American Idol Season 14 Episodes 7 & 8: Rooting for the Poor Kids!

Instead of watching American Idol live this week, I was on a work trip in the Atlanta suburbs running a conference for 300 of our global sales people, i.e., making a bunch of drunk Australian and british sales guys to get out of the pool at 3 am for 4 days straight.

But I’m all caught up and I feel like the San Francisco auditions reflect how I feel about San Francisco itself: I mean it’s OK, but I’d never elect to see it more than I have to.

I watched the two episodes a day apart, and I can’t really remember much remarkable from the first one.  I was excited that we got our first AND second kids who list “Voice Coach” as an occupation (as a side note, there’s a disturbing lack of “church youth group leaders” this season – not enough southern audition cities I guess?! Did the Idol stats guy realize they had the same success rate as Single Dads on the show?) Rayvon Owen actually proved worthy of his Voice Coach job title.

An early golden ticket was given to a girl named Chandler Leighton who sang New York State of Mind, but honestly some middle aged executive from my company just slayed that song at karaoke during the offsite this week, and just watch that video on my Instagram and you’ll see how so-so her audition was.  For the record I sang White Wedding at the conference karaoke party, and as Keith told one contestant today, “you’ve got the passion but the voice just isn’t there. ”

Just as “Busker” has become the new “Church Youth Leader” as top occupation, I think that Samoans might be the new Filipino, with their giant families and strong nation wide network that would allow someone of that ethnicity to make it way farther than they are meant to, a la Jasmine Trias.  I think if Rene Anoa’I can make it to the voting public, that Samoan block will be influencing the voting pool.

Lot’s of young kids in SF. I was pretty disappointed that a set of overstyled twins, Ezekiel and Jeremiah, were both bad, as it would’ve been great to have one go through, and the other sit in the bleachers in Hollywood, fake-supporting the other.

The judges were all about 15 year old Maddy Hudson. But I got an instant “stage kid” fake emotion thing from her, and her lipstick was so distracting, and her fake “thank you thank yous” negated her talent. She is classic “needs to talk less, sing more.”

I have developed a new Idol pet peeve!!!  After all these years, a new one, that’s hard to do!! So, do you just wear that guitar, which you have no intention of playing for your audition, to give the judges some subliminal message that you’re talented ?  Does it intimidate the other kids?  Do you know how to play it? Did the producers tell you not to play it?

And I’ve also picked up that if you are one of the auditioners to have the guy play piano with you, you are going to make it.  And if you didn’t get air time, but we see some golden ticket b roll of you, good luck sailor.

So…. Hashtags. Can I ask how someone might stumble upon #IdolontheFence on twitter? When the producers want me to tweet #IdolCat, how do the people on the computer know? Is it just for people watching in real time, because I happened to be organizing shuttles to back to Grand Ballroom B when this was airing and didn’t get the chance to weigh in on #IdolStay. Is someone searching for this? Can I go on and tweet something about #idolcat on Saturday and will anyone find that tweet because #idolcat is now a hashtag they follow?  So many questions, I’ll park this with the Idol Bus and am definitely leading off this week’s meeting with our company’s social media manager with all of these questions.

I’d like it if the producers made more of a stark contrast between contestants like Hunter Larsen — a cool chick blond hostess/floral shop worker/nanny from Malibu whose rich dad totally supports her — and kids like Rocky Peter, whose father ABANDONED HIS FAMILY IN NIGERIA TO STARVE TO DEATH.  How can you not root for kids like that?! The hot cool California girl will be A OK regardless of her success on this show.

I timed it, and I think just as I was helping hand out “Enterprise Regional Sales Director of the Year” awards down in a resort in Georgia, Jaq Mackenzie was on the airwaves winning Hollie’s “Least Likable Contestant of the Audition Cities” prize!  This girl has it all:

  • stage name. No way is Mackenzie her last name, and don’t get me started on the Jaq with a ‘q’;
  • precocious 15 year old manner of speaking—eloquent but no soul: “American Idol will be a lot of fun,” she says, without a crack of a smile
  • sang an original song, of course;
  • labelled herself a Student/ Actress
  • goes to an arts high school;
  • has total “I’ve been auditioning for commercials since I was five so now I’m going to shed that ‘kid from the Jif Peanut Butter’ persona and be ‘edgy’ now” syndrome, complete with leather jacket, painted stars on her face and wispy hair. I am 95% sure that she is a dyed brunette, too.

Not since I started bully tweeting Sam Wolf to start sexing it up when he was costing me my American Idol pool have I launched into such child bashing on the internet!

AI Producers need to get around all the Stage Moms of this 10th grade field trip that is called Hollywood week. C’mon poor kids with bad pasts, practice up!

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