Tonight's Idol was surprisingly more entertaining than many of the other audition episodes, possibly because the sob stories were kept to a minimum. Or maybe it's because it just got off to a fun start, with Simon and Ryan flirting and vintage Randy Jackson footage featuring him sporting a Kid-like sky-high flattop as he played bass in Journey. I was ready to go.
I would have never thought that Joshua Ulloa, the first contestant, had a chance in hell. He wore sunglasses, a Guarini-esque hairdo, groped himself, posed, and sang the instrumentals on "Let's Get it On" (which happened a lot tonight, for some reason). The beatboxing, the scatting, it was all irritating, but he sang just well enough to make it through. I can see him being one of the guys who cries during Hollywood week. But Randy gave him the "good looking out" so what do I know?
Next we saw how desperate Kara is for Simon's love. Sharon Wilbur brought her dog Sasha to the competition (at least “admitting” that she was doing it more for herself than the Shih Tzu) and sang "Superstar." Why does everyone sing this song? I don't know if I'd ever even heard it pre-Idol. Anyway, she sang it with way too many twists and turns, with Kara pointing out that Sharon sounded like Britney Spears. But she made it through, Paula and Kara pretended to make out for some reason, and then Kara announced, "My job isn't done here until Simon tries something on me." Sorry, Kara--Simon already has Paula, Ryan and himself in his heart--no room for one more.
Then Dana Moreno sang, I think, the Kanye West version of Chaka Khan's "Through the Fire" which was quite entertaining.
We met Kaneswa Finnie, yet another auditioner who sang the instrumentals of a song, and possibly the most tone-deaf singer I've ever seen. "Your voice is just TERRIBLE!" Simon said, but with a smile because the girl was cute in her madras dress. Her mom was sweet too, and one of the first middle-aged African-American women of the season who Ryan got physically familiar with. He loves 'em. Who doesn't?
I liked Julissa Veloz, a contestant for Miss Florida Latina USA. She had a cute personality, and her audition, as Simon pointed out, was better than it seemed like it would be. Paula got mad that nobody asked her her opinion though but Julissa calmed her down. She's strangely appealing for a beauty pageant contestant.
Then we met Darin Darnell, the energetic guy who was "working the room," licking some girl's hair, until some friend he made got eliminated. He cried during his audition and Randy made an uncharacteristically funny, subtle face. Kara made a good point though that they were saving him some heartache as the music biz is paved with it.
Simon then dissed Mariah Carey big time when some girl with yellow nailpolish compared herself to the singer and Simon said, "So you're a talented loony?" After the contestant invited a friend of hers in to meet Randy, the fan sat on his lap and Paula sat on Simon's lap, which, I'm sorry, gets me every time. "Been a while," Simon said with a smile. They're too cute. Then, Ryan was summoned to sit on Kara's lap which he did not seem to care for very much at all, despite her manhandling his baby-pecs and head. Everyone knew the singer was awful--Paula put her head on her desk and even Randy's #1 fan made a face. Ryan fled the scene while we had another one of those awkward moments where the judges though the audition was a joke but it wasn't. We closed this complex audition with a group hug which Simon eyed from afar, suspiciously. It was, overall, very satisfying.
Then we met Jasmine Murray. She was very cute and sang "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Fergie but I thought she way sang through the nose, despite the judges loving her.
George Ramirez is such a Beauty and the Geek "before" it kills me--he is clearly a decent-looking guy, seemingly nice, but covered up by a huge, probably-stinky beard. I enjoyed how he stood awkwardly with Ryan, but his audition was also hilarious. "Stop. OMG stop" were my notes. Randy once again made me laugh with his facial expression, and then he commented, "That was the quietest audition ever!" Poor George.
I was kind of confused by what pissed Simon off so much about Michael Perrelli, the kid who freaked out because he didn't play with his guitar. I mean, I know what pissed me off about him--his smiley-face backpack, and his whole look, with the necklaces and belt buckle and bandana and tongue-piercing. But he didn't plead his case for the judges much more than many other contestants, so I got the feeling that something was cut out of his audition. But let's get to the real story--Ryan schooling him on how one ought to speak to one's mother (NOT by saying "Don't touch me!")
We closed with Anne Marie Boskovitch, who tried out earlier in the episode by telling Kara how much she liked her (without ever mentioning her name) and singing some of her songs. Simon told Anne Marie to come back after she'd sexed herself up a little, basically--take off the jean jacket, honey. The cynical side of me thinks that this whole thing was staged because this gal is clearly good-looking and can sing and how weird is it that they happened to find hotter shoes that fit her and a makeup artist? But I don't care that much--she seems like a good singer and an OK chick so I'm fine with the makeover all in all.
Tomorrow we head to Salt Lake City, home of David Archuleta. Also I guess we're going to hear the premiere of Kelly Clarkson's new song. I hope it's good but we'll see.
--"You were inspired by David Archuleta, I think" Paula told that one guy who sang “Imagine.” Good looking out, Paula.
--George Ramirez's version of "Walking on Sunshine" was the best. "And don't it feel good?" he sang as a question, to which Simon said, spot-on, "No."