Something tells me this will be the last time ‘American Idol’ brings its movable circus to Oklahoma City.
This year, the auditions have been pretty solid if not spectacular. A few so far have been dynamite enough for me to want to put them at the top of my power rankings. A lot of that got lost in the anti-climactic sparring between judges, but this has been a top-level talent search so far that has me looking forward to what these kids are going to put together onstage.
Then Oklahoma City happened.
Last night, undid just about all the good we’d seen so far in auditions. An hour of torpid singers who I mostly instantly put in the “bad” category getting through unanimously from this panel. Seriously bad singers who belonged in the blooper reel skated through to Hollywood as though they just Joshua Ledeted their auditions.
I don’t know what went on last night, but suddenly I’m pessimistic for the performance this year.
Four Bad Auditions
This is the guy who twice said he was married to his wife and then accused Ryan Seacrest of being redundant. Then he went on to sing with this voice and dance with his body. Unfortunately for mister redundancy, neither was very pleasing to the eye or ear. That is, seeing with the eye or listening with the ear. Once his little dance show was completed, he went on to sing with this guitar and sound like Ray LaMontange and Bob Dylan got in a fight at a sandpaper factory. Scratchy and about as intelligible as something written on a napkin that you then used to clean the grease off a slice of pizza. Amazingly, he got four yeses from the judging judges who judged him with their judgments.
Ventriloquist Yodeling. Need I write anything else?
This was the girl who actually may have sang the National Anthem worse than Carl Lewis sang it once upon a time. And, in case you don’t know what I’m talking about – watch that travesty here.
Anyway, back to Zoanette. Not only did she forget the words, but she seemed to forget where she was about half-way through the audition. If she’d had asked somebody for their order at Denny’s or began to take a shower half-way through, I would not have been surprised. She was that far out.
Remarkably, the judges let her caterwaul through the entire song. What was, by my count, 87 minutes worth of the Francis Scott Key classic. It’s always been said you need the range of a goose to sing that song, and I think she had the whole gaggle coming through her throat. While they were being hunted.
After her audition, she went off on a 90-second homeless-person-on-a-street-corner plea to be invited to the White House by Obama. Which amounted nothing more than shouting “Obama” to what I think she thought was God, but was actually a really bright ceiling light.
Somehow, she got through. I don’t know what’s going on.
This was the girl who began crying to the point that she ruined whatever haphazardly-applied makeup she was wearing before the audition even began. Then she sang “Unbreak My Heart” with the vocal range of a sheep being attacked by a wolf, and it was only slightly less grisly. Then, she brought the heavy artillery: It seems God told her that it was her destiny to go audition for ‘American Idol’. That she came to him in a vision brought on by Phillip Phillips. I don’t know, but that sounds like the devil to me. Certainly Satan was present in this sin of an audition.
The Only Good Audition
This is the American Sign Language teacher with the tie that barely extended below his nipples. I think he got that from whoever designs the outfits for the more sophisticated ventriloquist’s dummies. He seemed pretty ordinary at first – definitely a solid singer but not a voice that’s going to blow any contestant off the stage. Then, he flashed an upper register that showed another gear and demonstrated that he does have an ability to make an impact on this competition. It’s kinda sad that “has the ability to possibly make an impact on the competition” is the best you can get from an hour of auditions, but you gotta root for an ASL teacher whose parents can’t even hear him sing.
What did everybody else think of last night’s show?