10 notable people from this episode of American Idol
Achille Lovle : So I am Chris, aka Monkseal, and this is my blog, so I’ll be writing my bits in normal writing, because…it’s my blog, and I’m not changing for no man. Steve (boyfriend, telebitching blogger, American Idol aficionado to the degree that he actually owns albums and stuff) on the other hand will be posting in fancy italics. I’ve been watching since Series 6, my favourite contestants include Crystal Bowersox, Melinda Doolittle, Jason Castro, Adam Lambert, and Fantasia that one time she came back and stamped on everyone. I don’t normally watch auditions, but I’m bothering this year, because Simon Cowell’s not there any more. Which means I’m going to have to get used to comedy contestants again, and over that weird Michael Jackson fan singing Miley Cyrus, and that guy with a disability who made a warped tape noise, I’m choosing Achille Lovle, the world’s greatest and worst Grace Jones impersonator. She seemed kind of grumpy and crap, but she has made me want to hear a whole album of Grace herself doing covers of mid-80s Madonna songs. So she brought something to my life at least.
Ashley Sullivan : So I am Steve, aka…Steve, and I’m very honoured to be here. I’ve been watching American Idol since about halfway through season four, have supported Vonzell Solomon, Katharine McPhee, Jordin Sparks, Brooke White, Kris Allen and Crystal Bowersox in seasons four to nine respectively. I’m not so great with the winner-backing, in other words, which is why I absolutely adored Ashley Sullivan. Spent her entire pre-audition VT doing some kind of terrifying Chris Crocker tribute, then cast aside all of her Britney-love in the audition proper to do showtunes and declare that she wants to be Idol’s first jazz hands/contemporary pop crossover artist, and cry a lot. I don’t anticipate her lasting much longer in the competition, but I am hoping for her to at least give Tatianna Del Toro a run for her money in the can-sing-but-is-clearly-insane stakes.
Devyn Rush : I suspect Devyn is the sort of contestant who will get reamed on the internet, because she’s a singing waitress, and therefore has the UNMITIGATED GALL to already try to earn some sort of living from singing while at the same time not being a white guy with a guitar. In truth, I wasn’t crazy about the performance, because ‘God Bless The Child’ is overdone, but I liked her voice and I like her, and on the off-chance she makes it to the live shows, I’m fully prepared for her to be one of the early boots that I spend the rest of the season complaining about.
Jennifer Lopez : NEW JUDGE! Automatically my favourite because she replaced Kara DioGuardi (in my head) and therefore the quality shift is the greatest. Frankly she could issue all her opinions via armpit farts and she’d be of greater use to me than Kara ever was. She did seem to be trying a wee bit hard to be “the nice one”, and let’s be honest, she could have said “no” to a few more(/any) people, but really what’s the alternative? J-HO BITCH FROM THE BLOCK THINKS SHE’S IT. BITCH CAN’T EVEN SING etc etc! I did like the business-like air she had about her. Again while we’re talking about the role of the girl judge, it usually falls down to them to tell the boys to stop messing about, but I liked the slightly brusque way that J-Lo would cut them off, like she REALLY wanted this to be over so she can go get a Mars Bar. It’s like me in the last 5 minutes of every meeting I’ve ever been in where everyone’s quacking on about who’s doing minutes. SHUT UP ABOUT WHAT HILARIOUS THING YOUR DAUGHTER DID STEVEN TYLER AND LET ME GET MY COFFEE! Hopefully she “beds in” and is accidentally really rude to some 15 year old and everyone melts down.
Rachel Zevita : Had the honour of being this season’s “first” auditionee, and also of having already appeared in season six. I freely admit that I had no recollection of her first audition before or after the editors reminded me of it, and didn’t think it was all that great either. Really, the main point of her appearance as far as I was concerned was the insight it gave us into At Home With J-Lo And Marc Anthony as J-Lo read the bit the producers scripted for her about Rachel’s previous appearance and used all of her acting skills to make it sound like she actually remembered it. I didn’t think much of her singing, since I couldn’t even figure out it was ‘Hallelujah’ at first, but I don’t really mind her getting a pass to the next round on the basis of previous good form, provided she does actually justify her place in the competition come Hollywood week.
Robbie Rosen : Your obligatory Inspirational Contestant. I wasn’t really Inspired to do much apart from get up off the sofa and put the tea on. I gather there was a wheelchair involved somewhere in the past, and now there is not. Whatever, get used to this guy, he’s sticking around FOREVER.
Steven Tyler : For my money, the best thing about the new series so far. Jennifer’s good value, Randy’s finally starting to make himself useful, while Steven’s determined to carve himself a niche as some kind of awesome Simon/Paula hybrid, not especially caring for anyone’s shit and being as obnoxious as he thinks he can get away with. If this episode is anything to go by, I think he can get away with a lot, because he was great fun. He said “fuck a duck and see what hatches”, for crying out loud. What more could we need?
Tiffany Rios : JERSEY REPRESENT! Not to turn this bit into a litany of shows I’ve never seen that you might expect me to have, but I’ve never seen any of Jersey Shore ever. I know of some of them (The Situation, Snooki, Mikey Knuckles, The Crab, Venesa @, Marty Marblescrotum, Antoine, The Kracken) via reputation but I’ve never been hit quite so full in the face with the bracing salty air of the Jerz quite as fulsomely as with Tiffany Rios. It’s so exciting stumbling onto whole broad cultural stereotypes you never knew existed. She had stars on her nipples! She wore huge amounts of fake tan. She generally came across as thought Tatianna Del Toro decided to return to the world via comedy subterfuge. She’ll be gone soon enough but…SHE HAD STARS ON HER BOOBS.
Travis Orlando : Not knowing auditions terribly well, as I may have mentioned, I was thrilled to sit through this young man’s half hour life-story. It felt like a Tonight With Trevor McDonald special with a very special song or two over the closing credits. The episode was replete with tragic back-stories as it was (Kosovo, dad-cancer, wheelchairs, growin up Jerz) but I do like the “I’m just really really really really really really poor” ones best of all, just for the purity (the very first reality tv tragic backstory must have been just being poor right? If we carbon date it like a dinosaur?). And also he had the best voice of them all, and he looked like an ancillary character on a 90s early-teens cartoon, like Doug or Hey Arnold. I look forward to bathing some more in the sea of his poverty.
Victoria Huggins : Who would have thought so many SUPER-ADORABLE tics could be condensed into one person, slow-baked, and then just come out so very very very wrong? The giggling, the jumping, the “BOY HOWDY, ah’m just sevuntayn un THREE-QUORTERS BAH GOLLY AH AYUM!”, the pageantry, the Vaseline on the teeth, the whiff of JonBenet tragedy about the whole affair, like the girl doesn’t just have one stage-mother, but a whole kibbutz – a community building their own perfect pageant girl via focus group rigour. I hope she goes far, but I feel she already reached her peak when Steven Tyler leered at her, acting like a total perv, then back-handed the knowingness that isn’t quite hers behind the Victoria Huggins facade by saying she was showing just the right amount of skin. I like in hope that she performs “I’m Just A Girl Who Cain’t Say No” at some point.