Eight people we found interesting from Randy Jackson’s home state.
Alex Attardo : I considered quite a few comedy contestants to cover this go round (mostly the pre-credits psycho and the woman who delivered the screamiest (and therefore the best) version of “And I’m Telling You” I’ve ever heard) but really nothing was more satisfying than Alex Atardo. The show’s number one justification of the mean-spirited harsh mocking it doles out its less successful contestants has always been “we’re just making sure they know that they’re not cut out for a singing career – we have to be harsh, they’re DELUSIONAL! WE’RE LIKE THERAPY! TOUGH LOVE THERAPY!”. So what better piece of irony than to demonstrate how show-affiliated “Idol Camp” takes otherwise nice young men (alright…he was handsome in a dorky sort of way. I have no way of knowing he was ACTUALLY nice) and gives them delusions of adequacy via proximity and probably an A4 certificate with a ribbon attached. Oh Alex Atardo. This show done you wrong.
Brett Loewenstern : I’ll admit, the sob stories that basically amount to “people have been mean to and/or about me for my entire life” always make me fairly uneasy, because I can’t imagine appearing on this show is likely to silence the haters – on a lot of occasions, I suspect it’s only going to make them louder. Despite my misgivings, however, I really liked this guy – his nervousness and awkwardness was quite sweet, and he gave a good performance – especially considering that he was singing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, which is a song that’s rarely underdone. His parents said that American Idol was his dream, and I wondered why it took him so long to apply. Then I realised that Simon Cowell would never let a gay person win (I mean, come on), so Brett was probably biding his time until Simon took his bored, destructive ass far away from this show. Good call, Brett.
Jacee Badeaux Seriously, wasn’t he the villain in The Princess And The Frog? Can you imagine anybody have a MORE New Orleans Appropriate name. It’s like he was BORN to do this. The whole audition felt a little bit “Britain’s Got Talent” to me – like in the next few episodes (cause let’s face it – he’s not going anywhere any time soon) we’re going to get some sort of bullying backstory that actually turns out to be a load of old made-up nonsense. Dock Of A Bay is a little bit of an Old Man’s Song for me as well, given that he is only 15 years of old. Reducing the lower age limit to 15 is I think the one thing I’m not entirely positive about with regards to the changes to this year’s show. The kids on this show of legal age get enough hate as it is without bringing actual minors into it.
Jacquelyn Dupree : Not the cellist. She was blatantly only shown because of the Randy Jackson connection, with her father having been his high-school football coach, but that’s enough for me to able to remember her after the episode is over. I don’t really think Daddy Dupree really remembered Randy Jackson that much really, which is odd, given that his high-school photo made him look pretty…memorable, but their interaction was cute. Her voice was decent, if unspectacular, as were her looks, so I can’t imagine we’ll see her face again, except in a montage of crying ones. So long Jacqueline Dupree (not the cellist)
Jordan Dorsey : People whose intro VTs show them teaching others about music are another subcategory of contestants that make me nervous, because it seems like they’re being set up for a fall, so it was refreshing to see that trope played fairly straight for a change. Not that I was overly found of his version of ‘Over The Rainbow’ – HE’S NO DANIELLE HOPE, THAT’S FOR SURE – since it’s one of those songs that gets done so much, the only way you can Make It Your Own is to pretty much rewrite the entire tune, and that’s where I get bored. Still, he seems nice and he’s clearly very talented, so I’m interested to see how he does in Hollywood. Also, he came complete with an awesome sassy grandma who kept pointing out how short Ryan is. I want him to stick around if only for her.
Jovanny Barretto So it turns out that it was Randy and Steven’s bellies they were flashing to camera, not their genitalia. I know I’m surprised. Because you know that Steven would have done given even the most slight of opportunities. Also Steven was totally sucking his old-man belly in, you could just tell. Poor Seacrest though. You could just feel the pain in his voice when he complained at Jovanny that he only got Randy and Steven to take their clothes off and not… the really hot cameraman. JUST KIDDING SEACREST, YOU ARE DEFINITELY HETEROSEXUAL! Jovanny actually had one of if not my actual favourite voice of the episode, in all its Spanish breathiness, but then he took his top off, so I very much look forward to him being this series’ Casey James. But minus Kara hanging off his pecs, so even better!
Paris Tassin : Heartfelt performance + emotive VT + adorable child with learning difficulties + the tears of Jennifer Lopez = American Idol paydirt. I mean, I’m a hardened cynic but it was hard to not at least be a little bit moved by her story, though as always I question the “I want a better life for my child” VTs because (a) you’ll be lucky if a career spawned from this show leaves you enough money to support yourself, let alone a child, and (b) will a life of constant touring and promotion and living out of a suitcase and unpredictable hours really be such a great life for your kid? Anyway, she sang a song by Carrie Underwood which I wasn’t previously aware of, but generally suggests that the subtlety of the lyrics in her songs hasn’t improved much since album number one, and Paris kept HOLDING HER STOMACH which really annoyed me because it generally implies poor technique, but at least we got an opportunity to see J-Lo being all inspirational with a cute kid.
Sarah Sellers : Apparently the secret lovechild resulting from a threesome between Janeane Garofolo, Steven Tyler, and Tori Spelling, music blogger Sarah turned up with big lips and cute glasses and was generally pretty cute. Unfortunately, she blew most of her initial goodwill from me by singing Adele’s version of ‘Make You Feel My Love’, which is pretty much up there near the top of songs I Never Ever Ever Need To Her Again, right behind ‘Hometown Glory’ and ‘Hey There, Delilah’. I hate it when that happens. I’m giving her one more chance to win me back in Hollywood, but if she even thinks about pulling this sort of shit again, then we are FUCKING DONE PROFESSIONALLY.