American Idol: San Antonio auditions

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted Feb 7th 2007 12:04AM
Baylie Brown(S06E07) We're in San Antonio, Texas, home of the Alamo. There's lots of history at this location, but will we make American Idol history tonight?

It's the last stop on this year's audition tour, and what a tour it's been. I'm beat. I'm ready to wrap up these auditions and move on to the real competition. But first we see 11,000 people packed into the Alamo Dome as the Rawhide theme plays. An interesting tidbit: The Rawhide theme was originally sung by 1950s crooner Frankie Laine, who died today at the age of 93.

Back in San Antonio, the judges arrive, and Simon is cranky and suffering from jet lag. Poor Simon.

BRYAN KYRISH (27) is first up tonight. He says he sounds like Billy Idol, Ozzie, or AC/DC. He thinks he can win this thing because he won the grand prize in a "mock" American Idol. He sings Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" and YELL he does. He also slams his knees on the wooden floor not once, but twice, causing everyone to wince in pain. Simon says, "That woke us up." Paula utters, "Wow" and then asks if Bryan hurt his voice. Simon calls it "a lot of shouting, without a lot of melody." After Bryan leaves the room, Simon says, "You have to wonder what the person who came in last was like."

Haley ScarnatoHALEY SCARNATO (24) is a cute young girl with big hoop earrings, a sexy black backless outfit, and a sexy little mole above her lips. I'm not sure why, but Paula Abdul asks to shake her hand. Then she complements compliments Haley's outfit (while Simon's eyes pop out of his skull). Haley sings "I Can't Make You Love Me," by Bonnie Raitt. Paula says she has "real nice control" of her voice, and was "very lovely." Randy thinks she was only okay. Simon agrees, saying "You look good, you sound good" but thinks it was a "bit cabaret." Even though she's not quite unique enough for Simon, he gives her a second chance because, duh, she is like hot. What did you think he was going to say?

In the holding room, they're having a hoedown, according to Ryan Seacrest. Don't know what this has to do with anything. So anyway....

JASMINE HOLLAND (22) showed up with a very supportive family. Unfortunately, their sign makes no sense. It reads: JASMINES ARE NEXT AMERICAN IDOL. Huh? Her family thinks she's ready to storm Hollywood. She walks in all shy and quiet, and Simon and Randy start snickering rudely. Jasmine begins to sing (okay, it sounds more like a whine), and Randy practically chokes on his water, shaking with laughter. Paula holds it together (unlike Beavis and Butthead) and tells Jasmine it "was just not the best audition." Then she says that Jasmine seems "really sad." Jasmine snaps back "because ya'll being rude." And she's right. The boys were laughing at her before she even opened her mouth. Randy tells her it "wasn't good." And Jasmine wants to know what it is Randy does (as does the rest of America). Randy responds: "I do everything." I wonder if he does windows. Jasmine leaves in tears and her family consoles her. They're so mad, they think Simon should go back to "British" where he came from. Welcome to the beauty of unscripted television.

Baylie BrownBAYLIE BROWN (16) is a really cute, charismatic blond who reminds me of Denise Richards. She is from small town in Texas, lives on a ranch with cows and horse, and babbles some nonsense about being afraid horses will eat her. She's a country girl, who wants to be a city girl. She shows us her closet and all her sparkly clothes, which her mom says is "not country." But if you ask me, all those sparkly Dolly Parton clothes really ARE COUNTRY. Anywho, she sings Faith Hill's "Stronger" and her voice sounds more country than city to me. Simon thinks she "is born to be a pop star." He doesn't think her voice is great at the moment, but calls her "commercial, with a capital C...a record label's dream." We all know she is Simon's dream. This is what he envisions an American Idol should look like. Paula is surprised this small town country girl has a fashion sense (kinda sounds like a backhanded compliment to me).

Ryan tells us that as the auditions continued, some people exited the room happy, while others did not. But according to Ryan (and the writers who put these witty things into his mouth), "It's not just how you come through the doors, but whether you can make it out at all." We get a montage of people CRASHING and SLAMMING into doors while trying to exit the room, week-after-week. Each time a contestant picks the wrong door the judges yell "OTHER DOOR!!" I have one question. Why couldn't they have a Production Assistant make a sign that says "PUSH HERE TO EXIT" on the right door? Oh yeah, because then we wouldn't have this whimsical "Other Door" segment.

Next up is a couple of cousins who live together. They are opposites -- one is Bruce Banner and the other is The Incredible Hulk. But they're both unemployed, and say they have everything riding on these auditions.

WILLIAM GREEN (25) is Cousin #1. He begins singing "Amazing Grace" in slow-motion (or so it seems). Paula chuckles along with Randy. When he's finally done, Randy said he thought the song was going to last "a couple days." Simon calls it the "neverending" song. I wonder why they didn't just cut him off. He's not good, but he's a good sport. He's really just here along for the ride. William takes his rejection and tells the judges he's going to talk trash for the cameras when he leaves. They tell him to go for it. Unfortunately, his cousin, Bruce Banner, isn't in on the Hulk's joke. He's so upset, he looks like he wants to kick Simon's ass.

AKRON WATSON (23) is Cousin #2. He sings Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come." Simon calls him a good singer, with a "massive personality charisma problem." Simon says the audition bored him. Paula thinks his voice was a nice surprise, and encourages Akron to try another something to make Simon "not bored." He launches into "Let's Get It On," and I don't think it's as good as his first song, but it's good enough to convince Simon he's Hollywood-worthy.

SANDIE CHAVEZ (21) has "real experience" according to Ryan. She describes her voice as "bluesy, soulful-sounding." Her experience includes singing at parties, talent shows, and for the Mayor of Houston. She sings "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles. She holds her hand over one ear throughout the performance (perhaps trying to cover the sound of her own dreadful voice). I wished I had covered my ears. It's no surprise, Randy chuckles. Simon says, "I didn't understand a word of was literally like some language I've never heard in my life." I couldn't have said it better. Then he asks if she is being serious, and Sandie begins to cry. Randy and Paula try to soothe her. Sandie babbles an apology, and Paula tells her she doesn't have to apologize. Simon snarks, "Well, she does a bit." Paula threatens Simon with physical violence. Then she tells Sandie (the teacher) that "teaching is a wonderful thing." After she's gone, Simon says "the worse news is that she's a MUSIC teacher."

Ashlyn CarrASHLYN CARR (18) is a really pretty girl, who apparently was beaten up in high school because she has a good voice. I have a good feeling about Ashlyn as she launches into Michael Buble's version of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good." Ashlyn sounds great, but she scrunches up her face as she sings. Simon says, "You definitely have a unique voice." Paula tells her to "look in the mirror" to watch herself perform in order to see the weird facial expressions she makes. Simon also thinks she needs a great vocal coach. Randy says she's not ready. Paula agrees with Randy, although she calls Ashlyn a "very rare talent." Simon says, he would have said yes.
FINAL VERDICT: NO... or is it?

ASHLYN CARR -- TAKE TWO. They've never done this before, but the judges agree that they made a mistake dismissing Ashlyn. So they bring her back into the room for a second chance. She sings "Inseparable" but she just can't stop the face-scrunching. It doesn't matter. Simon likes her, despite her "very, very bad habits." He thinks she's unique, "like an old-school Dionne Warwick." Randy likes that she's different (like "scrunchy" different?). Paula likes her too, but tells her she has some work to do before Hollywood.

JACOB TUTOR (21) He calls himself "Jake the Snake." He wants to follow in his family's footsteps. Apparently they're in the entertainment business (you know, the famous "Tutor Family" -- they're like the Fondas, or Barrymores, or the Judds, or not). His influences include Kurt Cobain and Axl Rose. He sings really intensely and darkly, while staring at the ceiling. Simon says, "I think you need to be in a very dark bedroom when you sing that song." Jake the Snake leaves angrily, telling Simon to kiss his ass. He cusses out Randy and Paula too. But he thinks Ryan is AWESOME. cool.

Jimmy McNealJIMMY MCNEAL (23) is the last contestant of the day. He sings "Cupid" and Simon calls him "a little fun Ruben." Simon also thinks Jimmy is "authentic, very likable." And Randy is all like "definitely." Paula does some kind of spazzy Paula cheer.

And we're done! In all, 22 people get golden tickets to Hollywood.

Tomorrow Night: The Best of the Rest. Ryan promises us "all the gems" they've unearthed. It's the "worst of the worst" and the "best of the best" from all across the country.

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Simen stiks

February 07 2007 at 9:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have a hint for Ashlyn Carr to help her with her bad habit. She's a lovely girl making herself look ugly. Have her listen to a Jim Nabors CD. Then have her watch Jim Nabors singing the same song! He had a great voice, but I couldn't stand watching him sing. I thought Paula was on relatively good behavior. But I agree the judges (Simon and Randy) have been crueler than normal. You don't make fun of physically or mentally handicapped people. Shame on you Simon. Maybe you should go back to Britain, but leave your American dollars here.

February 07 2007 at 6:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Melimel, I know they didn't say Jasmine wasn't pretty, but they never would have laughed at a pretty girl like that, even if she didn't sing very well. Of course, there was no way someone like Jasmine was going to make it through to Hollywood -- the producers only let her audition in front of the main judges because they knew she'd be made fun of. She wasn't a performer at all, and she'd probably never even been to an audition before. You could say that just by showing up, she agreed to have her feelings hurt, but that still didn't make it enjoyable to watch.

On the other hand, the standards are lowered for really good-looking girls -- they'll get through to Hollywood even if their singing is just okay, not great. That's why half of the finalists usually end up being attractive people with mediocre voices.

February 07 2007 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Okay, so I didn't read all of the 80-something previous comments, but was anyone else disturbed by the image of Simon fondling his chest during one of the auditions?

February 07 2007 at 5:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

BigTed, they never said Jasmine Holland wasn't pretty (maybe that's your view of her); she just came in looking kinda sad and hopeless - as if she really didn't want to be at the audition. I do agree that they shouldn't have laughed at her, but come on, when you come to an audition, you gotta give it your all

February 07 2007 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have a better suggestion for Ashlyn Carr, the singer who scrunches her face when she sings. Instead of watching yourself perform in a mirror, you need to videotape yourself singing. Geez, Paula..... That way it will be a true performance picture of how you look, rather than concentrating on "watching yourself" perform. Hey, just watch your taped AI audition!

February 07 2007 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bodie stout

ok. here's the listening booth comment that apparantly didn't go thru.
first criteria should be: "can ya sing?"
if the judges were in a booth w/headphones LISTENING to the contestants, their ears would tell them.
looks, mannerisms and style can always be corrected, no big deal, but if ya can't carry a tune in a bucket baby ... forget it.

February 07 2007 at 3:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to agree that the judges should keep there remarks to themselves. Some people have low self esteem and with them laughing before they even perform is unprofessional. Paula on the other hand needs to start answering for herself and not always repeat what Simon or Randy say. She never voices her own opinion. She's like a puppet.

February 07 2007 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Akron Watson will NOT be in Hollywood! He is from Dallas and AI disqualified him after a background check. It has been all over the news here. They are trying to get AI to reply to their request for the reason for DQ but AI will not discuss it. He's on myspace, I think it's

February 07 2007 at 2:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

First of all, they can't show all the chosen ones because they don't have rights to the songs that many sing and they don't want to have to pay a copyright fee for them. So they show only those that are in the general domain (too old for a copyright to stand).

Also, they are looking for something they can market to the public and the Britney's wanna-bees are what sell. And they want people who are going to get votes and the largest voting market out there are the pre and early teen girls. What appeals to them? Britney and her proteges.

As for the laughing that the judges do...well, for the life of me, I can't even imagine how some of them get to audition for them...I can't imagine my family or friends letting me make an ass of myself on national television much less encourage me. Being disappointed when you have a good voice is one thing. Being upset despite your horrible voice is just plain stupid. I know I don't sing well....they need to be honest with themselves. I frankly don't blame the judges. Imagine heart 100,000 bad voices in a matter of weeks! It would certainly get to you after a while....

But I agree...let's skip tonight's show and get on with it!

February 07 2007 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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