American Idol: Denver Auditions

by Lacy Hall, posted Jan 19th 2006 9:22AM
aiI liked Bo and Constantine. They brought a rock element to American Idol, and I dug it. Little did I know that their success would bring an onslaught of rock n' rollers/out of controllers auditioning for AI. Awesome. Now, instead of simply listening to wannabes slaughter great pop songs, we're also treated to the torture of rock hits as well. I use to like Bo and Constantine. I now love them. It's because of them that I got to see a punk kid breakdance tonight...and I think he meant it. Plus, we got the satisfaction of seeing Seacrest flash the rock sign. But instead of flashing devil horns, he actually said 'I love you' in sign language. Amateur mistake, but appreciated nevertheless.


Of course, not all the rockers were bad. Chris Daugherty brought along his tearful wife and did a Joe Cocker cover justice. Simon wasn't as impressed, but Randy and Paula were, sending Chris to Hollywood. I thought Chris was okay. Not great, but okay. What I really liked was how he used his wife's curly hair to shield his crying face while he hugged her. I love it when guys do that. Especially, rocker dudes.

Denver didn't just have rockers, it also had cowboys. The best was Garet (and I might be spelling his name wrong, forgive me, but that's how I wrote it down). Garet is a little dude in a big cowboy hat that works on a farm herding cattle. He was so nervous before the audition that he couldn't even speak. As he explained, "I normally sing in front of a turkey." His rendition of an Elton John song was good enough to put the judges on the fence, but it was his ackwardly adorable personality that got him a ticket to Hollywood. But mostly, Randy just wanted to send him on his first airplane ride. 

I was really hoping for more crazies in tonight's auditions, but Denver was in short supply. I guess that's a good thing for Denver, but a bad thing for viewers. Nobody tonight was on Mr. Sweaty Pit level of coo-coo-ness, but we had a few close calls. But speaking of sweaty pits...Did anybody check out Simon's sweaty pits tonight? He had two huge pit stains soaking through his black shirt. I know he wears that leotard shirt pretty tight, but that's a lot of sweat to show on a black shirt like that. And, why is he sweating? He's not the one being judged. Maybe Paula turns him on. Or Randy.

But don't be fooled, Denver was not without the crazies totally. My personal favorite was Nick McCord a.k.a. Flawless. I didn't just love him for his multiple pajama outfits, or even for how he described them ("I don't think of them as pajamas, but as comfortable and lingering"). I loved him because he is an ent-pere-neure-re (his pronunciation), and started his own cleaning business, Paradise Cleaning. The slogan is "You come home and your home is smelling like paradise." He admits that it's a little bit of tongue twister, "but that's the way [he] wanted it." Of course, every nutbag needs a sidekick and he found one in Ben. Ben didn't have any cool outfits that resembled Tablecloth Discount Day at the Yarn Barn, but he did bring along a Cosmic Coaster, an invention of his own design. This means that Ben too is an ent-pere-neure-re. The Cosmic Coaster is a ridiculously elaborate drink coaster that weighs 10 pounds and bounces your cocktail an unnecessary and unimpressive inch off the table. That's, of course, when it doesn't just flip the drink onto the ground. Needless to say, neither made it to Hollywood.

Nor did Zachary, an androgynous boy who showed up wearing high heels, and the kind of boring and conservative outfit that Bree VandeKamp would wear on a first the 4th grade. He sang Whitney Houston's "Queen of the Night" and it was pretty good, but the judges said no. His voice just wasn't good enough. When Zachary came out of the audition room he was absolutely livid that he wasn't chosen because "Simon and all of [bad word] America is prejudice against...." and Zachary sort of trailed off with the end of that sentence. I think he meant to say transgender performers, but who knows? I have no idea what to say about Zachary. I've typed about 12 different sentences here and I just keep deleting them. I don't know. I just don't know. Is America prejudiced against transgender performers? Not really, i.e. David Bowie, RuPaul, k.d. lang. Is American Idol? Absolutely. Was Zachary the guy that was going to break right through that mold and prove Simon and American Idol wrong? Not so much.

My favorite talented singer was Rochelle Elaine. I loved Rochelle. Not just because her voice was magnificent, but because she showed up with a posse of 14 people that each wore a lettered white t-shirt that spelled out her name. But wait, there's more. Rochelle was really counting on making it to Hollywood because (as she tearfully explained) she had just been evicted from her second home. Okay, you show up to an audition with a fan club of 14. Why can't you live with one of those jokers? Tell them that if they really want to support your dream, they need to take off that stupid white t-shirt and let you sleep on their couch. Heck, maybe even buy you a futon or something. Take you out to a nice dinner at the Olive Garden. It's not a lot to ask from someone who might be the next American Idol.

Auditions resume Tuesday night at 8pm (2 hour show) in North Carolina, home to Clay and Fantasia.

Denver Crazy Factor: 3; Seacrest Rock Out Factor: 5.5; Simon Sweaty Pit Tribute: 10; Turkey Mentions: 1

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Jason Simmons

I wonder...if I auditioned for "American Idol," then would I win? What if I just froze and stared into space, then would what would they say? Would they say, go home, you stink?

I just don't know...

January 23 2006 at 6:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Re: Zachary, does anyone know how to get in touch with this contestant? I know of a group that is forming with major label looking for just someone like him.

January 22 2006 at 10:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Um, correction: Androgyny is a sub-class of transgenderism so long as the androgyny is deliberate through lifestyle choice and not just from physical traits.

Transgender encompasses everything from transvestism (fetish for female clothes), transsexualism (operation to remove the male organs including HRT), drag (female impersonation for purpose of performance), crossdressing (proclivity to wear exclusively woman's clothes), genderqueer (having any nontraditional gender identity), genderbending (defining one's own gender which may "bend" standard societal roles), Nancy boy (being homosexual and displaying remarkably effeminate mannerisms), girlie boy (displaying markedly effeminate mannerisms, but not necessarily having any correlation with sexual orientation), androgyny/gender-ambiguity (attempting to confuse the societal male and female gender roles), and the list goes on. As for David Bowie during his glam rock days when he paraded as Ziggy Stardust that was most definitely transgender. In fact, some would argue that David Bowie was THE pioneer at first popularizing the androgynous movement in the modern entertainment industry. Ru Paul is likewise an icon of the transgender lifestyle. Same with vocalists Brian Molko of Placebo, Jay Gordon of Orgy, Boy George of Culture Club, and once again the list goes on.

Transgender is definitely one of the most misunderstood lifestyles of the modern day, so it's no wonder it wouldn't be highly regarded on American Idol

January 20 2006 at 4:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James Kew

Um: "androgynous" does not mean the same thing as "transgendered". David Bowie's bi; k d lang lesbian; RuPaul's a drag queen; none are transgender.

I didn't think Zachary sang very well. But he was right to call them on prejudice; he clearly made Fox (and Simon) uncomfortable enough that all they could think of doing was to make fun of him.

January 20 2006 at 12:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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