Hey, did you know that Jacksonville was named after Randy Jackson? Didja? Huh? Isn't that funny? No? No, I guess it's not. Could someone please tell the producers this?
The auditions kick off with Justin Guarini, Jr. doing a strange version of "Let's Get it On," complete with fake harmonica, beatboxing, and other random sound effects. His voice doesn't actually sound too bad, but he's obviously not taking this whole thing very seriously. A point for him! Simon says that the song is good in parts, but the cornball gimmicks kind of ruin it. The other three like little Justin though, and put him through to Hollywood.
Lady Bow Wow brings her Shih Tzu to the audition with her for moral support. Or maybe she's hoping that it takes a dump on Simon's lap. Who knows. My knee-jerk reaction to this stringy-haired annoyance is hope that the judges will send the dog to Hollywood and this girl back to Hooters - a feeling that doesn't change much once she sings. If I ever wondered what a Britney cover of "Superstar" would sound like (I haven't), now I know. Kara also calls her out for mimicking Britney, which, in pop music industry speak, is a compliment. Everyone loves Lady Bow Wow's creaky door vocal stylings and she gets a golden ticket.
Suddenly, for no reason, Kara thrusts her breasts out like a hen looking for a mate and starts baiting Simon into kissing her. He just smiles and nods at her while swallowing his vomit.
Gun Moll Moreno screams a Chaka Khan song off key. Go figure.
Next up is Miss Placed Confidence, who thinks her version of Anita Baker's "Caught up in the Rapture" is all that, and she brings her mom in to back that up. The judges tell her no, but are actually really nice for a change. Simon is being quite charming. I'm toying with the idea of rekindling our fake relationship this season. (Any of you narcs tell Michael Johns and I'll grind you up for gator food.)
Candidata tells us she's a beauty queen, and has the tiara and sash to prove it. I'm guessing that she was a contestant in the Miss Trans-America Contest because...whoa. Fug. She opts for the old audition stand-by, Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing," which I assume will be a hot tranny mess. She starts out sounding like she's doing a weird impression, but then she's actually kind of good. Shocking. I think I can see her Adam's apple. Not shocking. Paula isn't getting enough attention, so she throws a faux tantrum and threatens to leave the room. This is all obviously a ruse to lure Candidata behind the wall so she can ask her if she has any blow. I assume the answer was yes, because before you can say, "sniiiiiiiiiff," Candidata is on her way to Hollywood.
Darin Darnell sings a Boyz II Men song and is not interesting enough for a nickname or a link. The judges cut him, and Kara tries to be "urban" by telling him, "We did you a solid." Good grief.
Randy's #2 Fan asks if she can bring in her friend who is, oddly enough, Randy's #1 Fan. Randy is happy to get any attention and lets the girl get all up in his Dawgness, and even lets her sit on Santa Jackson's lap to watch the audition. Upon seeing this, Paula immediately jumps in Simon's lap, leaving Kara without a partner. She begs Seacrest to come in and sit on her, and when he complies, she bounces him on her knee and gropes at his nips. Determined not to cry, Ryan goes to his happy place. In the midst of all this, there is an audition going on, and a bad one at that. There's a 99% chance that anyone who auditions with "Loving You" is going to suck, and this girl doesn't beat the odds. Ryan, who has been counting the "la la las" until his release, springs out of Kara's lap the minute the song is over and runs out of the room. The judges then unleash the old "oh, this audition was a joke" routine on Randy's #2 Fan until she cries. Like the girl they did this to last week in Louisville, I'm not convinced that this reaction is genuine. She was smiling and generally goofing off the whole time she was half-speaking the song, and as soon as Simon said anything, she fell apart. ACTING! Brilliant! THANK YOU!
At the end of Day 1 in Jacksonville, nine people make it through to Hollywood and, of those, the three that we've seen are only marginally talented. I'm guessing that no one from Jacksonville will be represented in the Top 24.
To kick off Day 2, Gabrielle Union shows up! She better bring it. She brings something to her version of Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry (Personal)," but I'm not sure what it is. A cold, maybe? She doesn't have a bad voice, but she's obviously a graduate of the Chrustin Richardslake™ School of Nasally Singing. Simon thinks she's cute and, more importantly, commercial, so give that kewpie doll a golden ticket!
The Unabomber's biggest dream is to live in a house with marble floors. Not surprising, then, that a wild man like this treats a feel-good song like "Walking on Sunshine" like a funeral dirge. He gets the boot, and only perks up when Ryan says, "We'll see ya," as if he thinks it's a come-on. And, come on, it probably is. Ryan has to get the smell of Kara off of him somehow.
Anne Marie obviously can't smell Kara well enough, because she sticks her nose up the new judge's rear the minute she walks into the audition room, and even sings a bit of some Kara-penned piece of junk. The producers must really like this girl, because the judges play "Pretty Woman" with her, by telling her to leave the room and come back as a "superstar." Groan.
The next auditioner introduces himself as T.K. Hash, causing Paula to whip around in her chair yelling, "Hash! What? Where?" Then she realizes it's just some guy who tried out last year and she goes back to sleep. T.K. sings "Imagine" in Little Lord Archuleroy style, and the judges tell him it's too over-the-top, with too many runs. Uhhhhh, aren't these the same judges who hailed Archie as the Messiah after he did the same exact thing? Oh, right. This is American Idol, where the judges' comments do not have to be consistent or coherent. At any rate, everyone agrees that T.K. has improved since last year, so they give him another shot.
Do Rag-a-Doodle is a crybaby street musician who sings "Jumper" with an affected, whiny, almost-British accent. The judges say no, and he reacts like Simon is his Dad, who just told him he's not allowed to borrow the car tonight. Ugh. Upon leaving, he whines some more about how he's gonna make it, and then kills any chance of that by looking like an immature douchebag when he barks "don't touch me!" at his Mom when she tries to comfort him. I wish he would step out on that ledge. Just end the misery, dude.
The show is about to end, but not before Anne Marie returns, looking remarkably similar to the way she did before. All she did was take off her jacket and slap some makeup on. She sings one of the most boring songs in the world, "Bubbly," and the judges shower her with praise and a golden ticket. Ah, the power of eye shadow.
Only seven folks from Day 2 make it to Hollywood, for a grand total of 16 from Jacksonville. I guess this is what happens when you go looking for young talent in a city full of retired seniors and clueless tourists.
Tomorrow night, it's off to David Archuleta's home state of Utah. Prepare for a visit from the Little Lord, and hold onto your hats for The Osmonds 2.0. Well, maybe just one Osmond - Alan's son, David. If he makes it to the Top 24, I hope to gosh that he covers this at some point. I would definitely vote for him.
Photo Challenge, Day 4
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