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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: Jacksonville Auditions

Jacksonville.jpgTonight was the night the judges went loony. I guess it makes sense, really. After thousands of awful auditions, and only a handful of talented singers, the judges must go a little stir crazy. And Florida was where the crazy hit the fan.

First Paula jumped Kara during Sharon Wilbur's audition (a.k.a. the girl with the dog). She was obviously fake-kissing the new judge, but it still came out of nowhere. Then during Miss Florida Latina USA's audition, Paula, who apparently felt a little neglected, decided to get up and leave the audition room. I'm not sure if she was kidding around or if she was seriously ticked off, but it's a little awkward when the contestant has to bring you back in.

But what really sealed the deal that the judges had all completely lost their minds, was during Naomi Sykes audition. The chipper singer, who compares herself to Mariah Carey, brought her friend along for the ride. And since the friend is a HUGE Randy Jackson fan, obviously it made sense to have the friend sit on Randy's lap. Oh, but just in case that wasn't awkward enough, Paula decided to take a seat on Simon's lap. Wait, there's more! Feeling a little left out that nobody wanted to pretend she was Santa, Kara called Ryan Seacrest in and had him sit on her lap. So picture it, six people, three sitting on the other three's laps, all waiting to hear Naomi's audition. And with all that build up, it was bound to go horribly, which it did. But hey, at least it all ended in a group hug! (Well, everyone but Simon. He sat quietly on the sidelines, scanning the room for an escape route.)

The crazy didn't just apply to the judges tonight. Wacky contestants included Bad Beard Guy, who sang the least inspiring rendition of "Walking on Sunshine" I've ever heard, and Mr. 'My Friend Just Got Cut So I'm Gonna Cry During My Audition' Guy. What was even more ironic about that guy was his song choice: Boyz II Men's "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye." I could go on, but there's really not enough room...

After two days of auditions, only 16 people won a ticket to Hollywood. Here's a rundown on Florida's best and brightest:

-Joshua Ullua: I'll be honest, when this Justin Guarini look-alike strolled through the door, his chances didn't look good. I think it was the constant wearing of sunglasses that threw me off, but as it turned out his voice was very good. Simon hit the nail on the head when he said the guy needed to stop being "corny." But Randy liked his wild and crazy attitude, and he ended up getting the first golden ticket of the night.

-Sharon Wilbur: If tonight's episode taught me anything, it is don't judge a record by its album cover. In this case, don't judge a dog lover just cause she plopped her puppy on Simon's lap. Bringing your pet to your audition is usually a harbinger of doom, but little Sasha brought out the best in the judge's attitudes. Singing "Superstar," Sharon showed off an interesting, slightly raspy voice.

-Julissa Veloz: Yet another surprise. Good thing I'm not placing bets. Much like bringing your dog to your audition usually signals trouble, so does singing a Whitney Houston song. But this Miss Florida Latina USA did a nice job. I'm on the fence about her laugh.

-Jasmine Murray: This 16-year-old Mississippi native sang a Fergie song, which in itself was pretty unique. Fergie songs don't usually get overused as much as Whitney and Mariah songs do, so at least she was singing something different. (That's not to say the judges don't hear their fair share of "Fergalicious," but I haven't heard it, so I'm good to go.) I thought Jasmine has a very commercial look and has a great voice, though at times it was a little nasally. She should be able to work that out, though, in Hollywood.

-T.K. Hash: He's got star potential with his big smile and he sang a nice version of "Imagine." He definitely should've stripped the song down a bit, instead of oversinging it, but he definitely deserves to move on to the next round.

-Anne Marie Boskovich: My favorite of the night. She first showed up looking a little sheepish, slightly overwhelmed by the judges. She sang a few bars of a song she heard Kara perform in Nashville and you could immediately hear how good she is. But the judges worried about her star quality, so they sent her back outside to try and find a new look. She touched up her makeup, tousled her hair and strapped on some new shoes, all in an effort to win our four judges over. She came back to the audition room later on and absolutely nailed her rendition of "Bubbly." The judges loved the voice and liked the transformation. If she works on her look for Hollywood, the judges will probably keep her around. I predict she's good enough to make it to at least the semifinals round, and possibly the Top 12.

Drop by tomorrow night to find out how auditions go in Salt Lake City! -Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on January 28, 2009 1:39 AM
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