Wednesday, February 10, 2010

American Idol 9: "Hollywood is a Disgusting Town"

The first round of AI's Hollywood week wasn't horribly exciting, but it was fairly enjoyable for one big reason. No, it wasn't because of Ellen's debut (even though I do think she did a great job). It was because Round 1 was A VERY SPECIAL CONTESTANT BLOODBATH!!! Yes, many VSCs were surprisingly purged from this year's crop of hopefuls, which either means that the judges have finally decided that this is a singing competition or, more likely, that there are even more special VSCs waiting to be revealed, who will put the old VSCs to shame. I guess those would be ESCs - EXTREMELY special contestants. Like, there's probably some dude with a metal plate in his head who was raised by wolves and his Mama wolf was killed by a hunter on his 13th birthday, and then he was sent to a foster home and his human foster parents were crackheads, and because they took such bad care of him, he's now got some rare disease that doctors haven't even made up a name for yet. And he's color blind.

Since there were 181 contestants sent to Hollywood, the first "sudden death" round focused on just a handful of hopefuls, most of whom we met during the auditions. Groups of eight took to the stage, and each person sang either a cappella or with their own instrumental accompaniment.

Katie Stevens, the cute girl whose grandmother has Alzheimer's, somehow avoided the VSC purge. I shouldn't say "somehow," as if she just got lucky, because she did a really nice a cappella rendition of "For Once in My Life." Skii Bo Ski proved he "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," when he tried to charm the judges into giving him a second chance after a not-so-great audition. He didn't get it.

A montage of Simon loathing everyone preceded Andrew Garcia's audition, so it was pretty easy to figure out that this guy would be the one to make Simon put down his cup of Haterade. He did a nice, acoustic version of P-Ab's "Straight Up," which reminded me of how much I miss Drunky already. And, even though Andrew sounded fine, it was just another David Cook/Kris Allen/every coffeehouse crooner move that certainly didn't deserve to be labeled "genius" by Kara. A pass to the next round? Yeah, sure, I guess he deserved that.

Vanessa Wolfe (aka Hick Chick) got even more screen time, as the cameras documented her trip from Mayberry to L.A., complete with her Ma cryin' at the aeroport about how she "cain't hardly take thee-yus." I thought for sure poor ol' Vanessa would stick around, even after she sang "No Rain" like a scared billy goat, but she was the first VSC to fall!

A bunch of other crybabies got booted, and the editors spliced in that clip of Simon going, "I hated everythinK about that" a few more times.

Amadeo DiRocco (or, as I prefer to call him, Rocco Amadeus) failed to impress the judges this time around and was told to fuhgettabouit. Oh-oh. I think at least one judge might get whacked tonight.(Kara Kara Kara Kara.)

I didn't remember Janell Wheeler from the auditions (and considering I didn't watch many of them, I'm not surprised), but I really liked her. She did a great, raspy, acoustic version of Estelle's "American Boy," and easily went on to the next round.

After that decent display of guitarswomanship (shut up, it's a word now), we got to see several contestants who obviously couldn't sing and play instruments at the same time, but apparently they thought they would look cool if they did anyway. Fail.

Haeley Vaughn followed that montage with another display of guitarswomanship. She wasn't bad, but I didn't like her as much as Janelle. I think it was because of that superfluous "e" in her name. I guess it didn't bother the judges because she got to stay in Hollywood. AND SHE'S ONLY 16, YO!

Mary Powers, the "rocker mom" moved on to the next round after doing a good Pink impression on "Sober." I just looked that song up and discovered that Kara is one of its co-writers, which annoys me because I hate to admit when I like anything that Kara has had anything to do with. But I wonder how much she actually had to do with it. Apparently, the song was written by Marcella Araica, Kara, Danja Hills, 333 Productions and Pink. Now, I like that song, but seriously, it took that many people to come up with it? Good Lord.

Ellen made a group of four people step forward and back in an endless game of "you're all obviously going through," and Seacrest waited until the cameras were on him and then hugged one of the female crew members backstage, just to show us that he's AWESOME and really cares about the little people. Sure, until one of them forgets his double mochaccino.

Jay Stone was either beatboxing or having a heart attack. He was cut before I could find out which.

Lilly Scott took the stage next for an acoustic version of "Lullaby of Birdland," and even though her blindingly platinum hair made my eyeballs ache, her voice was very easy on the ears. She was probably my favorite of the night.

Michael Lynche (also a frequent shopper at Superfluous Es R Us) carried on with his audition despite the fact that his wife was going into labor. He sang "Waiting on the World to Change" and, since it was okay but not at all original or special, he breezed through to the next round. And then I swear I saw Jason Castro's brother Michael walking next to him. Is that idiot still hanging around, trying to make it?

Tim "Greg Brady" Urban covered a David Cook song in a rather boring manner and somehow remained in the competition.

Justin "Cancer Guy" Williams got all breathy and cheesy behind the keyboards, and his lounge lizardness obscured what the heck song it was that he was singing. Figuring, as I did, that Justin would stay anyway, my roommate/struggling musician/supposed AI-hater (I say "supposed," because he watched the entire episode with me) Jon groused, "He's totally getting by on his looks. Fuck him!" And as if the judges heard him, Justin was cut loose. Cancer Guy. They cut Cancer Guy. GOOD LOOKING CANCER GUY. Shit is going down this year on AI!

The VSC massacre continued with Paige "Asthma Girl" DeChausse and, most surprising of all, Maddy Curtis, the girl whose four brothers have Down's Syndrome. Looks like there will be no Lifetime movie about American Idol Season 9. Sorry, Kellie Martin. Sorry, Gail O'Grady. Sorry, Joe Penny.

I didn't see the big deal over Casey James. He had a decent voice, but Kara was salivating over him like he was a chocolate coated Dexatrim. I didn't see the big deal over Didi Benami either, the waitress who sang one of Kara's songs. I imagine that her waitressing skills are much better than her vocal talent but not nearly as good as her ass-kissing ability. Both of these not-big deals made it through to the next round, of course.

The last auditioner of the day was that damn dirty hippie Crystal Bowersox, who never met a toothbrush that she didn't want to not use. Image problems aside, her acoustic version of "Natural Woman" was really good. If she makes it to the Top 24, I'm sure the producers will spring for some Lever 2000 and Zoom whitening.


20123 said...

任何你憂慮的事,你都應該去採取一點行動,不要只是在那邊想 ..................................................

Candy's daily Dandy said...

I totally agree with 20123...hahaha!

I love Ellen. She classes the joint up a bit, doncha think?

Anonymous said...

There were some VERY talented people last night! I think Ellen did a great job too!!

Travis said...

I didn't watch any auditions, so everyone was fresh to me last night. I must say the most enjoyable part of the show was Ellen taking the bite out of cuts and the over-the-top hyperbole out of the wins.

I did like a few of the contestants, but no one has blown me away yet.

GothicBttrfly said...

Great recap as usual. I really like Ellen, to bad we couldn't have lost Kara and had E and Drunky, that would have been pure entertainment.

Bond said...

Have not heard one person who made me look up and take notice, though Lilly Scott might have that ability

SkylersDad said...

Your first paragraph describes my upbringing exactly!

Well... except for the color blind part...

carissajaded said...

I didn't watch a lot of it, but I did watch enough to really like Andrew Garcia and to wonder what they were thinking with that Blind Melon girl...

And I wasn't sure about Ellen, but I think I like her actually.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Gotta agree with 20123 on this one, seeing as I have never actually watched the show.

Idolhead Ed said...

That was Castro lite. That's the bad news. The good news, he got cut. I know these things.

Andy said...

Great recap, and I really mean that- you actually took time to give some insight into the contestants.

I was so very glad to have some VSCs kicked out. I don't watch to see VSCs achieve their dreams. By the end of each season, you don't even remember the backstories, anyway.

I loved Andrew's Straight Up rendition, and I thought it was more than just an acoustic version. It had personality, and he made interesting, good decisions on the phrasing.

Lilly was my other favorite- she is so perfect for this show, as long as the judges don't peg her for something she is not (a rocker or a singer/songerwriter or some other pigeonhole)

Penny said...

I am just not feeling AI this year. I forget it's on some nights.
I figured by Hollywood week I would jump back in but I have not done so yet.


Kristi Mantoni said...

I liked a few of the kids last night. According to Rickey, they are all in the top whatever-number-it-is-this-year. Yeah!!! Excellent recap as always!!!!

Anonymous said...

Since I'm obviously choosing "LOST" over "Idol" on Tuesdays, because you know, I have TASTE, I knew I could rely on you for a recap of the best bits.

words...words...words... said...

I'm discovering that not watching the show means I can choose my favorites based purely on how cute they are. This is very freeing. I therefore declare Katie Stevens my favorite based just on that picture. In the same vein, I'm sorry to see adorable Maddy go bye-bye.


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