Since this is Idol and it’s been four whole minutes without a montage, we’re next treated to an emotional series of clips showing girls being cut, including Baton Rouge auditioner and 2008 Miss University of Arkansas Ann Defani, who may have peaked with the big win back in college. Their dreams dashed, many are in tears. Welcome to Life, kids.
And guess what? It doesn’t really get easier.
What’s with the new skinny headband across the forehead thing? We see that look a lot this episode.
After a commercial, we return in the afternoon (still no Randy) to a lineup including country girls Rachel Hale, 21, and Janelle Arthur, 23. We know they’re country girls thanks to the #idolcountrygirls hashtag that flashes on the screen.
Rachel is the happiest girl there ever was with a persistent smile and a great voice. While she sings, Nikki whispers to Keith that Rachel is so relatable. Nikki and Keith seem to be developing quite a rapport (Nikkeith?), what with Randy not bothering to show up and Mariah in some sort of permanent stupor leaving her unable to carry on a coherent conversation.
Where am I?
Janelle also does well and the two of them are among those asked to step forward and move on to the group round. Their success jumpstarts yet another montage of yeses, leaving me feeling all warm and fuzzy by the time the next group of ten are ushered onto the stage.
Included in this group is Candice Glover, the Charlotte auditioner who made it all the way to Vegas before being cut last season. She worked really hard in the offseason and wowed the judges with her audition.
Candice does not disappoint
Also up is Baton Rouge auditioner Megan Miller, who was in a car accident two days before her audition and put off leg surgery to be there anyway. Megan charmed the judges at her audition, even singing into her crutch. Tonight, however, was not her night. Keith breaks the news…Candice is asked to step forward, while Megan remains in the back row of rejection, left to tearily ponder whether it was worth risking permanent disfigurement by delaying leg surgery just to be in the top 173.
After another montage of successes, our final group for round 1 takes the stage in a last ditch effort to make the group round. First we hear from Isabelle, who oddly has no last name. If she’s that much of a megastar why is she here? Also, given that every third baby girl born in the US for the last 10 years has been named Isabelle or Isabella, it seems like she’d want the last name as a distinguisher. Who knows.
Isabelle says she was sorely lacking in confidence at her audition, but that the praise from the judges has really helped with that, reminding me of Sally Fields’ Oscar speech.
“You like me!!!!!”