American Idol – Episode 8-4 Review

Whenever I think of singing and Louisville, Kentucky, my memories are mainly of Jim McKay in his ABC sports mustard blazer reminding us all of what it means to hear “My Old Kentucky Home.” He did it every year at the Kentucky Derby. You’d almost think the guy was going to cry. Now they have American Idol looking for a winner at Churchill Downs. The 10,000 wannabes aren’t really at the track. The the first round was conducted at Freedom Hall where the University of Louisville plays basketball.

The preview doesn’t give me much hope that we’re going to see too many great singers. It’s more severe freak action. I read that Tuesday night’s ratings were down 25% when compared to last season. The show is still pulling in monster numbers, but it’s more Godzooky than Godzilla. Did we really need to see someone in the portajohn?

Tiffany Shedd looks like she should be auditioning for Vivid Video. This woman’s blond hair and blue eyeshadow is beyond distracting. She has the same vocal range as Seattle Slew. She needs to be put down by a vet. Simon gives her a nasty donkey comment. She’s destroyed. This woman swears that she’s never going to give up. Her parents claim the kids have talent. Mom bobs her head while she shrieks another hit. All these people need extreme therapy.

Joanna Pacitti seems to be more well grounded while chatting with her parents beforehand. Kara recognizes Joanna as being signed by A&M Records. At least this time the producers have decided not to hide the contestants previous deals in the music deals. She does have a good voice and everyone loves her. They want to give her the big chance. Turns out Joanna has her own Wikipedia page. She had songs on the Legally Blonde and Bratz soundtracks. Ever see the footage of Paula crying when she doesn’t get to work on the Bratz movie? She had one album come out in 2006 called “This Crazy Life”. Looks like she was dumped by her label afterward. She also short career on Broadway when she was fired from the revival of Annie in 1997. She had bronchitis. Nice to see they didn’t want to sneak another Carly past us.

Mark Mudd Jr looks like a complete psychopath. Seriously, this guy looks like he ought to be part of a redneck gang fighting Patrick Swayze. He sings a George Jones. He’s a belter who begins hitting bad notes. Kara laughs and Mudd freezes up. Simon suggest Mudd would be better off auditioning for Wheel of Fortune. He tells the judges to “Be careful” while leaving the room. Paula takes it as a threat. The pills must not be working.

Brent Keith Smith unloads the Bad Company. He’s got a Spencer creepy flesh colored beard. He runs out of lyrics before they shut him down. But the judges don’t seem to notice. Simon hates the song. He calls him a busker. Kara raises her hand to get a word in, but Simon talks on top of him. Kara gets a few words out before Simon claims that’s what he’s already said. The guy goes through 4-0. Simon does appear to need a little under jaw lipo action.

Forget the rumors that Kara is supposed to replace Paula. She needs to just slap on a black t-shirt and nudge Simon off the set. He’s really just filling space at this point.

We get the sad montage of the tone deaf. The guy with the face paint and fur should have gone through. The really fat guy breaking out “Billie Jean” can forget about being the kid’s father. I don’t think he can get near another human.

Next up is Matt Giraud, a dueling piano bar maniac. He’s self taught so hopefully he’ll give us the goods. But his beard and mullet-hawk won’t distract. He works the Southern rock warble. Paula likes his unique voice. Simon compares him to Elliot Yasmen. Simon then unloads the “you don’t believe yourself” analysis. Really? When did Simon become Dr. Phil Jr? 

Ross Plavsic is an ubergeek who keeps talking in an academic drone. He talks about studying to learn how to sing. He’s like the insane woman from last night with her notebook. They can probably share a room at a facility. He does a weird semi-opera piece. He’s horrible and blames it on the dry air. Paula offers to get him a drink of water. He goes straight for Paula’s Coke cup and uses her straw. She’s shocked. I’m amazed he’s not drunk after that sip. He’s equally horrible with wet vocal cords. Paula demands a new cup.

We get a montage of the 10 people who made it through on the first day. Who are these strangers? Why can’t we see a few notes from them instead of jubilant screams?

The second day of auditions once again gives us the weird feeling that somehow everyone at the arena gets to see the judges. Why can’t they come clean on the timeline and process?

Alexis Grace takes us to her home in Memphis. She’s got a little girl. What are the odds she’ll drag the kid into the audition to get the judges to really love her. She’s wearing a tight top to get get Simon’s attention. She’s goes for an Aretha Franklin number. She’s got the white soul sister act down. Simon says she has a very commercial face. Simon is going to give her “another shot” and says yes. When did he give her a first shot? Kara starts talking about “making love to her fiance.” What’s going on with these people?

Now we see Simon being bored by bad performances. It’s so much work to earn billions while talent scouting. These people have little devotion to their art. Either act like you belong behind that judge table or get in line for welfare cheese. At least they’ll get a wake up call from the next guy. Aaron Williamson is full of pep. He’s been mainlining Red Bulls for the last month. He’s ready to be America’s Next Top Model. Simon blasts Tyra Banks. Aaron unleashes a fury in his voice. Everyone in the nearby rooms can hear him. They reject him for being too intense. Simon suggests he gets a job that involves shouting. Like his job? This was one of the few freaks that should have been brought out to Hollywood.

Ryan really needs to shave once in a while. He’s got that “I wannabe Don Johnson” scruff. Either grow a playoff beard or stay smooth.

Rebecca Garcia gets interviewed by the local Fox affiliate. The judges recognize her from being on the news. She has a “cheat sheet” on her arm. And ironically the song is “Before he cheats.” She’s really bad with a country twang. Kara thinks she’s setting them up as a joke audition. Rebecca looks shocked that Kara has mocked her. Kara asks Paula to hit her since she was too mean. Rebecca is in tears. Simon tells her to give up any hopes of a career in music. Why? Kara’s mockery should have been enough

We now get a quicky montage of “yes” contestants. They even give us a taste of their singing. Included in this batch is Ryan Johnson. Rumor has him as a favorite of the judges. They think he can be the next Daughtry. 

The final contestant of the night is Leneshe Young. She’s from Cincinnati. She’s grown up poor, but a pastor told her mommy that she’s make her a wealthy woman. Is this the first step in the prophecy being fulfilled? We get a montage of their struggles. It’s a quite depressing tale. This girl better sing the blues cause I’m not in the mood for her to attempt a Carrie Underwood song. She’s doing an original song. It’s semi-peppy song that includes the word thug. She has a smooth voice. After three judges say yes, Paula chimes in no. Leneshe nearly drops dead. Then Paula says it’s a joke. 

Only 19 contestants come out of two days in horse country. Shame Mr. Ed was denied his shot at the record deal. Next week they go to Jacksonville, Florida. Does seem we’ll find out about Kara and Paula’s girl-girl moment. Ryan gets attacked by mosquitos. I hope those bugs have taken all their shots. Who knows what’s swimming in Ryan’s blood stream.