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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: Orlando Auditions

Maybe it’s all the pressure. Maybe Simon’s accent is a little intimidating. Or maybe it’s all that Florida sunshine and the constant distraction of launching space shuttles and people dressed like Mickey. But is it really that hard to find the exit to the audition room?

It seemed that way for Theo Glinton, best described as a male version of Lady Gaga. With a cape. And the remnants of a bird stuck to his head. However you want to describe Theo, I think tonight’s guest judge Kristin Chenoweth put it best, he’s confusing.

After belting out his interpretation of Pat Benatar as the first contestant in Orlando, Theo was met with stunned silence. The judges sent him packing, but I guess a little of that face glitter seeped into his eyes, because Mr. Glinton had a heck of a time finding his way out. After a quick trip to the window and then one more lap around the audition room, Theo made his way home, but without the coveted golden ticket.

Theo was just one of many other confusing acts to grace the judges’ presence in Florida, from dancing chickens to singing priests and even a gargoyle. But despite the parade of weirdos, the Sunshine State had some memorable moments as well. Here’s how it went down:

Ones to Watch:

Seth Rollins- Taking the spot for the night’s first heart-tugging moment was Seth, whose son has autism. At 28, he’s always wanted a singing career and didn’t think he had a shot. But after the judges listened to his version of “Someone to Watch Over Me,” they agreed he was a keeper. Kristen and Simon liked his unique voice, while Kara said she didn’t want him to stop. Randy suggested he boost his energy level, but they all sent him on to Hollywood. If he takes Randy’s advice, he could be a real contender.

Jermaine Purifoy- Another repeat contestant, Jermaine auditioned in Season 7 but didn’t make the cut. Singing a Tony Bennett song for the judges, he wowed them with what Kara called his “honest voice.” Randy then revoked the title of “Best of the Season So Far” from a contestant a couple cities ago and handed it to Jermaine instead (who will most likely have it until Randy’s goldfish memory forgets Jermaine existed.) Simon sees big things for Jermaine and predicts “the chicks will like you.”

Matt Lawrence- He lost four years of his teenage life behind bars after robbing a bank with a BB gun, and Matt was looking for a little redemption. I wasn’t sure how good he was going to be, but after hearing him sing “Trouble” I’m convinced we’ll be seeing Matt for a long time. He earned rave reviews from Simon who called him brilliant and said he was very impressed, while Kara predicted he’ll be in the Top 12. Heck, I’m voting for him already and the phone lines aren’t even open!

Pretty Good, but Need More Work (or more screen time):

Shelby Dressel- Born with the inability to move the right side of her face, Shelby can still sing and was determined to impress the judges. With her jazzy version of a Norah Jones song, Shelby didn’t blow the judges away, but they said she has potential. With a little more practice, she may make it to the semifinals.

Jay Stone- He takes the award for Best Guy to Follow in the Footsteps of Blake Lewis. Stone started with a crazy beatbox interpretation of The Beatles’ “Come Together,” followed by some actual singing on “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Before he sang, only Kara wanted to send him through, but after he sang (and after beatboxing his own patented drum roll), Randy was swayed too. Guess we’ll see how long Simon will keep him once he sings in Hollywood.

Sisters Bernadette and Amanda Desimone- These Jersey girls auditioned together, encouraging each other with weird little head motions from the sidelines. And in the end both made it through, despite Amanda’s better attempt at “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” (Though Simon seemed to like Bernadette’s take on “Hit the Road Jack.”) By the end of Hollywood week, I think only one sister will remain.

Once again, producers sandwiched a trio of golden ticket winners together, either because there wasn’t enough time, or because they’re good, but not quite good enough to hold our attention for a full two minutes. Despite being squashed into a montage, Janell Wheeler, Brittany Starr James and Kasi Bedford all made it through. What do we know about them so far? Janell is “bubbly,” Brittany sang an Estelle song (quite well, I might add) and Kasi has a raspy voice the judges seemed to like. But can any of them cut the mustard in Hollywood?

So Strange, There Are No Words (OK, maybe a few words…):

Cornelius Edwards- Usually this section is for people that didn’t make it. But somehow Cornelius the Pants-ripper did. Maybe it was his uneven take on Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” that sold the judges and earned him a golden ticket, but I think it’s more how his splits actually split his pants. Where’s General Larry Platt when you need him? To paraphrase the General, “He’s lookin’ like a fool with a hole in his pants!”

Jarred Norrell- Only on “American Idol” can you come in the door with dreams of stardom and leave handcuffed and escorted by some of Orlando’s finest. Jarred’s version of “Amazing Grace” was neither amazing nor graceful, and security had to drag him and his black hat out of the audition room. Once Jarred was safely away, and silence filled the audition room, Simon said the quote of the night: “So, yes or no?”

How does Orlando stack up on your list of best audition cities? Does Matt Lawrence have what it takes to soar to the Top 12 and make his parents proud? And can someone please get Cornelius a new pair of pants? Post below and set your DVRs for next Tuesday when Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne help the judges in L.A.!! –Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on January 20, 2010 11:50 PM
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