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‘American Idol’ recap: season 11, audition city #4 Denver/Aspen

AMERICAN IDOL: Thousands line up at Invesco Field in Denver, CO for the chance to become the next AMERICAN IDOL on Friday, July 29. CR: Soren McCarthy / FOX

AMERICAN IDOL: Thousands line up at Invesco Field in Denver, CO for the chance to become the next AMERICAN IDOL on Friday, July 29. CR: Soren McCarthy / FOX The repeat last night of the Sunday San Diego episode of "Idol" did better than a "Glee" repeat originally set for that spot: nearly 10 million viewers and a 3.3 rating 18-49. All the buzz about Jim Carrey's daughter (or Bikini Girl #2) may have helped.

Aspen is a beautiful, scenic town. The talent? Not so beautiful. At least for us viewers.

Sure, we heard nine folks who made it through but I’m not sure if any of them will make it to the final 24.  (Thirty one got Hollywood tickets, the fewest so far of the four cities we’ve seen.) Nobody really impressed me though I wouldn’t mind hearing more of Jenni Schick and Devan Jones.

The producers decided to upend the formula from the first three episodes. They actually showed some really bad singers for a change. The judges for a moment almost disagreed! And the final singer was a joke, not a future top 42 contender.

Like Charleston/Savannah (89 miles apart), “Idol” is doing a two-city run. The stadium cattle call was in Denver. The judges came later and saw the finalists in Aspen, a city 100 miles away that is way too small to do a cattle call the size “Idol” does. It seems “Idol” is really focusing on great backdrops. In this case, it’s the fall colors.

Hyperactive 24-year-old music teacher Jenni Schick from Sterling, Va. hits us with her best Pat Benatar song. “Holy Schick!” Tyler said. Fortunately, she’s actually pretty good but cheesy as all get out. She appears to have spent too much time in smokey karaoke bars. She gets to kiss Steven Tyler (and according to her, that’s not cheating on her boyfriend because he’s, um, famous, like Lady Gaga and Adam Levine.)

Next: Curtis Gray, of Spring Hill, FL., gets some video love but he seems pretty normal. He does an interesting, soulful countrified version of Boyz II Men. “You’re good looking and you sing great,” J. Lo said. (Are the judges’ comments getting more reductive and boring as time goes along?)

Then a few more Hollywood-bound characters: Richie Law of Centennial, Colorado channels Scotty McCreery. Devan Jones of Aurora has a beautiful soprano. “Natural voice,” J. Lo said. Mathenee Treco, also from Centennial, is more showy than Devan and more annoying as he oversings “Hey Jude.” But he gets through anyway.

Then it’s Twin Sister Act time! Tealana Hedgespeth of Loveland, CO wants to get out of the shadow of her twin sister. But she is awful. Put her back in the shadows! Steven insults her by asking her to listen back to her singing. She doesn’t get it.

Haley Smith, a crunchy granola type born 25 years too late, works some “Tell Me Something Good.” She’s like a rawer Crystal Bowersox. “It’s not perfect for the song but I kind of like that,” Randy said. “You’re right out of my era,” Steven said. “Bet you’re even more comfortable with a guitar,” J. Lo said. Randy appreciates her knowing who she is.

Alanna Snare, a bartender/waitress who serves “Rocky Mountain oysters” or actually bull testes, is flat as the Midwest plains and tone-deaf. “I really like you as a person… singing is just not your thing. It was terrible,” Randy said.

Shelby Tweten, from Minnesota, has bipolar disorder and takes meds to treat her depression. “I’ll be shaking. I will stutter. I can’t control my body,” she said. Singing helps her. “American Idol has given us something to believe in,” she said, of her and her mom. “Bipolar doesn’t define who you are.”  Fortunately, she has a passable country voice trying “Temporary Home.” She isn’t Carrie Underwood by any stretch.

At 8:30 p.m. we get heard since day one: a montage of bad singers, including a screamer.

Jairon Jackson from Denver does an original song “So Hard,” an R&B-infused tune. Too much melisma and not that much personality or star power. But the judges like him. “Beautiful. I love it, yes,” Steven said (because he must say “beautiful” at least once per episode.)

“Idol” has yet to find the next Lady Gaga. Angie Zeiderman, 25, from Daytona Beach, Fla. wants to be that. “I’d like to open for her and be best friends with her forever,” she said. Shs has quirk written all over her but not necessarily in a good way. She is a Broadway performer but more in a va va va blech than va va va boom. J. Lo likes her. Randy is turned off. Her voice is more tolerable when she does “Blue Bayou” but her persona is still annoying. Somehow, she gets through.

Magic Cyclops from Davenport, IA seems to be channeling his worst Russell Brand imitation. This is a horrific, time-sucking act. He gave judges a choice of Neil Diamond or Jimmy Buffett. Randy chooses “Cracklin’ Rose,” then “Margaritaville.” It’s absurd. He is a plant who isn’t even in the age limit.  (This is no Larry “Pants on the Ground” Platt!) Randy walks out. Good move.

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

130 comments Add your comment

Jubie

January 25th, 2012
8:02 pm

There you are. Had me worried/

Pitchy

January 25th, 2012
8:04 pm

Pitchy is present…

Rodney Ho

January 25th, 2012
8:04 pm

I left the office at 6:40 p.m. thinking I had actually posted this in advance but didn’t realize it wasn’t up til 8:01 p.m.

JTesla

January 25th, 2012
8:05 pm

Denver to Aspen, not exactly next door.

Pitchy

January 25th, 2012
8:05 pm

I like her boots.

Jubie

January 25th, 2012
8:09 pm

Pretty good.

Harriett

January 25th, 2012
8:11 pm

Hey everyone. Jennie on my nerves.

Pitchy

January 25th, 2012
8:11 pm

I’m not impressed with him. Not bad, but as Simon would say, “no one will remember you.”

Pitchy

January 25th, 2012
8:12 pm

I love country music and I loved his voice. Nice.

Seth T.

January 25th, 2012
8:13 pm

I work with several young ladies on music projects and some come over to watch Idol stuff – and I asked them if they thought they would like to kiss ST. none of them are interested, and some were a little repulsed by the thought of it.

Jubie

January 25th, 2012
8:15 pm

Aspn is beautiful.

Mercedes S.

January 25th, 2012
8:16 pm

Those poor sad deluded siblinghs living in the shadow of more talented folks…

Pitchy

January 25th, 2012
8:17 pm

Oh boy, double pain…

Rodney Ho

January 25th, 2012
8:17 pm

Is it just me or are the judges are clearly NOT the focus this year? Their comments are usually fairly dull or obvious before they all say “YES!” It’s been ages since we’ve even seen any disagreement among the trio.

Jubie

January 25th, 2012
8:18 pm

Well Seth if those same ladies were looking at the posibility of a golden ticket they might change their mind. His ego and all…. Just saying.

Harriett

January 25th, 2012
8:18 pm

Yes, Mercedes. Makes me mad at those who deluded them in the first place

Pitchy

January 25th, 2012
8:19 pm

Don’t mean to jump the gun, but I’m so waiting for this show to be over so I can see Touch!

Ok, back to regularly scheduled blogging.

Seth T.

January 25th, 2012
8:19 pm

@ Jubie – yeah, for a golden ticket, they would probably sell-out!

Jubie

January 25th, 2012
8:21 pm

Rodnety, it may be just the XFactor, factor, if you know what i mean.

Rodney Ho

January 25th, 2012
8:22 pm

The “upcoming” segment implies some (ulp!) conflict among the judges. Really? I’ll believe it when I see it…

Rodney Ho

January 25th, 2012
8:22 pm

“Touch” is a little heavy handed but it’s good to see Kiefer back on the screen.

Jubie

January 25th, 2012
8:25 pm

Haley has a pretty voice.

Mercedes S.

January 25th, 2012
8:28 pm

Nature girl my favorite so far… missing tooth and all

Harriett

January 25th, 2012
8:28 pm

Rodney, I keep waiting for some criticism, but since they are mostly showing the ok acts there hasn’t been too much opportunity

Harriett

January 25th, 2012
8:32 pm

They heard me

Harriett

January 25th, 2012
8:34 pm

Well I do not think she was Ll that

Harriett

January 25th, 2012
8:35 pm

Seth T.

January 25th, 2012
8:35 pm

One girl was just a Rocky Mountain plant to fill time, Shelby has a decent voice.

Rodney Ho

January 25th, 2012
8:39 pm

Sob story alert! This year’s version: Bipolar Disorder! Her voice isn’t THAT great… Is it?

Harriett

January 25th, 2012
8:42 pm

That is what I said too Roho

Rodney Ho

January 25th, 2012
8:44 pm

Jairon didn’t impress me at all…

Rodney Ho

January 25th, 2012
8:45 pm

The high altitudes don’t seem to getting us much talent, eh?

Seth T.

January 25th, 2012
8:46 pm

It’s interesting though, that singing and music helps her to focus and smooth nerves. There are people who stutter, but can sing smoothly, etc. Music is a good medicine.

Rodney Ho

January 25th, 2012
8:50 pm

That 25 year old looks about 35.

Mercedes S.

January 25th, 2012
8:52 pm

Also like Purple Girl and Bi-polar Kid…

Harriett

January 25th, 2012
8:52 pm

Yes, Seth, old time country star Mel Tillis can hardly put two words together, but when he sings it is so smooth

Pitchy

January 25th, 2012
8:53 pm

She should have sang that song first. Much better and with some coaching may sound even better.

I see so many that have been picked already that were picked just to be fillers to make it easy for elimination in Hollywood.

Harriett

January 25th, 2012
8:53 pm

Agree Rodney, and wtb is this magic coming up?

Where is Mo?

Seth T.

January 25th, 2012
8:55 pm

RE: Angie – J.Lo will gravitate toward performance skills – but doubt she will do well in Hollywood.

Rodney Ho

January 25th, 2012
8:55 pm

Now we know what Russell Brand is up to!

Pitchy

January 25th, 2012
8:59 pm

Good one, RHo! Good one!

Seth T.

January 25th, 2012
8:59 pm

Katy Perry – what could you have been thinking?

Harriett

January 25th, 2012
9:00 pm

LOL@Rodney! Night all!

squirrelly mc cheesy grill pon pon pon

January 25th, 2012
9:01 pm

I have contacted Homeland Security. The fact that so many of you watch idol and blog about is disturbing. Something must be in the water system here in Atlanta. This could be the start of the virus that creates the Walking Dead. That is also in Atlanta. I will contact CDC also.

Seth T.

January 25th, 2012
9:03 pm

I agree Pitchy, a lot of people sent to Hollywood that are just going to be elimination drama for the show.

Pitchy

January 25th, 2012
9:04 pm

@squirrelly – you are a Debbie Downer, yet you are always blogging too. I’m going to call Homeland Security to deport you to anywhere Wi Fi doesn’t exist.

Rodney Ho

January 25th, 2012
9:11 pm

Melinda Doolittle tweet about tonight’s show:
‎3 nice things: Aspen is gorgeous. I love to ski. Snow is cool. That being said…That was the weirdest Idol episode EVER!

Mercedes S.

January 25th, 2012
9:14 pm

I suspect Squirelly is the alter ego of a regular on these pages…

unreal

January 25th, 2012
9:22 pm

I tried to watch and it was excruciating. ONE contestant then 5 minutes of commercials, then ONE more, then 5 more minutes of commercials. Why the H do I put myself thru this ?

Seth T.

January 25th, 2012
9:29 pm

Because party addiction is real. You know the party’s gonna be dull, but you have to go, because you might miss something.