American Idol Austin Auditions: Your Thoughts?

Yee-haw! American Idol went to Austin, TX, tonight and served up cowboy hats and cattle and armadillos and every other Texas-esque cliché imaginable. Except Texas toast. I didn’t see Texas toast. (Disappointing, right?) But who cares about the very frayed thread of location that holds together so many audition packages? None of it matters unless the singing makes Steven Tyler utter an expletive. Unfortunately, I’m not sure any of the 11 folks we saw getting Golden Tickets tonight are destined for the confetti shower that most recently rained down on Lee DeWyze. Oh, sure, “Spastic Melodica Guy” was fun to watch, and the blonde country chick proved there’s still life for Janelles on Idol (something that seemed inconceivable after Janell Wheeler‘s season 9 flameout). But most of tonight’s successful auditioners stood out more for their personalities than their voices: “J.Lo Booty Boy,” “Chicken Cluck Girl,” “Authentic Cowboy/Mama’s Boy,” all of ’em had talent, sure, but the next incarnation of Kelly Clarkson? I’ve got my doubts. That said, I think it’s worth keeping an eye on dishy Nick Fink (who auditioned with girlfriend Jacqueline Dunford): Something about that guy says future 90210 hottie, if not future recording superstar. Oh don’t look at me like that, even Steven Tyler said he was beautiful!’s American Idol Leaderboard: Top 20 Contestants from the First Two Weeks of Season 10!

Anyhow, I’m gonna turn the mute button on myself and get Kraken crackin’ on my full episode recap (look for it in the morning right here at Did you enjoy the Austin auditions? Who was your favorite hopeful? And who didn’t deserve a Golden Ticket but got one anyway? Head down to the comments section and sound off.

What’s more, if you have some strong thoughts or opinions on anything you saw this week on Idol — pertaining to judges, contestants, trends or conspiracy theories — and you’d like to share them on the next episode of TVLine’s new Idol-related Web series, Idoloonies, email a paragraph or two to (and be sure to include a contact phone number). We’ll be selecting a handful of readers each week to join me in cohosting the Webcast via Skype or iChat (to tape on Friday afternoons). We’ll also be choosing a Twitter Question of the Week, so don’t hesitate to fire your best shots to me @MichaelSlezakTV. Be sure to tag it #Idoloonies!

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  1. kivadiva says:

    the last guy seemed really good!

  2. Mel31602 says:

    I must have really bad tastes in music because the two I liked the best were the ones who almost didn’t get through- crying Hollie and Ryan Seacrests lover Courtney. I did like everyone who got through but those 2 were my faves

  3. rosie's mom says:

    I liked the boyfriend too. Girlfriend’s hair and dress were a little too much. Melodica boy sang one of my fave songs but it’s hard to imagine him in a collarless leather jacket. My son said that he is the next Taylor Swift – I think he meant Hicks. Hate to say it but 1 hour and 1 Cougar Town later I can’t really remember anyone else. Scandale! xo

  4. Definetly a subpar city. Other than Casey Abrams who was pretty decent, I don’t think that Austin provided too much. You could almost tell it wasn’t going to be filled with stand-outs when they had about 3 or 4 different montages of the good, the bad and the crazies and of course they had to include the President of the Ryan Seacrest fan club. It took a few weeks but you knew that they couldn’t keep Ryan relativley quiet for too long.

  5. darclyte says:

    The cowboy who sang well is what Idol’s producer would LOVE to have win. A country male could be a cash cow for years. Country crossover artists rake in tons of dough, and popular country singers can have lifelong careers. I don’t know if his voice was good enough, but he has the “whole package,” and the fact that he’s a REAL cowboy would only help him with true country fans.

    I’m not normally into blondes, but Janelle was beautiful and sang well too.

    The couple were both pretty good, but the guy had Zellweger syndrom (scrunched up face.)

    The last guy was crazy good, but I don’t think he could win.

    I LOVED that someone auditioned singing “Rusty Cage” by Soundgarden. He even “sang/screamed” a bit like Chris Cornell. What they showed wasn’t too bad, but not enough to really go on. Full on “rocker” look though.

    I actually thought that it was a pretty entertaining show. You’d think that Ryan’s stalker and the couple would stink, but they all did pretty well. I’m glad that they did most of the bad people in group packages, it got them off the air faster. I just wish they wouldn’t show them at all and show more of the good. By 14 minutes in, they only had shown the brother with his long lost sister (he was pretty good too,) and the crying girl who got a second chance (she was ok both times.) I just love Steven’s enthusiasm for music, and J-Lo’s for the series. I even liked the “Atomic Dawg” segment…if only because they played the song.

  6. McFudge says:

    Loved loved loved John Wayne. A cute real cowboy who sings well and loves his mother. Ye-ha! Also Janelle, who I think really has an “it” factor. I thought she was a little pitchy in places, dawg, but the judges didn’t call her out on it so maybe I was hearing things. I’m glad she got through; she has potential. Casey was good at what he does, and maybe I think this because I don’t like that kind of music, but I just don’t think he’s the next American Idol. Not really any commercial appeal. Something tells me the judges will not let anyone through in Hollywood who they think isn’t potentially commercial.

  7. SybilT says:

    After the incident with Paula’s stalker, I’m surprised they decided to let Ryan’s stalker go to Hollywood.

  8. Tekkie says:

    Let’s see…I liked the British girl, the teary eyed male half of the couple, and the voice of the guy who sounded like Sammy Hagar but looked nothing like Sammy Hagar. That said, I don’t think the Sammy guy has a shot, just a cool voice when he can get it there.

    Didn’t like the Seacrestahloic (Tatyana meltdown coming), them tainting country boy with sob storyitis, and that hideous thing in gold and white (your guess if I’m talking armadillo girl or freak angel).

    StevEN Tyler has definitely stolen the show, although I don’t buy this JLo jealous over his ‘success’ on the show.

    Glad the auditions were only an hour. Note to FOX: renew Lie to Me not Human Doofus!

  9. Anne says:

    I want more nos for people who aren’t dressed in armadillo costumes. The people who don’t stand a chance in hell do not need sympathy plane tickets to Hollywood.

    I liked Fraggle Rock a lot. Otherwise, too much country and too much subpar singing.

    • Vivi says:

      LOL @ “too much country”. I mean, they WERE in Austin, TX.

      Anywho, my favorite of the night was Casey “aka” Fraggle Rock. He caught my attention. Regarding the couple, I wanted the girlfriend to go to Hollywood. The boyfriend is beyond cheesy for my liking. And not that great of a singer, too. I do not see anything superstar about him.

  10. Titina says:

    Hey Michael I knew Casey wan´t your type but you have to admit he was the bomb tonight.

    Love him, IMO the best audition from this season and:
    Yes he won´t win not even close.. Because he is not commercial and he is not cute. BUT the guy has mad talent.

    He seems like such a nice guy though that is so into his music. Hopefully he will at least get to Top 10 and make the tour.
    I can predict that given the chance he can turn out some great performances on the Idol stage. Plus, I am dying to see a makeover on this guy. You know it´s coming.
    But really I think he is special. Hopefully after the show some opportunities knock his door.

    • Dmedici says:

      Thanks Titina…I was with Casey at the audition in Austin, and he really IS a nice guy and too bad Michael was nonplussed by it. He’s nowhere close to being a traditional pop star, but he loves music and would be happy simply making a living at it. Thanks so much for your kind words…we are mad, sorry, SICK-proud of his efforts. : )

  11. Saracen Riggins says:

    Wow, I do have to disagree with you a bit tonight. “Spastic Melodica Guy” COMPLETELY stood out to me and it was 100% based on his voice. I kind of had Michael Johns-esque reaction to his voice. Meaning I had to rewatch and could not contain myself or the excitement he made me feel when I heard that awesome voice. As of right now, he’s my early favorite… pushing the adorable Steve Beghun to 2nd place in my heart.

  12. Lisa says:

    I like the Scottsdale couple since that’s the city I live in, but John Wayne is THE BEST! :)

  13. Tim Gunn says:

    Casey Abrams. I think he’s the only guy from tonight we’ll be seeing in the top 20. His Youtube videos are awesome. Check him out.

  14. Tim says:

    I really miss Idolatry. I really miss Idolatry.

    Oh wait. There are two black rectangles below this article with little Play triangles. Let me push one and see.

    Oh! Awesome!

  15. Toia says:

    Firstly Austin is not a cowboy town every time idol goes to Austin they act like it’s the heart and soul of Texas. It couldn’t be further from the case. It is a college town. But back to the show overall the singing was average. I can’t see any of those people on the Idol tour. I think there is a reason they didn’t give Austin the two hour treatment. I know people who went to audition the well is running dry.

  16. sumwhut says:

    there is something about that John Wayne Schultz. the story, his looks, his demeanor, I was hoping he could sing and he can. I am not a big country fan, but this guy was doing it for me…………

  17. sumwhut says:

    i think it might be the belt buckle.

  18. Chev says:

    Most say I love Jaqueline Dunford her bf better keep her really close to him I think one of the hottest girl that has even been on this show

  19. Magie says:

    After the first four episodes that had at least a handful of potential top 10 contesetants each this episode fell so flat, which is confusing because I think Ryan said they had let through 50 people in Austin. I could be wrong but isn’t that one of the higher numbers from the five cities we’ve seen so far? If that was the ‘best’ or ‘most entertaining’ I am afraid to see what the other 49 golden ticket recipients were like. My other pet peeve was while I don’t think Hollie was amazing or has a large chance of making it past Hollywood they made such a big deal of her quiet breakdown but made no fuss over 15 year old Emma in Milwaukee who sobbed and begged.

    Casey was entertaining and fun but if he makes it to live shows he will have to really prove himself as marketable and likeable (genre/music style wise). The couple as annoying as they were, which I am choosing to believe producers asked them to ham it up & they obliged, might have been my two favorite voices of the night. Each was a little unique and had nice qualities to them. But I don’t think our season 10 winner will hail from the same state our season 1 did.

  20. Joslyn says:

    Not really a fan of country music or his voice in particular, but John Wayne was SUPER cute, and memorable to me. Dare I say, whole package? Loved the male half of the cute couple too, though I strongly suspect she is his cover, until he can escape Texas and finally express his true self. I’m sure the producers are setting them up for an inevitable “dramatic” separation in Hollywood. Hopefully he stays and she goes.

  21. Merissanicole says:

    Idol is getting pretty close, still the horrible, but getting better

  22. darcy's evil twin says:

    I agree with darclyte – “The last guy was crazy good, but I don’t think he could win”. I couldn’t have said it better myself so I’m just going to quote darclyte. Hope you don’t mind!

  23. darcy's evil twin says:

    Just went back and watched tonight’s AI again. I REALLY liked Jaqueline Dunford, the female half of the “couple”. She sang Duffy’s “Mercy” and it was quite good.

  24. brandy says:

    Lots of pleasant kids getting through in this episode. Nobody I’m especially excited about, but I’m not upset either. I’m ready for Hollywood week!

  25. Marta says:

    I’m so sick of them showing 2 yes and 1 no auditions this season. Its so anti climatic and annoying when they try to draw those out- or even worse, change their initial minds when someone pleads or cries. Until they start showing some 2 nos and 1 yes auditions (which, I don’t think they have- at least this season)– trying to produce entertainment out of 2 yeses and 1 no is just a waste of our precious Idol time.

  26. sara says:

    really liked Casey Abrams. Everyone else was completely forgetable. The Tyler apology(?) was stupid, and why am I starting to get the feeling that the producers are slowly starting to kill every bit of good will the new judging panel has given this show??

    • Suncatcher says:

      @sara – I agree. The Tyler apology was just plain WEIRD. If serious, it served to just embarass Steven Tyler. If a joke, it sure wasn’t funny. The new judges have breathed life back into a truly dead Idol – and in less than 2 weeks! Be grateful! Leave the panel alone and go sit down! Good dog! You get a cookie.

  27. regatg78 says:

    i know soooo many amazing and cool singers from austin but they are reluctant to audition for AI…too cool for school, i guess…what a shame…

  28. Butters says:

    i like slezak but this video you guys don’t connect–could it because because you guys are in different locations? hmm, no. still like you though.

  29. susela says:

    Slezak, I love you, but how could you miss the brilliance of “Spastic Melodica Guy”? Try “Crazy Mad Talent Guy.” His scatting was brilliant and effortless, his energy was amazing, and I got chills when he went into the quiet falsetto toward the end. Of all the auditioners we’ve seen so far, he stands out as a true musician. And who knows—? If Reuben Studdard and Taylor Hicks could win, maybe there’s a chance for Crazy Mad Talent Guy.

  30. moop21 says:

    does anybody know what the “backgroung” closing song was for this particular episode (in austin)?