Is it wrong for me to enjoy watching other people be stupid?
Probably. But that’s one of guilty pleasures afforded by the WB reality series, Popstars 2. I! Love! It! My superiority complex aside, this season of the U.S. version of Popstars did not disappoint in its first hour-long episode, one that I like to call “Dilutions & Rejection.”
We begin with a montage of shots of the original Popstars, Eden’s Crush. The narrator recaps all their trials, tribulations, and successes of last year. And most importantly, it reminds us of what the new Popstars have to live up to. I love Eden’s Crush and their album, so the new group of girls – and this year, guys – has to be of equal or better caliber than Anna-Maria, Rosanna, Ivette, Nicole, and Miale. No easy task. The sentiment is best summed up by one of the judges when she says to the new hopefuls, “If you don’t think you’re as good as the girls in Eden’s Crush, you should leave right now. Because we did not teach them to dance. We did not teach them to sing. We just enhanced what they already had when they walked in the door.”
Speaking of judges, this year sees the return of Executive Vice President of David Foster’s 143 Records, Jaymes Foster-Levy, with the additions of choreographer Tony Michaels and record producer/songwriter Brad “RipRock” Daymond. They are all super qualified and know their stuff.
The first auditions are in NEW YORK. The turnout is three times that of last year. (I know why: a friend of my used to work for Stone/Stanley when they were making Popstars #1. She said they were so unorganized and cheap that there was hardly any advertising for the first auditions, so no one knew to show up).
Some of the song choices this year are:
Nelly Furtado – “I’m Like A Bird”
Christina Aguleria – “Come On Over”
Smashmouth – “All-Star”
Destiny’s Child – “Say My Name”
N’Sync – “Bye, Bye, Bye”
Right away we are subjected to the nervous-and-can’t-sing as well as the cocky-and-can’t-sing. I love it! It makes me laugh to see people who think they are hot doo-doo, being put in their place by professionals who tell them they suck. Am I a bad person? Ha!
Anyway, highlights for New York are the super-cute Salduci brother and sister. They both make the first cut, but if last year’s show is any indication, the people who are profiled in the first few episodes are not the ones who make the group. Also, Lian Ellis was super-cute. She already had a record deal with another group that fell through and is also supposed to enter Cornell University to become a doctor. Both she and her former band-mate make it. But my favorite is the cutie, Travis Barr-Longo. He is obviously gay – as it seems most of the male participants are, and has a great voice. He sounds like the singer for Barenaked Ladies. He also made it, but will probably not make it much further.
Totals for New York: 72 out of almost 1000 make it to the next round.
LOS ANGELES – I think I enjoyed watching the freaks from my hometown most of all. Starting with the girl who arrives a half an hour early and expects to get in with people who have been waiting two days, to the Lakien twins, who obviously suck, then complain the judges “don’t know talent.” Ha! But the worst of the worst was Nebula, who proclaimed herself “a star in the making,” but made noises only dogs could hear. I love L.A., but all of the freaks who come here to be stars make me want to move to B.F.E. and hide under a rock. Oh well.
Highlights from L.A. are Moi Juarez, who is super-cute and super-talented, and the wheelchair-bound Jennifer Kumiyama, who kicked everyone’s ass with her awesome voice.
Totals for Los Angeles: only 50 out of 1000 make it to the next round.
SAN FRANSICO – Sad, sad, sad. I felt bad for Kanya Coleman, but the judges were right when they said if you’re not prepared, you’re wasting your time. As in L.A., San Francisco was mostly people who wanted to be famous, not people who had real talent and dedication.
The only highlight from San Francisco was the way-hot Josh Henderson, who could be the Ashley Angel of Popstars.
Totals for San Francisco: 57 out of 1000 make it to the next round.
CHICAGO – Angela Peel kicked my ass. She should be a solo star if she doesn’t make this. Also really good were Marcus Terrel Butts and Joe Warrick. Lindsey Pearlman made it to the second round last year, but rightfully doesn’t make it this year.
Totals for Chicago: 43 make it to the next round.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Local fashion designer, Donovan Green, rightfully gets a call back. Also good was Kimerly Caldwell, who looks like Barbie and sounds like Natalie Merchant
Mindy Saterfield, however, was a bigger grouch than Oscar. Then there was the big whiner, crybaby, Christopher DiChristo. He messed up royally and was upset when the judges wouldn’t give him another chance. He cried like a child and threw a temper-tantrum. Wait a minute – maybe he does have star quality!
Totals for Washington: 51 make it to the next round.
MIAMI – More freaks. Am I shocked at this point?
Alexandra Bachalerie made it to the L.A. workshop last year, but was upset that everyone was being mean to each other. This year, she tries out again and makes it.
Totals for Miami: They didn’t say.
Totals for the entire auditions: 330 out of almost 6000 are chosen.