‘Idol’ Worship: The Good, The Bad and the Tone Deaf

The third week of ‘American Idol’ took us to Austin and Los Angeles, where we saw the usual parade of talent and freaks. Steven Tyler continues to amuse, and the general tone continues to be upbeat and engaging.

We started in Austin with Corey, who had a lost sister just like Oprah did. They were reunited and now are best buddies. There was a lovely montage with horseback riding. His sister got to sit on the judges panel. He sang well and was voted through to Hollywood. My prediction is that he’ll fail because he doesn’t have his own style.

Next up was Hollie – a young, fragile blonde thing ala Brooke White. After her first song, the judges told her she wasn’t ready, and she cried. They let her sing another song, and she did slightly better, so they put her through. These judges are wusses.

We then got to see a bunch who didn’t get through – voices not strong enough, not what they were looking for, didn’t have the “It” factor. Since this was Austin, we then got a bad cowboy montage, which led us to a contestant named John Wayne. He had a backstory of life on the ranch, and a mom with breast cancer who made him try out. He could sing and was damn good looking. He’s going to Hollywood.

My favorite sound byte of the week was when Steven asked a contestant what he did for a living. The contestant replied that he did clinical trials for a pharmaceutical company. Steven answered, “We have something in common. That’s pretty much the whole ’70s for me.” Good times.

We had Courtney, who was in love with Ryan. Her story was told with background music of Lionel Richie’s “Hello.” I don’t know who makes the song choices in editing, but I love it. She actually had a decent voice and got a ticket.

We had Jacqueline and Nick, who auditioned as a couple. Both could sing, both are going to Hollywood. It’s doubtful they’ll survive, but you’ve got to have some couples storylines for Hollywood week.

Jennifer Lopez is now hawking razors? Really? Those baby diapers must be expensive.

There wasn’t much else interesting in Austin: a crying Armadillo, angry contestants. The last contestant was Casey, whose job description was, “Works at Film Camp.” He sang Ray Charles. Damn, that was a good audition, but can he sing more than one song?

For Los Angeles, Randy wore the craziest pair of gold shoes ever. Jennifer showed up in short shorts one day, and a crazy old lady head scarf the next. Her style is very hard to pin down.

We started LA with Victoria, who was a screamer and consistently off key. Another thing I’ve noticed about the tone deaf is that they have some crazy vibrato. We had Justin, who Jennifer told that his voice/tone lacked balls. Wow. And she said it in the nicest way.

Then we had Daniel and Isaac, two gay buddies who were auditioning together, neither of whom could sing. The saddest part was that Isaac had dropped out of college to pursue his dream and not told his mother. They’re not going to Hollywood, but at least they’re good looking.

Then we had some people who’d auditioned online through MySpace. People are still using MySpace?

The most delusional one in LA was Tynisha. Completely crazy. Crazy hair. Crazy eyebrows. Chased Randy around. Someone call security.

We had Heidi, who showed her belly dancing talents and also had a decent voice. Randy and Steven instantly said yes.

Matt from MSFP had his own CD. Good time delusions. His best quote was, “I think Randy’s pissed because he’s not related to Michael Jackson or Samuel L. Jackson.”

One more montage of bad singers.

Then we had brothers Mark and Aaron. They sang a duet of “Lean on Me.” They were completely and utterly adorable in every way, and are going to Hollywood. Again, brothers/couples are excellent for Hollywood week drama.

Lastly in Austin, we had Cooper, a 59-year-old street performer specializing in James Brown. I didn’t feel good.

Hang in there with me. We’re almost through the auditions. I’m still feeling very excited about our prospects for the season and about the energy on the judging panel. Next week, we’ve got auditions on Wednesday, and Hollywood week begins Thursday.


  1. you know, I really love these coming about a week late – reminds me what happened the previous week. Good recap. However, could we get these posted on Wednesdays instead of on Thursdays? Would greatly be appreciated

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