American Idol: Jacksonville Auditions

This week’s American Idol finds us in the city of Jacksonville, known for gators and Randy Jackson. Except for seeing video of old-school Randy rocking out his sweet flat top with Journey, the show brought little to the table. Nice try, producers. But the first two weeks of “inspirational” auditions haven’t made me forget about your promise to show more good people. Apparently in their minds, sob story = good. Not true, says all the TV critics.

Fancast has the good fortune to be home to Justin Guarini’s American Idol vlogs every week, so it’s always a good time to see a contestant compare himself to my sorta-co-worker. Unfortunately, Joshua Ulloa forgot to make sure he was as good-looking, poised, and talented as Justin. Then, Joshua tries to pull a Blake Lewis by making strange beat boxing noises. Two points for Justin and Blake, zero points for Joshua. But here’s the deal… this guy actually had a semi-decent voice in between all the white noise. For that, he goes through to Hollywood. I’m expecting he’ll make it a day or two and then get the shaft.

Someone had to do something to top Bikini Girl, so Sharon Wilbur decided to bring her adorable dog. Of course, the judges go gaga over puppies. So while little Sasha chills in Simon’s lap, Sharon sings a little Karen Carpenter. She’s OK, but could use some training. It was still not surprising when the guys let her through. For an unexplained reason, Paula tries to make out with Kara and then gives her vote for Hollywood. Girl on girl action is so hot these days.

We take a break from watching those pesky auditions to watch 45 minutes of Ryan driving a gold cart around some tall bushes. Oh noes! He’s lost in the bayou! Oh wait, he’s at a country club.

The first really bad singer of the day is brought to you by Kaneswa Finnie. Did someone forget to tell her that she’s legally deaf? No, seriously. She’s lost the ability to hear words and sounds and ambiance. Her mommy’s not doing her any favors. Please, just go home. And stay in school.

The first really good singer of the day has to go to Julissa Veloz, aka Miss Florida Latina USA. She’s a 19-year-old beauty queen with a flamboyant personality, so naturally we all thought she would suck. But she didn’t! She even pulled off a Whitney song. Albeit, it was waaaay over the top. But she hit the notes, and that’s really the biggest determining factor. She’s off to Hollywood.

We’ve seen Darin Darnell a million times before. No, not specifically him… but auditions just like him. He’s so excited beforehand, making friends, getting pumped. Then he gets into the room and bursts into tears before his audition ever starts. The fact that he was singing Boyz II Men was priceless, and I was half expecting him to sink to his knees and clutch his heart as the tears began to flow. Kara called it when she says that this biz is all about pain and heartache, so he better get out while he can. He should heed her advice.

Here’s the deal with Naomi Sykes. She brings her friend in to meet Randy, the friend ends up on Randy’s lap, Ryan is on Kara’s lap, and Paula’s on Simon’s lap. It’s a key party and everyone’s invited. Naomi compares herself to Mariah and proceeds to sing “Lovin’ You,” complete with a note higher than I could ever play on my flute (and yes, I do play the flute. What up?). The judges look disappointed that their fun has been shattered and decide that it must be a joke. Only, Naomi claims it’s not a joke and starts to cry. They try to comfort her to no avail and she leaves with teary eyes. Except… it was fake, people! Come on. It’s so obvious. She just scored herself an A in Drama 101. She schooled all your asses.

Ann Marie Boskovich is the only commercially viable talent of the day. She’s got a lady crush on Kara but dresses like a Mormon. So, Simon sends her out to get a little more slutted up. She comes back with heavy eye makeup, fewer clothes, and a selection of songs. Her version of “Bubby” goes over quite well and even puts huge grins on the judges’ faces. She’s got talent, for sure. But is it enough to win? We’ll find out how she does in Hollywood.

T.K. Hash is a glutton for punishment. He auditioned last year but didn’t make it, so he’s hoping that singing “Imagine” will score him enough votes to get to Hollywood. Randy says his version was a little over the top and recommends that he stick closer to the melody. Paula just had to go and compare it to Muppet’s version. Simon didn’t see his appeal, but the other three were enough to send T.K. to the next round.

What a wuss. Seriously. This kid—Michael Perrelli—is apparently attached at the hip to his precious guitar. When he discovers that he won’t be allowed to play his guitar in the audition, he nearly has a conniption. Uh, dude, this isn’t Nashville Star. When did you get the idea that they’d let you play your guitar? When he finally sings “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind, he even did the fake English accent like Josiah Leming did on last season. Simon said he would never make it within the confines of the competition, and he’s absolutely right. Michael begs, embarrasses himself, has to be dragged away, disses his mom, gets yelled at by Ryan, and goes home to his favorite sock. The end.

Only 16 people made it through to Hollywood from Jacksonville. Out of those 16, I’m presuming about five of them are any good. On a lighter note, tomorrow we encroach on Archuleta’s territory in Salt Lake City. Can I expect the Von Trapp family singers to audition? Oooh even better… the Osmonds are here! Figures. And Simon gets humped by a bunny.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.


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