Idol Worshippers, welcome to another week of the never ending American Idol auditions. I swear, somewhere we were promised live shows. And well, we’ll get them next week, but tonight, we ran into TWO more speed bumps en route to the live round. More on those later. But first, a couple complaints (per usual) from your favorite neighborhood Idolater. Complaint #1: What. Is. Up. With. 4x speed this season? We get you have 61 contestants to dwindle down to 24 and only 1 hour to give us Beatles Night (thankfully we won’t have any of that during the actual season, as we’ve done away with theme nights), but more than 20 seconds per vocalist would be nice. I would like to formulate an opinion on them. After all, we’ll be eventually voting for whoever Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Randy Jackson put through. Complaint #1.1: Going along with Complaint #1, we get 1 hour tonight plus 2 hours tomorrow showing contestants walk down that long ass runway to get the final verdict. Instead of drawing those out, it’d be nice to have seen longer clips of contestants singing. Contestants that aren’t named Lauren Alaina, for example. (And no, I have nothing against Lauren, but we’ll touch on her later).
Complaint #2: What was up with the random filler with our “vocal coach from hell.” Peggi was only telling it like it is. Why you gotta make her out to be the bad guy? If there’s one thing that’s really bugging me about Idol this season, it’s the editing. I think I got that one covered already, though. Why, in all of 10 seasons, is this the first time we were really starting to get an in depth look at the vocal coaches and it turns out to be a grouchy edit. I know we had a couple in the past, but never that were highlighted in such a way. Plus, was she really only “mean” to Thia and Melinda? Me thinks because we didn’t see her working with anyone else, it could have definitely been a scripted moment. Oops, I probably wasn’t supposed to say that. “Reality” TV would never do such a thing.
Complaint #3: Who. Doesn’t. Know. The. Beatles? That is all. Complaint #4. Why are we extending these audition rounds as if they are a never ending saga. From cities to Hollywood to group round to “sing for your life” to secret rooms to Vegas to “sing for your life again because you haven’t already done so all season long” to Top 24 to America votes for Top 12 to …. wait, where are we going after that? Oh ya, the live shows. Also, did you notice the Coca Cola screen made it back tonight? Did that make you squee in your seat (wait, that doesn’t sound right), marking the official return of lousy, filler and awkward Seacrest couch interviews? Well, we had a fast, busy night ahead of us, so let’s take a look as best as we can at the Vegas auditions before our first look at some who’ve already cracked the Top 24!
First off, can someone please tell James Durbin to turn off the Adam Lambert impersonation? It’s too soon to be on such an equal level with the vocal tone as the runner up to Kris Allen. Granted, Durbin doesn’t have as flamboyant of a personality (and Kara isn’t around to oogle over him) but the voices are blending almost too perfectly and that could very well hurt Durbin in the end (if he makes it through). That said, I still like how he draws his inspiration from David Cook, although that “tail” of his could go any day and I wouldn’t miss it. His pairing off with Stefano Langone tonight made me wanting more than just the usual high power vocals he tries to deliver every night. From there, we moved on to the newly crowned MySpace girl. Are we to believe of all the MySpace entries, a) Karen Rodriguez was the only one worthwhile and b) did anyone ask Karen if she wants to be known as “MySpace girl?” Ryan needs to quit with the labels and let her do her thang with former high school classmate Pia Toscano. Pia’s got the stronger, more unique voice but Karen can hold her own. Just dump the MySpace ad. No one uses it anymore.
Up next, the theme became “less is more” with Haley Reinhart, Naima Adedapo and Jacob Lusk. After being warned to carefully tackle the Beatles (which Jacob has never done before), the judges felt a little underwhelmed. Personally, I think they (mostly Jacob) stuck in too many runs and drawn out “ooooooo’s” for the Beatles. That could detract from his voice in the future if that’s all he ends up relying on, so I’d like to see more from him now, rather than later if he even gets the chance. Also, just a question. Well, I have more questions, but right now, just one. Rachel Zevita, why the veil?
Now, I take a moment here to recognize what was my favorite audition moment of the night. The combined efforts of Tim Halperin and Julie Zorrilla (pictured above) behind the keyboards, joining forces in perfect harmony to tackle the Brit greats. Singing with conviction and emotion, you knew these two are in it to win it. Should they make it through, I expect them both to be forces to be reckoned with. Also, in a very non-biased remark (/sarcasm), I’m laying claim to Julie as my favorite from now. Mark my words, she’ll make it far. Bold claim, but I’m sticking to my guns on this one here. Plus, I’m a sucker for girls who can play the piano. Anyways, onwards my fellow soldiers.
After seeing Lakeisha Lewis sing with Jerome Bell and Tatynisa Wilson tonight, I immediately asked myself “Why have we not seen more Lakeisha?” Well my question was answered by the Idol gods (is that a double positive?) with her elimination and rejection from the Top 24. Can I insert another complaint here? Heck, who am I asking…I make the rules. Complaint #5: Was it necessary, the powers that be at 19 Entertainment, to give so much unnecessary filler airtime to Ashley Sullivan, or should I say Ashley Suraiva? That valuable time could have been spent showing me more singing in a singing competition. Imagine that. Oh, and another question. Do you think Ashley realizes that even though she married in the same place her idol, Britney Spears, said “I do,” those vows were nixed within hours. Let’s hope those rules don’t apply to Ashley and her man. I wonder how the camera man enjoyed the ceremony.
Enter Lauren Alaina. Now, let me just lay the disclaimer out there first. As I’ve mentioned in previous recaps (which I’m sure you all read with baited breath), I do not have anything against her personally, nor do I think that she’s not deservedly at the stage she’s in. But …. and you knew that was coming …. I’m still a little peeved at Papa Nigel for the special treatment he seems to be subtly providing, with the suspense behind her singing he keeps building. And I keep blaming old poor Lythgoe, the man behind another favorite of mine, So You Think You Can Dance. He’s got a slew of folks behind it too, but his previous tout that her voice rivals that of Kelly is pretty big to live up to. Personally, I don’t see it. Maybe I’m wrong – you can hurl your insults at me below for questioning, but I’m expecting more when you compare someone to the original Idol herself. As for her performance, the phone booth bit was slightly full of cheese but this is Idol and can we say for certain the producers didn’t have a little impact on that choreography? Also, Scotty McCreary was able to sing a non-Josh Turner tune. Imagine that. And there I go with the cynicism again.
With our last Beatles performance of the night, saving one of the best for last, was Robbie Rosen joining forces with Jordan Dorsey and Aaron Sanders. One thought: We need to hear Aaron some more. Why has he not been showcased as frequently? That dude can blow, as Mr. Jackson so eloquently puts it. And that was where our beloved Seacrest called it quits from Vegas. After another opening credit montage (which I’m liking more and more as I see it over and over), Ryan informs us that the judges will now dwindle the selection to 12 guys and 12 girls for the top 24, after one more “sing for your life” round. I promise, this will be it. Tonight, Idol only put through 5 of the 24, as the other 19 will be revealed tomorrow night. Let’s take a look at our first few chosen ones in 10 words or less.
Naima Adedapo: Soulful, passionate, full of heart. Definitely a favorite.
Clint Jun Gamboa: Promising, but lose the glasses please. Potential, need more info.
Haley Reinhart: Raspy voice sending goose pimples to Tyler. Extremely promising.
Paul McDonald: Potential dark horse of the season with relatively little exposure.
Ashthon Jones: Want. To. Hear. More. Now. Strong & powerful voice.
Now, I’ll end our convo with a short tangent on Chris Medina. The interwebs are bound to be in uproar tomorrow following his elimination from the competition. The man said it himself, which I think is probably the reason behind his demise – his fiance was more popular than he was. Sadly, that’s true. I was starting to worry he’d turn into another Andrew Garcia with a hint of Gokey. For once, as one of our members here so eloquently put it, the judges and Idol set aside the touching back story and looked at the voice and growth throughout the competition. The man is by no means a loser and hopefully his fans understand that. Ok, off my soap box. With that, we’ll tackle J Lo’s breakdown tomorrow…I’m still trying to slow my brain down from tonight’s fast forward feel.
And with that my fellow fans, this recap comes to a close. What did you think of last night’s episode? Were you pleased with what we saw and who made it through? Be sure to let us know and join us tomorrow for the rest of the reveal in our live-Idol discussion thread in the FORUM.