There’s something non-eventful when the American Idol auditions come to Los Angeles. Can a SoCal resident get excited after being told, “You’re going to Hollywood?” Cause it’s just a few blocks away. It’s like a person in Manhattan being told they’re going to see the Empire State Building. There’s no dreams of the glamorous life as they go for the next round of the brass ring. It’s just another part of their neighborhood. They all can go to Hollywood if they make a left turn on the way home.
Ryan Seacrest sits behind the microphone on his radio show. He hypes how 10,000 people are at the Rose Bowl which seats 100,000. Couldn’t they have held the auditions during a Clippers game since there should be that many empty seats in the Staples Center? There’s a montage of old Hollywood clips that have a major interlace problem. The crowd seems pumped to try out. The judges are based at a hotel not near Pasadena’s Rose Bowl.
Avril Lavigne is our guest judge. Has she really mattered in the pop music scene in the last 7 years? She wears a hoodie that has devil horns on the top. How wicked. Guess she wants to show off her indie punk cred even though she’s from a fishing village in Canada. She didn’t grow up listening to the Clash. Her anti-Britney Spears image was created by record executives. She’ll be the new Anne Murray soon.
Neil Goldstein talks about his high IQ. But he’s not smart enough to avoid wearing a blue shirt and purple vest that make him look like an usher at movie theater. He swears he’s going to Hollywood. Living in Los Angeles will make this a simple task. He does “Rock and Roll Dreams Come True.” He gets a single line out before locking up. After a bit, he remembers the words. He’s not that bad, but not worth a second listen. Simon tells him no. Neil insists he won’t be leaving without a ticket to Hollywood. It’s a nasty chat between the two. Simon threatens him with escort. He leaves. We get a flashback about how Simon nailed him with the door before his audition. The guy isn’t that terrible to get this much time on the air.
Jim Ranger is a worship pastor at a church in Bakersfield. Do they pray to Buck Owens? He does an original song with that white guy soul vibe. Simon thinks he has a good voice. Avril talks about him having a difficulty leaving his family and church for showbiz. She says no. What a jerk. Kara wonders if he can go through and be dedicated to his church. But out of the tension he emerges with the golden ticket. This is such a low blow since nobody has ever had their career and family considered a hinderance. Now there’s a montage of really horrible singing except a guy who does “Kung Fu Fighting.” He rules even if he got gonged.
Damien Lefavor shows off his martial arts moves. Turns out he’s a pacifist. What sort of Kung Fu guy is this? “You’ve Lost the Loving Feeling” is given a roundhouse kick. He sounds like he’s holding back a massive fart. He forgets the lyrics. Simon tells him to go. He leaves the room, but doesn’t find the door. Why don’t they put arrows on the floor?
Mary Powers has an 8 year old daughter that likes Simon. She does a Pat Benatar song. Is Pat making a retro comeback with the kids? Simon thinks Mary’s dress is cliched. She’s wearing pants. Avril likes her punk rock style and votes yes. Simon says yes. It’s four yes votes so she can take the bus to Hollywood. Ryan brings in the little girl to meet him. She admires his cynical attitude. That child is going to have issues.
Adam Lambert’s fashion sense is popping up in various tryouts. The clone boys can’t wear enough mascara. A.J. Mendoza swears Adam Lambert heard his demo and loved it. He strains “Cult of Personality.” He does the major huff intake breathe. Simon hates him. He won’t be following in Adam’s career path. He was surprised at the no votes. Really?
Day 2 has Katy Perry as the guest judge. Will she be kissing a girl? The other three judges arrive on the hotel’s roof in a helicopter. Was traffic really that bad on the freeway? Austin Fullmer is the next Jame Gumb from Silence of the Lambs. He talks about letting fans touch him. Ick. He does Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” with an abysmal dance. He comes off as a less talented Tenpole Tudor. It’s back to waste treatment plant for him. Simon calls him disturbed. Really? You’re the show that had him come back because he was so talented he needed to be given a final audition with the big judges. Another parade of losers that are so bad they don’t get to give us their dead notes. But at least they play a Cheap Trick song over them. Turns out the Sanjay crying girl now cries as she’s rejected.
Andrew Garcia has risen away from the gang life thanks to his parents moving from the hood. There’s a lot of family tears around the kitchen table. He is a supportive dad. He has a sweet soft voice. He’s like Danny Gokey by lifting up his voice without clobbering the notes. Everyone loves him. He’s through so he won’t have to join a gang after all.
The ladies haven’t had a good luck streak according to clips. Tasha Layton is a personal assistant by day and a minister by night. Wasn’t that a plot of a Cinemax movie? She does the soul child sound with her southern accent. Simon thinks people might like her. She gets four yes votes so she’s now got a third gig in Los Angeles.
Jason Greene also seems to be another contestant in America’s Next Jame Gumb contest. He does “Touch Myself.” He rubs himself while belting out the DiVinyls hit. He’s got no shame. Does he have a flesh suit made out of his victims in his basement? He flirts with Simon like Andy Dick at a roast for Leonard Nimoy. Katy feels dirty from the performance. Jason says she makes him feel dirty. He points out her plunging neckline. He swears they’ll see him next year. Jason gives Ryan his phone number. Ryan passes the card off to a security guard that look bearish.
The end of day 2 gives us a montage of Kara and Katy being catty. These two aren’t bonding. Wonder if Katy has rejected any of Kara’s hit songs? The last contestant is Chris Golightly, a lonely guy who grew up in foster care. He was with 25 families over the years. They have him pose next to a moving train. Was he Boxcar Willie’s son? Chris Golightly does “Stand By Me” with soft touches that build up with the song. He gets loud, but not abusive. The judges like him. Kara thinks he just enough talent and story to connect. Katy says this isn’t a Lifetime movie. Would that be like Fantasia’s Lifetime movie. Simon thinks he could have been in a boy band. He gives a small “y” yes. Katy also gives him the small “y.” Kara and Randy go big with their “y.” Another Miley Cyrus song gets played. Will there be a Miley Cyrus night this season?
In the end 22 people got a bus token to Hollywood. We get the montage of winners that we’ve never heard sing. Avril came off as really annoying. It’s easy to see why Perez Hilton rags on her. Katy Perry came off better after the catty montage. Simon once more seemed to just be counting the minutes until his new career is launched. Rumors are swirling that his replacement will be former Sony music head Tommy Mottola. The guy’s big career achievement came from marrying Mariah Carey. Is this really a good choice since his tenure was marked by those payola scandals that launched lame acts like Jennifer Lopez and Good Charlotte as musical superstars? While I hate to mention his name, there’s only one man who can replace Simon. This star has had a long career in music, discovered a few important acts and is a mega-douchebag. Who can be the savior of American Idol? Gene Simmons of Kiss deserves the chair. Only problem is keeping him from showing off his tongue to any girl with a skit above her ankles.
Tags: American Idol, Gene Simmons, Katy Perry