Thursday, January 28, 2010

American Idol Day! LA Auditions!

Yesterday LA, TODAY Dallas.
Its 3.30am and I've just managed to watch today's (Wednesday's) telecast of American Idol, no thanks to some wonky stuff going on with my recorder. Lucky for me, I had a back up recording in the other room!

I was really looking forward to the LA Auditions, mostly because I wanted to see how Avril and Katy would do as judges. I mean, we've all seen Posh and Mary J. choke, and then there was Shania who seemed the best fit followed by a giggly Kristin Chenoweth who didn't turn up for Day2 of the Orlando auditions (the show declares she had to go back to New York presumably for work, but 'sources' say she was 'sent' back/judging duties cut short cos she annoyed Simon too much). So how would two very young entertainers like Lavigne and Perry fair?

I have to say, not bad. Apart from Avril's slightly whiny (and er, 'young') way of speaking, she was present and contributing (apparently her age is what makes her a relevent judge cos she's young enough to 'audition, so she knows how it feels'). Her devil-eared hoodie and the jangling of her jewellery every time she spoke was kinda distracting for me, but hey she's Avril Lavigne. She's actually very pretty. I expected her to be more angsty and 'angry' but she was smiley and bubble-gummy (she was literally chewing gum the whole time). Not really worth of the seat imo.

Katy Perry was entertaining to watch from the get-go. Gorgeous to a fault in a huggy peach dress that showed off her assets (so much so that a creepy guy pointed it out), she stuck by her opinions and didn't get steamrolled by anyone, especially Kara (whassup with the cattiness though Katy? Are you a Kara-hater too?). Unfortunately for Kara though, Katy's snow white complexion (seriously, she looked like Snow White with the 'skin white as snow, lips red as the rose and hair as dark as ebony - I'm quoting the Magic Mirror here), Kara's tan, looked orange and super fake (even if it was real). Every time there was a two-shot of them, I was like 'ugh, Kara needs to un-tan', such a departure from last season when I used to feel, 'ugh, Paula needs to un-tan' (Kara seemed pale next to her).

Ok, so lets review the show and the auditionees shall we?
Opening shot of this week's episode is of Ryan in his radio studio, with the big 'On-Air with Ryan Seacrest' logo right behind him. Well-played Seacrest - plug your radio show on your tv show :) I really take my hat off to this guy, he's got all his fingers in every pie, and each pie complements the next - its f*rking GENIUS I tell you! He's got his LA morning radio show (its daily), he does American Top 40 (a weekly countdown show, that's syndicated internationally), he's got American Idol (twice weekly, in a few weeks it'll be thrice), he owns his own production company (Ryan Seacrest Productions) and produces tv shows (mostly celeb/reality shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians on E! (psst!its addictive :P) and Denise Richards reality show; he's got a dating reality show comin' up and even something with Paris Hilton), he's got his daily duties at E! where he helms E! News Live (daily shows + the weekend bumper edition!) AND he has time to like sometimes host big shows like a Disney Christmas Parade (big deal type show) and the Emmys (hello, even bigger deal).

He's 36 this year people. Overachiever hor. Does he even SLEEP?
Oh and plus he's like on Twitter ALL the time - I'm now beginning to think he's got a PA to tweet for him, but then again, some of the stuff he posts (like in reply to his celeb friends) are quite personal - he's probably attached to his Blackberry (or T-Mobile Sidekick, if AI sponsors AT&T gave him one).
Stalk him here, his website is awesome for BTS stuff on AI, PLUS he twitpics!!!

Sorry got so sidetracked with Ryan, I'm so in awe of how he is so productive 24/7, 365 days of the year. Now on to the show. Lets list Good vs Evil (ok, just BAD).

Neil Goldstein
First guy up, says he's got an IQ of 168 - sure not? Sang 'Remember Everything That I Told You' and ironically forgot the lyrics after the first line. Refused to accept the 'no's he was doled and when told he needed a reality check said, 'There is no reality than that which we make for ourselves' wth?

Some really offkey singers not really worth mentioning, but since I wrote their names down might as well - Jayson Wilson, Jesse Chang (seriously cliched, Asian guy singing 'Kung Fu Fighting' *face palm*) and Martin Perez.

And then, we meet Damian Lefavor.
Martial arts enthusiast. I think he's watched Jackie Chan's 'Drunken Master' move one time too many. His 'moves' were nowhere near Jackie's or Bruce's but at least he realised it when he choked, and left without much of a fight - kungfu or otherwise :)

A.J. Mendoza
Bad Glambert impressionist. Apparently he got two thumbs up from Lambert himself after he sent him a demo tape. Point is, he only sounded good after I turned my tv volume down a few notches. But after I did that I couldn't hear what the judges were saying. Anyway I was so distracted by his 'fringe' flicking - every few seconds he would flick his fringe - I wanted to clip it up with one of Scarlett's (The Daughter) gazillion clips.

Austin Fullmer.
Guy with the PVC red and black shirt. Calls himself 'sexually open'. OMG. Walking pillar of raging hormones much? R-rated a bit. Even Katy Perry said "I'm scared. Do they frisk these people?"But actually, his face isn't too bad. He's just a bit skinny. Next Top Model Homme maybe? He'd provide loads of drama Tyra. I'm seriously waiting for Tyra to do America's Next Top Male Model. (Btw, if you watched Idol on Ch5, you woulda missed Katy Perry's intro vid which you can see in this vid below. Hrm, wonder why Ch5's censors cut it out? 'kissed a girl and I liked it?')

Jason Greene.
Creepy long-haired guy who was, erm, creepy. I quote Katy Perry, "You make me feel...dirty." Hrm, Katy's turning out to be pretty quote-worthy :)

The Good.
Jim Ranger. Cue sob story #1. Producers feature him with his three cute kids. He's also a pastor. I don't see the 'sob' much considering he has a huge house with a pool table. But he says life is busy, but he loves his kids. Okay. He sang an original called 'Drive' and it was good. He's on to Hollywood. I don't get why Avril said 'no' to this guy - just to create drama? Just cos he has a family? Loads of successful singers have families wat.

Mary Powers.
Short hair, eyeliner, rock chick get-up, sang Pat Benatar's 'Love Is A Battlefield'. Kudos to her for actually pulling this song off, remember the 'tv host' who tried this song too - way to major fail on that one. Mary got four YESes and her 8 year old got to meet her hero - Simon Cowell :) so cute. Simon's my hero too.

Andrew Garcia.
Cue sob story #2. The guy had ex-gangmember parents who gave it all up and moved to the burbs to save him and his brother. He doesn't look like he's in a gang, but he does have tatts across his neck (ouch!), but he also has this adorable son - SO CUTE! So he's doing this to hopefully support his family. His audition - superb. Sang 'Sunday Morning' and it was awesome. I totally loved it and fell in love with him. Go Andrew! Loved his tone too, reminded me of Airi.

I found these vids on youtube of Andrew Garcia. Love the Sunday Morning one in the playground (second vid below).

Tasha Layton
"PA by day, Minister by night". Doesn't look 26. She actually looks a little bit like my fave Gilmore Girl Lauren Graham. She sang Joss Stone's 'Baby Baby Baby' and I have to say, it was kinda cool, cos I didn't expect that song to sound good without Joss' raspy low voice. It wasn't bad. I wonder if she'll go all 'hallelujah' on us as the show progresses - nah, doubt it, she doesn't seem the loopy-religious type.

Chris Golightly
Cue third and final sob story for the night. Orphaned at 18 months and has been through 25 foster homes, music has been his only constant. And the boy can sing. Throughout the show, producers have been trailing that we'll be 'blown away' by this afro-ed guy, but I think all the over-promotion worked against him. He got four YESes, but Katy and Simon gave him small 'y's and I wasn't too blown away either. Kara and Randy put him through with big Ys. He kinda has a Justin Guarini vibe (and its more than just the hair, maybe its cos he looks mix-raced too).

Production slip-ups! Oops!
Did you notice the two boo-boos I did?

The first one was glaringly obvious that producers had Neil come back twice in the same outfit - he had super long hair in some shots and then short hair in some. If you don't want people to realise there's a 'culling' round, you need conty (continuity)!

Later on, they spliced up 'bad auditions' footage together for 'Day 1' but there was a wide shot that showed Katy in the judging seat instead of Avril. Tsk.

And I thought things like that don't happen on American productions - cos they're so pro and y'know, sticklers for quality etc. So far their editing has been seamless and fast-paced. Oh well, we're all human right producers? So next time our own producers slip up, close one eye la.

Oh and did you see the Judges arriving via helicopter on Day 2? Totally agree with Katy Perry "Ridiculous." American Idol definitely has $$$ to burrrrn man, give us (Singapore Idol) some la, since we all in the 'idol' family right? And having the A-Team theme song play when the helicopter landed just added to the cheese - tsk.

Ok so, all in all only 23 made it through in LA (so little right?). The standouts for me were Andrew Garcia (can you tell? hehe) and Chris Golightly (I wonder if he's named for Holly Golightly, and if he is, is it the singer or Audrey Hepburn's character from Breakfast at Tiffany's).

Lets see how the Dallas auditions go....with guest judges Joe Jonas (also young enough to relate?) and Neil Patrick Harris (he's my great big hope for one-liners today)...perhaps it will be...say it with me....Le-Gen-Dary....

Nite y'all! (wahlao 5am liao!)
xoxo, s.

ps. If you watched Idol on Channel 5, you may have caught an ad for 'Nursing as a profession' featuring Haizad Imran, Top 30 for Singapore Idol Season 1 and familiar face on Suria. He's still as cute as ever.

pps. Had to squeeze this last vid in, its for an upcoming show produced by Ryan Seacrest's production company and it features my fave chef ever cos he's so adorable and so kind (yes kind!) Jamie Oliver! Watch! Channel 5, please buy this show can?


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