American Idol Review: In Week 4, We Go to Hollywood – FINALLY!
Well kids, here we are at Week 4 of American Idol, and this year, that means just one more night of boring, nice, “let’s put everyone and their mother through to the next round” auditions, and then it’s off to Hollywood! (Thank god!) As usual, the week was broken up into two episodes. The first one focused on the last stop of auditions in San Francisco, California, and the second was Round One of Hollywood Week.
EPISODE ONE: SAN FRANCISCO AUDITIONS
Let’s get right to it. The San Francisco auditions began with a pretty blond woman crying as she left her audition, and then suddenly saying into the camera through tears: “Just because somebody farts, let ‘em finish singing, okay?” Well, um … okay then. Although this was funny, it felt very fake to me, like they told her to say that just to get a laugh. Otherwise, the real GOLD would have been to actually show us that audition where she supposedly farted in the middle of singing. I WANT TO SEE THAT! But I won’t, because my guess is, it never happened. Oh, Idol, you crazy manufacturing reality-show machine, you! Other than farts that didn’t happen, some San Francisco memorable moments included:
* Stefano Langone, who recovered from a tragic accident in which doctors said he wouldn’t live. Excellent personality, a piano player, and a fantastic voice.
* Clint Jun Gamboa, a Karaoke Host with bizarre glasses and a great-sounding tone. He reminded me of a gospel singer in a church with his passion and range.
* Julie Zorrilla, a sexy and naturally gorgeous Colombian girl who left her country at a young age with her parents for the American dream. Her voice was beautiful and I really liked her, as did Steven Tyler, who looked as if he might jump over the table to hump her leg.
* Emily Anne Reed – all I can say is HOLY CRAP! This chick has one of the most unique, rich, gorgeous sounds I have ever heard. It had a definite Minny Riperton vibe, and I think she is already very underrated, since they barely put her through to Hollywood. (Tyler said no because he’s on crack and thought her melody was off, then heard her sing again while playing her guitar and seemed to change his mind.) This girl is in my top three, but I have a feeling they will say she isn’t “marketable” enough and she might not last long. She is sooo good!
* James Durbin. I love everything about this dude, and his great backstory. (Yes, Idol, you have done it again. I have fallen for your emotional manipulations and fallen in love with Mr. Durbin. Nice job. ) People are already comparing his voice to Adam Lambert’s, but I disagree. Similarities? Yes. But also very, very individual. As for his story: James’s dad was a bass player in a touring band, who wasn’t home much to see his kids. When he died of a drug overdose, James was only 9 yrs. old. Diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and Tourette Syndrome, he was mocked and made fun of during his childhood. He says that when he sings, he feels “free”. And man, can he ever sing! His version of Aerosmith’s Dream On was so impressive, it rendered Tyler pretty much speechless. I hope to see this dude in the top ten. Did I mention I love this guy?
* Best “WTF” Moment: a crazy guy who showed up at the audition dressed as a lifesize walking car/transformer type … thing. (Drew Beaumier.) When he sang, you couldn’t even see his face. It was literally a CAR singing to the judges. Most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen. Some people have way too much time on their hands. Or wheels. (Get it? Cuz he’s a car … rimshot.)
EPISODE TWO: HOLLYWOOD WEEK/ROUND ONE -
After some pretty boring audition episodes in my opinion, I am happier than ever that we have finally reached Hollywood Week on Idol. We begin with douchebag Seacrest informing us that “the talent is better than we’ve EVER seen.” Really? Is it? That’s funny, because you said the exact same thing in season 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2. Something tells me NEXT season’s talent will be even BETTER than this year’s! Imagine that!!! What are the odds??? In any case, Hollywood Week and beyond is where Seacrest really shines and gets to be his ever-so-annoying self. He hogs camera time better than anyone, and so from now on, he is in his glory. He starts us off with his usual cry of: “THIS ……… is American Idol!” Thank you Seacrest. Now I know what I’m watching. I was confused before you told me.
This season’s judges put 327 hopefuls through to Hollywood Week, more than ever before, because they don’t want to be meanies and tell someone who is crying “no.” So, because of that, there will be a lot of dreams ended early in Hollywood, and it begins with cutting that number right in half during Round One.
In lines of 10 people, contestants were asked to sing acapella a piece of a song of their choosing. After a brief deliberation by the judges, they are told immediately whether or not they have made it through to Round Two, or if they are going home.
Some of the early favorites to make it through to the next round include: Rachel Zevita, Thea Megia, Casey Abrams (with a kickass version of “Lullaby of Birdland”), Paris Tassin, Chris Medina, (whose fiance has severe brain-damage after a car-wreck), Jacee Badeaux (looks like The Pillsbury Doughboy and sings like an Angel), Rob Bolin and Chelsea Oaks (who tried out together as an ex-couple), and Jackie Wilson.
Also making it through to Round Two are MY personal favorites: Stefano Langone, Emily Anne Reed, and James Durbin. YESSS!!!!
Of course, Hollywood Week wouldn’t be Hollywood Week without SOME drama. Most people remember the very cute and very talented and in love couple that auditioned and made it to Hollywood together – Nick Fink and Jacqueline Dunford. Well, turns out that love only got them so far, because when Jacqueline made it through to Round Two in Hollywood and Nick did not, his reaction was completely childish, desperate, and kind of pathetic. First, he literally begged the judges for another chance to sing the ending to his song. Randy Jackson reminded him of the rule which was established at the beginning of auditions: “You only get one chance.” Fink then stumbled out of the stadium, which had a full audience of contestants, and began singing his song anyway, at the top of his lungs. When Randy said “Nope. Still no,” Fink began to whine and pout, and act all condescending and rude in his post-audition interview with Seacrest in the hallway. Dude, what happened to being in love? Your girlfriend just made it through to the next round! How about supporting her and telling her how proud you are of her, instead of making her feel like an ass for getting further than you. What a complete and total douche.
There were also a couple of “Are You F**king Kidding Me?” people that got through to Round Two, including Tiffany Rios; who showed off her star-pastied breasts at her first audition and writhed around on the floor. In Hollywood, she came out and announced “I am sick of seeing people try to do what I know I can do!”, then launched into an absolutely terrible vocal; screaming and screeching the entire song. For some insane reason, the judges did not see it that way and they put her through to Round Two. Baffling.
I was very happy to see that the annoyingly-chipper Victoria Huggins did not make it through to Round Two. Her Disney-esque persona and “suck on a balloon” squeeky voice make me want to commit a random murder. Hopefully, she will live a
happy life that involves communicating with animated, talking cute animals in a forest somewhere in HappyVille, USA.
Next Week: Hollywood auditions continue as Round Two brings the REAL drama – Group Song auditions! This is where you are forced to get along with other performers you have never met, and put your ego aside to create a short medley that shows off all of your combined and individual talents. Yeah, right! As if that’ll happen!
See you next week kids! Until then, “Seacrest OUT!”
Want another take on this week’s Idol? Read “Hollywood Week and The San Francisco Treat” by Erin Biglow.
Season 10, Episodes 7-8 (originally aired February 9 & 10, 2011)
Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8/7c on FOX
Images courtesy of imdbpro
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