It was Los Angeles' turn to strut its stuff in front of Randy, Simon, Kara and Paula's Seat Filler on Tuesday night's "American Idol," and as expected, a lot of out of work actors showed up to get some primetime shine from Fox. (Shockingly, Lindsay Lohan stayed home.)
The fame-whoring from the army of untalented made for frustrating lows throughout Tuesday's broadcast, but luckily there were a handful of auditions that made me sit up in my seat and start brainstorming ways to bedazzle names with terrible puns on giant poster-board.
Mary Powers (future sign will have black roses on it with the caption "Flowers For Powers") was my fave of the entire season so far. I have a thing for the rough-and-tumble rocker chicks that sound like they sucked down three packs of Virginia Slims before their audition. (The visible ink helps, too.) Powers wasn't all piss and vinegar, though. There was a warm vulnerability to her aching "Love is a Battlefield" that suggests she could do great things on the "Idol" stage.
M-Pow just needs to figure out her personal style first. Her getup reeked of "Oh Dear, I Just Caught Mom In The Attic Reliving Her Glory Days From 1984." Love may be a battlefield, Mary, but so is high-definition television. And I haven't seen a sadder display of pleather halter tops and raccoon eye makeup since I bumped into a gaggle of Glamberts in the MTV lobby last November. (You know who you are, ladies.)
I also dug Andrew Garcia's "Idol" debut. (His sign will read "Andy Is Sweeter Than Candy!") He turned Maroon 5's nasal "Sunday Morning" into an effortless, soulful croon. It's a bummer that it was likely his back story (and not his vocal chops) that secured him screen time. Andrew's life reads like an "Idol" producer's checklist: His parents used to be gang bangers before escaping Compton and morphing into a cuddly (and weepy) support system. Now Andrew is a well-adjusted young man with a funky-haired wife and an impossibly adorable baby boy. The only thing that would complete this fairytale is an "Idol" trophy. (For people who missed the eighth season, "Idol" gives an actual trophy now.)
Andrew's talent outshined his human interest story angle (a rare feat on "Idol"), but I can't say the same for show closer Chris Golightly (future sign: "Golightly Goes Big"), a survivor of the foster care system who was filmed walking along train tracks like some sort of 1890s vagrant. (I'm shocked producers didn't ask him to curl up on a stranger's doorstep in a giant bassinet.) Golightly's "Stand By Me" featured some wonderful runs and closed-eyes emoting, but Kara showed her hand by saying, "You’re the kind of kid with just enough talent and just enough of a story." Sigh.
I wasn't the only one who noticed Kara's revealing admission. Read More...