American Idol – Episode 9-4 Review

After the fiasco of Chicago will Orlando really inspire us to think Season 9 will have real contenders. Over 10,000 hopefuls sit in the football stadium that once hosted the WLAF’s Orlando Thunder. Are they going to do better than 13 winners? Are there enough ex-Mickey Mouse Club and boy band castoffs in the crowd.

They open with images of the Space Shuttle and the land of dreams called Disney World. Randy, Simon and Ryan were partying in Miami before flying up to Orlando on a private jet. Kristin Chenoweth is the guest judge. This isn’t going to be good since Kristin is a star on Broadway. Simon hates Broadway babies cause they ain’t his kinda pop stars.


Theo Clinton is dressed up in a mega scarf and mirrors pasted on his forehead. He looks like he escaped from a rave. Simon asks if this guy won, where would he see himself in ten years? He wants to be a fashion designer. He’s going for Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreak.” He’s a shouter trying to tap Tina Turner’s big throat. Simon wants him gone since he screamed. Kara thinks the tone is over the top. This guy needs to now get over to auditions for RuPaul’s Drag Show 2. He can’t get out of the room since the exit isn’t really marked. Theo cries and walks past Ryan. He gets his glitter on Ryan.

We’re teased with heartbreaking stories and a contestant cuffed on the carpet coming up tonight. Naturally it’s time for a commercial break. Kris Allen pimps the new stereo in the Ford Fusion. He has his own CD in the system. Isn’t that tacky? Shouldn’t he at least have Adam Lambert’s hits on the dial?

We get a montage of losers. Some one shows up in a chicken suit. Kara and Kristin are having fun with each other. Simon looks bored and annoyed. Are we really supposed to feel bad for this putz who pulls a million bucks on a day for this? Simon gets a montage of his bitchy moments. “Sang like you sat on a cat” is his big burn. Seth Rollins talks about his autistic kid. We go to his house to see him work with the boy. He talks of the frustration of not being able to afford certain treatments. He wants the chance to do music fulltime. This is his last chance because he’s 28. He does “Someone to Watch Over Me.” He’s got a nice soulful voice. He keeps up the vibrato on the end notes. Kristin like the Gershwin song twisted. Kara wants to keep hearing him. Simon likes the choice. Randy wants more vibe and energy. All four send him to Hollywood. He shares the joy with his son.

Another tie in with Disney with the singing of “When You Wish Upon a Star” while a montage of winners and losers that don’t get to sing a note on camera. Guess Simon Fuller didn’t want to fork up any licensing fees. Jermaine Purfoy failed when he tried out a few years ago, but he’s going to take it serious this time. He does Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile.” Kirstin like how pure his voice sounded. Randy felt it was the best of this season. Kara believes it. Nobody notes that Jermaine Jackson sung this at Michael Jackson’s funeral. He gets his gold ticket for the second try.

There’s a single contestant left in the holding room. Shelby Jessel gets pestered by Ryan. She grew up with a nerve problem that doesn’t let her smile on one side of her face. She talks like Drew Barrymore. She’s going to tackle a Norah Jones tune. She does the rugged female rocker voice. She blows the lyrics and cusses. Simon likes her, but not her voice. Kristin thinks she has potential. Simon gives her a small y yes. She wraps up the day as a winner. They had 18 other people win golden tickets. We get the winner montage of people who are completely unknown to us. One guy does look like Michael Clarke Duncan. He’s my favorite without having a clue what he sang.

We’re told that Orlando’s talent gets even better on day 2. Although we wouldn’t know it since the first thirty minutes only gave us three winners on camera. If you’re curious, Murtz Jaffer has listed names of 21 of the 24 kids who survived Hollywood. Day two is missing Kristin since she got called back to New York City. A likely story. Simon probably got pissed off that she was having fun and being a bad influence on Kara. Shame she didn’t get into a bit of a tiff over Simon’s hatred of Broadway.

Jay Stone does the human beat box on “Come Together.” He’s not too bad for being such an annoying looking guy. They let him do the whole song. Simon is soaking wet from Jay spritzing him. Randy asks him to really sing. He’s got that Michael Bolton tone to his voice. Randy and Kara have to do their own beatbox to his song. Simon gets upset and calls off the fun. Simon says no. Kara says yes. Randy brings up Blake Lewis. Talk about a Final Jeopardy question. Jay does a drum roll. Cut to outside the door where a sad Jay lifts up his t-shirt to reveal he made it to Hollywood. This is followed by a montage of women in Orlando singing away. The three ladies are winners.


Cornelius Edwards shows off his pretzel moves. He learned his dance skills from strippers. He does “Proud Mary” in Tina Turner fashion. He drops down for the splits and rips his pants. Simon says yes for racking himself. Kara says yes along with Randy. After being so stingy in Chi-town, they’re passing out tickets to marginal acts.

Ryan stands between two sisters from New Jersey. They also have a mother with a beauty salon in their mom’s house. Do these girls know Snooki? The sisters enter together. Bernadette Desimone goes first. She’s the blond and doesn’t quite have much going for her on “Hit the Road Jack.” Amanda is the black haired one. She has a little more character to her voice as she does “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” from Whitney. Kara guesses they are from Jersey. Since this show was taped back in the fall, there’s no Jersey Shore references. Kara likes them both. Randy and Simon prefer Amanda. The girls are giving Sophie’s Choice faces. Kara and Randy won’t break them up. The sisters are going together.

Jarrod Norell warms up outside the hotel of the final judging. He’s got his baseball cap on backwards. He’s already on my suspect list. He does an extremely nasal version of “Amazing Grace.” He goes into a calling the hogs whine. It’s a vocal disaster that sounds like he needs a laxative. Kara goes “Good Lord” to the religious song. She compares him to a lawnmower. Simon sends him packing, but he wants two seconds more. He wants to sing another song. He goes back in “Amazing Grace.” He won’t take no for an answer. They wave for security. But he won’t be moved. He can’t leave. More muscle push him out of the room. He gets cuffed by security and dragged out of the building. Do we need this much footage of the guy being busted? They don’t show people who run onto the field at ballgames. Why does Fox have to exploit the extreme delusional on American Idol? Doesn’t this inspire other freaks to want to have a chance to cause a scene before the judges? Simon asks, “Yes or no” after the removal to break the tension.

The last contestant of the day is Matt Lawrence. He’s looking for redemption. His wild youth lead to an adventure. He robbed a bank with a BB gun. He spent 4 birthdays behind bars. He wants to make his family proud by auditioning. He’s a big guy with a straw cowboy hat. He’s doing “Trouble.” He has that whiskey rough voice that dips into soulfulness. They really let him get deep into the song. Simon says, “Brilliant.” He sees him as authentic. Kara agrees. He’s got that Merle Haggard been behind bars backstory. Kara says he’ll be top 4. I won’t spoil what’s being reported as the dozen male finalists. We’ve still got weeks to go.

Orlando did outshine Chicago with 31 people picked. Most of these people are strangers to us since we only got less than a third of the winners on the screen. Not one person said they used to be in an O Town cover band. Next week is Los Angeles. That show loses the umph since it’s only a bus token for them to be going to Hollywood. Katy Perry is one of the guest judges. Will she be kissing Kara?

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