Ratings have been slipping, so American Idol has to go. The mother of all televised singing competitions has gotten one final season to look under every rock, in every house, henhouse, doghouse, hothouse, to see if there’re any superstars hiding. Harry Connick Jr, Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban – of all the juries the one with the best chemistry together – are on their last mission from the record company, to make some big bucks. Or is that too cynical?
I like Idol the best, when it comes to standing on a blue sign and sing. It’s raw, pure and despite three celebrities behind a desk and a lot of moving cameras recording everything you do, kind of intimate. It has a nice homey feel, which is why I’m going to miss the show. You can say a lot of things about The Voice, but ‘homey’ is not going to be one of them.
First one through the doors, is Michelle ‘I’m going to sing ‘Blue’ so that’s what I’m wearing’ Marie. A lovely 15-year old girl, who grew up watching the show. After she’s sung, and received her golden ticket, she walks up to the jury and asks: ‘Can I hug you?’ I don’t know why, but that first lump in my throat came rather early in the audition process. Then, her whole entourage comes barging in, screaming, scaring the hell out of J-Lo. She quickly looks to the side, with the word HELP in both of her eyes. She nearly yells ‘Security!’ – and maybe she did, but it was edited out. All’s well when she realizes it’s just extremely happy friends and family.
High and Low
Next up: Josiah ‘Low Voice’ Siska. A very musical man, who gets even lower than season 10 winner Scotty McCreery. Lindita’s at the other end of the chromatic scale; she tries to impress the jury with a long, very long high note. Lindita’s lost a crazy amount of weight, but still sings like a big woman. That’s also why she doesn’t have a last name; it probably disappeared while dieting. High and low, they both go through to Hollywood.
The first one not getting a golden ticket, is Billy Bob ‘Honky Tonkin’ Man’ Evett. His pitch was ‘all over the place’. We’re going to hear that a lot. Pitch this, pitch that. He did do an entertaining audition, though. Lee ‘you’re so cute’ Jean plays ‘I See Fire’ by Ed Sheeran. Although it should be forbidden to sing songs by Sheeran, Adele, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Bruno Mars, Lee has a great voice. He can handle his guitar, too. Besides, he’s just too cute to send home. We’re going to hear that a lot as well; cute, cutie, cutie pie.
Off the Grid
There’s something in the eyes of people who live in the middle of nowhere. They’ve often got an openness about them. As does Jeneve ‘off the grid’ Rose Mitchell. She plays the cello like she rides horses; fierce. She’s got no electricity at home, and the only times she turns on the generator is when American Idol is on. Sonika ‘perfect ballad’ Vaid shows everybody how it’s done. A voice like a bed of roses, that’s how beautiful she sings. But then it’s time for some laughter, when Joseph ‘Donald Trump’s Mini-Me’ Kohlruss comes into the waiting room. He’s brought flags and flyers, people are wearing T-shirts with his campaign poster on them, it’s beyond ludicrous. When he starts to sing, it’s clear he mistook the Idol set for the opera house. No ticket, obviously, so he’s probably busy now building a wall somewhere.
Yada Yada X 100
Harry’s got the time of his life, when Reanna ‘handcuff’ Molinaro comes in. A police woman who’s chasing bad guys for a living. She cuffs Harry, who’d never thought it would hurt so bad. He lets her go to Hollywood, just to be released again. She’s got a pure country voice, so it wasn’t that hard of a decision to make. Sylvia ‘yada yada yada yada’ Lee Walker doesn’t go through. She just can’t stop talking. Her pitch is also not where it’s supposed to be.
Former auditioners/second opinioners Shevonne Philidor, Kory Wheeler and Laurel Wright try their luck once more and will finally get to see what that mystical Hollywood place is all about. As will Joshua ‘one of the Goslings’ Wicker, who’s three weeks away from being a father. Speaking of family, Alex ‘pink baby guitar’ Sasser and her husband Jordan ‘hair knot’ Sasser both try to impress the jury with a dose of goodness. Alex is deemed too ‘light’, but Jordan, who’s the only male Celine Dion fan in the world, gets a chance.
Eyes on the Prize
There are a lot of contestants who know Keith, one way or another (most served him coffee at one time, it seems). Harry calls it the ‘6 degrees of Keith Urban’. Luckily, Harry’s found himself a new friend: Kerry ‘darkly quirky’ Courtney, who’s doing a Death Cab for Cutie song (‘cutie’; see, I told you). Before he can say anything, Harry wants to hang out with him. Last up: Shelbie ‘hairdresser’ Z, who’s sweet as a button, but certainly someone to look out for. Don’t let her looks fool you; this girl has got her eyes on the prize.
And then, the Idol Dessert. The moment we’ve all been wai… Well, the moment we’ve already seen, of course. Suddenly Kanye West walks into the room, pretending(?) to be a serious contestant. Ryan Seacrest probably made it happen, since he’s close to the Kardashian family. Then again, we all know Kanye and Kanye may not rest before he’s crowned ‘American Idol’; a title he’s convinced he should have won already long ago.