat Benatar hit earned unanimous praise from the judges, particularly Lavigne who liked the character of her voice.

Andrew Garcia, "Sunday Morning"
Andrew got the full "let's meet your parents and make your dad cry!" treatment for his introductory package. Andrew grew up in a rough neighborhood and, now a father himself, he knows what his parents went through to give him a better life. His voice doesn't really match his look, but he was easily the night's best singer. Randy says he has mad vocals and his performance gives Perry chills. Hello, Hollywood.

Tasha Layton, "Baby Baby Baby"
The judges generally liked her take on the Joss Stone song. I found nothing to hate about her voice, but nothing all that remarkable, either. But she will get a chance to prove me wrong in the next round.

Chris Golightly, "Stand By Me"
A foster child since he was 18 months old, Chris has used music as a security blanket while bouncing among 25 different families. Kara calls him her favorite singer of the day, and she thinks his story will connect with people. Perry rightly argues that the show is about talent, not about the pre-fab packages. (Hear that, Idol producers?) Simon agrees that his voice was good, but didn't make him jump out of his seat. Randy sides more with Kara, but all the judges agree that his voice is good enough to continue.

THE BAD
Neil Goldstein, "Rock & Roll Dreams Come True"
With an IQ of 168, Neil believes he will be the brainiest singer at the auditions. (Not sure about that, but he was certainly the sweatiest.) He belts out the first line of the song (badly) before forgetting the lyrics. His voice is no better when the words finally come to him, but he refuses to take no for an answer. "There is no reality except what we make for ourselves," he tells Simon, who suggests he needs a reality check. Ultimately he blames his bad performance on Simon, who bumped him with the door while he warming up.

Damien Lefavor, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling"
He's a sandwich maker who's fond of pepperoni and he's a student of martial arts. Unfortunately, his singing is as bad as his high kicks. He chokes as he approaches his "nemesis," the note he says he struggled with all day. He leaves the room before the judges can even rule on his fate, which wasn't a bad decision.

A.J. Mendoza, "Cult of Personality"
A.J. is described by Seacrest as one of the hundreds of Adam Lambert posers the show has encountered this season. But A.J. is different: He says he knows Lambert and that the Season 8 runner-up loved the demo A.J. made for him. The judges didn't love anything about his nasal tone or that he hardly opened his mouth while singing. Maybe he's working on his ventriloquism act?

Austin Fullmer, "Surrender"
Austin says he's the kind of performer who pulls people on stage and wouldn't care if they touched him. He claims there's never been an Idol contestant like him sexually. That translates into a weird performance that is equal parts Mick Jagger and Iggy Pop. It's quite disturbing, and the judges pass. Austin, however, thinks he enjoyed a small victory: He claims Katy and Kara lit up when he sang. Uh, sure!

THE RIDICULOUS

Jason Greene, "I Touch Myself"
Also delivering a creepily sex-charged performance, Jason ends the performance on his knees. He manages to make everything he says sound dirty, and when Perry calls him on it, he says it's because she makes him feel dirty. He's booted before he can creep anyone else out, though he does give Ryan his number on the way out.

What did you think of the L.A. auditions?

 

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American Idol calls Los Angeles home, so the show was searching its own backyard for talent Tuesday. Host Ryan Seacrest says in voice-over that L.A. is the home of entertainment, but ironically, I found this to be the least entertaining episode of the season so far. Only 22 contestants made it through, and only five were featured in this marathon of mediocre talent.  Guest judges Avril Lavigne and Katy Perry didn't help matters much, though I did appreciate Perry getting up in Kara DioGuardi's grill about her critiques. Alas, I still long for these early rounds to be done. For now, some quick thoughts on the evening's singers: read more

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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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