American Idol: Boston Auditions

by Lacy Hall, posted Feb 7th 2006 10:32PM
aiI've never been a big fan of Boston. I always thought it was the New York for woosies. I mean, take the New England Patriots -- they have a quarterback who not only looks like he could date a supermodel, but could also be a supermodel. But one thing about Boston -- they've got great hometown spirit and I love that. They are one of those cities (i.e. Detroit) that has a lot of pride. But maybe too much pride.

Take James for example, or should I call him "Ghost," his moniker. James doesn't have much of a knack for picking clever nicknames, but he's great at looking patriotic. Maybe too patriotic. He came into the audition wearing a Pats jersey and an American flag do rag. Hey James, is that an American flag in your pocket or are you just excited to see Paula? Nope, that is an American flag sticking out of his pocket. James started off doing a cadence and then broke out into a patriotic rap of sorts. The judges weren't impressed, except Paula, who liked "his message".

James was followed by Ayla, a very beautiful girl, with a very charmed life. She's gorgeous, tall, can play basketball, her dad is a Senator, her mom is a TV personality, and her hair is split-end free. She was almost too perfect. The judges thought she had a powerful voice, but she was overly-groomed and robotic. Simon went so far as to say that there was "something empty about it all." I have to agree. How many people are really going to root for a girl who has a father as a Senator? It seems that American likes its idols slightly flawed and less than perfect (looking).

Which brings up a great phenomenon, the Clay Aiken factor. There have been several Clay Aiken clones this audition cycle and they all have that same underdog charm, as Paula described it. Basically, they are nerdy guys with great voices and sweet demeanors. If they ever got up enough courage to ask you out on a date, you'd say no. But put them on TV, have them sing pop songs, and tell heartwarming stories about their families, and women begin to squeal and buy their albums. It's the Clay Aiken factor. And everyone is playing the Clay Aiken card.

The best Clay clone in Boston was Kevin. The dorkiest little dude I've ever seen. Without a doubt, I could easily dropkick Kevin. But why would I ever want to? He's loveably nerdy. He had a dorky blue-stripped shirt, dorky glasses, rosy red cheeks and the worst haircut I've ever seen. It was like the white boy version of the black man's fade, circa 1993. In short, Kevin was a dork. But he had a great voice and a great personality. The Clay Aiken factor at its best.

Mike was the Clay Aiken factor at its worst. To be a good Clay clone you need three things -- a dorky look, a great voice, and a sweet personality. Mike had a dorky look, a horrible voice, and the worst personality ever. He was so annoying. He kept doing high kicks and he wouldn't shut up. Even the guy that was standing next to him in line looked like he was going to punch him. His crappy personality could only be trumped by his horrible voice. He sounded like a dying horse, and when he was done singing he made this hideous fart face. Everything about it was unpleasant.

But what was really unpleasant was Kenneth, who sang a perfect rendition of Cher's "Believe." Well, the judges thought he sounded perfectly like Cher, I thought he was about 10 octaves lower than Cher. Anyway, Kenneth sucked, and all the judges told him that. But what is going to get Simon in trouble (again) was his comment that Kenneth would be better off dressing like a woman and becoming a female impersonator. This is not the first time that Simon has told a contestant this and he wasn't far off the money for suggesting it. I mean, the kid did brag that he could make his voice sound perfectly like Judy Garland too. That has female impersonator written (in lights) all over it. But Simon has already pissed off gay and lesbian groups this season for making similar comments. And last night, he probably pissed some more people off too.

Potential female impersonators aside, 28 contestants from Boston are going on to Hollywood, which brings the total to 175 in all. Wednesday night at 8 p.m. begins Hollywood Week a.k.a. Hell Week. The auditions were all fun and games, but this is where the judges really get mean and the poop really hits the fan. I can't wait.

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Jewels

Clay is a phenomenon. That's all there is to it. Nobody can categorize him, and nobody can "be" him. He's had amazing success, and because of who he is, that astounds people. THAT is the factor right there. The fact that nobody can explain it is what makes him so great. Phenomenon!

April 07 2006 at 12:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BigB

NEW BEDFORD MA ROCKS I STILL THINK LARRY SOARES SHOULD OF MADE IT

February 18 2006 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Danielle

Personally I am offended by the anti-mustache comments. My boyfriend has a neatly trimmed mustache and is the cutest guy around. I'm tired of this little wimpy boys. I like a guy to look like a guy, and a nicely trimmed mustache can add so much to an otherwise handsome face. Don't shave it boys, grow it!

February 16 2006 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
donna

Personally I'm getting tired of all the referances made about Clay Aiken. How come when one of the constestants sang 'Flying Without Wings" not one of the judges compared him to Ruben? But when another contestant sang Measure of a Man",the judges were quick to compare him with Clay. Is Clay the poster child for the AI? Simon was right down cruel to Clay on several occasins.."I PREFER YOU WITH MY EYES CLOSED"was one of the many insults made by Simon. What does looks have todo with talent? Clay Aiken was one of the best performers and singers that AI has had. I think the AI producers are trying to invent the X-factor but sadly this is something a person has and can't be manufactured.Simon still doesn't know what the X-factor, so he just doesn't understand Clay's popularity.

February 09 2006 at 9:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Monica Burns

Clay is a very impressive person. I guess that is why there is always someone being compared to him. While watching American idol 2003, Clay took some really hard knocks from the judges. I thought there were things said that would have been better left unsaid. He seemed to handle it well. The main comment I remember is Simon saying "you don't look like a popstar but you have a great voice". Well, at least part of that statement was true, but I wonder who actually sets the guidelines for what a popstar should look like. I mean, if you look around, I am sure you will be able to see some very interesting folks out there that are popstars. So, I guess I am wondering if you ran across Simon Cowell on the street would you really think he was a judge on American Idol if you had never seen him before? Touche. I think I would probably just pass him by and not even glance twice. Anyway, it seems like Simon has mellowed somewhat over the years, and these Clay Aiken wannabe's as they have been called know they could never meet up to the standards Clay has unspokenly set, he did raise the bar in 2003 after all. But hey, they have "THE CLAY AIKEN FACTOR" how cool is that?

February 08 2006 at 11:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Monica Burns

Clay is a very impressive person. I guess that is why there is always someone being compared to him. While watching American idol 2003, Clay took some really hard knocks from the judges. I thought there were things said that would have been better left unsaid. He seemed to handle it well. The main comment I remember is Simon saying "you don't look like a popstar but you have a great voice". Well, at least part of that statement was true, but I wonder who actually sets the guidelines for what a popstar should look like. I mean, if you look around, I am sure you will be able to see some very interesting folks out there that are popstars. So, I guess I am wondering if you ran across Simon Cowell on the street would you really think he was a judge on American Idol if you had never seen him before? Touche. I think I would probably just pass him by and not even glance twice. Anyway, it seems like Simon has mellowed somewhat over the years, and these Clay Aiken wannabe's as they have been called know they could never meet up to the standards Clay has unspokenly set, he did raise the bar in 2003 after all. But hey, they have "THE CLAY AIKEN FACTOR" how cool is that?

February 08 2006 at 11:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carolyn Epperson

Impressive isn't it that there are so many Clay Aiken wannabe's this season......Clay is one who cannot be replicated......it wasn't just his amazing voice that made him so memorable it was the personality the confidence and the knowing who he is.....it came through that tv screen week after week....it can't be bought and it isn't a gift that other's receive.......you are born with it and Clay was definitely born with it....in the past three years he has grown and matured as a singer and performer and continues to be a true phenomenon in the industry....

February 08 2006 at 10:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
emma

How can you steriotype a whole city? Boston is the home of the sons and daughters of liberty, the home of the celtics, and the home of yes pats fans. It is full of a great history and people who come from Boston should feel proud to come from such a great city. Also, as to what you said about the whole Clay Aiken thing I agree. It is starting to scare me how many people are trying to get to Hollywood by trying to impersonate him. It is kind of disturbing actually;I don't know what to say about the whole lesbian and gay guy thing.

February 08 2006 at 8:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Santorini

Clay Aiken must be feeling good since there have been quite a few Idol-wannabes this year that have been compared to him yet haven't been able to hold a candle to him. Pretty cool since he was a runner-up and not the actual winner. Goes to show you that you can be the winner of a contest but fizzle out once the game's over. Ruben who??
The only one to ever really prove to have earned the crown goes to Kelly Clarkson, who is indeed the one who's made it the most of the last four winners. And although Clay didn't win (technically), he is the nerd/dork/geek god who's captured many hearts. Can't wait for his new CD that's coming out real soon.

February 08 2006 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scott

emily, the early hollywood stuff is all pre-taped; probably months ago, which was before they were uninvited. but that probably means that they made it through the first round there, and onto when we get to vote... wonder how they're gonna edit that out?
i was surprised they didn't edit them from the promos...

February 08 2006 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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