'American Idol' heads to Louisville

Boy, I hope tonight's American Idol is better than last night's. What a yawn-fest that was. We saw eight people, two of whom were pretty good and two of whom shouldn't have gotten through and three of whom were totally uninteresting bad auditions. Only one -- the woman with all the anatomical diagrams -- was even remotely entertaining. Some are saying that they purposefully showed a boring episode because they figured everyone would be watching inauguruation coverage. But seriously -- only 12 got through in San Francisco! I think it was just bad.

Enough about yesterday; let's see how tonight -- with auditions from Louisville -- goes.


The night's first contestant is Tiffany Shedd, and her parents think she's going to be just great. They are wrong -- she butchers Mariah Carey's "Hero." She had promised before the audition that if she didn't make it, she would keep a positive attitude, which, uh, did not exactly come to pass.

Joanna Pacitti has been trying to make it in the music industry for a while, but she's hopeful today will be her break. Kara actually remembers her, that she had been signed with AM Records. Simon asks what went wrong, and she says it just didn't work. She sings "We Belong," and she's fabulous. Simon says yes, and Paula says, "I think you're worthy," which makes her cry. Everyone else says yes, too.


Mark Mudd Jr. says he has had some bad luck, including two really bad car accidents, and he hopes this will turn his luck around. He sings "White Lightning," and it's very twangy but semi-OK at first and then he totally loses it. Paula says he isn't bad, but this is not the right competition for him. Simon says maybe Wheel of Fortune is the right one for him. He says, "Take care and be careful," and they interpret it as a threat, and it gets all weird for a while. Finally, he leaves.

Brent Keith Smith sings Bad Company's "Can't Get Enough of Your Love" with no pretense or drama, and he's good. Simon says he should have done a more emotional song, but Paula and Kara get mad. They all vote yes, though. We're supposed to care that Simon and Kara are bickering, but I don't.

Montage of badness -- including a woman who sounds like a goat, a guy who sings about a zebra and a large guy whose shirt says "PATRICK" trying to do Michael Jackson's choreography.

Matt Giraud is a dueling piano player who taught himself to play. He sings Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Wanna Be." Paula says he has a unique voice and a good tone, and Kara likes him, too. Simon says he reminds him of Elliott Yamin, but he doesn't believe in himself. Matt says he does believe. Randy tells him to get his swagger on and votes yes, and he is through.

Ross Plavsic has styled himself as Super Nerd. He says he has studied everything about singing (though we saw that gimmick last night). He sings an opera song (I guess?), and it's terrible. He says it's because his throat is scratchy, so Paula offers him some water. He drinks all of it through her straw and she freaks out. He tries again, and it's still bad, and it's a no. "Yeah, I was afraid of that," he says as he leaves.

Day 1, 10 got through in Louisville.

Alexis Grace, a 21-year-old stay-at-home mom grew up in a house full of music and says that she wants to make it her career. She sings "Dr. Feelgood" by Aretha Franklin, and her voice is unexpected -- loud and soulful out of this little tiny body. Randy says he thinks she could surprise the world. It's unanimous, she is through.

Montage of boringness.

Aaron Williamson likes to say "woo" a lot. They ask why he's there, and he says he is America's Next Top Model. Hee hee! He sings CCR's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain." Well, at first he shouts it, so loudly that Paula startles and Kara feels compelled to sing back at him. (I really wish she wouldn't do that.) Then they all start wooing back at him, and Ryan can't figure out what is going on from outside the room, so he comes in to see what's going on. Simon says he needs to do something in his life that "involves shouting." They all agree that they like him and think he's fun, but they aren't voting for him.

Rebecca Garcia walks in, and Paula recognizes her from her appearance on that morning's local news. She says she's going to sing Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats," and she gets through, "Right now, he's probably ..." and I have to pause it to steel myself for the rest because she is not good. Like flaily, squinty, squeaky not good. She also has a cheat sheet on her arm that she has to consult, which leads Kara to note that her bio says she was "voted most humorous" and that this was funny. Rebecca looks at her blankly. Whoops, guess this wasn't a put-on! Kara tells Paula to hit her because she was mean. Simon tells her to not try to make it as a singer, and she leaves. Her mom tells her she is still good.

Kris Allen, Felicia Barton, Ryan Johnson and Shera Lawrence all get about three seconds of screen time, followed by golden tickets.

What's left? Oh, that would be our heartwarming audition of the episode.


Leneshe Young grew up sometimes homeless and sometimes in shelters. She has made a point of working hard for her siblings and her mother. She sings an original composition, and for once, it's not bad! Usually "original song" is the kiss of death, but she was good. They like the song, and they like her a lot. She gets four yes votes, and she is thrilled. Her family is, too.

So that makes 19 going to Hollywood.

The season still feels a little off somehow, but tonight was definitely better than last night's San Fran snoozefest. (In other news, now it's time for LOST!)

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