American Idol: Season 10, Austin auditions

It’s episode five of American Idol auditions, and we are heading deep into the heart of Texas – to the state capital Austin, which was named after The Six Million Dollar Man. (Or not, as the case may be.) The city is the fifteenth most populous in the United States. It is notable for being the largest US city without a team in any of the nation’s major professional sports leagues. And, er, that’s about it.

Of course, being in the heart of cowboy country, expect hats and country music aplenty (groan). But not a Ewing in sight. Disappointing, that.

Before we get into the contestants, has anyone else noticed that season eight runner-up Adam Lambert is included in the opening titles alongside the other former winners? What’s with that? Anyhow, here’s my recap.

Corey Levoy

Only in Texas could you get away with a name like Corey Levoy. It probably helps deflect attention from his high-pitched voice and general mannerisms which became increasingly camp as his audition progressed. In the first of two major sob stories this episode we discovered that, because of family issues, he didn’t meet his older sister until he was 14, even though they only lived 15 minutes apart. (I was half expecting to discover they had since married anyway, but fortunately not.) Corey sang Bonnie Raitt‘s I Can’t Make You Love Me. It was a bit like listening to a camp Backstreet Boy, but he was good. Despite the fact that it was a country song, which I hate.

Judges’ decision: Yes. Prediction: Will get beaten up and have his lunch money taken away during Hollywood Week – he will be found crying in a corridor somewhere en route to an early elimination.

Hollie Cavanagh

Originally from Liverpool, a nervous Hollie sang At Last by Etta James – okay, but not great – and then went to pieces in front of the judges as R-Jack said no to her. With J-Lo wearing the compassionate hat again, she was allowed to sing again, and promptly murdered Miley Cyrus‘s The Climb. Personally, I think anyone who sings any Miley Cyrus song should be summarily executed – that includes 2009 X Factor winner Joe McElderry, by the way – but despite doing a worse job with it than she did with her first song, R-Jack changed his mind and she was unanimously ushered through to Hollywood.

Judges’ decision: Yes, eventually. Prediction: Will fall apart at the first opportunity in Hollywood Week. The Climb will be followed by The Down-To-Earth-With-A-Bump.

John Wayne Schulz

What did I say? How could anyone named John Wayne Schulz be anything other than a good, old-fashioned, stetson wearing, God-fearing, lantern-jawed, yes-sirring cowboy? How about we top it off with a mother who has breast cancer? And maybe we’ll just ignore the fact that he had already released an album as a 14-year old? Because Idol‘s all about unearthing new talent, and never about recycling past artists who never quite made the grade. Not that there’s anything wrong with that in this case, because this guy can sing, showing great tone and maturity on Brooks and Dunn‘s I Believe. (No, I’d never heard of the song before either, but that’s probably because I know as much about country music as Schulz does about the tactical aspects of the 4-2-3-1 formation. I did mention I despise country music, didn’t I?) And oh man, what a belt buckle! The last time I saw one as impressive as that was on Batman‘s utility belt. Only this one was way more impressive.

Judges’ decision: Yes. Prediction: Top 12.

Courtney Penry

Ryan Seacrest is the sexiest man alive.

Stalker! Courtney, who had ambitions to be Mrs Kermit Seacrest, had an unfortunate natural look of gormlessness which masked a decent (but not particularly memorable) performance of Sugarland‘s Stay. However, she revealed that she can also do a mean funky chicken dance, quite possibly the best since former teen pop star Tiffany in her I Think We’re Alone Now video. That schtick aside, she was really just a pale, dark-haired version of Carrie Underwood. Just what we need: another Chunderwood …

Judges’ decision: Yes. Prediction: Hollywood Week exit.

Nick Fink and Jacqueline Dunford

Boyfriend and girlfriend Nick and Jennifer played the Ken and Barbie routine to the hilt, causing me to reach for the sick-bag. He sang Maroon 5‘s Sunday Morning; she performed Duffy‘s Mercy. Both were, sadly, good enough to merit being put through to Hollywood. I have nothing more to say, other than a desire to have a quiet lie-down in a dark room for a few minutes while my sugar levels return to normal.

Judges’ decision: Yes to both. Prediction: A Hollywood Week split, with the couple exiting in opposite directions. Assuming they were actually a couple, and it wasn’t just a sugar-coated act. Cynical, moi?

Casey Abrams

Cast in the role of a Seth Rogen lookalike – although he reminded me more of a young Rory McGrath – Casey was set up as the goofy no-hoper with his melodica, only to surprise us all with his rendition of Ray Charles‘s I Don’t Need No Doctor. It wasn’t quite the same kind of “what the hell?” moment as with Scott Dangerfield last week, but it was a nice up-beat to end on. He was good, not the strongest singer by any means, but he will offer something a bit quirky and different as we sift through the rent-a-crowd of decent but unmemorable voices in Hollywood Week.

Judges’ decision: Yes to both. Prediction: Top 24.

S-ty-ism of the week

Where’s your pitchfork, you little devil?


Next up: Los Angeles. Here come the delusional freaks, methinks.

American Idol posts

New Jersey auditions

New Orleans auditions

Milwaukee auditions

Nashville auditions

Link: American Idol website