Idol, what happened with Austin? I live in Austin. There are singers everywhere in this town. But I don’t know anyone who went to the auditions; almost everyone with any sort of talent seemed to stay away. This episode was almost as bad as Randy’s paisley shirt. And please don’t take that lightly, that thing was hideous.First we meet Julian Riano, who sings and dances and does the splits. These are the things people do when they are trying to distract from the fact that they can’t sing that well. When I audition as a singer, I bring along my tap dance shoes and shuffle off to Buffalo a little bit. Why? Because I sing about as well as Julian Riano. No golden ticket for him, nor would I get one either. And yeah, I do tap dance, so what?
Paula Goodspeed refers to herself as a “fashion genius,” slathered in various shades of Hello-Kitty-threw-up-on-me pink, right down to her pink braces.
Again, these are the things people do to distract from their singing–which, in Lady Goodspeed’s case, sounds like crap. No golden ticket for her. “I was pitchy on a couple of notes,” she mumbles. “Big f*cking deal.” Well, it is a big deal, when you sound like that.
But haven’t we had enough of this? The “people singing badly” thing just doesn’t work like it used to, since most of the clips in Austin seem to be people singing bad on purpose.. No one cares, these people don’t matter. Who DOES matter, however, is Jason Horn, a funeral director from Longview, Texas, who delights the judges with bring-out-your-dead favorite “You Raise Me Up.”
Good-looking small town guy? Check. Weird job? Check. Good voice? Check. This guy is the Austin version of that cowboy who sings to his turkeys. Jason is an American Idol home run. When he sings, someone flips Paula’s on/off switch and she actually comes to life for the first time in weeks, a rusty smile creaking across her atrophied face. “I hope American Idol will erase the stereotype that funeral directors are not ordinary people,” Jason says. That’s nice, Jason. Every Miss America contestant needs a platform.
Cierra Johnson matters, but only because I still hear her voice in my head. I can’t get it out. She walks into the room, and hits a note…
…and holds that note…
…and then chooses another note that still sounds a lot like that first note and keeps singing that note….
…the judges beg for her to stop, but it’s as if she thinks if she sings long enough, she will force her voice into the judges ears and the will love her and she MUST KEEP SINGING…
…until they tell her to shut up. But whatever her plan, I still hear her in my head. Please, make the lambs stop screaming.
Allison Shoeningnear starts to matter…
…when she stops herself in her audition and admits she knows it sounds “really bad.” She attributes it to nerves–telling some story about how her plane almost crashed?–and the judges let her go take a break to chill out. She gathers up her chutzpah, comes back, and gives it another try–sounding exactly the same. But at least she gives it a shot. Tough girl, good for her. So it’s devastating when the next time we see Allison, she is falling prey to womanizer jerk-off Ronnie “RJ” Norman, who brags about his ability to turn chicks into the brainless objects he obviously prefers them to be.
Honestly, he has the worst personality ever. Sadly, when he walks out of his audition, not only does he have a golden ticket–must be slim pickins this season!–the first person to hug him is Allison. Okay, so Allison isn’t brave, she’s desperate for approval. Never mind. And feminism across the globe is dealt a nasty blow.
Only 12 people possess golden tickets from the Austin auditions; sadly, a large part of this episode consists of “wacky auditioner costume” footage of the crowd, filled with clowns and zombies and the like. Why people come to these auditions dressed up as zombies, I have no idea. Nor do I understand why people show up to auditions–let alone LEAVE THE HOUSE–with camel toes like the one sported by rockin’-the-forehead-braids Tessie Mae Reid.
Tessie in all her glory.
Although Ashley Jackson proved that gimmicks do work on Idol occasionally: after a mediocre audition, she got her golden ticket by singing a second song with her mouth closed. (?) She won’t make it past the first day but at least she got a free trip to Los Angeles. Perhaps I will give it a shot after all, and go do something stupid. Maybe I can fool them too.