Worst 'American Idol' Season 9 Auditions

by Donald Deane, posted Jan 12th 2010 11:46PM
'American Idol' is back! For the past four weeks, hopefuls have been taking to the stage during auditions and showcasing their vocal talents. As usual, some wowed the judges and rose to the occasion ... and others sank straight to the bottom.

We've collected the best of the worst auditions from season 9 here for your amusement and horror. Relive performances by Adrian Chandtchi, Ty Hemmerling, Dexter Ward, Jason Greene, Jarrod Norrell, Curley Newbern, General Larry Platt, Andrew Fenlon and others as they warble, shriek and howl their way through auditions in Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Orlando and Denver. Brace yourselves and be sure to have a pair of earplugs close at hand.'American Idol' is back! For the past four weeks, hopefuls have been taking to the stage during auditions and showcasing their vocal talents. As usual, some wowed the judges and rose to the occasion ... and others sank straight to the bottom.

We've collected the best of the worst auditions from season 9 here for your amusement and horror. Relive performances by Adrian Chandtchi, Ty Hemmerling, Dexter Ward, Jason Greene, Jarrod Norrell, Curley Newbern, General Larry Platt, Andrew Fenlon and others as they warble, shriek and howl their way through auditions in Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Orlando and Denver. Brace yourselves and be sure to have a pair of earplugs close at hand.

'Road to Hollywood' Episode - 2/3/10

Name: Adrian Chandtchi
Song Choice: 'Can't Help Falling in Love' by Elvis Presley
What the Judges Said: "Adrian, there's like a small schoolboy trapped inside you," Kara DioGuardi said. "Either that or you've eaten one," Simon Cowell quipped.
Final Verdict: Chandtchi was a study in contrasts, a 6-foot, 8-inch giant of a man who sang in an oddly high, lilting voice and described himself as a "beautiful man flower." Unfortunately, the 17-year-old man-child will have to do his blossoming elsewhere, because he won't be going to Hollywood.


Denver Auditions - 2/2/10

Name: Ty Hemmerling
Song Choice:
'Achy Breaky Heart' by Billy Ray Cyrus
What the Judges Said: "I'm going back to Los Angeles," Cowell said, rising from the judges' table and leaving the room. "Don't move your hips like that, honey. It's not a good look," DioGuardi added.
Final Verdict: In a parody of Katrina "Bikini Girl" Darrell's audition from last season, Hemmerling gave his audition wearing a bikini, sandals and nothing else. He'd barely begun to sing his song when the judges collectively walked out.


Name: Austin Paul
Song Choice: 'Heavier Things' by John Mayer
What the Judges Said: "You come off a bit cocky," DioGuardi said. "I think you could be very annoying. It's one of those voices, after 30 seconds you're, 'Oh, shut up,'" said Cowell. "For me, it felt a little bit arrogant," guest judge Victoria Beckham added. "I got a bit itchy from it."
Final Verdict: The judges nailed Paul on his overconfidence and questioned his strange trilling vocal affect. Paul, a music composition student and football player, told the judges he has a "great story," but it wasn't enough to help him advance.

Dallas Auditions - 1/27/10

Name: Dexter Ward
Song Choice: 'If I Ever Fall in Love' by Shai
What the Judges Said: "No, dude ... that looked like it hurt," Randy Jackson said. "Singing's not your thing." "That was not the best audition, " guest judge Neil Patrick Harris added.
Final Verdict: Things didn't bode well for Ward from the get-go when he mispronounced the name of the show as 'America's Idol' during a news interview. Then he went on to deliver a largely out-of-tune, forgettable performance. Plus, he had a haircut that made his head look like a sharpened point. Very distracting. Fortunately, his audition was mercifully quick.



Los Angeles Auditions - 1/26/10

Name: Jason Greene
Song Choice: 'I Touch Myself' by the Divinyls
What the Judges Said: "I feel dirty," guest judge Katy Perry said after Greene's performance. "And, you know, it takes a lot for me to feel dirty. So, I'm going to have to say no." "That was uncomfortable," Cowell added.
Final Verdict: The androgynous Greene writhed sinuously on the floor, tossed his flowing hair and lisped through the performance. Somehow, he also found the time to flirt with Simon, give his phone number to Ryan Seacrest, and make a solemn vow to return next year.


Name: Neil Goldstein
Song Choice: 'Rock and Roll Dreams Come True' by Meat Loaf
What the Judges Said: "I don't think you're suited for this business, Neil," Cowell said.
"We're trying to find the best ... You're not there yet, dude," said Jackson.
Final Verdict: The self-described geek with a 168 IQ had a spectacular flop sweat and an odd nervous tic. He delivered a mostly tuneless performance after a false start, then became contentious once the judges panned him. Goldstein only left after Cowell threatened to have him escorted out.




Name: Austin Fullmer
Song Choice: 'Surrender' by Cheap Trick
What the Judges Said: "I'm scared," Perry said. "Can you just clean water? Can't you just do that ... be happy doing that?" Cowell asked, referring to Fullmer's day job at a water treatment facility. "You know, for this competition, I don't ... no, honey," DioGuardi said.
Final Verdict: Fullmer strutted like Mick Jagger through his performance and sang in a faux British accent. But there's a problem: His audition was terrible and Cheap Trick aren't British. Judges called him "different," and that wasn't meant as a compliment.



Orlando Auditions - 1/20/10

Name: Jarrod Norrell
Song Choice: 'Amazing Grace'
What the Judges Said: "Oh, good lord. What was that? Do you really think you're a good singer?" asked DioGuardi. "Honey, it sounded like a lawnmower." Jackson agreed. "Dog, the vocals, man. You can't sing," he said.
Final Verdict: Norrell gave a weird, nasal performance of the Christian hymn and became visibly agitated when the judges critiqued his vocals, requiring security to intercede and forcibly remove him. After a feeble struggle, Norrell was arrested by police.

Name: Theo Glinton
Song Choice: 'Heartbreaker' by Pat Benatar
What the Judges Said: "You screamed the song at us ... [and] when you walk in [dressed] like that, I mentally said no," Cowell said, referring to Glinton's outlandish ensemble. "It's not that you're even pitchy," DioGuardi added, "It's that the tone of your voice ... it's so over the top."
Final Verdict: It wasn't necessarily Glinton's strained vocals, or even his excessively showy performance, that did him in. Instead, it was his ridiculous outfit consisting of a floor-length scarf, glitter makeup and facial applique mirrors that ruined his chances.


Chicago Auditions - 1/19/10

Name: Curley Newbern
Song Choice: 'This Woman's Work' by Maxwell
What the Judges Said: "Oh, Curley, I don't know what that was," Cowell said. "Do you find when you sing at home a lot of animals turn up outside the house?"
Final Verdict: Newbern sang his entire audition in a falsetto probably well within the hearing range of canines and other small animals. None of the judges did anything to conceal their amusement at his stunningly bad audition.



Name: Amy Lang
Song Choice: 'Dr. Feelgood' by Aretha Franklin
What the Judges Said: "It was just too funny of an audition. [We] couldn't really take it seriously," DioGuardi said.
Final Verdict: The 26-year-old Lang inexplicably started her audition by falling on the floor, and things got worse from there. Her hammy rendition of Franklin's song was unrecognizable, and her boob gymnastics only made the performance sillier.

Name: Brian Krause
Song Choice: 'Tiptoe Through the Tulips' by Tiny Tim
What the Judges Said: "Is this a joke?" asked DioGuardi. "Brian, it was not good."
Final Verdict: Krause swore his performance of Tiny Tim's song wasn't a put-on, but we don't believe it. His rendition of the song comes eerily close to Tiny Tim's, and he also mimicked the novelty act's unique speech pattern. Faker.

Atlanta Auditions - 1/13/10

Name: General Larry Platt
Song Choice: 'Pants on the Ground' by General Larry Platt
What the Judges Said: "You know, I have a horrible feeling that song could be a hit," Cowell said, nevertheless dismissing the General's performance of his original novelty song because he far exceeded the age limit for contestants.
Final Verdict: We loved 62-year-old Platt's performance of 'Pants on the Ground,' a diss of people who dress in hip-hop clothing. It taught us a valuable lesson about the importance of cinching our pants with a belt. After all, you look like a fool when your pants are on the ground.


Name: Dewone Robinson
Song Choice: 'Lady We're Not Together Anymore' by Dewone Robinson
What the Judges Said: "I can honestly say ... it's one of the worst original songs I've ever heard," Cowell said.
Final Verdict: Despite Robinson's impressive musical heritage -- a great-uncle discovered Gladys Knight & the Pips and another relative played drums for Motown -- his audition was a disaster with thin highs and braying lows. To be fair, choosing to sing an original composition is always a tricky thing, especially when it's awful.


Name: Christy Marie Agronow
Song Choice: 'Love is a Battlefield' by Pat Benatar
What the Judges Said: "It was a terrible version of the song," Cowell said. "This ... shouldn't be your career, sweetie," DioGuardi added. Guest judge Mary J. Blige unsuccessfully stifled a laugh during the performance.
Final Verdict: The Georgia TV show host/producer's performance of Benatar's song was over-the-top and theatrical, complete with exaggerated hand gestures and pained facial expressions.

Name: Jesse Hamilton
Song Choice: 'The River'/'If Tomorrow Never Comes' by Garth Brooks
What the Judges Said: "Look, the whole thing was terrible. You're a nice guy, but this is absolutely not for you," Cowell said, suggesting Hamilton go back to his day job as a welder. Blige laughed out loud as Hamilton forgot the words to his song and was prompted by Jackson to sing another.
Final Verdict: The Alabama native has cheated death three times in his life; he avoided crib death as a baby, dodged a ricochet while firing a gun at rocks and tin cans, and sidestepped a speeding car threatening to run him over. But, he failed to survive his 'Idol' audition and gave a lifeless performance. We'll avoid any jokes about his dental hygiene and leave it at that.

Name: Lamar Royal
Song Choice: 'Kiss From a Rose' by Seal
What the Judges Said: "That was kind of torturous, man. The pitch was all over the place," Jackson said. "You have to find some humility in order to do this ... and stop trying to exalt yourself," Blige said of Royal's attitude.
Final Verdict: Royal said he appreciates constructive criticism and is a good listener, but he talked over the judges, wouldn't stop singing and went off on a profanity-filled rant when told his voice needed more work. Ultimately, he was escorted off by security.


Boston Auditions - 1/12/10

Name: Andrew Fenlon
Song Choice: 'The House of the Rising Sun' by The Animals
What the Judges Said: Fenlon wasn't the worst contestant. He could at least carry a tune ... sort of. But he was irritated by the long wait to audition and made the critical error of antagonizing the judges, especially DioGuardi, who threatened to spank him for his insolence. "There are people that would wait years [to audition]," she said. "So, I am now angry at you, who I don't like at all." Beckham added that Fenlon was "arrogant" without the talent to back it up.
Final Verdict: Check the 'tude, buddy.



Name: Janet McNamara
Song Choice:
'I Got a Pocketful of Sunshine' by Natasha Bedingfield
What the Judges Said: A universal no. "Does this window open?" Cowell asked, preferring a long fall to McNamara's performance. "The future doesn't look bright," he added. Beckham offered a terse "No, absolutely not."
Final Verdict: The only thing more unfortunate than McNamara's tuneless rendition of Bedingfield's song was her pink belly shirt. She was also confused and klutzy; she mistook DioGuardi for Paula Abdul twice, managed to knock over a prop while being interviewed, stumbled while walking into her audition, and accidentally back-handed her friend during her exit interview with Ryan Seacrest. Her reported mastery of the 'American Idol' video game wasn't a help either.

Name: Derek Hilton
Song Choice: 'Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word' by Elton John
What the Judges Said: "Utter rubbish ... it was just like there were 20 of you in there, and every one of them was horrible," Cowell said, referring to Hilton's uneven vocal style.
Final Verdict: Hilton is a self-described spiritual person who enjoys nature walks, scratchy falsettos and singing through his nose. If he could pick a single style to emulate, he might just improve enough to be terrible.


Name: Norberto Guerrero
Song Choice: 'Everytime We Touch' by Cascada
What the Judges Said: Like Fenlon, Guerrero wasn't the worst performer, although he was flat and out-of-tune. Instead, his bizarre look is ultimately what doomed him. "You sing like a three-year-old girl, dress like LaToya Jackson, you've got a beard," Cowell said. "The whole thing was just too weird."
Final Verdict: Really, it doesn't matter how well Guerrero sang. When you look like the werewolf offspring of LaToya Jackson and Prince, you're fair game.

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