Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Audition Round Part 1: Savannah

11th season HERE WE GO. Off and running. Millions of people have auditioned, but only 10 people have won the show, in a matter of months 1 more person will be crowned the American Idol winner. We’re here to take you from the first audition to the confetti flying. Tonight begins that journey. The audition rounds are pretty nutty so until we get to really know these contestants and are able to narrow in on them we’re just gonna place them into the category of  “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” or “Bye Bye Bye”. We’ll also have our take on the judges and Ryan. Tonight’s first show is in Savannah, Georgia. So with that, let’s get started:

“I’ve Got a Golden Ticket”(Going to Hollywood):

*David Leathers, Jr. (17). He sounds like a young Michael Jackson, looks like he’s 11 years old, and beat Scotty McCreery in a singing competition a couple years ago, not a bad little resume and rightly so on his way to Hollywood. Scotty and David are at the extreme opposites of the sound of their voice, so it’s kinda funny to think that they were in the same competition together. Nonetheless, all 3 judges were impressed, and so was I. 

*Gabi Carrubba, (16). Alrready like the girl cause she came in and hugged Nigel Lythgoe, producer of AI, but also So You Think You Can Dance judge. It’s a fun entrance. Either way she was very good. J.Lo called her a natural, and she’s only 16 and it seemed flawless.

*Shannon Magrane(15). Total opposite of David Leathers, she is 15 but looks like she is 25. She sounds great and is extremely confident of her skills and it ends up that she deserves to be because she is real good. Judges are super impressed of her ability and with her family surrounding her, including her former baseball player father, Shannon gets on through to the next round. 

*Amy Brumfield (24). Lives in a tent with her boyfriend, gotta give her props for doing what she needs to get on her feet. I don’t think her voice is particularly strong but the judges are impressed enough and send her through. 

*Stephanie Renae (15).  I don’t know how far she’ll go but she has some voice there. For 15 she sounds pretty good. J.Lo tells her that she needs a little tweaking, a few vocal lessons and she’ll be good to go. J.Lo and Steven put her through, and if she can fix those few things then maybe she’ll have something.

*Schyler Dixon (16) and Colton Dixon(19). Despite her brother almost coming in and up staging her Schyler killed the song. Despite the death glares that Schyler gave Dixon, he sounded good as well. Both get to go to Hollywood. That would have sucked if Colton got through and Schyler didn’t, but luckily they both are on their way to Hollywood. We’ll see what happens later because I can definitely see a scenario that if Schyler gets cut while Colton stays on that those Christmas dinners are going to be mighty awkward. 

*Lauren Mink(25). In her clip package we learn that she works with people with intellectual and emotional disabilities, so already she's a pretty great person in my book, and luckily enough her voice is just as great. Lauren gives J.Lo “gooseys” or in regular people terms, goosebumps. All 3 judges send her right on through. 

*Ashlee Altise(28). Despite a crazy dance persona, and dance move called the "joy hop", she actually does have a bit of a voice, she definitelyy isn't the best I've heard but there might be a little something there.

*W.T Thompson(25). With his 6 and half months pregnant wife, W.T gave up his job to pursue his dream. Steven isn't sure he's the American Idol, J.Lo thinks it's there, and despite a switcheroo that was trying to make us think he didn't get in, W.T does get in with Randy's approval.

*Brittany Kerr (24). An NBA cheerleader that gets a "Yes" before she sings a note, is off to a good start. She's a pretty girl and despite J.Lo's "No", the two men put her through. I don't see her going too far, but she's on her way for now at least. 

*Phillip Phillips(20). Yes, that is his real name. Wow. How can you do that to a kid. I mean I know a guy named John Johnson but still. Anyhoo, Phillip Phillips was damn good. He's good looking, has a real different voice, and if he can control some of his facial expressions then he'll be the full package. When he picked up his guitar he did an awesome rendition of "Thriller" that I've never heard before, just really good. They saved the best for last for sure. I have some high hopes for this guy.

"...And The Rest"(Also going through): Brianna Faulk, Neco Starr, Molly Hunt, Elise Testone

“Bye Bye Bye”(Going Home): 

*Jessica Whitely (19). Too bad. She’s cute, thinks she can sing but unfortunately is very very incorrect. Not good, and leaves all 3 judges speechless until Randy calls it ‘awful’. She blames it on dehydration, I blame it on no singing ability. Supposedly she’ll be going to another audition, but there’s no way that a different state will enhance her singing. 

*Shaun Kraisman (26). Supposed look alike of Ryan Seacrest. He says Ryan is his inspiration. He actually looks like Ryan’s son. Ryan comes into the audition and actually says “Don’t make it look too easy”. Funny line. Doesn’t have the chops as a singer, but if Ryan’s ever sick and can’t come into work then this guy is ready to go. 

*Joshua Chavis(23). Super fan, super bad. Warned the judges he wouldn’t leave the stage without a golden ticket, but his threats didn’t work because he left without one because he was just not good. Voice was not there. “No, no, no” as Randy put it. On his way out the camera follows Joshua throughout several stages of grief, we had some depression, some anger and bargaining, some shock and denial, but mostly just Josh giving the camera the finger. 

*Mawuena Kodjo(25). When you think of Africa you think someone from there will probably be the next great country superstar.I mean who doesn't? But despite that hope, this guy is not Africa's next Keith Urban. He really thought he had something going on, but the only thing he had going were his feet going out the door without a ticket.  Randy calls it "really bad", and Mawuena calls Randy "really wrong",and despite attempts to prove Randy wrong with help from the producers and Ryan trying to manipulate the situation, he cannot and threatens to come back next season. 

Erica Nowak(28). The self proclaimed future ex-wife of Steven. Didn't get through but she squeezed his butt, so that was something.

Best of the Night:

Phillip Phillips and Shannon Magrae. They are good looking, great voices and a lot of potential.

Um, Really?(If We Could Take One Golden Ticket Away):
W.T Thompson. Even without a 6 month pregnant wife, and giving up his job I'd think this guy shouldn't have auditioned, let alone move on to Hollywood, but knowing he gave up all that he did and given his experience, I think it was just a bad call on the Judges part. I don't see him doing that well. Hopefully his job will still be around when he comes home from Hollywood. 

Judges and Ryan:

Alright should I be annoyed that literally the first words that came out of Randy’s mouth annoyed me? “The dude” kept saying Season One One, instead of saying eleven. I know I shouldn’t be annoyed, but it occurred nonetheless. The girls do like Steven. He attracts the moms and the daughters and even a few grandmas. Lots o kisses, and hugs from Steven. Jennifer seemed very comfortable in her role, I remember last year it took her awhile to figure out how to say "No", so she's definitely ahead of the game there.

As the terrible host of X Factor, Steve Jones made me long for the days of Ryan Seacrest. At this point, 11 years later, Ryan knows what he's doing, he drops in, drops out for awhile and connects to the audience. Off to a nice start.

Final Thoughts:

*After watching X Factor and having it be so loud and so over produced it was nice to have these quiet auditions where you can hear the voices of the contestants and some judges' feedback. The producers did try to pull some of their same old shtick of trying to trick us into thinking someone wasn't picked but ended up getting picked, but it didn't effect the show too much. 

*I don't think anyone that got a full clip package of their home and personal life was denied a trip to Hollywood. AI still doesn't want to waste those moments on people that don't end up getting through. I do get that, but it'd be nice to imagine one time that we don't definitely know someones going  through when we see their home life.

*We learn 42 people do end up going to Hollywood. That's gotta be a record for first city auditions.

We're off to a nice start. Come back here tomorrow for another day of auditions, this time the judges and Ryan will be in Pittsburgh. And if you haven't done so already please check out our Podcast called BS Factor, located on the upper right of the screen or at, check it out. Either way see you tomorrow.

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