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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: Atlanta Auditions

The “American Idol” Delusional Singer Audition Tour marched on tonight as Ryan, Simon and the crew headed to Atlanta! That’s right- the city of Coca-Cola, the ’96 Olympics and Ryan Seacrest. (Hey, don’t feel embarrassed Hotlanta, at least you aren’t the birthplace of Brian Dunkleman, right?)

This town had a lot to live up to, having brought us Fantasia, Clay Aiken and Jennifer Hudson. But could it live up to the hype? Um, that answer would be a resounding…nope. Though it did give us a few noteworthy singers, this was an hour and a half of my life I won’t be getting back any time soon. I’m guessing the producers are saving most of the 25 singers they discovered for the Hollywood round.

Filling the now-empty Paula “Colors of your rainbow” Abdul seat was none other than R&B singer Mary J. Blige, whom Ryan called “Empress of Soul.” She may not be rocking the crazy headband like Posh Spice did last night, but she brought the sass, matched only by the ultimate Sassanator, Kara DioGuardi. (Side note: Has Kara amped up the craziness this year, or is just me? Please dial it down Kara. Everything’s going to be OK. Just pop in your copy of Paula’s ‘Forever Your Girl’ CD and breathe deep, cause you’ve got a lot more season to go.)

So, step into the Idol-vator, push the button for the 27th floor (much like our hopeful contestants did tonight) and check out who blazed the audition floor and those that crashed and burned. Here’s what went down in ATL:

Ones to Watch:

Keia Johnson- Let’s just call her Miss Congeniality. I mean she did win the award didn’t she? And for good reason! She’s one of the most likable contestants I’ve seen so far. Her ship started to sink when I heard she’d be singing the ‘Titanic’ song (that’s Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” for the James Cameron-uninitiated), but she rocked it. She has soul in her voice, and as Randy pointed out, she closed each lyric well. I think she’ll do well in Hollywood and don’t be surprised to see her rack up some votes in the semifinals.

Jermaine Sellers- I was surprised because it almost never works out. Joan Osborne songs aren’t an audition mainstay and switching a song’s musical genre usually ends up in failure. But Jermaine did a masterful job turning “One of Us” into an R&B church song. Mary called it “anointed” and Randy handed him the coveted Golden Idol award for “Best so far this season.” Now let’s see what he can do with a Lisa Loeb song…

Vanessa Wolfe- Much like Simon, the state of Georgia, the audience at home and that girl who hands out the golden tickets offstage, I didn’t expect much out of Vanessa. She seemed too meek to be a star, but as it turns out, she can sing. She’s definitely a country singer, and her voice may be twangy, but so is Dolly Parton and she seemed to do OK. I know it may be early, and we have a lot more cities to see, but I liked her sweet, down-home attitude and I’m giving this bridge jumper my “Favorite Contestant of the Auditions” award.

Mallorie Haley- Could she be the next Carrie Underwood? It’s possible, especially since her take on Janis Joplin was pretty powerful. Simon said she’s fearless, which may help her in Hollywood.

Didn’t Wow Me, But Still Pretty Good

Miriam Lemnoumi- Normally, I’d kick you the curb for covering a Miley Cyrus song, but she belted a pretty good version of “The Climb.”

Holly Harden- What is the world coming to when a girl dressed as a guitar gets a golden ticket? Oh, I get it now! Just like that annoying girl who liked to chew gum got a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory, this girl will go to Hollywood and learn an important lesson about dressing like instruments. Then a bunch of Oompa Loompas will usher her off the stage. Right? (Actually, I thought her voice was very good and had a nice country quality to it. Just stop dressing like inanimate objects and I’ll start rooting for you!)

Antonio Wheeler- A.k.a. “Skiboski” or something along those lines. This Snoop wannabe had a good voice, but needs to lay off the nonsense, as Simon might say.

BFF’s Lauren Sanders and Carmen Turner have like totally liked each other for like ever. And no matter what happens they’re like totally going to stay BFFs because they’re both going to Hollywood. Except not really. Turns out Carmen’s better, Lauren actually whisper-sings and none of the judges wanted both of them. (Except Simon, who wanted neither.) Carmen got through and Lauren silently unfriended her on Facebook.

What Were They Thinking?

Dewone Robinson- His DNA may be part Pip, but it didn’t help mask the awfulness that was “Lady We’re Not Together Anymore.” (Which was an original Dewone song by the way. Wait, you already knew that?) With his combo of high and low notes, Simon put it best when he said: “Was that supposed to be a duet?”

Christy Marie Agronow- She’s chipper, she’s friendly and she hosts a TV show. I’m sorry, a TV (hand swooshing motion) show. Unfortunately she’s not going to be on this show.

Jesse Hamilton- He’s cheated death so many times, he could be the next chapter in the Final Destination movies. As long as there’s no singing parts.

Lamar Royal- Claimed he could take constructive criticism shortly before cursing the judges out when they tell him (politely I might add) that he’s not good. Security escorts him all the way through the parking lot, where he spontaneously starts auditioning again, this time for nobody. (After which he probably cursed out a tree and a bench.)

General Larry Platt- He really, really wants you to pull up your pants. So pull ‘em up already and give the General some respect.

How did tonight’s League of Unextraordinary Singers do? Have any made your Top Ten list? And should the General release his own album, a la William Hung? Post below and be back next week for auditions in the Windy City as “Idol” lands in Chicago! –Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on January 13, 2010 11:17 PM
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