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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1/14 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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1/13/2009: American Idol Premiere! The Weather Isn’t All That Was Hot

We had taken a bit of a hiatus because there was nothing in reality television we have cared much for since Amazing Race finished its season. Amazing race, in our judgement, was great this year, but not as popular in the ratings. It just did not draw interest, which is a shame because it gets the adrenalin flowing.

Idol, though, is timeless. It could run forever. We will always search for that one singer that stands above the rest and drives towards a dream we all have as we crack on the high notes in the car on the way to work or in the shower.

We love Idol as it gets into the meat, but the initial shows are little more than entertainment. It reacquaints you with the judges. This year we did indeed get our fourth judge. It was obvious in this show that the intent was not to offset the other judges, but to create a kind of kinky girl girl thing behind the table. We will see how that plays out, but it was a nice change from the boring Simon/Paula nonsense.

Katrina Darrell
Katrina Darrell

The show brought on talent from Arizona. It was entertaining. One gal that not only had the pipes, but she had the thighs. Katrina Darrell came on with a bikini and wowed the judges with her body, then with her vocals. We are not sure what she will do to follow up on a bikini that barely covered her derrière. Kara DioGuardi noted that she had quite a nice one. (watch her audition below.)

There were a number of talents and fools. The usual rule was followed. If they look like a joke, they almost always are. There are occasional deviations from the rule, but in general, it follows. We are not sure if that is the intention of the show, however, in trying to find the beautiful people and discarding the not so beautiful even if they can wail. This is television.

This was just the start, and it gave us a feel for the judges, but it was nothing you have to watch just yet. The primary reason to watch the show at this juncture is to see those few people that may be standouts and the freaks that make us laugh or squirm with embarrassment.

It is also the phase in which we see that the judges are completely useless other than as color. Anyone could listen to ten seconds of the talented and put them through and can the rest. It takes no talent whatsoever. Honestly, it is perhaps the case that the judges do help later on in the season, but at this juncture they are pathetic. For one contestant they tell him he should be in a rock band and get more seasoned. Then they tell another contestant either you are born with it or you aren’t. When you think about the millions they make judging people with more talent than they ever had, it is kind of sad.

Still, they are part of the ‘greatest’ show ever on American television. So we still respect their tolerance of days of auditions for only a few million bucks each.

As a final note, as we sign off, we would like the show to add a new prop to eliminate the uncomfortable moments we consistently see at the end of auditions. As the failures are ejected, we see all kinds of pathetic begging and other awkward moments. We would love to see a trap door or stage hook incorporated. If after ten seconds or so, the performer sucks, you pull the handle, the trap door opens and they are gone. No begging, no whining, no swears or tears. Just off to the basement.

It is much too early to judge how this season is shaping up just yet. 27 performers were picked from Arizona alone and the most interesting shows will come when this has been whittled down to 10 in the entire competition. But if you like freaks and making early guesses as to who gets through to the finals, it is their time.

Emily Wynne Hughes
Emily Wynne Hughes

Our early pick for this week was Emily Wynne-Hughes of Los Angeles, CA, who brought some talented rock singing to the audition. She can rock and we think she could make it a ways, although we don’ see her becoming a finalist.

Another that caught us off guard was Arianna Afsar of San Diego CA, who we do see becoming a finalist. (Watch her audition video below) But Arianna makes us wonder. Where do all these people with teeth whiter than white come from? Are white teeth somehow correlated with American Idol and singing talent? Their choices seem a bit too perfect.

We are certain there are plenty of ugly folks with green teeth that can wail, and we are positive there are a ton of gorgeous people with pearly whites that sing worse than a donkey in heat. Somehow, Idol seems to conveniently eliminate those talents from the stage before we get to see them.


Arianna Afsar – Put Your Records On
by aiclips

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Katrina aka "Bikini girl"

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American Idol Has New Judge Kara DioGuardi, Does Simon Cowell Benefit Most?

We are sorry. During our coverage of the Olympics, we dropped the ball on this one. American Idol has added a fourth judge. That is so they have an extra judge in case of a tie. Whoops, perhaps the show could use a second grade math exercise there.

Kara is a Grammy nominated songwriter of reasonable repute, but few will know who she is.  We are guessing that shouldn’t matter much though. Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell were of limited notoriety before they started collecting their huge paychecks for criticizing talent that ultimately gets voted on by America.

Fox apparently is taking a big risk on this added attraction. From Paula Abdul’s input, there was no test to verify the chemistry of the group with a fourth judge, and there are considerable risks placing a new personality at the forefront of the show.

As we indicated above, the math of adding a fourth judge escapes us. It escaped Paula as well, “”That’s gonna be weird if it’s a split decision. I’m sure Simon will get to make the final call. It takes the fun out of all the hard work I do to push those kids through.” In other words, it gives the strongest say to the guy with the loudest mouth, Simon Scowl.

We will reserve our judgment on Kara at this juncture, but we question Idol’s messing with the recipe for the world’s most successful reality television show.

Season 8 of American Idol premieres January 2009 on FOX.



American Idol RoundUp

Created by Simon Fuller

Directed by John Pritchett (live shows), Bruce Gowers (live shows, 2002-2008), Nigel Lythgoe (audition shows), Ken Warwick (audition shows)

Presented by Ryan Seacrest, Brian Dunkleman (season 1)

Judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson

Country of origin United States

Original channel FOX (repeats on Fox Reality)

Original run June 11, 2002 – Present

American Idol is America’s favorite reality show without question. And it is one of ours too, shallow as it may seem. The show is professionally presented and always draws the best performances, although many of our favorites are the botched horror shows during the early auditions.

The judges are all great at calling the show, with Simon’s honesty telling the real story most of the time. Although he has botched plenty, like last year’s final. The stages and camera work are all exceptional. And the show’s costume designers, professional accompaniment, and the presentation are exceptional, making what start off as reasonably talented amateurs into seemingly seasoned professionals by year’s end.

And who doesn’t dream of being Kelly Clarkson or David Cook or Jordin Sparks up on that stage and wowing millions, in some cases after having no exposure whatsoever? And doesn’t every contestant appear a winner, when a fourth place finisher like Chris Daughtry becomes a downright American icon pulling off hit after hit in his first year as a professional performer. Or Kellie Pickler, who got eliminated in the final ten, only to show up with a new set of breasts and a top country hit “In My Red High Heels“.

kara_dioguardiIn mid 2008, American Idol announced a new addition to the judges lineup for Season 8 that premiered in January 13, 2008. Kara DioGuardi is the fourth judge for American Idol. How she fares as a judge remains to be seen going into the actual competition.

American Idol is our number two favorite.

THE AMERICAN IDOLS:

Season 1: Kelly Clarkson, 20, from Burleson, TX

Season 2: Ruben Studdard, 25, from Birmingham, AL

Season 3: Fantasia, 19, from High Point, NC

Season 4: Carrie Underwood, 21, from Checotah, OK

Season 5: Taylor Hicks, 29, from Birmingham, AL

Season 6: Jordin Sparks, 17, from Glendale, AZ

Season 7: David Cook, 25, from Blue Springs, MO

Season 8: ????

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