Nashville – at least what they presented us – was a major disappointment tonight.
Even the most hyped gal of the competition (see Nigel’s Tweet to the right), Lauren Alaina, hardly convinced me she was “the one,” as the judges were cooing. It’s too early to tell.
But of the 10 people who made it through that we saw tonight, four are on the spoiler top 40 at Joe’s Place.
Again, Ryan Seacrest did not say how many made it through to Hollywood. I wonder if the producers realized people are quickly getting that these judges are being much easier than any Simon-led group but don’t want to make it any more obvious.
Here’s my recap:
Darius Thomas from Nashville hits a shrieking high note to open the hour. Interestingly, one of the biggest crowds ever, 17,000, only deserves one hour.
At the Ryman Auditorium, “Idol” starts for real with auditioner Christine McCaffrey. She enters the room singing so badly with a painful nasal tone, it’s incredible they even let her go on to sing another tune. (Simon might have booted her out before she said a word.) “You should do voice overs for cartoons,” Randy Jackson said. Later, he added, “That’s not serious.” “I got one yes and two no’s,” she said. She thought Steven Tyler said yes when he said no.
- Rob Bolin and Chelsee Oaks are Nashville exes who decide to come in together. They sing a Bee Gees song in fine harmony, show lovely chemistry. They also sing pretty well solo. They both go to Hollywood. She has a boyfriend, though. Future story line?
- The crazies. A gal who can touch my tongue with a nose. Another in a cute costume. We then meet tattoo artist Allen Lewis from Franklin Furnace, OH, who does a very rough Lynyrd Skynyrd and not in a good way. “I feel like you’re more of a band guy,” Randy said. “The best singers have failed auditions,” he said. He’s the happiest rejected singer ever. A chipper upbeat guy packaged as a big meanie.
- Up next: Miss Teen USA 2009 Stormi Henley has a sweet demeanor and a sweet voice but clearly does not have the “belting” skills. “The voice is not strong enough,” Jennifer Lopez said. (Straight criticism! Go J. Lo!). She said no. Steven said yes. Randy said yes, too. “Seriously you two?” Lopez said afterwards. “That may be the smallest voice we’ve ever heard!”
- Adopted black girl with white parents: Adrienne Beasley from Kentucky. She sings country! She’s actually a bit rough singing Lady Antebellum. I’m not a fan. “You nailed the chorus. You almost made me cry,” Steven said. “You really surprised me there in the middle,” Jennifer said. She’s in.
- Halfway in and I’m not excited. Can Kameela Merricks from Oak Grove, KY get me going? Sadly, no. Just oversinging at its worst.
- More whack jobs and losers. A Blue Man Group dude doing Kelly Clarkson. Polina Kozhivoka is awful. Ditto, Patrick Counts, who cries. “It’s just an audition, buddy,” Ryan said as Patrick chokes on his tears.
- Jackie Wilson, a bar manager/singer from Nashville, has a real voice. She doesn’t quite have “the look.” I’m not sure she has the charisma either. But she has a voice. That’s good enough for this hour.
- Latoya “Younique” Moore, a recording artist from Nashville, thinks she’s a star. “They see a glow about me,” she said. But that glow does not extend to her very nasally singing style. “Your sound, your tone is not good. It’s like annoying,” Randy said. (Go Randy!) Then her number fell off. She leaves singing. “Still no,” Randy said firmly.
- Three good ones summarized: Paul McDonald has an interesting tone though not a lot of power. Jimmie Allen is a solid R&B singer. Danny Pate has great fun with James Brown to the point I’d wish we could hear more.
- Country boy Matt Dillard grew up with a lot of foster children. He opts for Josh Grobin, totally off the mark there. “I can pretty it up,” he said. He’s charming. I like him. “You need to have a better audition,” Jennifer said. Steven says yes, as does Randy, even if he worries he might get “swallowed up” by Los Angeles.
- Final gal up w ith sob story alert: Lauren Alaina, the 15-year-old gal Nigel Lythgoe hyped to high heaven months ago. Her cousin Holly has a tumor. She’s from Rossville, GA., which is right over the border from Chattanooga. (In other words, not quite my territory. Oh, well. I thought I heard her say Roswell and thinking, she doesn’t SOUND like she’s from Roswell!) “Best I’ve seen today,” Randy said. Jennifer is crying. “You’re going to make 40 million people cry, tears of joy baby,” Steven said, exaggerating “Idols’” audience. She has so much confidence, she can sing “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” back and forth with Steven.