I missed the very beginning of American Idol again, but came in on a girl stalking away from auditions, crying and lamenting how she was going to tell her mother that she didn't make it. Cameraperson pointedly asks if she has a message for the judges, and she says, "Just because somebody farts, let 'em finish singing, OK?" That can't be real. Right?
Anyway, it's still more auditions, this time in San Francisco.
Inessa Lee is from the Ukraine and is here to get famous. She says she has a bunch of music videos out (on YouTube), including shower scenes and her own awesome choreography (with a clip from YouTube showing some not so awesome choreography). After showing the judges some bellydancing/yoga moves, she sings. It's not great. Steven Tyler wanted her to be great, but her pitch and melody "were all over the place." Jennifer Lopez loves her young spirit. It's a no, even though she is cute. She tells them they will see her soon.
Brittany Mazur is our first example of "talent really taking off," but she sounds wavery to me. She kicks off a montage of yeses that also includes Lara Johnston and Matthew Nuss,.
Stefano Langone has the evening's first sob story. He was in an accident that he was lucky to survive. He is covered with scars and says he was told he probably wouldn't walk, but he "got on my feet in less than four months." He sings "Heard it Through the Grapevine" and he is good, confident and loud. Not a bad combo. Randy liked his "hood" enunciation and his strong voice. J.Lo likes his star quality and movie-star good looks and a nice tone. Steven says he survived the accident for a reason, which is going to Hollywood.
Clint Jun Gamboa is a karaoke host in Long Beach. He sings "Billionaire," and he's pretty good, but a little pitchy when he goes into crazy runs at the end. He tells Randy he grew up singing in a lot of gospel churches, and Randy tells him to keep that. They love him. He is in! Randy even says he is one of the best they've heard in S.F.
Kenneth Berba ruins in wearing a monkey costume or something and gets instant nos, introducing a short montage of nuh-uh.
Drew Beaumier has on a fairly epic Transformers costume that he built. He gets back into car form and tries to sing "Born to be Wild," but he can't really remember the words and he can't really sing. But the outfit is awesome.
Montage of yeses to some "California girls."
Julie Zorrilla is 20 today (well, the day of her audition). She tells the story of growing up in Colombia in a scary time, and her family just picked up and left everything behind to get away from the guerillas. She sings "Summertime," and she sounds fantastic. A few too many theatrics for me, but the voice is outstanding. Steven says she is fabulous, beautiful, has great range and great star quality. Jennifer loved her confidence and her ability to perform. Randy loved it, especially because he hasn't loved that song since Fantasia "blew it out of the box" a while back. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Dave Combs sings the Beatles "Oh Darlin'." He's representing the rockers with his long blond blocks. He's a little off-kilter. Or as Steven says: "You were so off the melody, you were on another planet." Steven actually gets upset because he wanted him to be good. Not so much.
Montage of Steven being mad at people.
Emily Anne Reed has a baby voice and moved from Arlington to San Francisco because her dad told her to spread her wings far. But then her house burned down. Is this footage really from *her* fire? She sings "You're Getting to Be a Habit With Me," and her singing voice is also a little baby-ish, but it's intriguing. Jennifer says she has a very unique voice, which is important for a recording artist. Steven says he liked her voice in general, but found that the melody left a lot to be desired, so he says no. (Has he ever been a dissenting vote?) Randy disagrees, and she gets her ticket. Steven asks her to play some guitar, and she does, and wins him over, too.
James Durbin was raised by his mother. His father was a bass player, but he died of a drug overdose when James was 9. He was having some other issues, and was eventually diagnosed with Asperger's and Tourette's syndrome. He says his life was changed by his "angel" girlfriend and their son. He's a little nervous about being in front of the judges with Tourette's, but he's going for it. He has a Lambert-esque vibe going on, super good. He asks Steven for permission to sing "Dream On." He (James) cries. Jennifer says, "You go away when you sing." He tells her about the Tourette's and said that is exactly what happens, it all falls away when he sings. Randy appreciates that his range is crazy, and "full voice, not even falsetto." It's a unanimous yes.
So that's the end of auditions. THANKFULLY. Tomorrow night: Hollywood week begins. There appear to be about 7,500 people there. (That's an overstatement. Kind of.)