Reviewcap: American Idol - Auditions #3: Chicago

by Kona Gallagher, posted Jan 19th 2010 11:00PM
american idol shania twain
(S03E09) We begin the show with Frank Sinatra's, "Chicago," which puts me in a good mood, but it's ruined by a bunch of never-weres sharing their heavily-bleeped opinions of American Idol and the judges. However, I am quickly buoyed by the woman waiting in line who says confidently to the camera, "I believe I have what it takes to become America's Next Top Model." God Bless you, ma'am. Thank you for being real and saying what no one else will: sometimes it's just about being on TV.

You would think that since it's the 3rd time Idol has held auditions in Chicago, that we would end up with a great group of talent, but you would be wrong. They may have used up most of the good ones the first two times, because Chicago doesn't actually turn out too many golden tickets.

Auditions Day 1:

We start off with an inspirational story, and you guys know how I feel about those. Like, dude. I'm sorry your parents got divorced and all, but it happens. Just sing, please. After a short therapy session with Simon, Katelyn Epperly does just that, singing "Syrup and Honey" by Duffy. Surprisingly, she's really good -- in fact, she's one of the best we've seen so far. She's got a nice, bluesy thing going on. When I hear someone mention "Duffy," I immediately think of the Cover Girl model, so I'll just have to take Randy's word for it when he says that she's not a sound-alike. She gets a unanimous "yes," and I have a feeling she's going to go pretty far in the competition.

Amy Lang just tries waaaaaaaaay too hard. Like, to a painful degree. She talks about her inappropriate dreams about Seacrest, starts off her audition by fake-fainting, and then does something crazy with her boobs. At some point during this display, she sings "Dr. Feelgood" by Aretha Franklin, which I find disappointing, because, as much as I love Aretha, I was really excited to hear some Crüe. Also disappointing? The actual singing itself. She's super-good at karaoke, I bet, and probably has been in some school musicals, but she sings out of her nose and it just isn't actually good. The judges agree, and didn't think she took it seriously enough, so it was a unanimous "no."

Charity Vance works in the salon that her parents run out of their house, and apparently all of the clients ask her to sing to them. Dude. Whether she's good or not, that just sounds like the hair appointment from hell. I really just want to read a three-month-old issue of Us Weekly and murmur encouraging words every five minutes or so, not have to sit there politely while some 16-year-old sings at me. Jesus. It's like going to dinner theater, except it's just a castmember in your kitchen while you're trying to eat a grilled cheese. Not fun. Anyway. She sings "Summertime," and the first note makes me want to kill myself, but she starts to grow on me. She's not perfect, but she does have some potential. Randy actually sums it up perfectly: "small voice, but a very interesting sound." All four of the judges say "yes;" Chicago is a very unanimous city so far.

Angela Martin
doesn't have one of the patented Idol "inspirational" stories -- it's just straight-up sad. This is the third season in a row that she's auditioned: the first time, her father was killed a week before Hollywood week, and the second time, she made it to the top 50, but had a court date that prevented her from going any further. Now she's back to start the process all over again. She sings "Just Fine" by Mary J. Blige, and predictably, she's good. I'm not sure how unique she is, but for the love of God, you have to at least let her get to Hollywood. Luckily, she gets another unanimous "yes." I'll be really interested to see how she does going forward in the competition.

Auditions Day 2:

We've seen some montages of terrible singers, but Curley Newbern is the first one who gets any real screen time. He's singing Maxwell's "This Woman's Work." There isn't a single discernible word in the entire thing -- not even when he was introducing it. I thought the title of the song was "A Woman's Worth." He leaves before the judges even give him their answer (which would be a four-way "no," BTW).

Next ups is Aannah Halbert who is singing "I Will Always Love You." It's hard to tell if she's going for the Whitney or the Dolly version, which in and of itself is a bad sign. She's about to go into the big chorus, and she's already so high, that she has no chance of hitting the notes. The judges try to help her out, but it's nothing going. Another unanimous "no."

Apparently, despite being in the military, Brian Krause hates the troops. That's the only reason I can think of as to why he would sing to them. He sings Tiny Tim's "Tiptoe Through the Tulips," and it is genuinely frightening. However, it leads to my favorite exchange of the night:
Kara: And do you tiptoe like that?"
Brian: "Ask anyone in grade school to current. Yes I do, ma'am."
To be fair, he wasn't too far off from Tiny Tim, so in that way, Brian Krause is a success. However, he will not be tiptoeing to Hollywood.

Harold Davis is another one of those people whose interview makes you think that he's going to be completely tone-deaf, just because he's just so ridiculously confident. However, he sings Usher, and it's not terrible. It's not good, but it didn't make my skin fall off or anything. He gets a unanimous "no," and he's absolutely devastated. This is what makes me hate this show; I don't like to watch people in pain.

Day 2 in Chicago is a bust so far, and it doesn't look as though Chantelle Graczkowski is going to end that anytime soon. She sings... something. It's not good. It is a "no."

John Park is cute. Also, I like when he talks about why his parents did not approve of him studying voice in college. "They wanted me to have a job..." If Harold is why I hate this show, John is why I love it. I don't actually recognize the song he's singing (reader swthompson says that it's "I'll Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" by Blood, Sweat & Tears), but I love it. Even Shania is getting all gushy watching him. She then goes on to tell him that he has "a lovely bottom end," and "nice lips." Ha. After a while, she can't even talk anymore. It's amazing. It's the first "yes" of day 2 -- and a very well-deserved one.

Paige Dechausse almost died, but she didn't, so now she's singing "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke. I love Sam Cooke, so I'm kind of excited about this. Luckily, she's good. Otherwise, it would have been a really awkward conversation with Simon: "I'm glad you're still alive, but there's no real need for you in the world. Goodbye." As it is, she's the first non-unanimous decision in Chicago. However, she's going to Hollywood.

Justin Ray, Keith Semple, and Marcus Jones don't get much screen time, but they do get through to Hollywood.

After that, Ryan says that 13 people from Chicago got golden tickets. 13 people out of 12,000. Can you imagine? Let's see how far this batch of 13 makes it.

Who was the best out of the Chicago contestants?
Katelyn Epperly55 (25.5%)
Charity Vance14 (6.5%)
Angela Martin26 (12.0%)
John Park80 (37.0%)
Paige Dechausse16 (7.4%)
Justin Ray2 (0.9%)
Keith Semple17 (7.9%)
Marcus Jones6 (2.8%)

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Ray Joseph Barona

watch the full video fo American Idol worst auditions 3

January 27 2011 at 9:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hope you all read the story yesterday about the AI audition process. Do you really think that out of 12,000 people in Chicago only 13 had talent? Come on, I am a vocal music teacher, and I personally know at least 4 students who auditioned who are outstanding vocalists. None of them even got through to Simon, Randy, Kara, and Shania. They got through the first few rounds with underling judges, and were asked to come back for what they thought was the round before THE JUDGES, only to find they were auditioning before more underling judges. Then, they all got cut. Bottom line is that every year AI is looking for a particular "type", if you're not that "type," no matter how talented, you don't make it on to the TV. AI is a joke.

January 21 2010 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love the phone calls to the mom after they get a golden tix. It just makes me smile and laugh when there is a pause...then mom's crazy shout.
My favorite was probably Summertime girl, because the first line was so squeaky, I thought, there is no way, but in the next breath I was 500% sold & loving it. Crazy good (but small) tone & pitch.

January 20 2010 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

how do we get rid of Kara - she's horrible and adds nothing

January 20 2010 at 12:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Last night's auditions were depressing. It's one of the reasons why I wanted to NOT watch AI until Hollywood week (That only lasted 1 hour into the first show of the season... New Year's Resolution = abandoned). I absolutely LOVED Shania Twain as Guest Judge! But I can't believe only 13 out of 12,000 got Golden Tickets, that must be the worst success rate of any audition city. I'll be rooting for Angela Martin, 'Third Time's a Charm'. I'll be very surprised if she doesn't get the chance to perform for America's votes this year.

January 20 2010 at 9:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
s thompson

John Park sang the Blood, Sweat & Tears classic "I'll Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" and did a pretty decent job with it.

January 20 2010 at 6:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to s thompson's comment
Kona Gallagher

Thanks for that! I added it to the post.

January 20 2010 at 10:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jane Boursaw

Kind of a dull couple of days in Chicago. I don't really even have a favorite here.

And I'm still trying to recover from Shania's weird menopause moment over John Park. That was just awkward.

January 20 2010 at 12:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jane Boursaw's comment

That's exactly what was going through my head when I saw this. Hmm... no one here (at least that they showed) is really outstandingly talented. Sure there are some nice voices, but no one in whom I'm willing to invest months of obsession. I didn't even see the attraction with that John Park guy... it left me very confused. *shrugs*

Thank you for writing this one, Kona! I missed you when tvsquad did the Atlanta auditions. I like your insights. You made me laugh when you talked about the first note that came out of Charity's mouth. That's exactly how I felt too! Props for a good recap! Hope you do tonight's too...

January 20 2010 at 5:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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