As last night's show started I was excited wondering what I'd see, what our favorite dirty old man Steven Tyler would say, and what talent has been hiding down in Austin, TX. Instead, I got a fake apology from American Idol. They're so very sorry about Steven Tyler, his swearing and off-the-wall behavior, they hope no has has been offended and it will never, ever, cross-their-hearts happen again. Well, then what are we watching for?!
Oh right, for the auditons! First up is Corey Levoy, who is 21 and brought his sister in to sing to. His song choice? Bonnie Raitt's "If I Can't Make You Love Me," of course. I thought he was a joke, honestly. No, he was dead serious and so were the judges when they said they loved him. He has a thick country accent prompting the judges to each give him a "heck yeah!" and he is off to Hollywood. He couldn't leave well enough alone however, and turned around to show the judges his "JLo booty." Sigh.
Next we get Hollie Cavanagh, a small, mousey girl who looks like she wants to bolt out of there as fast as she can. She sings "At Last" by Etta James and it's loud and powerful, which is a huge surpise from this tiny person. I didn't love it but I have heard worse be gushed over by these judges so I assume she'll get three easy yeses. No such luck for poor Hollie. Randy just says no immediately, the judges think she was all over the place with her notes and pitch was off. She bursts into tears and JLo says if she can pull herself together she'll get one more chance. For her second song, she picks "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus and I thought she was terrible. Better than Miley but, terrible. Randy was so impressed her revoked his earlier "no" and even exclaimed, "Yo! You nailed it!" She gets a golden ticket and I have a feeling we will never see her again.
After a montage of bad singing follwing by heartache we meet Rodolfo, who sings a crappy version of "Circle Of Life" prompting JLo to say he had a vibrato, it would just forever be out of tune. Now a montage of cowboys singing badly, then in walks John Wayne Schulz. Yes, it's his real name, and yes he's a real cowboy. He's tall, cute (for a cowboy), and tells us he's going to sing "Believe" by Brooks and Dunn. I knew if he could even sing halfway in-tune he'd go through. I'm surprised by how good his voice is. It's not spectacular and he's no Scotty McCreery (16-year old contestant from Milwaukee auditions) but the female voters will love him. Three yeses from the judges and in all the excitement and hugging after he leaves the room, Ryan Seacrest somehow comes away with a bloody finger from someone's big, ole belt buckle.
Courtney Penry loves Ryan Seacrest and for some reason she is not afraid to tell the world. She even cries hysterically when he comes over and hugs her. She tells us one day he will be hers, he just doesn't know it yet. She's Kathy-Bates-from-Misery creepy and I really enjoy it. She sings a sub-par version of "Stay" by Sugarland. Steven sees a star quality in her that I do not see, he tells her she just needs to "kindle this up some" and if I knew what that meant I'd tell you. Randy wasn't impressed either but since Steven and JLo say yes, she's going to Hollywood.
Now we're introduced to Nick Fink and Jacqueline Dunford, a very cute, Ken and Barbie-type couple. They're super in love and prove it to us by kissing a lot, skipping while holding hands (in slow-motion, no less), and giving eskimo kisses. Nick proclaims they will be American Idol's first power couple. Jacqueline goes first with Duffy's "Mercy" and Steven Tyler falls instantly in love- he's actually beaming at her. Nick then sings Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning" and has a very Harry Connick Jr. vibe and I love it. Jaqueline was good but Nick was great. Steven agrees and adds that Jacqueline "is gorgeous and you are a beautiful looking man." They receive three easy yeses and they, too, are off to Hollywood.
Janelle Arthur is next and she wants to tell America that even though she's country she and her family "wear shoes and have all our teeth." She goes on to sing a gorgeous version of "Syrup and Honey" by Duffy and for the first time all night I wanted to hear more! Steven Tyler looks impressed but requests something "a little more up-tempo" so she sang "No One Needs To Know" by Shania Twain and did it even better than Shania and I mean that as a high compliment. I hope she lasts long into the competition; I'm a huge fan of her voice.
Our last contestant is Casey Abrams and he's already my hands down favorite before I even hear him sing for two reasons: he looks like Seth Rogen and he brought a melodica! You know, one of those plastic keyboard/trumpet things. Steven Tyler sees it and asks if it's a harmonica or a flashlight. I love Casey's personality and his quirkiness but I'm starting to get nervous because usually if you need a prop, you stink. Just ask the girl from earlier in the seven foot armadillo suit who left in tears, or the girl in the viking getup who also left with her dreams dashed. Casey says he's going to sing "I Don't Need No Doctor" by Ray Charles and he knocks it WAY out the park. it was fun to watch, sounded fantastic, and is memorable. Steven Tyler says "that was sick good" and pointing to the melodica says, "I wanna hear that thing...just blow." And with that, we are told Casey and 49 others got tickets to Hollywood.
Apparently, from the previews at the end of the show, tonight we will be watching auditions from Los Angeles where JLo wears something resembling a swimming cap from the 1950's (or her wig fell off) and some kid drops his pants. Can't wait!