After last night’s Dullsville in San Fran, we’re here to see if Louisville can be a pick me up. (And yes, I’ll be blogging “Lost” tonight, too!)
My conclusion: Yes! Louisville! Can! The producers gave the city two days (as opposed to one for San Francisco.). In one hour, we heard 10 of 19 contestants who go to Hollywood. That’s a good ratio!
To start off, Tiffany Shedd, the blonde with too much eyeliner, corrupts Mariah Carey’s “Hero.” She leaves all bitter, like the typical deluded bad singers.
You know the next gal is going to be good because they can’t torture us twice in a row. Joanna Pacitti, a gorgeous 23 unemployed gal, came to L.A. at age 16 to get that lucky break but it’s been tough for her over the years. Kara recognizes her, knew she had been signed to a major label before. It’s nice to see “Idol” actually reference this so openly. She does Pat Benatar’s “We Belong.” She isn’t quite as desperate as Carly Smithson or as dull as Brooke White, last year’s female label rejects. Her singing? Solid, though probably not as powerful as Carly’s. And you know her tears are real.
Mark Mudd is a true Southern boy from Kentucky who’s been through two bad car wrecks and almost died five times, he says. He is a relative of Samuel Mudd, who treated John Wilkes Booth. He’s really really Southern in his singing style. He’s amusing but not good enough for this competition. “You’re not bad but this isn’t the right competition for you,” Paula said. He says, “Be careful.” Paula perceives it to be a threat but it’s clear he wasn’t being mean about it. I think, given his background, “be careful” is like “goodbye.”
Brent Keith Smith from Ohio (a traveling musican) is a Southern boy who can sing. He’s got the looks, charisma and just enough vocal skills to make it to Hollywood, for sure, for sure. Simon wanted a more emotional song than Bad Company but says yes.
After the break, a few losers. Irene Angueloba misses a few notes. Okay, maybe a lot of notes. Obianuju Omwurah sounds like a Munchkin. Wil Heuser is odd. Ryan Benningfield is odder. Patrick Warner (”Billie Jean”) is clearly a joke.
Dueling pianist Matt sounded kind of boy band-ish. I actually missed a part of it (and his last name) because the DVR went a bit nutty on me. “You remind me of Elliott from season five,” Simon said. “Your problem is you don’t believe in yourself. You could be great.” What’s his last name?
Ross Plavsic is an intellect who studied how to sing and Chinese in the most boring manner possible. Whatever he learned didn’t actually translate to singing talent. Horrific! “Air was really dry,” he said, as his excuse. He drinks Paula’s drink, whatever it is, through her straw. He’s no better. New cup for Paula! Somehow, he gets applause when he sings badly out in the hall.
Alexis Grace from Memphis, a mom who had a baby at age 19, hits Aretha hard and gets away with it. “Whoo!” Paula yelps. “Different from what I thought would come out of you,” Randy said. “Work on your stage presence but I liked you,” Paula said. “You have a good commercial face,” Simon said. She definitely is a potential sleeper if she can make it through the rigors of the Hollywood rounds. (Can’t wait!)
Aaron Williamson says he wants to be “America’s Next Top Model” as a joke. He then yelps Creedance Clearwater Revival like everyone is deaf. Judges get into it. Eardrum breakage alert! Ryan comes in, looking concerned.
Rebecca Garcia got an interview with the local Fox affiliate. “I saw you on the news this morning,” Paula said. She has no apparent rhythm and needs her arm to cheat off the lyrics. “Funny!” Kara said. But obviously, Rebecca was serious. “Hit me because I was mean,” Kara said. Simon said, “I like you as a person. I can tell you a trillion percent, don’t attempt to have a career in music. Quit the singing.” Yes, indeedy!
Good singers summary: Kris Allen or Conway Ark., Felicia Barton from my former residence of Virginia Beach, Ryan Johnson of Cincy and Shera Lawrence of Bowling Green, Ky. They all really are pretty darn good, what little we hear.
We have time for the requisite sad/inspiration back story contestant. Think Josiah Leming, a story of “struggle and determination,” Ryan promises. Her name? Laneshe Young from Cincy. “We were raised with nothing,” she said, “and homeless.” Her mom had no support from her dad and they had to grow up in shelters. Cue tears between mom and daughter, accompanied by solemn piano music. She sings an original song. She’s charming, with a great R&B voice. “Quirky fun and quite a well written song,” Simon said. “You come in current.” She is definitely a keeper. Expect lots more face time with her in Hollywood.
And good news: Four down, three to go. Next Tuesday is Jacksonville.