American Idol 2011 – San Francisco Auditions

8 contestants who were mildly diverting in the city that brought us Adam Lambert. Sigh.

Clint Gamboa : Part of his intro was talking about how he works in a karaoke bar and people always tell him that he’s too good for karaoke and he should be on American Idol – I hate to break it to this guy, but I think pretty much everyone who’s ever done karaoke has been told that at some point in their lives. It’s the liquor talking. Still, we were quite lucky on this occasion, because this guy’s actually a pretty decent singer. I’m really not sure about the glasses, which were a bit…Milhouse, and I’m getting worrying vibes of *spit spit* hipsterdom from this guy, but for now I’ll let him pass.

Drew Beaumier : I liked that they listed “Autobot” as one facet of his occupation. I couldn’t have rooted for him if he were a Decepticon. So yeah, this was that guy who’d made his own Transformer costume, and clearly just wanted to get on national TV and show everybody that he’d made his own Transformer costume. And really…fair enough. It was quite impressive (perhaps it helps that I’m a bit of a fanboy), and his voice wasn’t that bad. I mean, it wasn’t good, and it certainly wasn’t good enough for the competition, but I don’t mind joke contestants when they’re as harmless as this guy. Also, after he was rejected, HE TRANSFORMED AND DROVE DOWN THE STREET AS A CAR. Find me a contestant who had a better exit than that, I dare you.

Emily Reed : Just laying this out here, Colombo style, and hopefully not to the degree that it’s considered slander but… She’s got kind of a dislocated look on her face, like her brain is somewhere slightly different from her face most of the time. She had a sudden tragic backstory appear very shortly before her American Idol audition. When she was talking about she made sure to spool out her alibi as quickly and fully as possible, with some unnecessary detail thrown it. Basically, I’m not saying that she definitely burnt down her own house. I’m just saying that maybe this is something that Colombo (or Son of Colombo, or whoever) should be investigating. Anyway she had a really terrifyingly good voice, although kind of in that Megan Joy way, in that it will crumble like muesli when asked to go in any direction other than the 15 or so 50s radio classics that she knows.

Inessa Lee : Hooray! Crazy Ukrainian Yoga Slut! She mades videos in her shower and soundtracks them to ‘Womanizer’ then sticks them on YouTube! She’s married to some guy who looks decidedly henpecked! She talks in a terrifying babydoll voice that made me feel a little bit sick in my stomach. Weirdly, she wasn’t from that well-trodden path of The Laughably Inept Comic Foreigner; instead, she was just the Overly Confident Comic Foreigner, who didn’t turn out to be a terrible singer, just one who clearly wasn’t up to competition standard and was quite surprised to have that pointed out to her. I doubt she’ll see this as a setback for very long. It never stopped Heidi Montag after all.

James Durbin OK, so, I counted :

  • Daddy was a musician
  • Who wasn’t really present for much of James’ childhood
  • And then died
  • Of a drug overdose
  • James had a sleep disorder as a child
  • And then was diagnosed with Aspergers
  • And Tourettes
  • He was then redeemed by the love of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl (Inspiring Post-Its Edition)
  • Who sprogged
  • During a recession
  • So they live in a tiny little flat
  • Just gettin’ by
  • And crying
  • Lots and lots of crying
  • And to top it all, a REALLY BAD HAIRCUT

Even though I thought he had a pretty mediocre voice and kind of shout-sang everything, surely he has to win. That’s…like…so much power of backstory I can’t even look at it without sunglasses.

Julie Zorilla : Really there’s no point in me writing about her, because she’s clearly got an abundance of self-confidence, and the sort of voice that would stereotypically have done well on this show about 8 years ago, so she’s flipping doomed, but she was just so intoxicating. A child of privilege driven from her mountain-top mansion by marauding gorillas. Which rhymes with her surname, the bitter, bitter irony. And she’s got sparkly shoes! So sparkly! Who’d bet against her cutting through Hollywood Week like a hot knife through butter? Certainly not me.

Pre-Titles Girl : We will never know her name, and for that I am eternally sad. She’s American Idol’s answer to the “noodle incident” from Calvin & Hobbes – all we know is that she came, she auditioned, she farted, she was not allowed to continue singing. Sadly we learned all of this from her narration after it happened rather than seeing/hearing/smelling it unfold, and “fart” was basically our pre-titles punchline. God love ya, American Idol. Stay classy now.

Stefano Langone : Who would have thought you could say “I had a crazy night out, got smashed, and woke up with a fireman” and it could be a bad time? (A hurr hurr hurr). I think the 999 Lifesavers recreation of his road-traffic accident really undermined the tragedy of the story a little bit. I mean, can you imagine if they’d done a dramatisation of James Durbin’s story? With Steven Tyler as his father and Jennifer Lopez as the woman he loved? Actually, that’d be kind of awesome. Scratch that. Anyway, he had that veryUH annoyingUH habit of making a little gruntUH to try to sex up and disguiseUH every time he draws breathUH and therefore I cannot endorse him, despite the buffness and the baby-face.


5 thoughts on “American Idol 2011 – San Francisco Auditions

  1. Neio

    Is it me, or did Steven Tyler seem like he’s over this whole thing already? Apart from ogling a bunch of the girls, he just decided to randomly be an ass to people, like the two long-haired guys who admittedly weren’t great, but weren’t as bad as a lot of the auditionees. I thought Steven was kind of mean in a way that even Simon wasn’t when he was pulling the whole “You sound like the Beatles.” “Really?” “No.” stuff and then practically throwing them out of the room before the others even voted.

    Emily Reed I’m sure will grate on my last nerve before long. Just the mere mention of Megan Joy makes me shudder. Remember her doing that weird pterodactyl squawking thing across the stage before she was eliminated? Ugh.

    James Durbin really had every possible back-story element you could ever need, didn’t he? I agree that I don’t think his voice was as good as the judges were saying, but who can stand against that kind of back-story momentum? He was pretty cute too, apart from the stupid hairstyle.

    1. monkseal Post author

      If only the flapping and cawwing had been just before her elimination. I had to sit through her doing Bob Marley after that.

      I think they were going for a “Steven is affronted by people who cannot rock, because he can rock, and is the Arbiter of all that is Rock, and Rock is very dear to his heart, so when people do Rock badly IT OFFENDS HIM” kind of thing with that bit. He did just kind of come across as a douche though.


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