Wednesday, January 14, 2009

kansas city -American Idol comes to kansas

American Idol comes to kansas city

Hell hath no fury like an "American Idol" rejectee; at least, that's what Mia seemed to feel when she was dissed by the judges on last night's Kansas City (Mo.) auditions: Fury!

She actually said that God would bring down retribution on Simon, Kara, Paula and Randy for not passing her through. Wow.

Other "losers" took their bad news only slightly better. Michael Nicewonder cried, especially since his loss meant his mother, who had told him he didn't have a good voice, was proved right by the judges.

Then there was Chelsea, a pretty girl who had the right look and the wrong - painfully wrong - sound. "You sound like a cat jumping off the Empire State Building would sound right before she hit the pavement," Simon said, in his bon mot of the night.

One disappointed singer actually took it quite well: Asia, the strapping sister of tiny India, was rejoicing because her more talented sister made it through, even though she didn't.

Overall, I thought that Kansas City smoked Phoenix in every way, delivering far better singers and some really fascinating back stories, too. Michael Castro, Jason's younger brother, just had begun singing three weeks before his audition and he nailed it, winning a golden ticket.

Ashley did what Bikini Girl should have; that is, picked a song written by Simon and sung it well! Her rendition of "Footprints in the Sand" by Leona Lewis (Simon is a co-writer) was good, but what was great was her savvy, flatter-the-judges choice. Smart girl, Ashley.

Matt the Welder (and family man) is one to watch--his blue collar vibe and super strong vocals hooked the judges and me, too.

I'm sure we'll be seeing the two music teachers later on, even past Hollywood. Danny, the young widower who had lost his wife only four weeks before his audition, knocked it out of the park. He's already being called a front runner. When he dedicated his golden ticket to his wife, I cried. I bet millions of people did the same thing.


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Now that Bikini Girl fever has died down a little bit, let's move on to the Midwest, shall we? Kansas City, Missouri is tonight's stop on American Idol's nearly month-long audition tour, and I have high hopes. Arizonans - I can generally do without them. Now, Kansas City folk - salt of the earth, no nonsense. There were a multitude of theatrics on last night's episode of American Idol, and I expect less tonight. I also believe that some real talent will be unearthed in Kansas City. Kara DioGuardi seemed to fit right in with the other three judges on her debut last night, and I was mildly impressed. Everyone, please, just sit back, relax and enjoy your third and fourth hour of American Idol 8. I will be present right here, riding this specific internet tube, for the entirety of tonight's two-hour audition Don't Miss
American Idol 8: Phoenix Auditions Wrap-Up
TV Fans Unite! Onward to January! Televised Glory Awaits!
American Idol: May the Best Man Lose
Exclusive Interview: Deborah Byrd, Vocal Coach and Arranger on 'American Idol'
American Idol: Simon vs. The Women
More on...American Idol >>
episode. Feel free to read along. I would very much appreciate it. So would my mother. Don't Miss
American Idol 8: Phoenix Auditions Wrap-Up
TV Fans Unite! Onward to January! Televised Glory Awaits!
American Idol: May the Best Man Lose
Exclusive Interview: Deborah Byrd, Vocal Coach and Arranger on 'American Idol'
American Idol: Simon vs. The Women
More on...American Idol >>

I've opted to move to my home desk for tonight's episode. Last night, I worked the couch. I think we'll all be better off tonight as a result.

It's David Cook's home turf. As always, there are a lot of people who showed up to audition. We get it - you can stop putting everyone in an auditorium. No need to flex your muscle, FOX. People in the crowd love Simon Cowell. And Seacrest. Jason Castro is here today to support his brother, who will be trying out.

Chelsea Marquardt, an attractive blonde girl with confidence issues ("Can I buy you a drink, Chelsea?"), is the first audition. Oh, this is actually a surprise. She's really, really terrible. She sings "Without You" by Harry Nilson. It's the same song that the girl in the bathtub killed herself to in "The Rules of Attraction." Simon and Randy are absolutely brutal and mean. Simon said it sounded like the sound a cat makes as it plummets from the top of a skyscraper. Quite accurate.


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Before I get started with the coverage of tonight's American Idol, how about a little Wednesday-evening quarterbacking on last night's show?

The big buzz today seemed to be all about Ryan Seacrest trying to high-five blind contestant Scott Macintyre. Honestly, I didn't think it was the worst moment ever -- he wasn't like, "Dude, you're leaving me hanging here." He wanted to offer Scott his congratulations and high-five was his natural reaction, and he told him what was going on. I mean, it was a little awkward, but I wasn't on the bandwagon of watching the clip again and again. *shrug*

Overall, I felt like last night, the producers tried to give us a kinder and gentler Idol, but it was also, uh, boringer. (Before the grammar police come out of the woodwork, I know that's not a word. It's a joke.) There wasn't as much straight-up humiliation, and only a couple of kooky characters. It kind of felt like they were giving us this "updated" Idol approach, at least in the first episode, but then the previews for tonight made it look like it would be business as usual.

Well, I'll stop speculating on that -- let's watch and see for ourselves.

Tonight's auditions are from American Idol champ David Cook's hometown of Kansas City.

Randomly, season seven finalist Jason Castro is there and greets Paula Abdul, telling her his brother is getting ready to try out. Intriguing!

First up is Chelsea Marquardt, who "has been singing as long as I can remember," which isn't the first time we've heard that sentiment on this show. She says she usually surprises people because this "powerful voice" comes out of this "little girl" and that she sings "with so much emotion and power, people are like, 'Whoa!'" The judges look like they are thinking "Whoa!" but not in a good way. Simon Cowell: "It sounded like a cat jumping off the Empire State Building and the sound it would make before it hit the floor." Randy Jackson says then it sounded like the siren that would come next. Paula yells at them for being mean, but rather convolutedly. Kara DioGuardia says she is not a good singer, "sweetie." (She really needs to lay off the "sweetie.") It's a no.

Ashley Anderson sings "Footprints in the Sand," a Leona Lewis song co-writted by Simon. Obviously she is going for brownie points, but then she sings "footsteps" instead of "footprints," and they stop her and call her out on it. But she's a good singer (Kara says she has got some "chops"), and she gets four yes votes.

Hey, look, it's a commercial for Idol during Idol. But all the David Cook fans will be happy!

Casey Carlson sings Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles," and she is pleasant enough. Her occupation is listed as bubble tea maker, which makes me giggle. It sounds so official. Simon: "I like you a lot. ... You have a good vibe about you." Everyone says yes, so on to Hollywood.

Brian Hettler says he isn't bringing any gimmicks, just his voice. He says he was trying to become an opera singer, but he left singing for two years. He never says he actually ever got into a school. He sings (I guess) Aretha Franklin's "Think," but it's just weird. Randy calls it "different." Simon says he hated everything. Randy asks if people really compare him to Josh Groban, and he insists on singing some more, and while it's loud, it's not what one would call good. He's out. The cameras follow him, and he says, "If you're expecting me to cry, don't even bother."

Cue the montage of crying, and in one case, screaming-totally-for-the-cameras overreaction. Yawn.

After a break, Ryan talks to David Cook's parents, who happen to be walking down the street. (Uh-huh.) Ryan talks about his signature last season of doing original twists on well-known songs, which leads to a montage of people doing original, but not in a good way, takes.


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