Auditions were held in the Windy City -- the same town that gave us Jennifer Hudson, if this place could produce the Oscar-winning superstar, surely there must be others.
First up, look what the wind blew in -- little Mackenzie, who Keith Urban described as "Dolly Parton-esque." So we begin tonight with a little bit of country. The 17-year old, who has been singing all her life, blew us all away with a performance that made all of the judges use the word "star" -- a word we would soon find to be the most overused word of the evening. Mackenzie? This star is headed to Hollywood.
Then some bizarre dude with a blonde Mohawk butchers one of Mariah's songs. Minaj claims to have loved his rendition of the Carey hit and said that she could listen to HIM sing it every day, while rolling her eyes. What are we gonna do with these two ladies for an entire season?
Just as we get used to seeing and hearing real talent, there's a fight. In front of guests even. Never looking up, Nicki and Mariah fling insults and name call, perhaps even forgetting that there's a competition going on. Poor Keith Urban says, "I feel like a scratching post stuck in the middle, between these two." Back to your corners, ladies.
We meet Mrs. Bush, the massage therapy student, in a pink would-be super hero costume that met a fashion death at the hands of a glue gun and rhinestones. Did she sing? If she did, sorry, my brain was traumatized from looking directly into my television set at the shiny suit. If she sang, it was her last song. No Golden Ticket for Mrs. Bush (wiping my brow).
Yeah a rocker! I haven't seen or heard a rocker I loved since Chris Daughtry. Could it be? Another opportunity for some real rock on "Idol?" Negative. Gabe, from Iowa, yelled and yelled and was asked to do another song and yelled some more. "Give Me Shelter" and "We All Die Young" -- how very ironic, I was absolutely seeking shelter and yes, a part of me died, young.
Whoa -- he got a YES. I had three very distinctive moments last night where I went into clinical shock and Gabe's ticket to Hollywood was my first. Welcome to Hollywood dude, rock on. (Or off, preferably off.)
Contestant Kevin loves Ninja Turtles, flips, spinning sticks and dropping sticks. When asked if he were the next American Idol, he told us yes. (Do they all really think that they are really the next American Idol? Is there no practicing going on in the waiting area, can they not hear the person next to them that can actually sing well?)
Kevin sings so bad we need subtitles and sings so fast that Randy calls him a "bad auctioneer." Goodbye Kevin.
Isabelle, 15, is a high school student who came prepared to sing a duet and needed a partner. Keith Urban to the rescue. They sang "Baby It's Cold Outside" and boy did she sing and earn herself a Golden Ticket. Urban wasn't too shabby himself.
Urban needs to leave for a concert in Vegas and Randy is left to babysit the girls. Now play nice ladies until Keith returns.
And now, ladies, the moment we've all been waiting for: the American Idol "Hunk Tour." What a beautiful parade of blonde hair, blue eyes and six-pack abs we were privileged to, one right after another, one more beautiful than the one before. First up we meet Griffin, Griff, Grrrrrr, G. -- just a few of the names Nicky chose for him after asking was he single and letting the cute little white boy know that she does not "discriminate." Thanks for the info Nicki!
Griffin, Griff, Grrrrrr, G. was just average in the vocal department but this, folks, is where we are introduced to another "American Idol" winning formula: be cute = go to Hollywood. Be cute AND have a six-pack = go to Hollywood fast. Welcome to Hollywood, Griffin.
Don't know about anyone else, but I grabbed me a tambourine and put on a big Baptist church lady hat -- because Curtis Finch took us to "cheeeeerch" with his awesome gospel song. Welcome to Hollywood, when ya get there Curtis say a little prayer for Nicki and Mariah would ya?
America grab the Kleenexes, it's time for Mariah, another contestant sob story: Recovering from Anorexia, surviving high school on a slice of cheese a day (even I can't make that up), without music she would have died, a contestant sang The Beetles' "Let it Be." Most of us couldn't hear her singing -- we were still crying from the story, old pictures and footage shown. Why does "Idol" do that to us?
Sheesh, introduce someone, tell us what song they're singing and let us base our decisions on pure talent and stop tugging on our heartstrings. Ok, Ok, we sorta kinda like making the contestants real people and connecting with them on a human level, right? That's what you’re doing, right? Well it works and of course Mariah got a ticket to Hollywood.
Enter our adopted kid of the night. "American Idol," just cut it out. Brandy, abandoned by her parents and adopted by her paternal Aunt could sing her face off.
"You're Cheating Heart is Gonna Tell on You!" Welcome to Hollywood, Brandy! Now when you win your Grammy and star in movies don't be surprised if a mom or dad or some couple claiming to be your mom and dad give you a call -- it always happens like that in the Lifetime movies. Good luck with that, Brandy.