Review: 'American Idol' - 'Road To Hollywood'

by Kona Gallagher, posted Feb 4th 2010 12:40AM
american idol pants on the ground(S09E08) This is the last episode before we get to Hollywood, and you know it's going to be good for two reasons: Victoria Beckham's back, and they start it off with "Pants on the Ground" (Although, how could they leave the classic Brett Favre version out of the montage?).

However, Beckham is only back for a little while, as this is a montage of auditions from all of the stops that we haven't seen yet. It's kind of weird how it's set up, because even though we haven't seen these people before, this still seems like a strange kind of clip show. In any case, it wraps up the audition process, in which 181 golden tickets were handed out, and gets us ready for the real show to start next week, when Ellen DeGeneres permanently joins the cast, which is what I've been waiting for.

We start off with Jessica Furney, who auditioned last season, coming back and singing a song that Simon co-wrote. It is apparently called "Footprints in the Sand," but I was positive at first that she said "Butt Prints in the Sand," which would be completely fantastic. She's pretty good, but there's not a lot about her that interests me too deeply. However, everyone says "yes," so she's through to Hollywood.

Amanda Schectman has the least surprising occupation ever: "Theater Student." She's very dramatic, and is into silly voices and whatnot. She has a really odd quality to her voice that I'm not sure I like or not, but she's decent. However, after the judges tell her that she failed to connect with him, she gets all super, "HELLLOOO, I'M A 19-YEAR-OLD THEATER STUDENT!!!" That I never want to hear from her again. However, the judges send her through to Hollywood, with Simon poking a bit of fun in the process.

Lee Dewyze is one of those guys who brings the guitar into the audition room, even though they're not allowed to play instruments at this stage in the competition; it annoys me. He's also singing "Ain't No Sunshine," and while I love that song, it's one of those songs that's been absolutely done to death on this show. I swear, after watching 'American Idol' for any given period of time, it's easy to think that there have only been about 15 songs written in the history of music -- and at least four of them are Alicia Keys songs. Anyway, this guy is pretty good, and he looks like Danny Gokey, so take that how you will. He's going to Hollywood, where he'll be able to play his guitar.

Crystal Bowersox is singing Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart," and she's pretty good, but nothing to write home about. She's going to Hollywood, though.

Lacey Brown
made it to the Top 50 in season 8, and she's back again this year. She's singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," and it's pretty easy to see why she made it to Hollywood last year. She has a great voice, and she's engaging. Lacey is going to Hollywood again.

This is Stephanie Fisher's seventh time auditioning, and she's only 23, so she can audition five more times, at least! She's singing "Fever," and is dressed like a cocktail waitress on the 12 am - 6 am shift at an off-the-strip casino in Vegas. She's super-intense when she sings, and while she isn't bad, she's not good, and is pretty terrifying. Simon tells her she has a horrible voice though, and once again, she doesn't get through to Hollywood.

Next up, we have a group of 16-year-olds: Rachel Hubbard is good, but she doesn't seem ready for this. Thaddeus Johnson has quite a presence, and is really fun to watch. The judges really love Genesis Moore, but frankly, I don't see it. However, all three of them make it through to Hollywood.

No. Nononononononono. I don't ever want to hear the word "manflower" again. Just, no. Adrian Chandtchi, the 6'8" swimmer, sings "Can't Help Falling In Love With You," He's got a very high voice, and he doesn't seem to really know the words of the song he's singing. He doesn't get through to Hollywood.

Michael Lynche really likes the gym, and he has his first baby on the way. He's singing "Unchained Melody," and he's really good. More importantly, he has a great personality, and Kristin Chenoweth seems to be swooning a little bit. It's pretty adorable. He gets a unanimous "yes." He also picks Seacrest up like a baby, which is pretty hilarious.

Didi Benami is auditioning in memory of her best friend, who passed away four years ago. She sings "Hey Jude," and I really like her. She's one of those people who seems much stronger when she sings than she does just when she's talking in general. Case in point: she immediately bursts into tears the second she's done singing.

Aaron Kelly is the sweetest thing I have ever seen. He's 16, and he and his brother were adopted by his aunt and uncle, after their parents couldn't take care of them. He calls his aunt "mom," because "your mom is the one who raised you." I really want him to be good. He's singing "The Climb," by Miley Cyrus, and he is really good! He's got a pretty strong country vibe, and he's pretty cool. He gets a unanimous "yes," and is going to Hollywood. So. Cute.

Kimberly Bishop is a mess, you guys. She's completely spacey and talks about recycling and helping kids in Africa. She's also singing "I Kissed a Girl," which is one of my least favorite songs. The whole thing is just weird and off-putting. In fact, she hikes up her dress so much that they have to censor her ladybits. It's a "no."

Shaddaii Harris seems nice, and she has her mother with her, who is a huge supporter of her dream to sing. She sings "Fallin'" by Alicia Keys, and it's just not good. She's really into it, and has a nice personality, but it's a "no."

Hope Johnson has somehow managed to be a 19-year-old bartender, which is generally illegal, but good on her. She had a tough life, and it looks as though she's making ends meet. She's singing, "I Hope You Dance," and she's pretty decent, despite a wonky note midway through. She gets a unanimous "yes."

So, that's it. This hodgepodge marks the end of auditions and the beginning of Idol'spatented filler episodes. We saw many more good singers than bad, but are any of them good enough to make it to the end?

Who was the best out of this group of contestants?
Jessica Furney1 (0.8%)
Amanda Schectman2 (1.6%)
Lee Dewyze5 (3.9%)
Crystal Bowersox4 (3.1%)
Lacey Brown8 (6.3%)
Rachel Hubbard2 (1.6%)
Thaddeus Johnson11 (8.6%)
Genesis Moore1 (0.8%)
Michael Lynche18 (14.1%)
Didi Benami26 (20.3%)
Aaron Kelly38 (29.7%)
Hope Johnson12 (9.4%)

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they didn't give equal time to all the kids in the poll. If you could have seen Thaddeus Johnson's full audition you would see that he was the best singer....

February 04 2010 at 11:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked this episode the best out of all the audition rounds, just because I felt like most of the singers they showcased actually have a chance in making it past the first round of Hollywood week. And it was more about their singing than their backstory...I'm definitely ready for Hollywood week though!

February 04 2010 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Actually, you can become a bartender at 18 (at least where I live..which is not where Hope is from). You get a certificate for doing the classes, and they teach you with colored water. Not illegal.

February 04 2010 at 8:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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