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Thursday, February 3, 2011

American Idol - Austin Texas Auditions

No Modern Family AGAIN this week. Ugh. But we had American Idol to keep us chuckling tonight. The show started with a tongue-in-cheek apology for Steven Tyler’s behavior on prime time, family television and then showed him giving reference to the F-Word. Actually, AI, we think people were upset that he was an old man hitting on underage girls and he isn’t Edward Cullen. We actually weren’t ever upset by Tyler’s behavior. It’s funny, he’s a rock star, and it does no real harm.

Apparently, there were a lot of good people in Austin. We had several montages of good people getting golden tickets, running around, calling family, and receiving yeses from the judges. But American Idol chose to only show us the ones with the good stories. It wasn’t a super memorable episode either.

It started with a couple of siblings. We thought the story of how the male and female siblings grew up apart and didn’t meet each other until they were teens was really cool. They became best friends and the sister supported the brother’s singing. Siblings are some of the most valuable relationships you can have in your life, and it’s nice to see some that click. The guy’s voice, however, was mediocre. It was pretty clear and high. It sounded like a poor-man’s Rascal Flatts. Good riffs though.

Then they had Hollie Cavanaugh, a nervous girl from McKinney, Texas (by way of Liverpool). She looked like a blonde version of Kristen Stewart. We loved her voice and style, but she kept changing keys in her audition. The judges asked her to sing something else, and she picked another song that’s hard to sing a cappella: Miley Cyrus’ The Climb. As much as people bash that song (and it definitely is cheesy), it's a good song, and very easy to relate to. The judges liked that better though (it sounded like she only changed keys once) and gave Holly a golden ticket. We have high hopes for this one if she can get some background music to keep her in one key. Then came John Wayne, who probably made it that far because of his name and glowing exterior. J-Lo could hear Jesus in his singing, haha (she told him that the gift of faith came through in his performance).

One of our favorites was Courtney, the girl who was in love with Ryan Seacrest. We laughed so hard at that part and at her chicken imitation. She was working the hilarity to stand out. It was surprising that she could sing, and the weaknesses J-Lo talked about probably came from nerves. Then the show featured a couple in love, Nick and Jacqueline, who aspired to be AI’s first power couple. The girl had five notes that she could belt, but one of us can already hear that she doesn’t have a range. The guy had a mediocre voice too, but they were both pleasant. Leeard really liked them both. Ern preferred the pretty, blonde country girl who was out to prove that country people had all of their teeth and just enjoyed a more leisurely life. She sang two songs and got a big yes from all three judges. She had some beauty to her voice, rather than just belt.

The show ended on a high note with Casey Abrams, the guy who looked like Fraggle Rock (and Seth Rogan). We could tell he was going to get a yes from the first two seconds of his bluesy song. Very talented and entertaining guy. But AI had better be saving the good people for later on the show, because they let a lot of people in, but they mostly showed us the ho-hum ones with more gimmick than talent. We like that they are giving the question marks a chance to shine in Hollywood though.

Episode Grade: B

Side note - They let 50 people through to Hollywood from Austin? WHAT?!


  1. So, John Wayne was the most handsome Idol contestant we have seen since...ever. Yes? Swoon. I think Idol is due another viable male country singer. There's always at least one person that they try to make the "country contestant" every year (remember how Kara tried to make Katie Stephens "country" last year? Fail), but as far as I can remember, the last decent male country Idol was maybe Josh Gracin, right (Bucky Covington doesn't count)?

    Other gaps in the Idol repertoire: a Ne-Yo/Usher type of male singer (sorry, Reuben Studdard), Asians, and a viable Latino artist.

  2. John Wayne is definitely up there. And his family and their interactions with Ryan? Adorable. Agreed about the "country contestant" comment - if they want a country person on the show every season, they should put a country singer through every season. We remember Phil Stacey as being more country than the typical Idol contestant, but you're right, Josh Gracin was the probably the last good male country singer.

    In terms of contestants to make it far in the competition, there definitely haven't been any Usher-types, or Asians or Latinos. But it seems like they make it to the Top 24 relatively often (Brandon Rogers, Todrick Hall, Jermaine Sellers, John Park, Joe Munoz, Jose Penala are the ones we can think of right now). After that, it seems to be America voting for what they like to listen to, which is kinda the point of the show. It's not necessarily Idol's fault if we don't call in for those contestants ...

  3. Good point -- America wants what it wants. And apparently of late it has wanted a lot of attractive (read: cute), white men that play pop songs on the guitar. Not that I'm complaining!

    I find it interesting, though, that American Idol as a social phenomenon has failed to produce viable singers in the above categories for ten years. A lot of those contestants you mentioned showed early promise, but were ultimately disappointing contestants. They each managed to bum me out in their own ways. If Idol churns out a good, watchable pop artist this year, no matter who s/he is, it would be really good for the show.

  4. Yes. No one cared what Kelly Clarkson looked like. She could sing. She IS decent looking, but that wasn't her strongest point. They need to go more toward the voice than the whole package. That's what after-victory packaging is for.