American Idol Recap: Golden Gateway

Police lights flash. Sirens blare. Medics rush toward the twisted wreckage of a totaled car. Firefighters sprint into a burning building. Colombian guerrillas wreak havoc in a small rural village. This…is American Idol? Yes, it is. Or rather, this…is American Idol…misguidedly dipping its toe into the reenactment business.

What the heck? Has Nigel Lythgoe been drawing inspiration from one too many Friday-night viewings of 48 Hours: Mystery (and its penchant for using low-rent stock footage to tell a tale)? Or is it merely the fact that, seven episodes in to the season 10 auditions, he’d try just about anything to freshen up a formula that’s dustier than a world without Swiffer? If it’s the latter case, here’s a hint: We don’t need to see random nighttime scenes suggesting a car accident to understand that Stefano Langone (pictured, top right) almost lost his life in a terrible crash. (Those shots of his post-surgery scars did the trick all on their own, thanks.) What we do need are some frakkin’ Chyrons for the three unidentified women who dazzled us using nothing but their voices, then were promptly whisked off our TV screens, one by one, leaving behind no names, no contact numbers, not even so much as a trio of glass slippers.

The first of the threesome, a green-eyed brunette in a tight white dress (pictured, bottom right), displayed a Monster Truck-sized voice — and the courage to switch up a familiar melody — on Carrie Underwood’s “Last Name,” prompting judge Jennifer Lopez to declare, “people are gonna pay to hear you sing.” (Yes, people definitely would, if people had any #%$*&%@ idea what name to type into Google.) The second, a blonde in a red shirt who looked like a younger hybrid of Felicity Huffman and Hope Davis, offered up a lovely, languid take on “Stormy Weather.” And the third (also with long brown hair) got out a grand total of four words of “Smile,” delivering them quite nicely. The funny thing is, by marginalizing these women in such an unprecedented way — to my memory, we’ve never before heard a Golden Ticket recipient singing without seeing his or her name appear on screen — Idol only makes them all that much more intriguing. Who the heck are these chicks? And what did they do to piss off Cecile Frot-Coutaz?

Yet if the old adage, “leave ’em wanting more,” applies here, what about the opposite end of the spectrum? Take James Durbin (pictured, top left), whose background package was one plague of locusts short of qualifying for not only a Golden Ticket, but also a surprise visit from terrifying Ty Pennington and the folks at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. At the tender age of 21, poor James has already endured the following: A dad who died of a drug overdose when James was 9; a dual diagnosis from his doctors of Tourette’s and Asperger syndromes; years of bullying at school; a wife with a serious addiction to wallpapering their apartment with upbeat messages of inspiration; unemployment; inevitable comparisons to Adam Lambert; and a lack of money to buy even staples like diapers for his adorable baby. (Okay, yeah, also that haircut.)

Now here’s the thing: I feel for James and what he’s been through. But if his voice is the main meal — the steak and potatoes, if you will — how come Chef Nigel is serving it at the same exact time as his seven-layer cake of tragedy? What’s more, how come not one judge gave the unvarnished singer a little constructive criticism, warned him about his lack of vocal nuance, cautioned him against confusing yelling with emoting, told him to be careful of his pitch when he’s riffing on a melody? James is an easy guy to root for, and his cover of Muddy Waters’ “You Shook Me” proved he can certainly throw his entire heart into a performance, but his “Dream On” was kind of a mess. “I got the sense you sing from a really different place,” declared J.Lo., referencing James’ “need to feel and make others feel.” Yet while I suspect Idol‘s producers wanted us to get Adam Lambert 2.0 vibes off of James — they both auditioned in San Francisco! they both have a signature wail! — I suspect the season 10 wannabe will get swallowed whole by the Idol house band if he makes the live portion of the competition.

Funny enough, I was reminded of another Idol MVP — Fantasia Barrino — during Stefano Langone’s audition. Maybe it’s what Randy referred to as the little bit of “hood” in Stefano’s delivery, the way he hoyd (as opposed to heard) it through the grapevine, but the 21-year-old cutie with “movie-star good looks” and a piano belt buckle looks like one to watch, especially if he can continue to bring to the stage deep reserves of soul to go with his deep brown eyes and Maybelline-ad-worthy lashes.

And while we’re drawing parallels between San Francisco auditioners and former Idol finalists, I can’t be the only one who took one listen to Emily Anne Reed’s wispy instrument and immediately thought of Megan Joy (Corkrey), right? Like She Who Must Be Frequently Renamed (who auditioned to “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man”), Emily chose an “old-timey” number, “You’re Getting to Be a Habit With Me,” and handled it like a delicate piece of origami. Perhaps more impressively, though, she managed to sneak a guitar into the audition room (despite Uncle Nigel’s anti-instrument stance at this stage of the competition) and showed some crazy skills while accompanying herself on “Honey Baby Blues.” Oh, wait! Did I forget to mention Emily’s house burned down a week prior to auditioning? And here you thought you were going to get through a paragraph of this recap without a mention of a sad, sad backstory.

Actually, if sentimentality is not your thing, then you probably liked Clint Jun Gamboa (pictured, lower left), who showed fantastic control tackling “Billionaire” while wearing a cardigan that reminded me of a black-and-white cookie. Given Idol‘s penchant for laying on the maudlin, It was nice to have an upbeat background package that merely looked at how one guy pays the bills while dreaming of bigger things. In my mind, Clint might be San Francisco’s sleeper contestant and outwit, outlast, and outsing some of his more heralded rivals (i.e. Colombian beauty Julie Zorrilla).

Note that we’re almost at the end of the recap and I haven’t mentioned Julie, who got a huge (and apparently rare) compliment from J.Lo about her sparkly gold shoes, and then after she’d left the audition room, got an even bigger boost from Jenny From the Block. “Winner?” J.Lo wondered aloud. “Maybe!” Er, or maybe not. There’s no doubt Julie has a lovely voice, but all her pointing and hair-flipping on “Summertime” was way too pageant-princess for my taste. And while I appreciate that Julie actually dressed to impress — that flared butterfly dress was divine! –I was definitely getting the impression that she had no doubt she’d be exiting that room with her Golden Ticket. Nope, nobody likes smug — or even a hint of it — on the Idol stage. Girl better wolf down some humbleberry pie before her next trip in front of a camera.

And finally, we had a second “trio of auditioners” reel in which Brittany Mazur’s solid if not spectacular cover of “Mercy” was decidedly more impressive than Lara Johnston or Matthew Ness.

What did you think of San Francisco? Did anyone notice that rejected auditioner David Johnston had a Westminster Kennel  Club “Best in Show” winner attached to his face? Was anyone else begrudgingly impressed by Transformer Guy’s costume? And, like me, did you think the “just because somebody farts, let em finish singing, okay?” bit was staged by a producer, and not an authentic confessional moment? Sound off below, and for all my reality coverage, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.

Loading video...

Loading video...

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Erinn says:

    I didn’t get Adam Lambert 2.0 from the guy, I got Adam Lambert Light.

    • Solo says:

      All I got was over the top.

    • Teresa says:

      I agree. What’s key to Adam Lambert isn’t the wail, but the control and technique. James Durbin has pipes, but I’m not convinced he knows what to do with them.

      But the “singing from a different place” may transcend technique and get him into the finals. At that point, I’m going to be worried about his ability to deal with the stress of the competition.

    • Jason says:

      For someone with no job and unable to buy diapers, he seemed to live in a nice house with nice furnishings.

    • marie says:

      For all the judges were raving about his “range” and “melodic control” afterwards (or whatever Steven said), this guy’s audition package was edited so that we didn’t hear more than half a dozen distinct notes out of him, most of them over-the-top shouted. Yes, I think we were SUPPOSED to make the connection to Adam Lambert, I got that loud and clear, but what I’ve heard of James Durbin so far does not impress me with either his range or melodic sensibility. Naaahh, so far, he’s not sounding like EVEN Adam Light.

  2. ladyinsilver says:

    Yes, the “fart” footage was definitely staged! People will do anything to get some camera time! It was nice to see some real potential singers last night, and I’m most excited about the nameless girl in the white dress. Any chance we’ll get a second viewing in Hollywood? And the big question is, will James Durbin self-destruct?!

  3. D says:

    “a wife with a serious addiction to wallpapering their apartment with upbeat messages of inspiration”

    Hahahahaha Slezak you slay me.

    and brittany mazur? lara johnston was the clear star of that trio.

  4. Bobbi says:

    Brittany Mazur’s voice I wanted to hear more from last night. She and Stefano were my favorites last night. James did not impress me. I do not want people shreiking at me!

    • gerritv says:

      I know Lara Johnston is the original Doobie Brothers lead singer Tom Johnston’s daughter because she competed on some MTV talent show with Kenny Loggins’ son two years ago but does anyone know if Brittany Mazur is any relation to Stephanie Plum?

  5. NJ says:

    Adam Lambert 2.0? Yeah, uh, no. Still, I feel like I would’ve been more impressed with him had they not made it so much about the sob story. Could we just hear people sing, please?

  6. Sam says:

    I really wish that, before Mr. Durbin entered the audition room, his wife had stuck a post-it on his head saying “Vote for Me!” Because that’s what his entire package felt like.

  7. James says:

    Am I the only one who did not dig Clint Jun Gamboa performance? I thought it was average at best…if I was a betting man I would bank on him not making it past the first or second Hollywood cut…

  8. Amille says:

    Sigh…I left my fart in San Francisco.

  9. darclyte says:

    It’s possible that the Glambert fans will rise up against James as he could be seen as “Lambert Lite,” or someone trying to imitate Adam to get ahead. I think that’s just who he is and how he sings, but I also hope that he doesn’t go for the super high notes all season long (if he makes it in) like Adam did. It gets annoying after awhile (just ask Siobhan Magnus.)

    The judges bag on wispy voices, but Emily got thru although I didn’t think that she had much there. She was nice, and she’d make for a pleasant coffee house singer, but a big stage? While someone like Dido sounds good on record, Emily’s voice coming through earphones may not be so pleasant. If she worked with a vocal coach before Hollywood, she could expand her range and power, but otherwise, I’m just not feeling it dawg.

    The gal from Columbia sang ok, but she reminded me of Lea Michele and has that same sort of smug smile which could be grating. She was decent, but didn’t blow me away.

    I liked Stefano but felt that he was more about the overall “package” than the voice.

    Clint has a decent voice, but looking like that in this season where there are so many “good looking” contestants, I just don’t see him winning. He reminded me of Sherman from Mr Peabody, or Scooter from the Muppets.

    The Transformer guy should get a call from Michael Bay and Hasbro and be used for promotions. Send him around to promote the movie, and to toy stores to promote the toys.

    • Margie says:

      There’s no reason for Adam fans to rise up against this guy. I feel kind of sorry for him and his situation. But I don’t think his voice is going to cut it. I couldn’t feel the music in it. He was just yelling. Some people say Adam yells, but you can always hear the music.

  10. Pattywilla says:

    WooHoo! Glad I found you again, Michael. You are the best!

  11. @poppetawoppet says:

    For shame Michael, I’m surprised you didn’t mention the ten seconds of the Hollywood week preview where I swear I saw that Emily rocker chick from two (?) season ago

  12. Ghost of Kelly Clarkson says:

    Funny, the second that James finished his song, I turned to my signficant other and said, “I think we just saw Adam Lambert 2.0.” Seems like a nice guy and his wife could go on the rubber chicken circuit as a motivational speaker, but I’m not sure I saw a winner there. I totally didn’t get the appeal of the sparkly shoes girl in the square dance dress — too many runs for a song that is meant to showcase vocal tone and restraint.

    And am I the only one who laughed when J-Lo’s first comment about Emily Ann was something along the lines of, “Idol has already done the singer-songwriter thing the last few seasons.” Clearly, someone is reading the secret hand signals Nigel Lythgoe is making to the judges from his seat off-camera.

    • Solo says:

      I didn’t get that she said “already done” — I understood her to mean that AI has gone that direction in the past. In other words — I didn’t hear the dismissive quality in the words that you did.

  13. Solo says:

    Yea, I thought that two of the trio (Lara Johnston and Matthew Ness) were pretty bad. I don’t understand the judges loving on them.

  14. Tuzo says:

    Great recap! And you totally nailed the reenactment aspect. On the plus side, at least they didn’t have actors playing the parts of the contestants in the reenactment. :/

    Transformers costume. Totally. Awesome. I’m thinking you could sell them!

    Re: Emily Anne Reed’s burned down house. I was really expecting to hear that her cat was trapped in the blaze. Luckily that wasn’t the case (no cat). I understand that it would be a deep loss to lose all of your belongings — you can’t get those back. But I just couldn’t help wondering: was it a rental or did she actually own it? She seemed pretty attached to the actual house it if it was just a rental. Maybe it’s just me?

  15. Christina says:

    San Francisco was promising towards top 10 prospects, but Nigel did we really need the in-depth re-enactment of everyones back stories? Stefano’s scars were enough to sell his story. That being said the prospects for a good top 10 finals look much more promising than season 9. If I had to take a guess at who the top 10 would be I’d say:

    Casey Abrams
    James Durbin
    John Wayne Schulz
    Jordan Dorsey
    Julie Zorilla
    Lauren Alaina
    Naima Adedapo
    Robbie Rosen
    Scott McCreery
    Stefano Langone

    Some of them have had back stories that are just to ingrained that they wont make the top 10. There are definitely people more deserving though ( Sarah Sellers).

  16. Marta says:

    Looking down the road (finally!), I understand that they’ll certainly be some 15-16 yr olds in the voting rounds. I just hope in Hollywood week they weed out the ones who just don’t have the goods yet…. It will be annoying if we hear all season, “I’m just not sure you’re ready.”

  17. Finian says:

    Looking forward to the assembly line (slaughterhouse?) processing of what has to be nearly 300 wanna-bes tonight. How many of those “nice but not great” voices will we see blubbering their way out of the theater tonight? My only worry is some of those voices that were interesting and needed a little work will exit with the herd and we’ll have the standard festival of sound alikes and over wrought warblers that can crush any creativity that makes the round of 24 fun

    • Alex says:

      I agree, especially since I feel like we let more than the usual amount of people through this year. Is that just me? I think a lot of talent will get lost in the crowd.

  18. JeffNYC says:

    I thought there were lots of talented singers last night…probably the best of the season. And in my humble though sometimes misguided opinion, I think Stefano Langone is a shoo in to make the top 10. James Durbin, if he can control his emotions and his screamy dreamy notes, is gonnna do very well too.

  19. Owen says:

    Okay, Slezak, I don’t know if you’re trying to impress your new bosses to show how unimaginative and non-intellectual you are to convince them you CAN write an entertainment blog, or so embarrassed by your job you have to show you are above such things as teary TV people tragedy. But. A) We’ve heard this rant from you too many times already. And. B)the rant never made any sense anyway. This is REALITY TELEVISION. Its all about back story. There are SO many kids with good voices, to just hear a string of them back to back to back may entertain a tunnel-visioned AI Blogger, but American loves STORY. Hell, even in real life record/buyer land, we soon knew ALL about Madonna’s abusive home life, how she asked the NYC cab driver to drop her off in the center of everything (Times Square), how she had 24.00 in her pocket. Its never been just about the voice, and to suggest AI should actually ignore this process of music industry publicity machine is ludicrous. You waste as much space complaining about it as Nigel does demonstrating it. Look, I roll my eyes as much as the next guy, but I do prefer backstory to the non-voiced grotesques wheeled out for us (and Randy)to laugh at. But I understand why that’s needed too. And what’s odd, I’m sure you do to, yet week after week, blog after blog, Idoloonie after Idoloonie you blah blah blah about it.

    • Jaded says:

      A.)Get your recaps elsewhere if you don’t like the style of these recaps. B.)There is nothing wrong with backstory–it’s having the backstory shoved down our throats that’s irritating. and C.)You suck!

      • Owen says:

        What also disturbs me about Slezak’s constant harping is the somewhat elitist edge he brings to it. Because I’m sure he must realize that there is a large, large portion of actual “non-intellectual” Americans that love and eat endless backstory up. And his posts give off a clear stench of “We may love something as lowbrow as American Idol, but we’re so much better than the Middle cause we hate this backstory sh*t”. I’m not saying he actually thinks this, or feels it, but that’s the impression his recaps are beginning to leave.

        • Snsetblaze says:

          I for one love Slezak’s comments on the back stories and if you read the boards at Slezak’s old place, the majority of those posting hate the back stories. The big problem I have with them is that the producers pimp certain contestants over others and at times because of this, there are certain contestants that don’t get any airtime until we have to vote for them and others who become well-known. There are mostly sad stories and some are contrived “sob” stories and/or were far in the past. How many sick relatives can we hear about? In today’s world, how does an adult child with divorcing parents qualify as a sob story? Have we ever seen a back story where the contestant did something heroic (that was not part of their occupation like being in the armed services)? The fun back stories like the singing waitress up until this year were nonexistent and are still few and far between. Plus the clips go on for far too long and combined with the waste of time contestants(like the Armadillo), judges’ antics, people swearing at the camera after they’ve been rejected, there is barely any time for good singers. There were around 300 singers sent to Hollywood this time. Did we even see 100 of them even for a few seconds? I don’t believe we saw more than 50 for a full audition.

        • Alex says:

          I hate this trend of equating intelligence with elitism. The fact that there are “non-intellectual” places in this country is not something to be proud of.

    • CMJ says:

      Then Owen, if you’re sick of hearing Slezak, you have the choice not to listen. Get your information somewhere else.

      I’m with those who’d like less backstory and more talent.

      • Owen says:

        Yes, we all WANT that. But to expect it? Really? Really? And I just don’t read Slezak, I also read Annie at his old job (HIGH-larious, she might carp about endless extreme backstory, but she does it winningly with a sense of humor) and the dry New York Times too short recap. I am an unabashed American Idol fan, but smart enough to know what the show is and what it will always be, not complain about it season after season after season…

    • Robert says:

      Not all Americans love sob stories. I am among those who are mightily sick of them. Idol promotes itself as a singing competition, search for America’s best singer. As Michael said does not present to its audience as Extreme Makeover: Singers Edition.
      Count me as someone who appreciates Slezak’s writing.

      • Owen says:

        Extreme Makeover is EXCEPTIONALLY popular because of America’s love of backstory. That’s why American Idol does it. And again, my point isn’t that some Americans who love Idol just for the singing aren’t exasperated by the constant hard scrabble backgrounds we are forced to watch as a run-up to a singer’s performance. Its that a whole lot of OTHER people do. And that should be okay. And my bigger point was basically for Slezak to quit wasting our time by complaining about it incessantly.

    • Diane says:

      well Owen, perhaps you should go somewhere else for your recaps. I, for one, enjoy Michael’s recaps far more than the show . I agree with his opinions 99% of the time.(that 1% is I did’nt like Bowersox that much.

    • Tuzo says:

      I don’t think the problem is with back stories per se. The issue is with the shameless (maudlin, as Selzak said) way that Idol plays up, dwells on and exploits these sob stories. It’s not even fair to the contestants as they are portrayed to us as almost entirely defined by their tragedies. Then add last nights ridiculous reenactments and it’s just too much. It was sort of shameless.

      Your post does show why they keep doing it though. :(

    • Alex says:

      The problem isn’t that back stories exist. Obviously, everyone has a story and it’s important to tell that. On that count, I agree with you. The problem is that real talent is being overshadowed/IGNORED in favor of a sad story in conjunction with mediocre talent. When someone is really good and has a back story, whatever, tell it, I don’t care. But passing over really talented people just because their house didn’t burn down? (I mean honestly?) That’s not okay.

      And obviously, this has been detrimental to the show as it’s ratings have been steadily dropping since season 5. So don’t say America loves this, you can’t not include it. Obviously, America doesn’t like something because less people watch every year.

      • Owen says:

        Honestly, do you think they would keep showing back story if it didn’t test well and prove to be ratings gold? Again, not my original complaint. But having to state it yet again I’m beginning to SOUND like Slezak..

  20. Linda says:

    I was totally underwhelmed by Emily Anne Reed. I don’t think she has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the whole sha-bang, but no doubt she’ll be kept around to add “interest” to the lineup, much to my dismay. Quite frankly she sounded as if she just inhaled a few whiffs from a helium balloon before her audition. And on another note, let’s hope J-Lo stops being a Paula clone and starts adding something constructive to her assessment of these contestants. She has become very boring in a span of only a few weeks.

    • chistosa says:

      I agree about Emily. I did not think she was good. While her voice does have an unusual quality, it was necessarily pleasant. And she seemed nervous. I don’t see her going the distance.

    • Alex says:

      I AGREE SO MUCH. THANK YOU. I feel like she just whisper spoke that whole song. SO unimpressed.

    • JenR says:

      I loved her. I thought her phrasing was excellent. She sounded like she understands music, not just like another karaoke singer.

  21. Adam says:

    I disagree on Julie. After last season I want to see some good performers on stage and the fact that she’s 20 and confident in what she wants to accomplish is a positive sign after a bunch of teenagers that have a high risk of crumbling.

  22. Jessica says:

    Honestly I’m just ready for Hollywood week. I watched all of this for Tyler and JLo moreso. The only one who I remember is Scotty McCreery. Loved the confidence and voice. Only audition I had to listen to again. I remember feeling the same way about Adam Lambert’s audition. Emily Ann Reed is interesting also. I hope they are hiding the other great singers.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      I enjoyed Emily Ann Reed. She is like a lot of singer-songwriters on the folk/blues and indie pop-rockscene where if she could get an album out, she could probably make a living. She immediately brought to mind Feist, followed by Norah JOnes, Ingrid Michaelson and KT Tunstall and several others including Rickie Lee Jones. I’m not sure her place is on American Idol though I wish her well.

      • JBanana says:

        I loved Emily’s old-timey voice.. straight out of the ’20s. She should pick up a ukulele. (no, I am not joking about that!) Of course, she’s not what Idol is looking for, but I’m happy we got to hear her.

  23. Teresa says:

    I just watched Idoloonies again, and I’m really impressed with Alexis Grace’s take on things. She brings an insider’s perspective and just the right amount of snark. It sounds like she’s pretty busy with her career, but if you can get her on again, I hope you will. She’s Kristen-levels of good.

  24. Robert says:

    Michael your writing is the best thing about watching Idol. I think James “plague of locusts” Durbin was only ‘aight.

  25. Ian says:

    Hey Michael. The girl who sang the Carrie Underwood song, her name is Sarah Ames. There’s a video of her the Idol website.

  26. chistosa says:

    I try reserve judgement about why some contestants have more exposure than others during this audition round. These programs are carefully edited, not live. It could be that they wait until the Hollywood rounds have eliminated many to decide which ones will get the camera love. Why waste time on filming backstories and reanactments if the contestant is not making it to a voting round. Some we saw briefly without names who seemed good from the fleeting glimpse may have in fact been summarily dismissed in Hollywood so no point in filming their stories.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      chistosa – it’s difficult to tell. We never even saw David Cook’s audition!

      I was thinking back to last season and trying to remember which contestants I remembered from their auditions that made it to whatever level it is just before they narrow it down to 12 (or 10) and I believe I remember Crystal Bowersox (did she sing “Piece of my Heart”?), Andrew Garcia (“Sunday Morning”), Lilly Scott (did she sing “Lullaby of Birdland”?), and Casey James (I have not a clue what he sang, but I remember he took off his shirt for Kara). I remember Kaetlyn Epperle from auditions but I don’t recall what she sang.

  27. Glenn says:

    My wife said the same thing about that opening scene being staged! And it wasn’t even funny. The other thing that bugs us is the “last performer” tag on Tourette Adam 2.0. It was daylight and the judges were all wearing day one clothes. Ryan, just tell us he left a good feeling in San Fran, not that he was the final audition.

    • marie says:

      If you recall, they even staged a bit showing him in an almost-empty waiting room full of empty chairs, but when he actually emerged from the audition room, the waiting room was full. I figure they taped that “empty waiting room” for effect at the end of the day because the producers had already decided they were going to feature this guy.

    • JBanana says:

      plus, he walked out waving his golden ticket through the holding room full of people still waiting to audition! And they all cheered for him! Obviously not the “last contestant of the day”.

      • marie says:

        Exactly! But the producers, you’ll recall, were sneaky enough to stage a shot of Durbin supposedly waiting to go in for his audition in a virtually empty waiting room surrounded by empty chairs! That must have been filmed afterwards, the producers evidently having already decided to feature this contestant.

  28. marie says:

    At the end of the hour, when they were recapping the auditions with clips of some of the best and worst auditioners, I was very happy indeed NOT to see poor Cooper Robinson from last week – the unfortunate James Brown impersonator with possible mental issues – in the mix. I hope his omission means that the producers are NOT planning to bring him back for the finale a la Renaldo “I Am Your Brother” Lapuz or Larry “Pants on the Ground” Platt. Fingers crossed!

  29. Wil says:

    Skezak! Did you noticed the terrible editing of the show? JLo with beige sweater, JLo with green shirt, back to beige…and then the “last” contestant of the “second” day…it was not! JLo has the beige shirt of the first! Awful!

    • Chris says:

      The editing was bad last week also with the Tyler in a t-shirt blip when he was wearing a jacket. Nigel knows better than to let these things slide. Dedicated Idoloonies will catch them every time.

  30. Tulip says:

    Adam Lambert is an Original Rock God. He stands alone. I had to get that out of the way. I agree with Slezak that boy (and many others) will be swallowed whole as the competition weaves along. But I’m really liking this season, I have to admit. I’m looking forward to the competition. Congrats Uncle Nigel.

    • Chris says:

      James Durbin has a decent voice and could possibly benefit alot from Idol vocal coaching if he makes it that far. LOL, Adam Lambert is not a Rock anything. He is a good POP singer though. The whole rock-god label was a Kara-ism.

  31. marie says:

    At the end of the hour, when they were recapping the good and bad contestants from the various audition cities, I was heartened NOT to see poor Cooper Robinson, the unfortunate James Brown impersonator with possible mental issues, in the mix. Can this mean that the producers DON’T intend to bring him back for the finale, a la Renaldo “I Am Your Brother” Lapuz and Larry “Pants on the Ground” Platte? Please let that be so – let’s not exploit this guy again – fingers crossed!

  32. scrutinizer says:

    and if “humbleberry pie girl” wants to get any votes she better read this recap!

  33. Lisa says:

    In case you haven’t heard this from anyone else yet, the girl with the amazing voice in the white dress is Sarah Ames. She is a USC student from California. I found her just a couple weeks ago on You Tube, and she has a great voice! She has a ton of videos on there from age 14 or 15 and my daughters and I recognized her on the show last night. I wish her well in Hollywood!

  34. gwen says:

    this reads more like a whine/complaint session instead of rec-cap.

  35. TinCan says:

    Michael, I don’t have the time to match up the 3 unknown women singers to their faces on since there are 319 golden ticket holders on that page. Maybe you do!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      TinCan – go back to the link and click on the “filter” tab right below the video screen. You can then choose the audition city, which narrows the list down quite a bit!

  36. KG says:

    I have seen Clint at the Royal Room in Bellflower,CA on Alondra and Lakewood before! He is a great singer. It didn’t really get shown how great he is unless you hear him in person. I had no idea he was on the show! Good luck to him

  37. marie says:

    SORRY FOR THE DUPLICATE POSTS! I was hitting “Submit” but my posts weren’t appearing, and then suddenly, they ALL appeared at once.

  38. darcy's evil twin says:

    Nice recap, Slezak. I don’t agree with your love for Clint Jum Gamboa, but I can’t stand the song, “Billionaire”. I probably wouldn’t like anyone singing that song.

    I believe the blonde in the red shirt that sang “Stormy Weather” might be Jaqueline Elliot. She’s from San Jose.

    the other member of the “nameless California Girls trio” might be Hannah Mullholland – and that’s quite a last name!

    No one tonight really bowled me over. I’ll be anxious to hear Brittany Mazur sing something else. I did enjoy James Nuss, but was not that crazy about Lara Johnston. to be fair I listened to several of her videos on the internet and she is exactly the type of singer I should like, but so far I’m not convinced.

    Julie Zorilla (sp?) was lovely, but I wasn’t completely sold on her singing. Didn’t care much for the song choice – after all, “Porgy and Bess” was written as an opera.

    Emily Ann Reed reminds me WAY too much of Megan Joy and that Lacey contestant from last season (although, I never cared for Lacey but when I saw her on Letterman she was wonderful – as were so many of the contestants that got the boot!).

    And James Durbin wasn’t bad but holy cow, if I have to listen to his life story every week, which easily rivals the ten plagues of Egypt, I will find something else to watch!

    So far my favorite is Jackie Wilson from the Nashville auditions. Very disciplined, very old-school vocalist.

  39. Barbara says:

    I just watched tonight and I am so mad I could scream! I had to sit through the same contestants sob stories AGAIN instead of seeing more peoples performances? Having this shoved down my throat is making me actually dislike some of these contestants. Not only that, but why are they focusing on the same people over and over? They kept calling them “the early favorites”. Whose early favorites? The producers? I did not get to see Emilys performance but got to see “crazy girl” (who got through) cry and call her Mom at the end of the show? Seriously?

  40. Harmony says:

    “And, like me, did you think the “just because somebody farts, let em finish singing, okay?” bit was staged by a producer, and not an authentic confessional moment?” I totally thought this. It looked and sounded so staged. I’m really liking Stefano Lagone. He’s got a great look, a great sound, and I think that he could do well in the competition. I agree with you about those three mystery women. I kept wondering when their names would appear and then they didn’t. Bazaar. Great recap as always Slezak. :)

  41. Satan says:

    I caught this episode, and the Hollywood week episode, though I hadn’t watched any of the earlier episodes. Same Old Idol. This is so not a singing competition. I mean, I thought Danny Gokey was an insufferable joke, James Durbin just takes the cake. It’s like watching an ASPCA Unloved & Abandoned Animals commercial with humans instead of kittens and puppy dawgs. Blatantly manipulative faux sentimentality. It’s so exploitative. Does this show know it’s a comedy?