Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Audition Round 5 (Austin)

Hello and welcome back to I'dol Be The Judge, Audition Round Part 5 Recap. I think American Idol has heard my pleas because this episode will only be 1 hour. These 1 hour episodes tend to fly by a little faster than those more repetitive 2 hour shows. So let's get to it:

How Were The Contestants?:

*The story of Corey Levoy is the first one out of the gate. His story is that he and his sister were estranged for years due to parental differences. They met years later. The judges bring in the sister to "help" judge. I kind of hate these gimmicks. I sort of understand what they are doing, but it's still pretty silly. When he starts to sing he actually has a nice voice. Shockingly, his sister thinks he did amazing. The judges are very impressed and feel that despite his high pitchy voice it actually is quite beautiful. This guy reminds me a little of Clay Aiken in that way. Like Clay Aiken the judges say he is going to Hollywood and we will see if he does half as well as Aiken did.

*17-year old Hollie Cavanagh took on a hefty song of "At Last". I think she has a pretty voice but like the judges, she isn't quite there yet. Randy says "she isn't ready" and Jennifer and Steven are unsure and ask her to sing again despite Hollie's crying. She takes a stab at Miley Cyrus "The Climb" and totally rebounds from the first song. I give the judges credit for giving her another shot. They think they saw something and maybe they did.

A montage of a number of contestants that breakdown after not getting the 'golden ticket'.

*Rodolfo Ochoa tries to sing "Circle of Life" and it doesn't work out. Not even a little bit.

We then get a montage of cowboys trying to sing some country. None seem to work out.

*John Wayne Schulz has a name that implies he is a cowboy, and that would be the case. He has had cowboy in his family for hundreds of years now. Shultz also has a story of his mother having breast cancer and her wish is for John to sing and that is just what he did. John Wayne Schulz is a country boy and has something there. I don't think it's the best country voice I have ever heard or even heard this season but he definitely has enough to move on, and that's just what he does. His parents come in to see him receive the go ahead by the judges.

*It took 5 episodes but Ryan Seacrest finally gets his own taped package. Courtney Penry loves Ryan Seacrest. She really loves him. Once she gets into the audition round she is asked for a special talent and shows the judges that she can pretend to be a chicken. Yep, a chicken. Anyhoo, the actual audition goes pretty well. J.Lo thinks that Courtney's voice has a lot good but some weaknesses as well. Despite that Jennifer and Steven send Courtney through. Ryan Seacrest likes to get involved, and by sending Courtney through that will ensure we get some more Ryan and Courtney time together.

*Shauntel Campos, Alex Carr, and Caleb Johnson quickly goes right through in a short montage. I wasn't that impressed with Alex Carr's audition but it was so quick I couldn't really tell his true vocal range.

We then get a montage of a lot of "golden ticket" recipients.

*Boyfriend and girlfriend Nick Fink and Jacqueline Dunford are just too cutesy for my liking or anyone elses in my opinion. Jacqueline starts her audition first and she has a strong voice. Nick has a very mellow voice. Surprisingly, Nick and Jacqueline are quite good. I thought that their video package was meant to make it seem like they were both a goof, but it turned out that both were really very good and they are on their way, together, to Hollywood.

*Janelle Arthur is a beautiful country girl with a semi-decent voice. It isn't the best I have heard but she gets put into Hollywood anyways.

We then get a montage of some really terrible, embarrassing auditions. Armadillos, cupid, I think I may have seen a viking in there, all just really bad. Randy Jackson is not impressed and really who could be.

*Show-man Casey Abrams is the final contestant of Austin. Casey is suprisingly very good. He has a bluesy voice. He scats and even has Jennifer Lopez dancing in her seat. All 3 judges put Casey right through. He might be one to watch if he can make his shtick turn into something more.

How Were The Judges?:

All 3 judges were actually very by the books tonight. Meaning none of them were overly funny, or overly mean, or overly serious. They were all just there to do the job and get it done. Which is fine, but not overly entertaining. They each had a couple of funny moments, but nothing outrageous. Randy had a few zingers in there, but nothing crazy.

I still don't like that we have yet to see any big disagreements between the judges. There has yet to be a time when 1 judge says "yes", 1 judge says "no" and the other judge says "no". Every single time the deciding judge decides to side with the "yes". I would like the judges to starts to break out of their shells a bit more. I'm not saying they have to be as polarizing as Simon Cowell or even Paula Abdul, but do a little more to showcase your judging abilities.

How Was The Show?:

50 contestants make it through from the Austin auditions.

I gotta say I hate the gimmick. I hate when the judges bring in family members into the audition round, I really don't like it when the judges know full and well what the personal story is behind the contestant and pretend that they don't, and I dislike that the producers think that we don't know or aren't smart enough to figure it out. After 10 years most Idol fans know this show better than a lot of the people actually involved in the show. So there really isn't a shock or awe value anymore.

But despite that these audition rounds are proving to showcase a lot of good talent. Austin didn't provide as many stand-outs but still some decent talent. I can't wait until we get to other rounds because these auditions do become tedious after awhile, but I really believe that there will be a nice group this year. I know that there are spoilers and rumors about the Top 40 being leaked, but just to let you know that I'dol Be The Judge does not read those reports and doesn't know who will eventually get through.

Please come back here tomorrow night for Audition Round Part 6 in Los Angeles. We'll see you tomorrow.

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