To make my life a misery, they’ve added a “bonus” audition episode to the weekly rotation. Thanks, Fox! This one contains footage from two cities: New York and Puerto Rico. Ryan, who as we all know, loves his Broadway, gets all giddy talking about West Side Story, a play (then a movie), which ironically features two things: New York and Puerto Ricans. But don’t try singing a show tune during your audition, because Simon will put you out on your ass. This is American Idol. How many bullets are left, Chino?
First up, know these things: The New York auditions were actually held in East Rutherford, New Jersey, so either the show needs to stop lying, or somebody needs to buy Seacrest a map. Also, I know Puerto Rico isn’t a state, and you know Puerto Rico isn’t a state — but it’s a United States territory. Think of it as America’s mistress. We married Hawaii, but we bang Puerto Rico on the side. Therefore, it qualifies.
Adeola Adegoke is quite beautiful, I think. She says she’s from the Bronx, but she has a semi-thick Jamaican accent. She’s confident enough in her Idol future to have quit her job to come here. Adeola sings some Dreamgirls like a bat using sonar to see the room. “And I am telling you, I’m not going…” But Adeola is going. Home. First, though, in a spontaneous and unstaged moment, Simon calls her boss to arrange for her to keep her job. Her boss accepts, but I encourage Adeola to audition for America’s Next Top Model, where all she has to do is look pretty and be crazy. And if she’s not crazy, she can fake it.
Jorge Nunez has a little too much product in his hair. It looks crunchy, like an over-moussed souvenir from the Menudo fan club. He sings “My Way” in Spanish, sounding a hell of a lot like Ricky Martin. Then he sings something else in English, still sounding like Ricky Martin. He’s through to Hollywood, where they’ll bounce him for sounding like Ricky Martin.
Jessika Baier doesn’t know if she’s 19 or 20, but she financed her trip to Idol by winning contests “all over” her state, which is Michigan. Accompanying her is every woman in her family, and they’re all wearing pink, which automatically makes them obnoxious and I hate them. Jessika is a serial contestant who started young. Her first win was for “The World’s Most Beautiful Baby.” I’m guessing not many children were born that year. She’s won a patrillion trips, the opportunity to sing at the Rose Bowl, and the chance to open for master showman, Corbin Bleu (known to most of the world as “that black kid with the hair” from the High School Musical films).
Jessica has spent so much time winning contests that learning basic English is on the back burner. The sign she’s holding reads: “I’m Thee Jessika Baier.” (The extra ‘e’ is for extra…aw, never mind.) What more can be said? Her voice, honestly, is not terrible. Simon hates her, honestly, because she’s fat. Paula calls her voice “shrilling,” but I’d sooner apply that to her personality, in a way, than her singing voice. As for Jessika, it’s hard to tell if she’s upset because she got rejected on the basis of her talent (allegedly) or because this is one contest she won’t get to win. I think it’s more the latter.
Melinda Camille smiles a lot and makes me uncomfortable. She has a message “to send to the world.” Something about humanity taking a shift right now. The Pod People are coming? Melinda is all about the love and the peace and the dancing naked in her room. That last fact, apparently, is tantamount to Melinda saying she masturbates on the steps of City Hall using Beanie Babies. I think, from the tone in Seacrest’s voice, that we’re supposed to be shocked! Considering the fact that Ryan has probably never seen himself nude, I’ll let it pass. Melinda sings that old time-y “Feeling Good” song, and her voice is pleasing to the ear, but she’s too upbeat, too positive. Gives me the big-time icks. I could live without her, but she deservedly gets a Golden Ticket.
Jackie Tohn is a “rocker chick” who plays guitar (although not during her audition — it is forbidden). She sounds like Demi Moore when she speaks, and like Demi Moore on the weed when she sings. Jackie auditions with some Jason Mraz, which…love him, but Mraz is a strange choice for a rocker chick. The performance? Picture this: It’s Junior Year and Joe Miller’s parents are away for the weekend, so we all go to his house to “hang out,” and before you know it, there’s like 40 kids in the house, and oops, somebody broke a lamp and there’s Cheese Doodles crushed into the couch, and, hey, Brenda McCarthy got beer because she looks 21. We love Brenda! Then Jackie shows up, and nobody’s seen her for a week because she cuts class, but here she is. And Jackie. Is. Loaded. She gets right up near the stereo speaker, and while Joan Jett tells us how she loves rock ‘n roll, Jackie is singing along and playing air guitar, while we all wait for her to puke in Joe Miller’s mother’s shoe closet. That is what this is. But mysteriously, Jackie is put through to Hollywood.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Tool Time…
First up, Joel Contraras, is an annoying little menace of a man. We see him throw himself into a storefront security gate, scream into the ear of a man who’s using the phone, and sing-scream aggressively into the face of an ice cream vendor. Joel is a self-described “crazy rocker.” I prefer to describe him as an asshole. He runs around the streets of San Juan in a rat costume, harassing the passers-by in an desperate effort to be on TV. He really thinks he’s funny. He realllly is not. He auditions standing behind a giant iPod cut-out . Vocally, he might be okay, if he wasn’t such a god-awful twat. Then he pulls out a lion hand puppet and begins wailing “The Circle of Life.” Enough! He’s rejected and acts like he’s thrilled, running around in a Superman costume, howling, and diving into a swimming pool. Would it be wrong to kick him in the balls? Because I’d like to do that. Many, many times.
Second is Nick Mitchell, another defective who wants airtime. He shows up in a shiny, silver disco shirt and a red sweatband around his head, clearly trying to be some sort of SNL-like character. Gay super-nerd or some crap. Ryan introduces him as “Nick Mitchell, a.k.a. Norman Gentle.” Look, that Joel kid was a pest, but this guy is pushing the limits of my tolerance. He’s just not fucking funny and he’s on my TV for…ev…er. He sings some Dreamgirls ridiculously, then makes a joke about Seacrest doing something gay to Simon’s balls. The judges? They think he’s funny! They let him sing “Amazing Grace!” And he almost swings it, singing adequately until he can’t control himself anymore. Then he hams it up. He’s like the aborted love child of Charles Nelson Reilly and Paul Lynde, resurrected and possessed by Richard Simmons, but trying frantically to impersonate Rip Taylor. The judges laugh and laugh, because they, themselves, are perfect morons. Then they put him through to Hollywood, where I hope he is destroyed mercilessly during the “Chamber of Scorpions” challenge.
Monique Garcia Torres brought her 9-year-old kid brother to her audition. The boy, Christopher, and his adorable giant ears advise Monique to “think carefully” before singing. Her “You Can’t Hurry Love” is good, but school-teacher-y. Then she sings some Christina Aguilera, lullaby-like. She’s okay. But make no mistake, Her Golden Ticket was awarded on the cuteness of her brother, because the judges are like, “Eh…whatever…” Randy and Kara say no, but Paula and Simon say yes, and what Simon says…
Hey, you guys, remember Alexis Cohen from last season? She gave us the finger multiple times and told Simon to kiss her ass. Haven’t you just been dying to have her back and see what she’s been up to? Me, neither. But Idol feels otherwise, so here she is. Alexis has had a bit of a makeover. She’s ditched the tacky black t-shirt and glitter makeup for a prom dress from the Buck Rogers Collection. And she claims to be kinder, more gentle iteration of herself. Alexis works the waiting room, shaking the hands of people who, judging from their faces, have no idea who she is. For her audition, she graces us with “Like A Prayer.” In her version, “Life is a miss-tor-ee.” Alexis being on this show again is a bigger miss-tor-ee. After Joel Contraras and Nick Mitchell, I’ve had enough of these freaks. Suffice it to say that Alexis gets bounced and, jokingly, at least, gives the judges the finger.
Meanwhile, a sane, normal, but somewhat generic girl named Patricia Lewis Roman closes out this year’s auditions with some Whitney. Her “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” could use some more control. Her breathing patterns add some queer little pauses in the song. The judges aren’t impressed, so she sings something in Spanish, and it’s enough to get her through to Hollywood. And it’s enough to get us through to the end of the episode, because, boys and girls, auditions are over!
Next week, the slaughter begins. Hollywood is here!
Back to the season guide.