February 6, 2007

"American Idol" -- San Antonio.

Pushing the Texas cowboy angle, the play "Rawhide" and edit the footage of the gathered crowd to seem like cattle. We're supposed to smirk at the kids' willingness to sing "Rawhide." Don't they know they're being led to the slaughter?

"Are you an aggressive performer?" Ryan asks the burly Bryan Kyrish. "Oh, yeah," he says. Ryan: "Why do you say it like that? It's almost creepy." Bryan is the first audition, and we're left puzzling over whether he's on because he's going to be great or because he's going to be awful. You'd think by now I'd've picked up the cues and would know what was going to happen, but all I know is that it's going to be one or the other. He sings "Rebel Yell," yells "Rebel Yell," and it's not creepy, it's scary. "It was a lot of shouting without a melody," says Simon. Yep.

Haley Scarlato looks good, sounds good, "a bit caberet." I thought they'd love her, but they're just: "You deserve a second chance."

Next is Jasmine Holland, who's terribly shy. She's a black woman from a gospel choir, so I assume she'll be terrific, but she's awful, and they laugh in her face. Paula says she seems sad, and she bursts out and says it's because "y'all're being rude" -- which is true. She then proceeds to attack Randy: "What do you do? I'd never heard of you before 'American Idol'... You were in the background..." Outside the audition room, she's all: "Simon, what is he? He's not even American." Her mother backs her up: "He needs to go back to... where's he from? French." Ryan corrects: "No, he's British." Mom: "He needs to go back to British and be the judge for British people. He's not American, so how can he tell who sings and not sings?" I'll bet they put some thought into whether to use this segment, since it invites viewers to laugh at people who aren't well educated, but I can see how they overcame whatever resistance they had. The young woman was quite bad and deluded, and she got nasty and abusive. She also cried two giant streaks of tears out of each eye.

Next is Baylie Brown, the girl from Krum, who lives around horses, but is also afraid of them. She has a brilliant smile and dimples, and she tells us that at heart she's a city girl. She's only 16. She looks fabulous and sings in a charming country style. "You're commercial with a capital C," Simon tells her.

They do the "wrong door" routine again, the lamest source of humor this season. Why is one door locked? There was at least a punchline: One girl got through the locked door.

A guy sings "Amazing Grace" all off key and gets a no. He's entirely accepting of that but as a joke, after he leaves the room, he starts yelling at them as if he'd lost his cool. His cousin Akron Wilson is next, and he sings the great song "A Change Is Gonna Come." They tell him he's charisma challenged but give him another chance, so he tears into "Let's Get It On," and they like him.

Next, they make a young woman cry. She's bad, and they say "Are you serious?"

Ashlynn Carr is beautiful but a little strange. She's one of the few contestants who gets a no from Randy and Paula, but Simon's a yes. After she's gone, Simon says we're making a mistake. Bring her back. She does "Inseparable," and Simon leans way back and massages his man-boobs in big circles and opines, "You have some very bad habits." But they let her through.

Jake the Snake -- Jacob Tutor -- says he's influenced by Kurt Cobain, and he sings something I can't recognize -- something about being in Hell. "I think you need to be in a very dark bedroom to sing that song," says Simon.

Jimmy McNeal says he's going to sing "Cupid," but he sings "Another Saturday Night" shifting into "Cupid." Simon says, "You're like a little, fun Ruben, aren't you? Remember when we first met Ruben. That was when he used to smile." Oh, how painful! That's the saddest thing anyone ever said on the show. Ruben doesn't smile anymore? He smiled when they first met him, and they they put him through the "American Idol" machine, and now he doesn't smile anymore. But welcome to the machine, Jimmy!


Irene Done said...

Akron was my favorite.

And you know, I HOPE they put some thought in using the Jasmine Holland segment. Because by this point in the audition phase of Idol, I really do tire of the cruelty.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
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Ann Althouse said...

I took it the way I did because of the line "a little fun Ruben," as in a fun Ruben, unlike the Ruben we have now.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
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Joan said...

I'm cracking up over your description of Simon's automassage. I couldn't believe I was seeing what I was seeing. It was freaky.

I think I got through this entire show in about 10 minutes. I love TiVO; it's the only way to survive these audition shows. Meanwhile, I'm totally hooked on Grease: You're the One that I Want because everyone who is still on the show can sing and dance and it's rather amazing that they're willing to hang an entire Broadway production on the outcome of a reality show.

vbspurs said...

Believe it or not, I was watching another reality show, on VH-1.

Did anyone watch "I love New York", about an ex-Miss New York doing the Bachelorette routine?

She has amongst 30 guys to choose from, but this reality has a twist -- along for the ride, is her mother, a controlling, judgemental black lady, who has very specific, and antithetical ideas to her daughter, of who would suit.

The 30 guys are all given nicknames, which they then sling around rapper-like bling-bling dog tags.

There's Mr. Boston (pasty white guy), Twelve Pack (bodybuilder whom the mum is convinced is gay), Rico (as in Suave, except he called her a "little black girl", oh very suave there, chief), T-Bone (chubby black guy, who I really thought would get the boot but didn't), and the Puck of the series, thug wannabe Chance, as in Last Chance, No Chance, and Chance In a Billion.

Miss New York loves thugs apparently, so he got to stay, despite being as obnoxious as you've ever seen anyone be since Amarosa (anecdotally, because I have never seen The Apprentice).

I dunno. I liked it. It's got the train wreck quality to it, and it's slightly less weird than the Flava-Flave show.


Would be great if another Althousian watched it too, 'cause I'm just not fillin American Idol.


Ruth Anne Adams said...
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Laura Reynolds said...

Victoria: Ruth Anne is correct (as per usual). You have to see it through from beginning to end.

Icepick said...

Ann, you totally didn't do justice to the cousin that sang "Amazing Grace". That guy was AWESOME in his badness, and knew it. He was a good character, and completely hammed it up.

Also, Jacob Tudor completely blew it. If he's going to show up looking like that and singing that song, he needed to do it with Cookie Monster vocals. He could have at least used the opportunity to try out for the local death metal bands.

And Haley Scarlato looked great in that jump suit. I loved the (lack of) back on that outfit.

MadisonMan said...

they play "Rawhide" and edit the footage of the gathered crowd to seem like cattle. We're supposed to smirk at the kids' willingness to sing "Rawhide."

And I guess that killed Frankie Laine. Or was this a tribute?

vbspurs said...

Victoria: You have to hang in there with American Idol. It's a play in three parts. Right now, we're at the end of the Auditions, where cruelty and disillusionment are on display. The next act is "Hollywood" where the singers prove their mettle. You will get to see some real talent emerge and get groomed. Then there's the competition act, where the final 12 are performing live for your vote. I tired of the first part, too. But hang in there. It gets much better as you get to know these young singers.

It's true, you're right. Thanks for explaining, 'cause I hadn't realised there were 3 parts, just 2 in my mind.

But Ruth Anne, I did say in another AI thread that the auditions are my faves -- unlike the majority of people who prefer the knockoff rounds.

I have never watched any of the knockoff rounds in ANY previous season. I have watched two of the last 2-hour final episodes though.

Guess I'll see you guys there.


Ruth Anne Adams said...
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Ann Althouse said...

Ruth Anne: I've tried to watch that in the past and rejected it. I don't like travel problems, especially rushing around in airports and pleading with people for help. It reminds me of some of my worst experiences. But I'll set the TiVo and see if I can take it. Another thing is the All Stars part. I recently watched the Survivor All Stars Season, and at least there I knew some of the characters. Here, they will be new to me, so I won't get a whole big part of what's going on, since all of them will have seen the others on TV and that will affect the strategy. Or am I being too Survivor-oriented. Maybe on the Amazing Race, you don't care what the other teams do and you don't have to cooperate at all. I forget. I've watched maybe 2 episodes over the years.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
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