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American Idol: "Auditions #6"

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Tonight’s episode was one that left me wishing I could talk to someone who works for American Idol. Out of the thousands of people who tried out in L.A. (and online on Myspace, yes, MySpace) there was no one better, or at least more funnily-terrible than what we saw tonight? Maybe everyone good in Los Angeles is just waiting for X-Factor.


I do think that Jennifer Lopez had a good night, though, and not just because of the tiny shorts she wore on day one of auditions. She seems like she’s over being too afraid to be a little mean, hence she called one guy out who said that he had a crush on her growing up, told another singer his vocals lacked balls, and best of all, told Randy to “let it go” when he started howling over the word “lubricate.”

The show was mostly bad auditions. The few that were OK weren’t that great: Tim Halperin was semi-scruffy-cute and sang Maroon Five, which gives me the impression that he’s something like the third-best guy in his college a cappella group. Mark and Aaron Gutierrez sang “Lean On Me” in harmony (while wearing harmonizing scarves), but I didn’t think they were so great—they just sounded better than most everyone else of the day (I certainly didn’t think they were godlike, as Steven said). And Heidi Khzam apparently sang in addition to being OK at belly dancing and looking like she could be one of the prettier Kardashians. (Jennifer was skeptical of the guys’ appreciation of her.)

But when it was bad, it was bad. I felt sad for Isaac Rodriguez’s mom, who didn’t know that her son dropped out of college in order to audition with his friend Daniel, who sports a haircut that looks like an upside-down bar graph. Sometimes for fun, I like to sing a well-known song like “Jingle Bells” while purposefully missing every note (try it! Preferably in front of a roommate), and that’s how Isaac sang “Build Me Up Buttercup.”

Tynisha Roches brought her own microphone, hat, and square eyebrows and made the pretense of singing a tribute to Frank Sinatra, but it was clear that she didn’t know the words to anything she was singing. (I think she more didn’t care than didn’t know.) She chased Randy around the studio and finally got kicked out by security. Steven did make me laugh with the visual of Randy waking up in the middle of the night to see Tynisha standing above him with her microphone.


Then we got to Matthew Scott Frankel, a guy who seemed like he shops at the Big But Not Tall clothing store. Matthew styles himself as a sort of Suge Knight, a white Suge Knight whose main asset is a homey in an orange t-shirt. After formally introducing himself, Matthew formally introduced himself again via rap. I really felt it from him, though, when he sang “Jenny From the Block” and got to the lines “Nothing phony, don't hate on me.” Randy did hate on him though, and Matthew declared that until further notice, they be beefin’, pending squashing of said beef.

The last auditioner came from day one and it was one of those times on Idol where you think, “Am I racist if I laugh at this? Oh well, it doesn’t matter anyway since it’s not funny.” Cooper Robinson is 59, maybe, and comes from somewhere deep in Arkansas. He was dressed sort of like a New Orleans bandleader. He kind of sang “I Feel Good,” but he mostly jumped around and got out of breath and yelled. He wasn’t funny or charming or endearing or love-to-hate-y, and I hope we never see him again, but I worry he’ll reappear the last night of the season.


And that was L.A. Entertainment capital of the world? More like entertainment crapital, amirite? Next week, auditions conclude in San Francisco and then, thankfully, we’re finally on to Hollywood! (Or, back to it. Whatever.)

Stray observations:

  • I liked Steven’s Aerosmith shirt.
  • Jennifer’s day two outfit, with the Grey Gardens headscarf and buttoned-up but translucent top, was inferior to day one’s.
  • I wonder how much work went into the Myspace/Idol partnership, and how many auditions Idol producers had to go through, and whether we’ll see a single one of them this season, aside from Karen Rodriguez.

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