1/29 American Idol Final Auditions: New York And Puerto Rico Zzzzzzzzz…

UPDATE: Alexis Cohen was struck, killed by ‘hit and run’ in NJ. Read the story here.

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here are times when you watch television and after you are done you feel guilty. What you watched was a complete waste of time and you could have accomplished more reading a bad novel. Such was this week on Idol.

The show was so poorly presented that even with New York (mixed in with Puerto Rico) wasn’t enough to stimulate us. The show was downright bland. Even the freaks weren’t freaky. And the best of the best on this show were mediocre.

We cannot give you one name from this show that was a stand-out. As far as we are concerned, the show could have skipped this week and no one would notice. Not one person was good enough to be a finalist.

So, what do we say? 26 got through from New York, and we are hoping Idol just skipped showing us the real talent. In Puerto Rico there were cutesy performers, but no American Idols. 9 made the cut. So what are we left with? From what we saw… 35 cut outs. 39 if you count the poor judges that had to suffer though it all.

If you missed this week, you missed nothing. If you didn’t miss this week, you should have.

Alexis Cohen’s American Idol Audition in Season 8, her second time to be seen on Idol.

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1/28 American Idol 8 Audition: Simon Gets A Bunch of Flack, And HE LIKES IT!

The Idol auditions this year were missing something. The entertainment factor was not there for us. Perhaps it is getting old? We certainly hope not. Tonight it was Salt Lake City. The crowd waiting for their opportunity to perform was enormous, so this isn’t dull to them!

The show kicked off with the next Donny Osmond? Well, maybe not, but he is related. David Osmond, whose dad is Allen Osmond the oldest of the performing Osmonds came to find if he has what it takes to be an Idol. Allen and David have MS and David was an inspiration, singing strongly and getting his golden ticket to Hollywood.

Next, it was time for the Idol freak run. A series of freaks came out to perform and make fools of themselves. Tara Mathews of Salt Lake looked, dressed and sounded like a beached whale and gave the one finger salute on the way out. Aleesha Turner of Herriman, Utah looked and sang like a nervous chipmunk. Gone. We have no idea what Katie Sullivan of Orem Utah was doing or thinking, but it wasn’t music. Rich Kagel‘s cross eyed look came off clownish. Not a horrible voice, but you can’t be a joke and make it through on this show.

Chris KirkhamThis was especially true of the next act. Chris Kirkham was no freak, but he brought along his friend dressed in a rabbit outfit as a good luck charm, and carried Simon puppets into his audition. He sang well enough to qualify, but the judges were so annoyed by the props, he got expelled before he had a chance. He was good and normal looking but made himself into a freak show. We hope he comes back next year without the rabbit.

The next series of rejections didn’t even get the time of day. These weren’t really the freaks, but they weren’t talented. It made you appreciate the plight of the judges having to listen to so many hopeless hopefuls.

Then, finally, a memorable performer. Frankie Jordan of Hollywood, CA is attractive, has a great smile and a unique style. We are not sure of her range, but she will get the chance to demonstrate it because she got her ticket to Hollywood, but I guess that will just be like going home.

Another unique talent and possibly the best we have seen so far in the auditions was Megan Corkrey, performing on her 23rd birthday. She ironically told the audience that she just chose to get a divorce, but sang “I gotta love one man ’til I die”. Still, her talent and unique personality stood out and she has the potential to be a finalist.

Next the show did the usual success run, where they show talent after talent we didn’t get to see running out with their ticket to Hollywood. We don’t like this part much, because we want to see the talents and we don’t like the fact that some get their names in lights and others get passed by so quickly. Delete the cameos and show the talent.

Andrew Gibson took up some useless time. It was cute but you knew they were going to just send him back home. They had talent they could have shown, and they showed this instead.

Taylor Vaifanua

Austin Sisneros of Riverton, Utah was not bad. He got a golden ticket, but we do not think him capable of being a finalist. Jarret Burns of Orem, Utah was quite good and made it. But then there was another run of freaks and general pain.

The final two gals were what Idol had been building up to. Taylor Vaifanua of Hurricane, Utah is a great talent reminiscent of Jordan Sparks. She is another giant at 6’2″ in heels. She pushed through with a unanimous decision and we would find it difficult to object.

The last performer of the night to make it through was quite unique in her personality. She has lost both her parents over the past four years and still has a pleasant and friendly personality. Idol had been giving us short glimpses of Rose Flack of Rathdrum, Idaho throughout the show, and Idol let her be the grand finale of the Salt Lake episode. She is incredibly pretty with a spectacular smile and a very innocent girlish personality fitting of a 17 year old. Her voice did not have the range of the other strong talents on the show, but her personality and look were so strong it didn’t matter.

Now, it is off to New York and Puerto Rico!!

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1/27 American Idol 8 Audition: Jacksonville’s Sweet 16

There is one thing that is persistent on American Idol. On some shows there are memorable talents, on some there are horrific jokes, but the one thing that seems totally pervasive are the completely deluded.

This week’s show was no different. Several of the performers were included in the TV production primarily to let us know how unaware people can be of how badly they sing. Now, some aren’t really all that horrible, but just aren’t good enough to be a star. We understand that. But some seem to be absolutely broken hearted that they are not chosen for Idol after absolutely horrific auditions. We know some of them must just be willing to do anything, including making total fools out of themselves, to get on television, but others seem genuinely hurt when their dreams are dashed by reality.

Dana Moreno of West Palm Beach, FL was a prime example. She screeched like a cat in the throws of death, but we give her credit for her taste in clothes. She was rather ticked after she was voted out, but she honestly had a horribly shrill voice.

Kaneswa Finne, 16, from Jacksonville, FL came in encouraged by her mother to perform. She was horrible, absolutely horrible. And she had no idea. Her mother had less of a clue and had encouraged her own daughter to make a fool of herself. What a waste of show time!!

We were on the fence about Julissa Veloz from Orlando. She had bang-itis, and was not a knock-em dead singer. She is a likely early departure in Hollywood, but made it through this week.

And then it happened again. Darin Darnell came on and sang worse than a howling dog. And he was genuinely disappointed. He wasn’t joking? How could he not be?

Then the biggest joke of the night. Naomi Sykes sang “Loving You” in a way that would make even the deaf cringe. Certainly this had to be a complete farce, and yet she broke into tears when she realized she was not to be the next Kelly Clarkson, and she needed consoling hugs, etc.

Jasmine Murray
Jasmine Murray

There was the weekly freak. George Ramirez came in wearing a beard that looked like something out of the 1800s. He looked the part and played it perfectly singing like he was completely tone deaf, but he wasn’t funny like the best of the Idol freaks. He was so distressed when his audition failed. Certainly this had to be a joke, but these people act so seriously upset about their failed audition that one has to believe they honestly think they have talent. Could they have watched the great talent on this show rise to the top and honestly think they had a prayer?

Jasmine Murray, from Starkville Mississippi, was good, but overly nasal and has no chance at serious contention.

Rounding out the talent was TK Hash, from Concord, North Carolina and Anne Marie Boskovich of Nashville, TN. Both talented, but not very memorable performers. They got put through to Hollywood, but we don’t see them getting far.

Overall, Jacksonville was DULL. There weren’t enough humorous blunderers and there weren’t enough standout talents to make Jacksonville memorable as an Idol episode. However, we did find one very unique talent and dubbed Joshua Ulloa of Beverly Hills, Fla the most unique talent of the auditions thus far. His voice was strong and his personality quirky enough to make him standout.

One major complaint, the show spent way to much time playing up to the joke talents and should have shown more winners than whiners. We really hate getting to Hollywood not having seen the bulk of the talent that makes it prior to the serious competition, and we would find it more enjoyable watching talent than people making fools out of themselves, unless, of course, they are crazed psychos or extreme sociopaths.

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1/21 American Idol 8 Louisville Audition: The Kentucky Derby that Never Was! (UPDATED)

Louisville, Kentucky is home to “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”: the Kentucky Derby, the first race for three year-old thoroughbred horses, held annually in May. American Idol played that out in the show but really there was no race or excitement at all in this episode. Thank heavens they squeezed the 2-day audition to an hour instead of 2!  Over 10,000 hopefuls showed up and only 19  made it to Hollywood.

Contestants to watch out for: Traveling musician: Brent Keith-Smith and Dueling Piano player Matt Giraud.

Idol’s “emotional story” for tonight was that of Leneshe Young, 18 years old from Cincinnati, OH who sang an impressive original R&B composition. She takes care of her siblings and helps out her single mom, struggled through most of her life living in shelter homes and poverty. Does she have talent?! If we were watching America’s Got Talent, we could easily picture David Hasselhoff exclaiming the only line he knows, “you’re what this show is all about!” Yes, she’s got it!

Joanna Pacitti
Joanna Pacitti

One more hopeful to take notice is 23-year old Joanna Pacitti from Philadelphia, PA who sang “We Belong” by Pat Benatar. We could say she shouldn’t be in Idol because she’s had a record deal already and had her chance but records and cds doesn’t seem to bother American Idol anymore.

As in usual, they showed a bunch of contestants who are so out of it and then there are those who plead “one more song, please…” when all we could say, why show this on national TV in the first place?! And then finally some hopefuls who could really sing! Let’s just say, you didn’t miss much on this one and be glad you didn’t have to sit through it all…

One final note: we think the judges specifically Paula Abdul and Simon Scowl Cowell should learn about Southern hospitality! They totally misjudged poor Mark Mudd, 25 year-old guy from Coxs Creek, Kentucky. Mark we thought was nice and gentlemanly in his demeanor even when they all turned him down. As Mark was leaving he bid our ignorant judges farewell and said “take care and be careful.” Paula then stopped him and repeated “be careful?” All four decided as initiated by Simon that Mark gave them a threat! Paula lectured Mark Mudd about how that’s not a normal thing to say and you don’t say that to people. Oh please!

We hear you Mark, we know you meant well and these judges ought to apologize to you and the people of Kentucky!!

UPDATE: January 28, 2008

Here’s something for you: American Idol makes a quiet but better-than-nothing statement of apology to Mark Mudd and the people of Louisville for misinterpreting Mark’s final words to the judges as he was leaving. So we were right in sensing that the judges may have misconstrued the whole thing as threatening when it wasn’t. Idol issues this short note on their website:

“We apologize to any viewers who were offended by the misinterpretation of the contestant’s comment to “be careful” upon completion of his audition in Louisville, KY. Our visits to audition cities are relatively brief and sometimes regional greetings and salutations are lost in translation. We had not heard that phrase from any other contestants during the day, so it took everyone by surprise. We now know better and look forward to visiting Louisville again someday.”

Very well. Hope we all learn from that…

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1/20 American Idol Audition Continues: No Standouts in San Francisco!

As the fourth most populous city in California, we had high hopes for San Francisco. Katharine McPhee and well, William Hung auditioned there! We were disappointed. The City by the Bay indeed drew thousands of aspirants but none were memorable enough to threaten the best ones we’ve seen in Phoenix and Kansas City.

Or was Fox hiding the best ones? Idol bragged about thousands and thousands of nameless faces who auditioned and they introduced 14 hopefuls on TV of which only 7 could at least sing. They mentioned in the end that 12 made it to Hollywood. We didn’t get to see the five others. Could there be a finalist in that 5 we didn’t see?

Hopefuls Stage actor Adam Lambert who was in the Broadway cast of Wicked, Bank manager Jesus Valenzuela, (another) music teacher John Twiford and the girls Bartender/Waitress Raquel Houghton and uh pesky Tatiana Del Toro from Puerto Rico would really have to work harder to survive Hollywood week.

For tonight’s show, they highlighted Kai Kalama who takes care of his ill mother at daytime and works as a musician at night. Like last week’s instant celebrity Danny Gokey, Fox played on Kai Kalama’s life story through the entire episode as a teaser. Just as well, he made it through to Hollywood.

This was perhaps the worst one hour American idol episode ever! They barely showed the 12 contestants who made it to Hollywood. Instead, they gave so much air time to jokes and crazies. We’re not sure which was more excruciating to see: watch contestants humiliate themselves or watch being humiliated by the judges. By the half-hour mark it just got really annoying where they spent close to five minutes showing Akilah Askew-Gholston and her disturbing way with words.

What was Idol thinking on this episode?! TV viewers deserved better!


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Cardinals First Superbowl EVER!! Kurt Warner Rams Home The Victory Over Eagles!

Kurt Warner was the miracle man in 1999 and  the NFL MVP in 1999 and 2001.  He is ranked number 3 of all time in career passing rating in the entire NFL.  So it is really no surprise to see him back at the top despite the inability of management to recognize the timeless talent in this champion.

Warner was a mere backup quarterback for the Rams in 1998, having entered the NFL from the Canadian Football League, but came on to lead his team in the 1999 season, when an injury of the starting quarterback put him in the driver’s seat.  According to Wikipedia, he shocked the NFL.  “Warner completed one of the top seasons by a quarterback in NFL history by throwing for 4,353 yards with 41 touchdown passes and a completion rate of 65.1%”.

He led a basically unknown team to a stellar season and a superbowl title, making the Rams a Cinderella team in only their fourth year in Saint Louis.  The Saint Louis Rams defeated Tennessee to take the Superbowl and prove they were indeed the best team in the NFL.

Career Challenges

kurt_warnerKurt had a problem.  How do you repeat?  It isn’t easy, and the Rams were not made up of the same committed talent of the dynasty teams of the Steelers and Patriots. The defense failed them in future years, and their management did not have the commitment to win.  After two years of being in the hunt but not winning, the Rams blundered away their talent and eventually became the pathetic Saint Louis Team we see today.

Was Warner at fault? In 2002, Warner appeared to lose heart. The Rams went 0-3 and Kurt looked to have lost his spark.  Warner broke a finger and was forced to sit out much of that season giving way to the youthful and promising Marc Bulger.  Marc was indeed a great talent, but he proved that it was not Kurt that was at fault for the Rams’ failures.  Despite great play, Marc has yet to lead the Rams anywhere but to mediocity and more recently, total embarrassment.  Marc has proven that talent alone is not what leads a team.

Warner, in 2003 ended up with the Giants, and he started off winning five of seven games, but the Giants that year were rather pathetic overall.  Despite switching quarterbacks to Eli Manning in place of Warner, the team played out the rest of the season losing 6 out of 7 games.  A change in quarterbacks was not the answer for this team, and great coaching and team building is what brought the Giants to the Superbowl. Eli played well, but could Warner have once again led a superbowl team had they fixed their problems before discarding him?  We will never know.

Kurt was flipped once again, but stuck in there, signing with one of the most hopeless teams in the NFL, the Arizona Cardinals. This was not where a great player goes to recover his greatness, this is a team a player goes to die quietly in obscurity.

And so it seemed.  Warner did not rise immediately to greatness.  Injuries and questionable choices by coaches in Arizona kept Warner out of the hunt until 2007.  Then, a miracle.  According to Wikipedia, “In the third game of the 2007 season against the Baltimore Ravens, Warner came off the bench to relieve an ineffective Matt Leinart during the 2nd and 4th quarters (the Ravens were leading 23-6 at the beginning of the 4th quarter). He led a furious comeback as he completed 15 passes out of 20 attempted for 258 yds and 2 TDs. This brought them to a tie game (23–23), but after a Ravens last second field goal, Arizona lost the game 26–23.”  A heartbreaker for Warner, but a sign that great things were to come for this champion.

Still, no one showed true faith in Kurt.  Everyone wrote him off.  No way this old man (age ) could win for the Cardinals, the Cardinals don’t win on their own, how could they win with a has been?  Seattle would win the west and Arizona would make a brave, but hapless, showing.

arizona_cardinals

Under Kurt’s leadership and with incredibly talented players such as Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Kenmile Boldin on offense and a defense that rose to the occasion many times during the season and shut down great teams in the playoffs when it had to be done, the Cardinals won the West with a 9-7 record and have won three straight in the playoffs against the best the NFC could muster. They beat Atlanta and then destroyed Carolina on Carolina’s home turf, 33-13.  But the Championship would certainly be a different story, right?

In the first half, Kurt and the Cardinals picked apart the Eagles.  The Eagles showed championship heart in the second half, but still fell to a Cardinal drive near the end of the fourth quarter.  After his team’s victory, Kurt said “We don’t care if others believed in us… what mattered was that we believed in ourselves!” Kurt can still lead a winning team, and it was a huge error in Saint Louis to discard him due to management’s continuous flubs.  Bulger cannot lead that team, and even in his prime best years, could not muster playoff quality.  In all due respect, Kurt has grit and you can’t find that easily.  He reminds us of Ken Stabler, another great player into his later years.

First Championship in Cardinal History

Now, the master is in the Superbowl again, and ironically, it is with the Arizona Cardinals.  The Cardinals abandoned Saint Louis for Arizona right as the Rams stepped in.  Saint Louis felt vindicated, but their owners had no clue how to maintain a strong NFL team and traded youth for experience and courage.  Now, the team that was Saint Louis’ heritage, a team with a mascot that could not even survive in Arizona, wins the NFL Championship!! The Cardinals are no longer from Saint Louis, and Saint Louis once again has one of the worst teams in the NFL.

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This is the first Championship for the Cardinals in their history.  The very first time they are stepping into the Superbowl despite being the oldest franchise in the NFL.  It is also the very first time they may just win it all. But it isn’t without the experience of a leader that has been there before.  A man with courage and commitment that knows how to win and how to lead.  A man Saint Louis, 5 years ago, was much too cardinals_arizonalogoanxious to replace.

We have heard many cliches about sports over the years, but this one plays with us to the end.  Defense does not win championships.  Offense does not win championships.  Heart wins championships.  The Cardinals have heart, and it is our hope that it leads them to Superbowl history.



Casey Carlson Audition Video and Bikini Photos

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All photos lifted from Campus Girls USA.
Casey Carlson is Calendar Girl 2009! Step aside “bikini girl” Katrina Darell. Casey Carlson is here to grab the title!

Buy the calendar and support the cause. All proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research.

1/14 American Idol Auditions 2: Kansas City Here They Come!

It was Kansas City in tonight’s Idol. It was rather forgettable with a number of talents and twirps. There were a couple of performers that were outstanding. Casey Carlson was a gal that had an incredibly unique voice and obvious talent.

Another woman stood out- Lil Rounds sang as well as many past contestants that moved on to the finals.

Danny Gokey
Daniel J Gokey

A music teacher named Daniel “Danny” J Gokey was clearly a contender as well. If he can prove he has some diversity, he will be in the finals for sure. (View his audition below.) Update: We found an unofficial fan site for Danny Gokey this early on in the game! Is this crazy or what?!

Tonight’s talent looked pure. Last night, a rocker named Emily Wynne-Hughes was anything but new and pure. As it turns out, she is the lead singer in a band that has performed and toured and that has CDs available on Amazon.

We don’t think people like Emily belong on Idol. There has to be some line drawn between those that have raw undiscovered talent and those that are already professionals exploiting Idol to gain more exposure.

That said, in tonight’s episode nothing really stood out that would make us remember this particular set of auditions come the finals. So if you missed it, just watch out for Daniel J Gokey. We think he is a finalist.

Casey Carlson
Casey Carlson
Lil Rounds
Lil Rounds


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