Johnny Keyser, still 23 years young, is a repeat tryout from last year who made it through most of Hollywood Week in Season 11 before being cut. I think I said in an old ‘cap that he looks like a little bit like a melted Ken doll/Eric Stoltz in The Mask … yes, I did … he gets a golden ticket and hopes he’ll make it farther than he did last year (which was pretty far).
Introducing the reason I will watch this season. “Kez Ban” aka Katherine, is a 27-year-old street performer from NC who is also a rookie fire dancer and is supremely self-aware. She knows she’s not the next American Idol,
These eyebrows immediately disqualify her.
but she is smart. She walks the wacky/crazy line so she can get screen time and use this show to get the best publicity she’ll ever get in her life. It’s obvious she’s using AI to get a real job in the music industry so she can feed herself long after the finalists are caught kissing married country stars in honky tonk bars. Kez sings “Pinocchio” a capella and I love her voice. She gets even better when she sings an original song she co-wrote while playing a guitar. The judges unanimously put her through and she has an appropriately awkward moment with Ryan on her way out with her golden ticket. I guess what I like most about her is that she’s a realistic, mature adult.
AI is still really big into cross-promotion. They run a quasi-amusing montage of sucky people titled “The Miserables”, a reference to Les Mis.
Is this shit going to hurt my chances for an Oscar?
Ashley Curry, a cute 19-year-old with an equally cute twin sister and a supportive mom, is a musical theater major. She should change majors,
Perhaps you could switch from musical theater to American Sign Language.
Nicki, in the best line of the night, tells Ashley, “If you had the right vocal cords, you could do a lot with your voice.” Unfortunately, Ashley does not want to give up and won’t stop “singing”. They practically have to beat her about the head and neck with a bat to get her to leave the audition room.
The last contestant of the night is Lazaro, a stutterer born in Cuba and raised in Florida. He stutters … and so, everything takes longer. He’s a sweet kid, but I wonder if he’s faking. Does stuttering usually manifest at age 6? His parents seem really nice, and Lazaro sings well, but I’m not loving the back stories this year. The stutter story may get him to Hollywood, but he’s going to get cut pretty soon after that if the editors have to give him a full minute of film each time he attempts to finish a sentence. I’m not going to give him a picture here because he’s already had enough attention. Lazaro makes it through, as well as almost fifty others from Chi-Town.