Wednesday, February 01, 2012

American Idol 11: As Portland Turns

Perhaps Paul Westerberg said it best when he said: And your ears are gonna ring/And your eyes just wanna close/Nothing changes I suppose/It's too late to turn back, here we go/Portland, oh no

Yeah, Portland may be overrun with quirky, artistic types, but music doesn't seem to be their art of choice. Of course, the majority of tonight's auditioners aren't actually from Portland, which makes sense. Real Portlanders don't have time for this shiz. When they're not working at little coffee shops you squares have never heard of, they're busy sewing their own clothes and trying to form sketch comedy troupes.

Brittany Zika is a Portland hipster who does have time for AI, which is the first red flag that she's not a real hipster, but just likes to play one when people are watching. (Which, in case you didn't know, is much worse than being one for real.) Second red flag: she's obsessed with the sickeningly mainstream Sara Bareilles. Third red flag: when Randy asks her to abandon her hat and oversized glasses, she doesn't even give it a second thought. And I don't give her a second thought because she sounds like every fourth indie chick singer in the world. But J.Lo claims that Brittany has one of the prettiest voices they've heard so far, so she's on to Hollywood.

Ben Purdom is 18 years old and full of snot. Literally. This kid keeps blowing his nose and trying to cough up mucus, and it's making me want to vomit. His singing doesn't make me feel much better, but at least I saw it coming. I mean, any guy who shoves a Kleenex up his schnoz on-screen and announces that he'll be singing "Born This Way" is invariably going to suck. But then he switches over to "Super Bass," which, oddly, doesn't sound that terrible. I mean, he can sing better than I can. But that will never be enough for a golden ticket.

Seacrest must have climbed up a beanstalk to find Jermaine Jones, who is 6' 8"...and a half. Jermaine is adamant that no one forgets that half inch, so I have to assume that he has a brother who's 6' 9" and he's suffering from Little Man Syndrome. Jermaine sings "Superstar" in a nice, churchy manner, but I can't imagine him lasting long in this competition. I bet George Huff and Jacob Lusk would agree.

Wow, so that's the end of Day One. Three people featured from one day. Everyone else must be trying out for Project Runway.

On Day Two, J.Lo makes everyone stop everything until someone finds her black tights. Oh, to be a diva.

Very Special Contestant (VSC) Britnee Kellogg is sad. She was married to a jerk. He held her back from following her dreams. He told her she couldn't make it in the music biz. She gave up her dreams to help him follow his, and then he cheated on her. Now, she's a single mom and it's hard. But she will survive. She sings "You're No Good" (natch) and makes it to the Hollywood round. Take that, cheating bastard! Quick, someone tell Nora Roberts this girl's story so she can write the book and sell the movie rights to Lifetime. I can't decide if Britnee should be played by Candace Cameron Bure or Laura Harris...

Oh, by the way, Britnee has a really good voice. But I just immediately dislike anyone who comes out with the sob stories a-blazin'. Especially in her case, because she doesn't need all that.

Sam Gershman thinks she's a comedienne and a singer, but she's neither. She's lucky she has an amazing rack. Or maybe it's just a really good bra.

Huh huh huhuhuh...the next guy's name is Weed. David Weed. This nerd from Idaho tries to get some Geddy Lee all up in the judges, and although he doesn't sound that bad in the very beginning, it goes to hell pretty quickly. He takes the rejection well, but may end up going home and taking out some pent up aggression on all the people who've been telling him all these years what a good singer he is. I kind of feel bad for David because I think he might actually be legit. If not, he's a great actor.

The second VSC of the evening is Romeo Daihn, a refugee from Liberia. He lived through hell, wants the American dream, yadda yadda, you know the drill. As far as VSCs go, he is actually pretty matter-of-fact about his trials and tribulations, and not really playing it up (openly weeping, waving a little American flag) as much as the Idol producers would like. I kind of like him for that reason, but his voice is just OK. He sounds like all of these slightly raspy dudes (Ray Lamontagne, James Morrison) with a bit of a reggae flair. I'd bet a million dollars that he'd never make it to the next round without the backstory, but he has it, so he's in.

On the other hand, there's Naomi Gillies who has no sob story, yet gets rave reviews for her very average rendition of "Cryin'." Go figure.

Naomi's choice of cover provides a perfect segue into the parade of losers segment, set to the Aerosmith original. People sob and punch the camera as if being told they aren't good enough by the woman who sings "On the Floor" and the guy who played with Journey in their lame years is the worst insult ever.

Ben Harrison is a self-proclaimed "adorable" guy. I proclaim him creepy. It's like someone ripped the head off of a baby doll and sewed it to a man's body. It's like the Stay Puft Marshmallow man and an '80s weatherman had a kid and it decided to have no respect for my favorite Queen song. He can't be gone fast enough for me.

That ominous piano music can only mean one thing: there's another sob story on the horizon! The third VSC and final auditioner of the day is Jessica Phillips, who has been her boyfriend's caretaker ever since he had a stroke. Jessica doesn't shamelessly parade her boyfriend around like Chris Medina did with his paralyzed girlfriend, so she gets points for that. And yes, it's admirable that she stood by him and all that, but AGAIN, that has nothing to do with whether or not she can sing. And much like Romeo, she is an average singer who would most likely never make it through on talent alone. But guess what? She gets a golden ticket because these are the days of our lives.

Tomorrow night, the St. Louis auditions air along with a new Madonna video. Hopefully, the judges will tell Madge that music just isn't her thing.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Cora said...

That baby-headed guy creeped me the hell out too. He looked like an overgrown cupid. And what dude walks around posing like that and saying "I'm adorable!"???? Was he on Toddlers and Tiaras in a former life?

Nice to see you back, by the way. You've been missed!

Scope said...

Didn't they have a "Romeo Daihn" like character earlier in the competition, but his accent was too thick and he didn't know any of the words?

Looks like the producers liked the story line, and wanted to get it right the second time.


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