I spoke too soon. One of the things I’ve enjoyed about this season of American Idol has been the fact that the episodes have tended to focus more on genuine contestants rather than the self-deluded and the desperate fame-hungry wannabes who only audition in the hope of receiving their 15 minutes of fame. And then we arrived in Los Angeles, the city which is a magnet for the self-deluded and the desperate fame-hungry … well, you get the idea.
I will admit that my opinion of LA as a city is clouded by the fact that, on my one visit there, I spotted more muggings (one) than I did celebrities (none). But just in case I was wavering in my view of the City of Angels, Idol yet again set me back on the right path with an episode which was short on talent and long on the talentless. Sigh. Here goes anyway.
Where did you get those shoes?
Someone really needs to get the judges consult with Wardrobe. R-Jack shows up wearing gold shoes. J-Lo with shorts which make Kylie’s hotpants look prim and demure. S-Ty turns up smoking a cigarette. When Steven Tyler looks like the normal one, something very weird is going on.
I don’t know what she sang. And I really don’t care. The first genuine nails-across-a-blackboard audition of this season. It was left to S-Ty to declare:
You’re going to … Siberia.
Siberia is nowhere near far enough. I was thinking somewhere the other side of Alpha Centauri.
Judges’ decision: No. Prediction: Her voice will be used in those machines that are used to scare off unwanted vermin.
He had a crush on J-Lo when he was in fifth grade. Hey, when in doubt make the object of your affections feel really old. Nice one. He crooned Maroon 5‘s She Will Be Loved. I’m sensing an impending restraining order. He was a decent enough singer though, but I’ll have forgotten him by … in truth, I’ve forgotten him already. Must be the Alzheimer’s.
Judges’ decision: Yes (two out of three). Prediction: He will be seen in a Hollywood Week line-up of crushed faces being told that their journey ends here.
Daniel Gomez and Isaac Rodriguez
The return of a familiar Idol staple: two best friends. Or should that be ‘friends’? Hmm. Daniel sang Edwin McCain‘s I’ll Be. I’ll be what exactly? Horrendously out of tune. R-Jack was almost too kind when he said:
It’s almost like you’re relatively tone deaf, really.
If he had dropped the “almost” and the “relatively”, he would have been spot on. Isaac was no better, attempting a rendition of Build Me Up Buttercup that was so far off beam I barely recognised the song. Tear Me Down Buttercup, more like. Afterwards, we saw them attempting to harmonise together. It almost worked, insofar that they were both equally out of tune.
Judges’ decision: No to both. Prediction: Back to school.
She flounced in carrying her own microphone and announced that she was going to perform a tribute to Frank Sinatra. With tributes like that, who needs enemies? Poor Frank would have turned in his grave. Having performed acts of vocal desecration on the great man’s songs, she then claimed:
I have, like, three albums ready to be composed.
I think she meant decomposed.
Judges’ decision: No. Prediction: Three uncomposed albums, thankfully never to be heard.
Matt ‘Big Stats’ Frankel
Looking not wholly unlike a junior Mister Creosote – or perhaps former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez after two solid weeks at the all-you-can-eat buffet – freelance music producer Matt Frankel warned us not to underestimate him because he was a force to be reckoned with. He even claimed to have a compilation with Chaka Khan on it. (What, he bought one?) He was awful and it was obviously never going to be anything more than a shameless act of self-publicity, but at least he was comical and slyly self-aware:
I know it’s against you guys’ better judgement …
Indeed it would have been. But common sense – or at least common hearing – prevailed.
Judges’ decision: No. Prediction: Off the back of his appearance, he will sell at least zero albums. Possibly as many as one (although the buyer may bring it back for a refund).
Mark and Aaron Gutierrez
I was slightly put off at first that this pair of brothers – aged 28 and 27 – looked exactly like what Ugly Betty‘s Justin Suarez would have looked like if we had seen the character grow up. But their duet of Bill Withers‘ Lean On Me was beautiful – all rich tones and swooping harmonies. Easily the best duet we have seen since Robson and Jerome. (Yes, I am joking.) I wonder if they will stand out as much when forced to perform individually rather than together, but there was bags of talent here. If nothing else, the pair’s dazzling white teeth means they probably have a career advertising dental products should they wish to do so.
Judges’ decision: Yes to both. Prediction: One of them will make the top 12; the other will fall short.
Cooper, aged 59, bore a striking resemblance to the Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown. There, sadly, the similarity ended. He gave us a few bars of I Feel Good. We didn’t.
Judges’ decision: No. Prediction: Back to street entertaining.
Six down, one to go. Next week we have the final audition in San Francisco, followed by the start of Hollywood Week. Let the carnage commence!
American Idol posts
Link: American Idol website