Thursday, January 17, 2013

New York City Auditions: "You love me more than you love sunny days."

It's the 12th season, Dawgs. The 12th season. That's like a million in TV years. And what a surprise! Kudos to Idol for its longevity. For a show that's awful, like, 80% of the time, it still manages to keep people watching. Take me, for example. I write the worst things about Idol but always return to the cruel mistress every January. It completes me, you know? In a really awful, dirty, troubling way. But still. I can't quit Idol. Just can't.

Even if this season looks like it's going to suck monumentally.

Meet your judges!!!!!

Sir Randall Jackson XII is back to be the only judge ever who hasn't had anything to do but Idol. I LOVE Randy this year. He can never be as annoying as the staged cat-fight accompanying him on the panel, so the Dawg and I are still the bestest of buds. Remember when Simon and Paula used to bicker like children, and it was so annoying because we all knew it was staged, and Randy somehow wasn't the worst thing on the panel in comparison? We've returned to that time! Only instead of Simon and Paula, we have a parakeet and Miss Piggy.

Keith Urban is actually a nice guy, so I bet the show will act like he doesn't exist. A wide-eyed innocent, Keith was somehow manipulated into playing the buffer on the judging panel, but all that means is that the opposing parties have to screech even louder over his head to be heard. I could make some Aussie jokes now, but I have too much class for that. They will come.

Mariah Carey is sort of a legend, in case you haven't heard. She has a FIVE OCTAVE RANGE, more cleavage than Paula, and more fans than all the other judges combined. Idol wants us to know that Mariah's a diva. Like we didn't already know. I find Mariah's "hotter-than-thou" antics entertaining, but I'm sure that feeling would change if I actually had to interact with her. The other judges started calling her Regina George after the titular bitch character in Mean Girls. That was not a compliment.

IDK. I always thought Regina was kind of badass, even if she was evil.
Nicki Minaj makes crappy music for young people. She looks ridiculous ALL THE TIME, which I'm sure is supposed to be some kind of artsy "statement" but just makes her look desperate for attention. She talks a lot, especially when Mariah's talking, and I'm pretty sure her hair isn't even real anymore.

She's actually a pretty woman. I don't know why she does this to herself. Seriously. Why is she doing this to herself?
J. Lo and Uncle Steven apparently have careers that they have to get back to? I don't know. It's hard to be optimistic about their whereabouts when no one's responded to my Missing Person poster for Kara Dioguardi yet.

Recap Time!

Now that I have the unimportant (but sure to be PROMINENT) stuff out of the way, let's talk about Season 12's opening crop of talent. I can't claim to be impressed. There were some voices, a few weirdos, a couple of sure-things turned rejects, and Idol's own brand of casual racism. Ryan looks good - still kicking and ridiculously positive about the Idol experience. "History can show that Idols can produce anything," he says. "Together, we'll make the journey that defines a nation," he says. Please, Ryan. Hyperbole has never suited you.

Funniest quote of the night: "It's the best show of its kind ever in the history of television, right?" - Sir Randall Jackson XII

The first day in NYC started with a snipe-fest between Nicki and Mariah, and I won't even recap it because I honestly have no idea what they were arguing about. Nicki's voice sounds like seagulls to me. I cannot tell a lie. Fortunately, Michael Buonopane stormed into the room, stomping around and singing his own version of "We Will Rock You." He couldn't sing, but he did have the good taste to tell Mariah that "All I Want for Christmas" is the best Christmas song ever, which made Nicki all insecure. Then Camp Mariah (I can't make this up, Dawgs) alumnus Tenna Torres sang a polite version of "You've Got a Friend". It was pretty but uninspiring. Good enough for Hollywood.

Misguided 15-year-old James Bae told Ryan that he wants to be just like Justin Beiber. "I sing in my room thinking it's a concert so I can get ready for a real one," he said. So that audition went exactly as I expected. I'm not even sure he was singing. Mariah and Keith encouraged James to become a DJ. Because he has a great radio voice? I don't know? It seems like Mariah picked the first vocation that came to her head. I'm anxious to one day see what James was talking about when he told Nicki: "We're gonna do a collide together." That sounds personal.

Christina "Isabelle" apparently thinks that using a name that would never be a last name as a last name is a grand idea. She presented some lame sob story about how she lost 50 pounds, and really Christina "Isabelle", don't demean yourself. She sang "Summertime", which was lovely and soulful. They asked her who she listened to growing up, and Christina pointed to Mariah. Then Nicki was like this:

The most surprising segment of the evening focused on Evan Ruggiero. This guy came to Idol prepared. He's a tap dancer, got bone cancer, and lost a freaking leg. And he STILL TAP DANCES. Like a badass. You know this guy would have gone several rounds in last year's competition, but after a scattered, hurried version of "I'm Yours" and a slightly better though not outstanding crooning of some Bon Jovi, the judges sent him packing. Mariah talked for - I swear - FOREVER as she qualified her decision. When a dazed Evan finally exited the audition room with the bad news, his family was shocked. Dawgs, I was shocked, too. This panel might actually be tough.

Case in point: Jessica Kartalis' mom nominated her to get a fast pass to the auditions. Randy tracked her down in her hometown to give her an audition number. Then she went before the judges and messed up her own song. It was so sad. Obviously, she thought she was a shoe-in after being dragged in there by the show. But nope. Rejection City. The worst part was when she left the audition room and had to tell the bad news to, like, 20 hopeful people. I bet she didn't talk to her mom for a week after that. How humiliating.

Despite already making it big enough in Israel to have a #1 record, Shira Gavrielov wants to make it in America. She sang something pretty that really complimented her tone, and Keith was so excited over her vibrato that he spilled his drink on Nicki. Naturally, I'm now a fan. Busker Frankie Ford lives in Brooklyn and depends on tips from subway passengers to make a living. So this guy's all into the music thing, apparently. He sang "Sweet Dreams" for the judges. The vocal was strong, and Frankie emotes well. The judges enthusiastically sent him to Hollywood. Then Frankie's complete opposite Benjamin Gaisey strolled in wearing a plastic Halloween Thriller costume and skeeved everybody out. He sang "I'll Make Love to You" directly to the female judges and thrust his hips like a maniac. I would have called security. Keith hid under the desk and exclaimed, "It's not safe!" Indeed, Mr. Urban. Indeed.

A girl named Roxanna honed her vocal skills by singing for her enabling parents. Unfortunately, her voice does not make melodies, so she was a goner. Then a young man nearly pooped himself during a losers montage, and really, this show has sunk so low.

New Jersey redneck (apparently they exist) Sarah Restuccio underwhelmed Keith with Carrie Underwood's "Mama's Song" but impressed all if them by rapping Nicki Minaj's "Superbass" better than Nicki Minaj. Nicki got all excited because someone was finally emulating her instead of Mariah, so she talked and talked and talked until they gave Sarah a golden ticket. Receptionist Albert Chang followed up Sarah's audition by admitting he didn't know who the Idol judges were (LOL) and did unspeakable things to "Phantom of the Opera". After he jumped the octave, Nicki took the opportunity to pick on Mariah like an elementary school bully. "Your range is better than Mariah's. Do you know that her range is the best range in the world?" Nicki, seriously. Mariah is twice your size. Watch your back.

18-year-old Angela Miller told us that she's always had hearing problems, but I misheard that as "urine problems". And oh, did I laugh! Cool story. Anyways, her audition was great. She has a lovely tone to her voice, and the judges agreed. "Huge, huge American Idol fan" Brett Holt tries out and fails every year. We won't speak about the terrible things he did to "When I Fall in Love", but I ended up feeling sorry for the poor guy. He was so earnest and into the audition, and the gremlins in Idol's control room just about castrated the guy. They kept manufacturing these fake-out videos in which the judges loved him and at one point had a cartoon frog with a bullhorn get in on the "Brett Holt sucks" joke, and I don't think I'll ever understand why? That's a really crappy way to treat a fan.

"The Turbanator" Gurpreet Singh Salin has 40-50 different colored turbans. Damn. Those are a lot of turbans. Rocking the best beard that will ever appear on this competition, he had a nice audition. Just nice. I doubt it will take him anywhere. Keith was the only judge who understood that, though, so The Turbanator got a ticket to Hollywood. Ashlee Feliciano rode into the audition on the coattails of her parents' selflessness. What?! She did! Ashlee isn't the one that adopts or fosters kids with medical challenges. How cute was that little boy with the glasses, though? Adorable! I especially loved his little hat. Ashlee sang "Put Your Records On", a song that I'm ready to retire, but she actually made it decent. Something about Ashlee's performance "inspired" Nicki, and I'll probably die still wondering what that could possibly be. But yeah, she got a golden ticket!

So that's how last night's circus went down. How did I feel about it?

Tell me what was more annoying, Dawgs - the bickering or Minaj's faux British accent?

Seacrest out.


  1. I thought she said Urine problems too.. oops.. lol.. I did get it when she pointed to her ears though. Me of all people, should get "hearing" problems.. :-).. Great to see your back in the swing of things and that baby hasn't stopped you from keeping us entertained.

  2. The OTHER Karla (whose grotto is mossy) ;)

    OK, I think I'll have to follow your recaps instead of subjecting myself to the show. The 5 minutes I saw of it weren't nearly as entertaining as your roundups. :D

    1. If you enjoy watching me suffer through crappy books, you'll enjoy this. About halfway through each season, I either completely lose my marbles or look on with fascinated glee and thinly veiled sadism.

      I think that Idol trained me to make it through Care-Package-Ageddon. :P