American Idol: Louisville auditions

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jan 22nd 2009 4:02AM

American Idol - LouisvilleAmerican Idol went to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, to find the best of the best in The Bluegrass State. Let's see if I've got the pronunciation correct: Loo-a-vulle. Is that it? You Southerners chime in here.

Let's see who stood in front of the judges tonight:

Tiffany Shedd, 18. This girl strolls in with all the confidence in the world, which is a dead tip-off that she's going to suck. And she doesn't disappoint. She sucks bad. And with her platinum blonde hair and weird powder-blue eyeshadow, she looks like a tranny. I'm still wondering, actually. Anyway, she tries singing Mariah Carey's "Hero," and Simon says she's like a donkey in a crowd of 22 horses. Needless to say, she doesn't get a golden ticket. She leaves, muttering, "They're not looking for talent. They're looking for nerds and freaks."

Joanna Pacitti, 23. Kara recognizes Joanna, because she had a record deal with A&M Records. But it didn't work out for whatever reason. A little bit country, a little bit rock-and-roll, Joanna sings Pat Benatar's "We Belong." Paula immediately proclaims her "worthy." Joanna bursts into tears as she grabs that golden ticket to Hollywood.

Mark Mudd, 25. Mark has an interesting lineage. Aside from the fact that he "almost died five times," his great-great-whatever-grandfather was Samuel Mudd, the doctor who fixed John Wilkes Booth's broken leg after he shot Lincoln and jumped off the balcony. Mark sings George Jones' "White Lightning," and the judges really don't have to say anything. Mark knows he won't be boarding a plane for Hollywood any time soon. So instead, he has a stare-down with Simon and makes a pseudo-threat on his way out: "Take care, and be careful." As Paula says, "You don't say that to people. That's not a normal thing to say." This show gets weirder and weirder.

Brent Keith Smith, 28. With his dimples and cuteness, he looks like a cross between Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey, so I'm really hoping he goes to Hollywood. He rocks it out with Bad Company's "Can't Get Enough," and Simon thinks it sounds ridiculous and "buskerish." But the other judges turn on Simon and give Brent a golden ticket. And I say, "Yes!"

Matt Giraud, 23. He's a dueling piano player from Kalamazoo, Michigan, which is a few hours south of me, so I'm pulling for him. He has a nice voice, which I think sounds like a male Fantasia, but Simon compares it to Elliot Yamin from Season 5. They let him through, but tell him to work on his confidence.

Ross Plavsic, 26. He's a pocket-protectin' nerd who tried to learn how to sing by using physics and math and science. Or something. Anyway, he sings a bizarre song by Jay and the Americans, but blames his lame performance on a scratchy throat. Paula offers him some water, so Ross comes over and drinks out of her straw, which freaks her out. Then he tries "Love Me Tender," but it's just not good, dude. Go back to the lab.

Alexis Grace, 20. She's a "huge fan of the show" who's been singing since she was two, had a baby at 19, and plans to marry the baby's dad. She sings Aretha Franklin's "Dr. Feelgood," and Simon isn't impressed. But the others put her through and tell her to work on her stage presence.

Aaron Williamson, 27. Ok, this guy is doing stimulants or something. His first mistake: saying he wants to be "America's Next Top Idol." Randy calls his audition a "primal scream," and his squalling prompts Ryan to come into the room with a "what the hell..." Aaron isn't quite so enthusiastic when the judges give him the big letdown, though.

Rebecca Garcia, 24. She comes in with a cheat-sheet on her arm, just in case she forgets the lyrics. But that's the least of her problems. She's so bad that Kara thinks the entire performance is a joke. Uh oh. Rebecca bursts into tears, and Kara tells Paula to hit her for being so mean. As she's leaving, Rebecca's mom tells her not to let them discourage her. Only a mother.

Leneshe Young, 18. OMG. This girl sounds just like Beyonce. Not only that, she sings a tune she wrote called "Natty," and it's fabulous. Simon loves it and eyes her like she's the next Leona Lewis. Randy says, "You're kinda what we need." Kara praises her for doing her own thing. And Paula tries to make a joke by saying "No," but it falls completely flat. Anyway, Leneshe's on her way to Hollywood, and I shed a tear over her tough life: grew up poor and homeless, in and out of shelters, but her mom is behind her 100%. Go, girl!

Next week: Jacksonville, Florida. I wonder what kind of hot messes we'll find there.

Get more American Idol on AOL TV.

Which of these Louisville hopefuls has the best shot at winning American Idol?
Joanna Pacitti46 (15.8%)
Brent Keith Smith23 (7.9%)
Matt Giraud22 (7.5%)
Leneshe Young201 (68.8%)

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Jim Dicken

Take Care and Be Careful is NOT a Pseudo threat, it is a common way of saying good bye in the south. My mother says it to me all the time.. and so do other folks. It is not a threat.. Wanna hear the exchange? Go to the whole thing is there along with my comments on the American Idiots. They also thought he had a gun cause he had a holster for his cell phone. They came to KY, with predetermined ideas of what the south is about.

January 24 2009 at 5:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with Frazier. I was stunned when they considered "Be careful" a threat. I have been told that my entire life. So, I guess my Mom has threatened me every time we said goodbye. And I must threaten my husband every morning, when I tell him "Be careful" when he leaves for work. Good grief!

Simon is the one that started the "Is that a threat?" crap though, Paula just ran with it.

January 22 2009 at 8:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ok: so when is it that Paula became paranoid?
Be careful is NOT a threat ! I found 'HER' judgement in his goodbye "scary" on 'HER' part. Has people became so scared, that a thank you and be careful good bye is threatening?
I see Paula as a VERY paranoid person - now.
Take care and be careful is not a threat it is a way to say good bye to a person.
It takes a person with common sense, wisdom and education to travel extensively and communicate well with people.
Paula apparently does not have this education.

January 22 2009 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David R

Laneshe Young is okay and I don't see where her upbringing was any worse than many others with a loving mother that makes up for the usual absent father. Alexis (white girl soul singer)and Brent (excuse me Simon) were great. That poor guy Ross ,easily the worst, I believe suffers from Asbpergers (sic)syndrome a highly functioning type of Autism. He sang a bizarre version of Cara Mia ,but the song itself is not bizarre, but a classic. Originally performed by Mario Lanza then done well by Jay and the Americans. Ross did it in slow motion.

January 22 2009 at 4:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Firstly, we wanted to say that up until last night we thought the show was a little silly sometimes but not prejudice but after last night we have changed our minds. Saying "Be careful" before leaving is a common southern thing. Most Kentuckians that we know do it, and for crying out loud are Simon and Paula too dense to know that we are not those uneducated, gun toting, revenge seeking hilly billies that the media has portrayed us as being all these years it is truly ridiculous the way those two acted over a common southern courtesy. And oh yeah we even work to pay for the cell phones that the loons, were so threaten with! MORONS! I think that it is about time that someone call them on their ignorance,the man although we agree couldn't carry a tune deserves an public apology. He was just being nice even after being voted off and didn't deserve that behavior.

January 22 2009 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to TeresaChristina's comment
David R

Agree in part but it was the producers who edited to make it look confrontational,especially on the preview. Poor guy seemed nice while Paula and Simon were probably taken out of context via editing.

January 22 2009 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You're a few hours NORTH of Kalamazoo? Shit, I'm sorry for you...

January 22 2009 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim Anderson

Born in Lousiville...whole family lives there 4 generations born and bred. Now I live in Florida...I miss it!

Jimmy gets it right.

(like Jewel)


January 22 2009 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree: Leneshe is going to be interesting. I thought of Beyonce (too!) when I heard her, and her song was not half-bad. Must be why Simon called her current ('cause, I loved Paris Bennett's voice too, but she sang Beyonce, and I think she tanked it. For me, Paris was best with an oldie, goodie, jazzie kinda beat). I really loved Leneshe's mother and their relationship (probably early favorite for me. Hope she makes it!)

One theme of the night seems to be tone-deaf mothers (did you see that first girl's mother rocking/moving while her daughter screeched that song)? And the mother that told her daughter (Garcia) not to give up singing after Simon gently lets her know she should. I just wanted to reach through the TV and shake every single one of them. I always wished i was born with the natural talent of singing (but God did not perform that miracle) but I am thankful to God that he gave me the natural talent of not being 100% tone deaf, and not having a fanciful mother. (My parents believe I can do anything...but not that).

January 22 2009 at 11:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When Laneshe said she was singing an original song I thought it was over for her. And then surprise. She is going to be interesting.

January 22 2009 at 10:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I got to grad school at UC, and we have a lot of people from Louisville in our program. I have no clue how to say it but from natives it seems to come out close to "luhl-vuhl" sometimes.

January 22 2009 at 9:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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