American Idol rolled back into Denver, where Ryan Seacrest tells us the show discovered Chris Daughtry? Would they strike gold again? Back to help weed through the contestants was Victoria Beckham, and while she certainly spoke up more, the value of what she had to say was as meaningless as her previous guest-judging stint. All in all, 35 singers from the Mile High City made it through to Hollywood. My thoughts on the best and worst:
Mark Labriola "Tempted"
When asked to share an interesting fact about himself, he says he often gets mistaken for Jack Black and loves cheese. When pressed by Simon, he reveals his mom took him away from his father for six years, spending time in Alaska and other states before he ended up in Colorado. With all the build-up, I (and the judges apparently) were expecting a jokey audition, but the guy can sing. He gets a ticket.
Kimberly Kerbow, "The Way I Am"
She's a single mom and has a cute little voice, but the judges spend most of the time commenting on the fact that she looked at Simon when singing the lyric, "I'll buy him Rogaine." Simon sends her through to Hollywood, despite calling her "lippy" and commenting that he knows why she's a single mom. It's all in good fun, and the rest of the judges agree to see her in the next round.
Danelle Hayes, "I'm the Only One"
She hosts a karaoke night and plays in a cover band, but she is tired of chasing her dream by playing bars and corporate parties. You can hear the anguish in her song, which for me was a bit shout-y. Simon says he thinks the show is saving her just in time. Kara says she gave a moving performance, and people watch the show to be moved. She is a no-brainer.
Tori Kelly, "Gravity"
I agree with Simon that her voice isn't stellar, but Kara and Victoria insist that her package look is also important. All of the judges are more entertained by Tori's little sister Hope, who drew pictures of all of them. Although Simon says he'd rather put Hope through, she gets enough votes to continue.
Nicci Nix "Something Kind of Ooh"
She flew all the way in from Italy for the audition, and her speaking voice is strangely high-pitched. (Simon asks if she's eaten any helium recently.) The tone of her voice changes dramatically when she sings and she has a bubbly personality. Her dedication and attitude earn her a spot in Hollywood.
Haeley Vaughn, "I Don't Even Know His Last Name"
She was born premature, so she knows something about fighting to live/win a reality show. (Seriously, Idol, enough with underdog stories.) She does stand out, however, because she wants to be the first black pop-country star. Her voice is solid, though she seems to be mimicking Carrie Underwood rather doing her own interpretation of the song. Simon says she's infectious.
Mario Galvan, "Jailhouse Rock"
Mario suffers from a nervous tick: He chuckles awkwardly after virtually everything he says. He's a nicotine addictions counselor. (Ha-ha). He almost starred in a revue of Jekyll & Hyde. (Ha-ha) The judges laugh along at his social awkwardness and the general badness of his singing. He won't be laughing in Hollywood.
Austin Paul, "Bigger Than My Body"
He's a football player (a long-snapper, to be precise) and he is his own biggest fan. On his list of things to achieve in life, No. 42 is to make it to Hollywood. His singing isn't awful, but it also isn't pleasant. All of the judges pick up on his cockiness, and Simon calls him annoying. Kara said rejection would do him some good. (Because Kara would never think too highly of herself, right?) He's shocked he doesn't get a golden ticket.
Kenny Everett "Be Without You"
He's terrible from the first note, but because it's Idol they have to show one person who won't take no for an answer. Yawn. Is Lost on yet?
Victoria's Fashion Montage
This is the point in the recap where I again complain about Victoria's insistence on complimenting people's clothes and their "artist look." We already have Kara on the panel, Posh Spice. We want people who are listening for actual singers. Like I said, Victoria spoke up more this time around, but I'd prefer the silence.
Casey James, "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room"
And this is where Kara and Victoria push me over the edge. Casey had an OK voice and another weepy back story (he broke his arm in a motorcycle accident that almost ended his guitar-playing days). The judges all agree he needs to show some personality, and when he says he'll do whatever, Kara asks him to let his hair down and take off his shirt. Because "he could be a model," they say yes — and Randy stupidly agrees. Simon says, "What is this, Project Runway?" but it's too late. We'll see Casey in Hollywood.
Ty Hemmerling, "Achy Breaky Heart"
Also showing way too much skin is Bikini Boy. Unlike last year, however, the judges don't even entertain the swimsuit-clad singer and walk out of the room after about two bars of singing. But wait, ladies, don't you want to compliment his coloring?
What did you think of the auditions?
American Idol rolled back into Denver, where Ryan Seacrest tells us the show discovered Chris Daughtry? Would they strike gold again? Back to help weed through the contestants was Victoria Beckham, and while she certainly spoke up more, the value of what she had to say was as meaningless as her previous guest-judging stint. All in all, 35 singers from the Mile High City made it through to Hollywood. My thoughts on the best and worst...