Reviewcap: American Idol - Dallas Auditions

by Kona Gallagher, posted Jan 27th 2010 11:00PM
american idol neil patrick harris
(S09E06) So last night, Avril Lavigne made me want to kill myself, and Katy Perry was surprisingly tolerable. I'm thinking things are going to be better tonight, as we have Neil Patrick Harris who is great, and Joe Jonas, who is a Jonas Brother, and as such is supposed to be cute and sweet, right? That's their thing? Anyway, we're in Dallas, home of Kelly Clarkson, so the big question is, does the city have the next Kelly on its hands?

I don't know about that, but I do know that NPH is my new idol. He asserts himself, and is tough while remaining charming. In fact, it seems as though he even takes the lead and goes over Simon's head a little bit: I like that.

Auditions Day 1

We start out with a major blast from the past: Julie Kevelighan auditioned way back in season 1 with a terrifying version of "Lady Marmalade." If I heard her correctly, she is taking acting classes but not voice classes -- which is totally cool, as I do believe I read a magazine article that talked about how singing voices generally improve if you just, you know, want them to. This year, she's singing "Black Velvet," and I will say this: she actually has improved over the past eight years or so. However, it's not good. Plus, as Neil Patrick Harris points out, the letters at the bottom of her sign are smooshed together. Poor planning. It's a unanimous "no."

I'm a sucker for people with cute kids, and Lloyd Thomas has two adorable little girls. So that alone makes me want him to succeed. He's singing "Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder. I love this song, and Stevie is always a bold choice. He does a really nice job with it, and he's super-likable, so that's definitely good for him. Simon even tells him that he's the best audition that he's seen all day, and he gets a unanimous "yes." He's going to be a lot of fun; I hope he makes it past Hollywood week.

Next, we get a montage of NPH and Simon disagreeing with each other. It's weird to me how we only see snippets of the split votes instead of seeing the actual performances. I love a unanimous "yes" as much as the next gal, but the disagreements are where the drama comes in!

Kimberly Carver is singing an original song, which is always daring. She has a great voice, but I kind of hate the song. Simon doesn't find her unique or interesting, so I guess I spoke too soon above. Everyone else likes her, and I also enjoy the way NPH takes charge and calls for the vote. Simon gives her the lone "no," but she's going to Hollywood anyway.

Dexter Ward is not someone who Simon will like, so even if he has angels flying out of his vocal cords, I can't see him making it to Hollywood. He's singing "If I Ever Fall In Love Again," and it's pretty horrible, so it's really not going to be an issue. He gets a unanimous "no."

Seriously? Do we really need the crying montages? I don't like watching other people's pain. It's not entertaining in the least.

Erica Rhodes may be the only person in the history of the competition who uses a ridiculous costume to positive effect instead of negative. She used to be on Barney & Friends, so in order to distance herself from that, she's dressed up like a dominatrix. They ask her to sing the Barney song in the outfit, and it's totally creepy, but she's a good singer and the whole thing kind of works in a weird way. She then sings "Free Your Mind," by En Vogue, which was my favorite song when I was, like, 11. Unfortunately, she kind of sings out of her nose, and it's strangely not as good as the Barney song. Despite that, she's likable enough to get a unanimous "yes."

Dave Pittman actually has an interesting story: he has Tourette's syndrome, but it doesn't affect him when he's singing. He's chosen "Bring It On Home To Me" by Sam Cooke, and he has a really nice voice that comes out of nowhere -- it's quite different from his speaking voice in just about every way. He gets a unanimous "yes."

Auditions Day 2

NPH is gone, which makes me sad. I'd love to see him show up later on in the season. I know very little about Joe Jonas, so I'm interested to see how he does.

Todrick Hall was in The Color Purple with Idol-winner Fantasia, which is a big plus for him, but he's singing a ridiculous song that he made up, which is a huge negative. His voice is nice, but kind of boring. Luckily, he's likable, so that should get him through. Even though Simon isn't head over heels for him, he gets a unanimous "yes." Plus, he can do backflips!

Dawntoya Thomason gets through, as does Stephanie Daulong and a bunch of unnamed individuals.

Meagan Wright seems like she'd be kind of annoying, but she sings "To Make You Feel My Love," and she's pretty decent. It's not the greatest thing I've ever heard, but she's pretty good. She gets a unanimous "yes."

Vanessa Johnston is wearing the loudest outfit ever, and has a voice to match it. It's not good. However, she probably could improve with some training. However, there are some bad, bad things going on in this audition. She doesn't get through to Hollywood, but she's quite cheerful about it!

After this, there's a pretty funny segment about how hard it is to be Simon Cowell: he has to listen to bad singers while sitting on stacks of money!

Christian Spears is 16, but was diagnosed with leukemia when she was four. Luckily, she has been in remission since she was eight. I like her immediately because she's singing an Etta James song, but not "At Last." Instead, she's performing, "All I Could Do Was Cry." Again, she's not the greatest I've ever heard, but it's a great song choice, and for 16? She's pretty damn good. She gets a unanimous "yes."

At the end of the day, we get 31 Golden tickets, but I'm not sure we have the next Kelly Clarkson? What do you think?

Who was the best out of the Dallas contestants?
Lloyd Thomas43 (20.3%)
Kimberly Carver12 (5.7%)
Erica Rhodes30 (14.2%)
Dave Pittman30 (14.2%)
Todrick Hall50 (23.6%)
Dawntoya Thomason17 (8.0%)
Stephanie Daulong8 (3.8%)
Meagan Wright5 (2.4%)
Christian Spears17 (8.0%)

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The on-screen text showed Lloyd Thomas' age as 29. (And Lloyd himself said he was 29.) I thought the cutoff age for auditioning was 28. Has that changed?

January 29 2010 at 10:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Joe Jonas just acted like he would go along with what the other judges said. I know the judges get clues as to what is going on in the lives of the contestants. I was unsure of this since none of the judges except for NPH asked Dave Pittman if he had tourette's syndrome. Like he could tell that he had it and cared enough about him to mention it.

January 28 2010 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I didnt watch the episode with NPH but I think he would make a good replacement for Simon when he leaves. He is smart, funny, likeable , and from what I hear, not afraid to speak his mind, but without the nastiness of Simon. He would be a much better choice than the other person I have heard is rumored to be in consideration for Simons place, Jamie Fox. I like Fox as an actor, but he is so full of himself that I cant stand him in any other capacity. Last year when he was a mentor and performer on AI, I thought he was horrible. He imagines himself to have some kind of musical talent, but I dont see it. The song he performed last year on the show was one of the worst performances I have ever seen on the show. Also, I believe his huge ego would make him insufferable over the course of the season.

January 28 2010 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with the above posters, I thought Joe Jonas really didn't contribute as a judge, while NPH hit all the notes, he was fun, honest, and didn't conform to the other judges.

I thought this episode was much better than Tuesday's horrible-fest. They kept the ratio of good (9) to bad (3), just the way I like it! Although I'll be surprised if any of the good from this round make it to Top 12...

January 28 2010 at 9:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Agreed about NPH, he was just great last night! He seemed kind and sincere even when delivering bad news, I was bummed to see him go. Joe Jonas is a cute guy, but how dull was he!

Maybe it is just me, but I though Todrick Hall's little ditty was pretty funny,and I thought he had a nice voice.

January 28 2010 at 9:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Xina's comment

not just you!

January 28 2010 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

VFTW is doing an expose on Toderick Hall.

January 28 2010 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

With Simon moving on, do we think NPH was auditioning to get the 3rd/4th seat? That would be legendary.

January 28 2010 at 6:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did anyone else catch when Vanessa Johnston tugged at her crotch??

January 28 2010 at 12:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As bad as one might think Avril Lavigne was, Joe Jonas was a non entity. He gave absolutley nothing. I mean how many times did we hear him say "Yeah". Honestly, I'd rather have just the 3 judges at that point. When I heard that a Jonas Brother was going to guest judge intially I was a little puzzled, but I figured why not, but he really was extremly useless in this role. I'm sure people like him, but that was just silly.

On the extreme other hand, Neil Patrick Harris was great. He was honest, he was extremly straight-forward, and he didn't just kowtow to the 3 other judges', especially Simon. He came in knowing the show, and didn't pull any punches. Honestly, at this point anything that NPH does is right on the money.

January 28 2010 at 12:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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