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American Idol: San Francisco Auditions


American Idol

San Francisco Auditions

Season 8 , Episode 3

Community Grade

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 After being glued to the screen all day, I hoped that Idol would be a nice stupid break from an intense day of viewing. Unfortunately I just wanted to go to sleep (or see inaugural ball footage) instead of watching tonight's episode. At least tonight's audition episode was only an hour long and took place in San Francisco, where nothing of note has happened except for the Summer of Love.
We started off with Tatiana del Toro, singer, model, film actor and assistant (only assistant?) director. You may recall her as the girl with the horribly annoying yet never-ending laugh and the strange homemade ball gown. "I have a wonderful personality," I think I heard her tell Ryan, after informing us that she wanted to win Idol more than anyone has ever wanted anything and that she would outsing everyone on the planet, one by one. After she informed me that she is the greatest artist I have ever seen, I realized, Holy shit, she is for real. She clearly put some money into that press kit of hers, perhaps by being "naughty." But the chick could maybe actually sing if she toned it down a bit and found the right genre for herself. Like Bikini Girl, I hope she sticks around because she could be extremely entertaining (as long as she doesn't laugh).
The judges were rather tedious tonight. Simon decided that he hated Jesus Valenzula (the guy who brought his kids with him who looked like a Hispanic Robbie Williams). Simon hated him, for some reason, even though the guy was no worse than plenty of other people they've let through. Then they did that long drawn out "what will the last judge think?" thing which always means that person will go through, yet this still went on with a few other contestants. Then Simon hugged a little kid and we were treated to an annoying montage of Kara and Simon fighting which isn't nearly as fun as when Simon and Paula fight because you can tell that Simon still kind of loves Paula, probably because she's so crazy. Case in point: when Kara claimed that Simon has a "heart of coal," Paula helpfully elucidated that he actually has a "heart of rocks."
Then we saw Akilah Askew-Gholston audition (crazy boots, crazy overalls, crazy long hair). Actually, I am pretty sure that she was not entirely mentally healthy--her binder of anatomy and original songs didn't help her cause. Original songs never make you look sane. I may be crazy myself because at first I thought she had sort of a cool voice but then she got the hook in a drawn-out way. As Kara put it to Simon, “How can you yell at certain people and let certain people run on?"
Adam Lambert is the guy who was in the cast of Wicked and I guess he is important because a very important-sounding Coldplay song played over his audition. Despite the fact that he wore hair just like David Cook and that David Cook seemed very comfortable singing Andrew Lloyd Weber, Randy proclaimed that it was "time for someone like you." Randy is at the forefront of last season.
Finally, we got to the emotional story that was promised to us all night--the guy who takes care of his mom. Kai Kalama put his personal life on the backburner so that he could nurse his mother, who has a seizure disorder, and it was touching because we learned this while Israel Kamakawiwo Ole's version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" played. Actually, all snark aside, Kalama was the first standout of the auditions to me. He has a nice voice and looks sweet, despite his suspiciously Guarini-esque hair. He did threaten, however, to "spread music across the world."
Tomorrow night we go to Churchill Downs, for more horseracing puns than you ever wished for. Bet on it!
Grade: B-
Stray observations:
--Paula's hat was dumb.
--Favorite freak of the night: Nick Reed, the weird redhead beatboxer. That kid has it all figured out.
--How can someone come in to an audition not knowing what to sing?
--If you're ever bored while watching Idol, the most amusing thing is to watch the interviews with weirdo contestants (like Tatiana) and look at the bemused/horrified people sitting nearby.