Another late writeup, due to another crazy work week, so here’s a double shot recap from our last stop before Hollywood week. This time the gang is in San Francisco to round out the last 2 nights before shit gets real.
These two episodes are chock full of either those who are “whacky” but with an unexpectedly good voice; or those who suffered some severe hardships and are looking for Idol redemption.
We start off with the former – a 15 year old girl with a 19 year old psychic cat who despite a trippy intro, belts out some dynamite Florence and the Machine and earns herself a golden ticket. Then there’s Chandler Leighton who has that singer/songwriter coffeehouse thing going. Hollie asks me her name 3 times and I can tell she already has no patience for this gal. Next we see 17 year old Andrew who is a Tim Tebow doppleganger and is accompanied by his friend, silver medalist sprinter Ryan Baily. When young Andrew advances but is upstaged by the judges’ shtick with Baily, I feel bad that the kid with the Golden Ticket is getting overshadowed. Hollie quickly reminds me that you don’t bring an Olympic athlete with you to auditions unless you are hoping it increases your chances of getting on TV. Fair point and I am no longer concerned.
Now it’s time for more Idol shtick. There’s a telanovela and #IdolExitFail and as I look over my notes I see that while the producers have certainly lessened the number of bad auditions they are airing, they are amping up the goofy montages accompanied by inane hashtags. (#walked, #Idolbooty). Am I supposed to search for what people are saying about #Idolonthefence? Are kids, or more accurately Grandmas, really dialing up their Hootsuite to see what the nation is saying about #turnupforIdol?
Some standout kids from this first hour are the sweet singing, uekelale playing Somoan, Reno; the smooth Rayvon Owen with a proud momma and humble beginnings, and 16 year old Maddy Hudson (whose dramatic red lipstick is irking me more than it should).
Despite some compelling talent, the clear highlights for me were twins Ezekial and Jeremiah. It was their first audition and these kids were in full frosted highlight effect. They were not good but also not awful and I am not really sure what to make of these two oddballs. Were they part of some creepy religious cult or just two metrosexual brothers with a strange Ricky Martin vibe. I was hoping we’d see more of them as twins are Idol gold – see Season 7’s Derrell and Terrell.
We move to hour 2 and Adanna Duru starts us out strong, with a great smile and polished stage presence. We also see Hunter Larson who is eccentric and falls into Idol category 1 as being unexpectedly good. Still, I project sparkle and fade from this cute but loopy blonde.
Just 10 minutes earlier I commented to Hollie how it is unnerving to me that all of these 15-17 year olds look and act so mature… and then in comes 15 year old Daniel Seavey. If he was wearing a Champion sweatshirt and a mesh Mets hat, that’s what I would’ve looked like walking in to audition. He’s surely talented but his voice is still cracking and he is no Adam Archuleta. They let him through but Hollie, the judges, America and I all know it’s way too soon for young Daniel. He’s going to Hollywood anyway and will get eaten alive.
Next up – perhaps to underscore that Daniel has not seen enough shit to sing passionately – is Rocky P. Rocky was abandoned in Africa and makes all of those “big family, single mom” stories seem like a walk in the park. This guy was rummaging through garbage for food and drinking from potholes but still has a smile on his face. His tone is mellifluous and he’s through, but as happy as we are that Idol can help make dreams come true, we are just as quickly disenchanted.
In walks Jaq who is 15 years old, goes to some art school and just seems too mature. The blue graphic under her name also says she is a “student/actress”. I’m sorry – if you are 15 and you are a high school student you are “/” nothing. You can be “waitress/actress” or “sales clerk/actress” but you cannot be “student/actress”. I’ll stop there as I am betting that Hollie has a 3 paragraph diatribe lined up right about now…
Anyway, after a montage of 200 tickets and Tyanna Jones – auditions are over and we get some Hollywood week teases. Drama – check. Goosies – check. Shell shocked would be stars – check. Health scares and EMS – YESSSSS! When the Idol experience causes someone to be so stressed and exhausted, both the cameras and a stretcher are there and there is no better promo.
So there you have it. I don’t need no Golden Ticket…just my Seamless login and my trusty notepad and I’m going to Hollywood. See ya’ll Wednesday night. Let’s get us a top 24.