Reviewcap: American Idol - Los Angeles Auditions

by Kona Gallagher, posted Jan 26th 2010 11:15PM
american idol avril lavigne
(S09E05) 11,000 people showed up for the Los Angeles auditions, which actually seems like kind of a low number to me. Maybe they heard the guest judge was going to be Avril Lavigne and said, "eh, maybe I'll skip this one. There's always season 10!" Okay, that's not nice. I'm sure Lavigne is a perfectly lovely lady. But who really cares? All that matters is whether or not she's a good judge.

...Except for the fact that she's a 25-year-old divorced woman who is wearing a hoodie with devil horns sewn into it. Not only that, but she insists on wearing the hood with devil horns sewn into it up on her head, while inside a building, so she can show off said devil horns, while she is evaluating people who are singing their hearts out to her. Because, God forbid she let anyone's hopes and dreams, or you know, professionalism, take precedence over her pseudo-punk lifestyle. Dear Avril, you are no longer 15; please dress and act accordingly. *Deep breath* Okay, that's better. Now on with the show.

Auditions Day 1

Neil Goldstein
is the first auditioner we see, and he gets a fairly long little segment. He has an IQ of 168, and is just generally quirky in a typical nerdy high-school way. He comes into the audition already sweating, which is troublesome, and he's singing Meatloaf's "Rock and Roll Dreams Come True." The way they're setting this up, you fully expect him to be horrible and for it to be a major "no." Unfortunately, he's actually decent. He needs some serious vocal training, but he clearly has natural talent. I say, "unfortunately," because the poor guy can't remember his lines, and he's basically a mess. Avril Lavigne isn't exactly scoring any points with me by just openly laughing at the guy, either. Neil, however, also stops scoring points with me when he gets confrontational and refuses to leave.

It's all about the stories today, as we get another one about "worship pastor," Jim Ranger. He's singing an original song he wrote called, "Drive," which generally is a terrible thing to do in the judges' room. However, if you do get to the point where you're reasonably sure your audition is going to be shown on TV, then why not? Even if the judges hate it, at least you get your original song out in front of a huge audience. I'm not in love with the song, but I like the way he sings. The judges all seem to agree, but Avril blah blahs about him not being able to be a singer because he's married with kids, and she says "no." Luckily, the judges ignore her and vote him through to Hollywood.
Next, we have a montage of bad auditions: Jayson Wilson, Jesse Chang, and Martin Perez do not get through.

Damien Lefavor apparently makes sandwiches and is obsessed with Martial Arts. He also can't remember the name of the Righteous Brothers song that he's going to be singing, which isn't a very good start. For the record, it's "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin.'" His audition does not go well. He kind of sounds like he's trying to poop throughout the entire thing, but when he hits a particularly frightening note, he at least knows that he's screwed up. He leaves without a fight.

Mary Powers has an 8-year-old daughter who has wanted to meet Simon her whole life because "he's the only negativity one." Let's see how she feels about him after he gets through with her mother. Mary is singing a Pat Benatar song. It's very different, and it takes me a while to realize that it's "Love is a Battlefield." I like it, but she could definitely stand a few sessions with the Idol voice coaches. But what's important to me here is how Simon illustrates why I love him here: he tells Mary that she has a nice voice, but that everything about her is cliche (which is so true), and he does it all while sitting next to Avril Lavigne. She gets through with a unanimous "yes."

A.J. Mendoza has apparently given a demo to Adam Lambert, who had nothing but nice things to say about his voice. He's singing "Cult of Personality," and it does not start off well at all. Unfortunately for A.J., it doesn't get better, but it does illustrate something interesting about Adam Lambert: he walked the line between talented and just crazy very well all through last season. If the wind blew him just so, he could have easily fallen over to the crazy side, and that would have made him A.J. Mendoza. It's a unanimous "no" for A.J.

Auditions Day 2:

Our long national Avril Lavigne nightmare is over, but is a new one about to begin with Katy Perry?

Austin Fullmer is our first auditioner on Day 2, and he's wearing mostly plastic. He's singing "Surrender," by Cheap Trick. He is someone I would really enjoy having with me at Karaoke, but that's about it. He starts to freak Simon out, so it's a unanimous "no."

Next, we get a montage of people crying after getting rejected. I fail to see the entertainment value in this. However, there is an odd moment in which we see that Sanjaya's crying girl has apparently tried out and not made it through.

Andrew Garcia has a very cute kid. He grew up in Compton and his parents were involved in gangs. He's clearly trying to make a better life for himself and his family, but it always makes me nervous when people try to go about doing that on something like American Idol. It's kind of like basing your retirement plan on winning the lottery. He sings "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5, and is pretty great. Simon is downright effusive in his praise for Andrew, which is pretty much the best sign the guy can get. He gets a unanimous "yes."

Tasha Layton is a personal assistant/ minister, which is an interesting combination. She's singing "Baby Baby" by Joss Stone, and she has a really nice, bluesy voice. She gets a unanimous "yes."

Jason Greene
is kind of intense and terrifying. He also believes in magic. He's also singing "I Touch Myself," by The Divinyls. He'd be another fun Karaoke buddy, but again, that's about it. He even makes Katy Perry feel dirty, so he gets a unanimous "no." At the end of it, he gives his number to Seacrest who replies, "as much as you may believe what you read..." and gives the number to another dude. Seacrest FTW.

Are we really going to end the show with a guy talking about how he grew up in the foster system? Do they really want all of my mommy hormones to flood out and make me cry myself to death? Chris Golightly further tugs my heartstrings by singing "Stand By Me," and does it beautifully. He gets a unanimous "yes," even though two of them are "small y's."

In the end, 24 people get golden tickets, which seems like a slightly better average than we've been getting in previous cities. Katy Perry was an interesting judge, who managed to be direct and honest without being bitchy, and I appreciated that. Avril Lavigne, on the other hand... well, I think I've said enough.

Who was the best of the Los Angeles contestants?
Jim Ranger5 (3.8%)
Mary Powers14 (10.8%)
Andrew Garcia69 (53.1%)
Tasha Layton17 (13.1%)
Chris Golightly25 (19.2%)

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i am 12 years old and i absoultly love that hoodie Avril Lavigne was wearing, i checked the kohls website and i just cant find it, if anybody knows where i could find that hoodie please tell me, i would greatly appreciate it, thanks

January 30 2010 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good to know others hated Avril as much as I did. I mean, you can't go to Hollywood because you have kids and a job? AI is only for single people? Get a life.

January 27 2010 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with dkny. I liked kara at first, and the woman does have some great jackets, but sometimes she is just annoying. I actually really liked katy Perry last night....bring back her and Posh.

January 27 2010 at 2:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

#7 Aml would you care to elaborate on this comment:

Here real name is actually Avril Lavigne. She is French Canadian, which explains everything.

Explains what exactly?

January 27 2010 at 11:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to SJP's comment

oh no you surely don't want to get into a fight with the French

January 27 2010 at 11:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the only one to suck more than Avril is Kara every single week - bring back Posh she was sweet and had a good vide with Simon - otherwise it's just a mean fest

January 27 2010 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow, it seemed that this was the night that they pulled out all of the really weird guys to show us. There were at least 3 that had those creepy staring eyes that you usually see in a zombie movie. None of the ones they showed us really stood out vocally, but I guess it's obvious the producers don't really want vocal talent as much as interesting characters.

January 27 2010 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Avril was wearing her own design - which can be found at Kohl's. I think she was just pimping her teen clothing line - Abbey Dawn...I thought the hoodie was cute and would look great on my 9 year old...

January 27 2010 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey Sharon - the Susan Boyle + Adam Lambert love child has been on Project Runway (name: Daniel), so that's where you might know him from.

I thought this audition episode was an EPIC FAIL. Only 5 good auditions? And 'I Touch Myself' guy gets a chunky segment...puh-leaze.

January 27 2010 at 10:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kristi's comment
Marcus Gorman

Wow. I should have just read this.

I like how my second instinct was "fashion designer." Too much cable for me, that's for sure.

January 27 2010 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I apologize Ami, I didn't mean to offend French Canadians - I obviously knew very little about her - my inexcusable ignorance. I guess I just didn't like her.

January 27 2010 at 9:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to agree with Kona on April Levine (I know she spells it the artistic francais way but it's April Levine to me) - she got on my last nerve. I don't care how old she is that hoodie was just ridiculous at any age. She was also mighty mean...really looking forward to Neil Patrick Harris' short stint tonight.

January 27 2010 at 5:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Lisa's comment

Here real name is actually Avril Lavigne. She is French Canadian, which explains everything. It is not artistic at all. If you hate her and want to butcher her name just say so.

I don't like her either, but I was 11 when her first CD came out and actually own it. I also remember way too much about her because I did like her once.

January 27 2010 at 9:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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