American Idol: Jacksonville Auditions

by Kona Gallagher, posted Jan 28th 2009 1:03AM
american idol jacksonvilleThe first 20 seconds of this show have already freaked me out. Ryan and Simon are in the back of a limo and they're just flirting. They're smiling and giggling, and it feels like I'm looking in on a first date. Moving on ...

American Idol
continues to try to make this my favorite season ever by reminding America that Randy used to play with Journey. Not only did he tell America "Don't stop believin'," but he did so while wearing a large amount of spandex. And for that reason, he will always be my favorite judge.

This episode just gets weirder when we see that the limo Ryan and Simon are in has a police escort. There are literally half a dozen sheriff's vehicles surrounding them as they are driven to the audition site. Now, I used to live in Florida and I still have family there, so I visit quite often. Let me tell you: Florida police have way bigger things going on that could use their attention. This does not strike me as a clever use of resources.

Joshua Ulloa, 22, "Let's Get it On" - Marvin Gaye

Joshua says that he gets compared to Justin Guarini more often than not. While I can see the similarities -- they are both dudes who have curly hair, Joshua seems to have had it a bit rougher than the baby-faced moppet from season one. He actually has a decent voice, but he hams it up with lots of random beats and sounds and other crazy nonsense. It's annoying, but the judges find him entertaining, so they send him through.

Sharon Wilbur, 25, "Superstar" - Karen Carpenter
Sharon kind of looks like an over-tanned Joss Stone and brings her little yappy dog to the audition with her. She has a good voice, but she tries way too hard and adds a bunch of unnecessary runs and crap into her song. Regardless, the judges are in a good mood, so Randy and Simon vote her through to Hollywood. Then all hell breaks loose: Kara and Paula start making out, Kara almost pops a boob out and thinks she's on live TV. She then announces her real reason for joining the judges panel: to get into Simon's pants. It's a little too early in the day for everyone to be this punch drunk. Luckily for Sharon, it works in her favor.

Dana Moreno, 24, "Through the Fire" - Chaka Khan
It ... does not go well. Remember when you first heard the Kanye West song, "Through the Wire," and you were like, "hey, that sounds kind of familiar," but couldn't figure out why until you heard it about half a dozen more times? Well, this was like that -- except ear-splittingly awful. She is not going to Hollywood.

Kaneswa Finnie, 16
Kaneswa is an adorable and confident 16-year-old girl, but she sings completely through her sinuses. Simon says he has never heard that song quite like that before, and I can't even figure out what the song is. It's not good. Simon even goes so far as to drag the mother into the room to tell her how awful her daughter is. Simon is absolutely right, but that seems a little unnecessarily cruel.

Julissa Veloz, 19, "If I Don't Have You" - Whitney Houston
I'm with Simon who says that it was better than he expected. I was expecting something awful, and she really wasn't half bad. With that said, I don't think there's any chance she'll make it to the top ten. Paula has a hissy fit unrelated to her, and Julissa plays with her hair and tells her she's pretty until Paula comes back to the judge's table. Because she took the 4:30 shift of talking Paula down from the ledge, the judges vote her through to Hollywood.

Darin Darnell, 28, "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday" - Boys 2 Men
Darin seems like a nice guy, but let's be honest: he's got some stuff going on in his life. I don't know what it is, but he seems to spend most of the day literally bouncing around and talking to anyone and everyone in his general vicinity, but then completely falls apart when it's time for his audition. He starts crying and can barely begin his song. After he does start, he's kind of singing and crying, and it's really uncomfortable. Unfortunately, he's not good, so the whole thing is just kind of awful.

Naomi Sykes, 25, "Loving You" - Minnie Riperton
Naomi is the last contestant of the day, and she has a steep hill in front of her, as the judges have all lost their collective minds. Naomi's friend is a big Randy Jackson fan (she must love Journey too!), so she comes in and Simon has her sit on Randy's lap for the song. This leads Paula to sit on Simon's lap, and Kara to call in Ryan so he can sit on her lap. So everyone is on top of each other, and this poor girl has to sing. And, no. She sounds like someone's drunken girlfriend at a wedding; the girl that no one knows and makes everyone uncomfortable because they don't know how to tell their friend that while the chick he's dating is hot, she is completely ridiculous. It gets kind of sad when the girl thinks she did a really good job, and even the friend she brought has this "Oh dear Lord" look on her face. She does not going to Hollywood.

Jasmine Murray, 16, "Big Girls Don't Cry" - Fergie
This girl is the devil. Every time I hear this song, it gets stuck in my head for no less than a week. She has a good voice, but she tends to sing out of her nose, which seems to be a big problem so far this season. The judges all think she's adorable, so she gets a unanimous "yes." Her sisters and mother are all there, and they're thrilled. It's pretty adorable.

George Ramirez, 18 (pictured)
George has the glassy, thousand-yard stare of a Charles Manson. His wildest dream is to have a simple house with marble floors. I have no idea what he's singing, but I'm pretty sure he's trying to hypnotize the judges with subliminal messages in his song. It's kind of scary, and the judges say no to him.

T.K. Hash, 23, "Imagine" - John Lennon
T.K apparently auditioned last year and did not get through. His audition is a little overdone, but he's very talented. I don't really understand why he didn't get through last season. The judges agree that his audition is too over-the-top, and Simon says no. The other judges, however, vote him through to Hollywood.

Michael Perrelli, 18, "Jumper" - Third Eye Blind
Bwahahahaha. I shouldn't find this as funny as I do, but Michael is the type of guy who never leaves the house without his guitar, so already, he seems like a chore. Then, they tell him he can't play guitar during his audition, and he freaks the hell out. Again, I know it's mean that I find this so hilarious, but I do. Anyway, he sings Third Eye Blind and makes it sound like something from Pippin. The judges kind of like him, but don't find him very interesting. He doesn't get voted through.

Anne Marie Boskovich, 22, "Bubbly" - Colbie Callait
The judges do something that I've never seen them do before: they send Anna Marie away, but tell her to come back. She sings a snippet of one of Kara's songs, and it's quite obvious that she's talented. Simon, however, doesn't like her look. She comes back with some makeup and different shoes, and gives it another shot. It works, and the judges unanimously vote her through to Hollywood.

Once again, they saved the best for last on Idol. No one in Florida really impressed me too much. In fact, Anne Marie is the only one who I can see going anywhere. I have no idea if she actually writes her own songs, but she's got that real singer/songwriter vibe going for her, and I think it's going to work in her favor. Jasmine Murray is another one who will probably get a little traction in the competition, but ultimately, I don't know how much commercial appeal she has. Who was your favorite of the night?

Of those who were featured tonight, who has the best chance of becoming the next American Idol?
Joshua Ulloa4 (1.5%)
Sharon Wilbur6 (2.2%)
Julissa Veloz3 (1.1%)
Jasmine Murray22 (8.1%)
T.K. Hash10 (3.7%)
Anne Marie Boskovich227 (83.5%)

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AI has Jumped the Shark this season with the new judge Kara and Truly Nonsensical auditions. It's NOT Fun to watch anymore and I won't! ALEX!~

January 28 2009 at 8:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

George Ramirez sang "Walking on Sunshine" (it drove me crazy trying to figure that out) - and made me spit my wine at the tv when he said the thing about wanting a "simple house with nice floors...marble floors." Classic.

January 28 2009 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Though she may not make it to the finals, I thought the 16 yr old Jasmine was adorable for sure. Her entire family was actually all very very pretty. She had a good-enough voice to make it to Hollywood for sure but the Mississippi teen needs a couple more years of development and experience to make the next Idol.

January 28 2009 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm pretty sure they sent contestants away and had them come back and try again. I just don't know if they were put through or not. Seems there was one...

January 28 2009 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If Anne Marie doesn't make it to the voting part of the competition, it will be very disappointing.

January 28 2009 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To quote Simon: "This audition was a joke, right?"

There were a couple of good moments (Anne Marie!), but on the whole, this episode fell flat. For the first time this season, I just wanted the auditions to be over so we can start the Hollywood round.

January 28 2009 at 10:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think you mean "I Have Nothing" by Whitney Houston rather than "If I Don't Have You".

January 28 2009 at 9:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Awww - I really loved the 20 secs that Simon was telling Ryan that he was hamming it up (I love when the boys are on good behavior). Another moment I love: the fact that the show prove Simon loves animals as much as his girlfriends, maybe even more. I believe he gave the dog the same come-hither look that he gave bikini girl and he voted both of them (plus dog girl) to Hollywood. And Kara, hinting to Simon that she would like to get some action from his direction was uncomfortable but hilarious. In fact, a lot of the Jacksonville show was judge antics (wierd, uncomfortable, hilarious judge antics; Paula is just so weird, and the lap dancing session! Kara saying "we did you a huge solid.") I actually loved (really loved) Ryan for once when he told guitar boy while he was throwing a tantrum, "that's your mother. You can't do that."

I had contestant moments too though: I scratched my head and wondered why that boy (Darren) was licking people's hair. You could see he was unstable right there, no? The older sisters of Jasmine were too cute, especially the one that said "hush."

My favorite singer was Anne Marie because not only did she know about Kara, and do a pretty good rendition, she can sing, and she is a person you can see improve as a performer in the next few weeks. I am loving that they are giving her a chance. (Which reminds me, why does Simon crankily nays some good singers, like T.K. singing Imagine; maybe it reminded him too much of Archuleta). I think I loved Jasmine's sisters more than her too-high rendition of Fergie.

January 28 2009 at 9:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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