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‘American Idol’ recap St. Louis: season 11, audition city #7

AMERICAN IDOL: St. Louis contestant Johnny Keyser performs in front of the judges on AMERICAN IDOL airing Thursday, Feb. 2 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

AMERICAN IDOL: St. Louis contestant Johnny Keyser performs in front of the judges on AMERICAN IDOL airing Thursday, Feb. 2 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

Tonight was a very leisurely hour for “Idol” but far more entertaining than Portland. Everyone, including the editors and the judges, seemed peppier this round.

Forty-six folks make it to Hollywood. We hear a mere five of them and two not so good ones, plus a “silent” one. And we get three sob stories though nothing on the level of last night.

So we only actually see eight auditions (if you count the guy who we didn’t hear because they were giving him the “silent” treatment.) Plus, we get a long intro about Carrie Underwood, Steven Tyler goofing around,  a bit of a Madonna video and a long promo for next week’s Hollywood round.

And again, the judges didn’t disagree on anything at all. There was a press conference earlier today with Randy Jackson and I clumsily asked him about how much there was any disagreement. He felt there was disagreement but couldn’t comment on the editing. I should have asked him specifically what percentage of time did he not agree with J. Lo, Steven or both.  (One thing Randy promised. He will not use the phrase “You’re in it to win it!”)

Another note: though “Idol” did a cattle call in East Rutherford, N.J. at the last second last fall, the three judges did not travel there. Instead, the folks who made the cut to see the judges in New Jersey were flown to other cities to perform. That’s why you saw folks from New York and Philadelphia in Portland. (Then again, there are plenty of contestants who fly all over the country on their own accord to audition.)

First up: Johnny Keyser from Pompano, Fla. brings his dad. “He’s like my brother, not my dad,” he said. “He’s got my back.” This is the one time they have a video monitor outside to allow the family to watch. He brings a jazzy take of “A Change is Gonna Come” with ease and style. And he’s got the look to boot. He is an immediate top 42 contender.

Coming back from the break, David Coleman gets the “silent” treatment where they make fun of his poor singing by turning his audition into a silent movie. Then more folks get rejected. As usual, they create an illusion that the cattle call is happening at the same time as the judges judging the 1 percent who make it through. Why? Because that’s the way “Idol” rolls, dawg.

Rachelle Lamb, a divorcee with a cute kid from Missouri, sings (appropriately) “Find Somebody New” by Faith Hill. Her daughter joins her while she sings. She has style and a heart. “I like your moxie,” Steven said. She will most likely get some airtime starting next week.

Bad singer gallery: Oliver McCrary takes down Seal. “Your wife’s going to look for a divorce if you keep singing like that,” said Randy, in a rare zinger. (Relatively speaking, that’s a zinger in this Simon-less world.) We don’t get any more names, just crooners from hell. Steven then says something incomprehensible.

Reis Kloeckener, 20, from St. Louis, has the next sob story. He was bullied at a big high school until he joined choir and helped pull him through. He has a gentle, sensitive soprano during “Lean on Me.”  “You made me cry,” Steven said.

After the break, we get another sob story. Ethan Jones from Pontoon Beach, Fla. has a dad who went into drug rehab. He does a respectable Edwin McCain but I suspect I won’t remember him by the end of the hour. “You look nothing like you sing,” Randy said. He talks to his now totally clean father on the phone and gets teary eyed.

Then we get a Madonna video break – or really just a segment of it, with no apparent introduction or context. Weird.

On day two, Mark Ingram, 28, works at the hotel where they are actually doing the auditions.  Ryan gathers some of the employees. (This is unique!)  He has potential but he hits some really bad notes that don’t overjoy the judges. “Your voice and melody and keeping that tune was lacking a little bit,” Steven said. “Your voice gives out on you,” J. Lo said. “I want to say yes to you but can’t.” He sweats through “Part Time Lover” but fails miserably.

Final person up for this year’s audition episodes: Lauren Gray, who gets the small-town video treatment. His family runs a one-shop wedding stop. She sings every weekend with her dad in a southern rock band. Another Adele singer. She has an interesting R&B/jazz voice that doesn’t match her looks. I’m not sure if I really truly love the tone of her voice but she definitely knows how to sing. “You broke a little on the top,” Randy said. Steven likes how fearless she is, even when she “breaks.” “One of the best female voices we heard,” J. Lo said.

And we are done with season 11 auditions! Off to Hollywood!

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

216 comments Add your comment

Rickster

February 2nd, 2012
5:09 pm

First!! But I’m heading out so I’ll write tomorrow. :-)

DanJ

February 2nd, 2012
5:16 pm

I will join Deirdre tonight, I just hope she doesn’t have a jealous husband!

JTesla

February 2nd, 2012
5:20 pm

Wait, is “I am having dinner with friends tonight” code for ‘I have to catch up on Real Housewives’?

Looking forward to having no more auditions this season.

Jenny

February 2nd, 2012
5:24 pm

I will be around tonight! Though to be honest, I’m looking much more forward to Grey’s than to this (thankfully last) audition show.

Jenny

February 2nd, 2012
5:27 pm

and dang it, I posted at the end of the last blog, not realizing there was a new one. So here it is again.

Quote from Deirdre: “I think last night’s show proves that the producers were right to cancel next week’s audition episode and get right into Hollywood.” Perfectly said!! I couldn’t agree more. I’m bored with the auditions, and I also just don’t feel like we’ve seen a star yet. Good singers, yes… but I remember in past seasons, picking out Carrie, Katharine, Adam from their first auditions, and I just haven’t seen anyone who blew me away like they did.

Also agree with Highlander and Sam-A on the sob stories. I want someone to go far in the competition because they can SING, not because they have a sad story. (Ahem, Chris Rene.)

Oh, and Sam-A, yes, the blond guy reminded me of Chuckie or something! He was kind of creepy!

LOL at KCF and the multiple Brittany spellings. That’s my pet peeve. Anyone watching the Bachelor? (yes, I’ll own up to liking cheesy soapy drama on occasion. ;-) ) Anyway, they have about 14 versions of Lindsay this time. Linsie, Lindsee, and the worst one… Linzi. Ugh.

Seth, I think that article about XF you posted on the first page is spot on. I wondered that night if Nicole, at least, had sealed her fate on the show. Though I’m still surprised he actually let Paula go…
And D, I wondered if the public was just complacent about Rachel that night. Marcus had been at the bottom already… I think maybe people just assumed he’d go home next, and didn’t vote. I always thought he was good, but was kind of a dime-a-dozen as far as his style. He was just one of many good, smooth, R&B singers out there. Rachel, IMO, was better because she was different.

And KCF, Katy Perry would be great on XF! Loved when she came out to perform on Idol wearing her Adam Lambert cape. :-)

Seth T.

February 2nd, 2012
6:20 pm

@Jenny – I agree on Marcus, he is a dime-a-dozen type of singer. He’s not bad, but just nothing exceptional or charismatic enough to be at the top levels of a true major national talent show. You can see many front-men similar to him in the weekend bands of most major cities.

The field they put together was so incredibly weak (either as singers or too young or too old) that the mediocre could get clear to the top 3. Many people that had looked forward to the X-Factor, were not just bored, but insulted by what they gave us.

Someone said that although LA Reid may be a great talent scout and hustler to sign rising talent, he is a boring and stiff T.V. personality. The Factor needs more work, and part of it would be to get a much better top 12 together, while I’m waiting for the first top 20 hit by Lakoda Rayne – who will be “singing at Arenas everywhere”.

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Deirdre

February 2nd, 2012
7:29 pm

Dan…thank you! I felt really lame talking to myself last night. And not to worry about hubby….he’s out of town. ;-)

And if y’all are interested, Broadway and tv actress Betty Buckley has tweeted a furious message to Idol and Randy Jackson about his dissing od “Broadway” I posted it in pieces on the previous Idol blog.

Deirdre

February 2nd, 2012
7:32 pm

Rodney, not to worry, I think you’ll get a lot of people joining us for shows when you start the live blogging again.

Deirdre

February 2nd, 2012
7:34 pm

And Jenny…good, that makes at least 3 of us to chat. And I’ll be heading over to Grey’s afterward too.

Jenny

February 2nd, 2012
7:41 pm

Yay for Grey’s! :-) I can’t wait. I always love the alternate-universe stuff. Did you see the link with the first ten minutes? Looks great.

And I too think people will be around more once the live Idol shows start. I think it’s just that the auditions have become stale for many people.

DanJ

February 2nd, 2012
7:52 pm

Deirdre, I’m glad Betty Buckley made the comments. Nothing is as tough as live theater. Movie and television stars can get another take if they flub a line not on Broadway. Singers…Groups can get a break in a schedule from concerts for travel or just rest. Singers on Broadways do it everyday, twice on Sunday. Randy can be such an Idiot at times.

Deirdre

February 2nd, 2012
7:57 pm

Later Betty and Nigel had a chat via twitter. Nigel saying that he personally has nothing but respect for Broadway and Betty answering that the problem is that both Idol and SYTYCD have labeled Broadway as a “style” while, in actuality Broadway is not one specific genre but many.

Deirdre

February 2nd, 2012
7:58 pm

Jenny, I didn’t want to watch the preview…I wanted to wait until I could see the whole show.

Deirdre

February 2nd, 2012
8:00 pm

In 1 hour we can say Good Riddance to the prelim auditions!

Pitchy

February 2nd, 2012
8:05 pm

Good evening. I’m just thankful that I didn’t have to run around this evening and get in late.

I’m on bored, hungry, but on bored. Would have been nice if RHo invited me to dinner. I’m tired of cooking (lolol).

@Deidre – glad you hosting us tonight.

Deirdre

February 2nd, 2012
8:06 pm

Like Johnny!

Pitchy

February 2nd, 2012
8:06 pm

I love this song, and he’s singing it good..Not with as much soul as others, but he can sing.

Highlander

February 2nd, 2012
8:06 pm

Evening, folks!

Oh, no. Another “you know you’re gonna be a star” comment???!!!

Deirdre

February 2nd, 2012
8:07 pm

Y’all behave yourselves, ok? cuz there’s not much I can do about it if ya don’t. ;-)

DanJ

February 2nd, 2012
8:07 pm

Johnny is the best guy I’ve seen so far!

Pitchy

February 2nd, 2012
8:08 pm

Meant, I’m on board with you guys (lol).

Deirdre

February 2nd, 2012
8:09 pm

So I hope it isn’t going to be a one commercial per singer night.

Pitchy

February 2nd, 2012
8:09 pm

@DanJ – that is funny he’s the best you’ve seen thus far. Thanks for the laugh.

Highlander

February 2nd, 2012
8:09 pm

And I think I figured out why Idol didn’t find enough singers in NY/NJ to merit an audition show. After watching MTV’s Jersey Shore, there are probably too many folks in NY/NJ that think you don’t really need any talent to be on TV! :shock:

DanJ

February 2nd, 2012
8:10 pm

I meant all audition season Pitchy! Glad it made you laugh though!!!

Highlander

February 2nd, 2012
8:10 pm

D., you jinxed us! One singer/35 commercials! :lol:

Highlander

February 2nd, 2012
8:15 pm

Sob story #1 for the night!

Pitchy

February 2nd, 2012
8:17 pm

@DanJ – :lol:

I have an affinity for country music. She’s ok…(small letters ok)

Jenny

February 2nd, 2012
8:17 pm

Hey y’all, I am here, but 10 min. behind. Pitchy, I’m hungry too. Haven’t had dinner yet, being nice and waiting on husband.

Now there was a memorable audition! (Carrie.) And a nice reminder of the last time I was happy at the winner’s announcement!

Johnny – cute, and fairly good singer, and seems like a nice guy…
Going to try and catch up to y’all now, be right back.

Deirdre

February 2nd, 2012
8:18 pm

I like Rochelle’s voice but I don’t think we’ll have too many country singers this year..just a hunch.

Jenny

February 2nd, 2012
8:19 pm

oh, and D, probably a good decision you made on the Grey’s preview. Ever since I watched it I’ve been way too impatient to see the whole show.

Deirdre

February 2nd, 2012
8:19 pm

I loved the silent film version of auditions!

Highlander

February 2nd, 2012
8:20 pm

She was pretty good. Great energy and tone.

Dammit, Deirdre, 1 singer then commercials and it’s YOUR FAULT! :d

Jenny

February 2nd, 2012
8:21 pm

No, it’s good, Highlander… now I can catch up. :-)

DanJ

February 2nd, 2012
8:21 pm

I agree Deirdre! I hope Idol doesn’t become country Idol. Rochelle was good but she’s no Carrie.
Pitchy I like SOME country music!!! Well a little goes a looooong way.

Highlander

February 2nd, 2012
8:21 pm

Make that :D ,D.

Highlander

February 2nd, 2012
8:22 pm

And Ryan warns us that there’re more sob stories coming. Thanks a lot, RS!

Deirdre

February 2nd, 2012
8:22 pm

Jenny, I learned a long time ago not to get myself too het up about stuff. Like JT said earlier, Deirdreville tends to get kind of stormy sometimes.

Seth T.

February 2nd, 2012
8:23 pm

This last girl, who decided it was her husband took away her dreams to be a great star, needs some serious voice lessons. She has tone, but no star qualities at all.

DanJ

February 2nd, 2012
8:24 pm

Deirdre

February 2nd, 2012
8:25 pm

Hey, it’s not my fault the Idol producers want to make lots of money!

Deirdre

February 2nd, 2012
8:26 pm

The bullied kid has really great eyebrows

Pitchy

February 2nd, 2012
8:26 pm

@Seth T. – that’s why my ok was in small letters.

Pitchy

February 2nd, 2012
8:26 pm

OPEN YOUR EYES…

Pitchy

February 2nd, 2012
8:27 pm

It’s been confirmed, STyler is a liar…

Harriett

February 2nd, 2012
8:28 pm

Harumph! :( . I was here last night Deirdre and Rodney!! And, Mo dropped by, too! Seth was late, but he said some good stuff.

DanJ

February 2nd, 2012
8:28 pm

I didn’t think Reese was that good! Okay? Maybe!

Deirdre

February 2nd, 2012
8:30 pm

Harriett…I gave you guys credit….but Rodney had to chat with me for nearly 30 minutes! I think it might have traumatized him.

Deirdre

February 2nd, 2012
8:33 pm

ST ought to relate to this story