Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
American Idol 2, January 21: It’s Back!by Sting7 -- 01/22/2003
View Printable version of this article
It’s back, it’s back, it’s finally back! I have been suffering through AI withdrawal like you would not believe! In the meantime, I found I actually care who Trista picks on The Bachelorette! I was in sad, sad shape.
The show opens in Pasadena. Ryan Seacrest is surrounding by thousands of screaming hopefuls. Ryan says that there were 70,000 applicants! The auditions took place in Miami, Detroit, Nashville, Atlanta, Austin, Los Angeles, and Manhattan.
Along the way, we got clips of the unspeakably horrible. Too many to recap, thank you, but those who were noteworthy enough to have their names on the screen are covered here.
Plenty of fluff about the grandeur of AI2. Randy says he is looking for someone who is “physically and mentally strong enough” to face the rigors of being a pop idol. Paula says she is looking for someone who can find “their inner voice and be true to themselves.” Um, okay! Lord only knows what Simon is looking for, but he has a special way of letting us know when he doesn’t get it!
This year, the contestants seem prepared to battle back at Simon. As David Bloomberg and I have documented countless times, this is a losing battle. And a waste of time. We’ll see some of that.
So, let’s stop talking about it! One of these folks could be the next American Idol!
In Manhattan, we met:
Chriss West Jr., who drew Simon’s ire, “If you had done that 2000 years ago they would have stoned you!” Ouch.
Janelle Lienhart was granted a “terrible” from Simon. She was.
Bradley Swift received a terse, “no one is sending you to Hollywood.” Brad tried to save a little dignity by retorting, “That’s okay, at least I live in a country where we brush our teeth twice a day!” They’ll love that in England, where they will be getting American Idol for the first time this season!
Cara and Rhian Morgan were twins who performed “Falling” in a gorgeous harmony that wowed the judges. Problem: they both want to go to Hollywood. Simon trifled with the idea of sending only one of them. But they adamantly wanted to go together. So, are they going to try to perform as a group? This ain’t Popstars! Somehow, they got the green light to go to Hollywood.
Nathaniel Golden Jr. had the notion to rip his pant legs up the side to stand out. He only needed to sing to do that. After a tuneless rendition of “My Girl,” Randy could only mutter “terrible terrible terrible.” He’s still speaking in triplicate! Then came an amusing fight.
“You’re horrible.” Simon deadpanned. “So are you!” said Nate. Nate decided to go on the attack. He charged that he hasn’t heard Randy sing a note. Randy said he’s better than that. So prove it, charged Nate. I’m not auditioning, reasoned Randy. Nate lowered the boom to Randy: “You’re fat!” (Nate wasn’t exactly rail thin), to Simon: “You’re an asshole!” (he knew that already!), and to Paula: “And, you’re played!” (to the hip-hop intolerant, that means she is past her prime). “Listen,” Simon starts in that exasperated tone that he gets. “I’m spent!” Nate declares with flourish as he stomps out. “I think he took it quite well.” Simon quips.
God, I love this show!
Then came the As The World Turns moment. Kristen and Janeane have a curious relationship. Kristen Barbera’s boyfriend is Janeane’s ex-boyfriend. But, the girls claim they are friends, even came down to the auditions together. But, this friendship seems somewhat combustible. Ryan Seacrest successfully stirred them up by claiming that Kristen told him she is auditioning to spite Janeane. “Really!” Janeane snarls. Kristen was too shocked to offer much of a defense.
Kristen sang “Crazy” and was pretty good. The judges were pleased and invited her to Hollywood. As Kristen came bouncing out of the audition room, Janeane went in. No congrats offered. Friends.
Janeane (missed the last name) sang “At Last” and got off to a rocky start, but recovered nicely. The judges liked her too and sent her to Hollywood, despite Simon’s claim that he was bored. Paula said she could stand naked in front of him and he’d still be bored. Simon agreed. Pow.
Christopher Boehm sang O-Town’s (the group created from Making The Band 1) “Nothing At All” which sort of described his talent level. Simon said he may be the worst singer in New York. Christopher respectfully disagreed. Simon said prove it and gave him 24 hours to find someone worse.
With Ryan Seacrest in tow, Christopher began his search. He found a black guy who outsang half of those going to Hollywood! Ryan said Christopher is still the worst. One looked like a short order-cook, with a thick New Yawk accent – he was better too. And then, there was an obviously operatically trained man. No contest. Christopher was left with his title, if you will, intact.
Julia DeMato performed a gorgeous “Unbreak My Heart” that had Paula practically swooning and Simon saying she “made it seem effortless.” She’s definitely one to watch!
Danny Rodriguez performed a lounge-lizardy, but somehow charming “Fly Me To The Moon” that the judges liked. He moves on.
Cynthia Priester came in with a Catholic schoolgirl from Marilyn Manson High type outfit and lost the words to her song, Pink’s “Don’t Let Me Get Me.” She got got. The two lines she managed was enough for Simon to proclaim her, “ghastly.” She kept asking for a mulligan and the judges begged her not to.
Tirrell Anthony has a gorgeous voice that had Paula saying yes, but Randy saying no, “not so spectacular” (even though Tirrell said Luther Vandross personally complimented him). Simon’s yes came with his old standby argument that Tirrell did not “look like an idol.” Paula said that he deserves another shot. Simon actually agreed! 2 to1, he’s going to Hollywood.
Frenchie Davis is a thick girl whose friends raised money for her to try out for AI. She blew the roof off with “…And I’m Telling You,” prompting a standing O from Paula and Randy and respectful applause from Simon. Yes from Randy, Yes from Paula, (flashback: last season there was a girl of similar size with a great singing voice who Simon shot down for being overweight. Would he do it again?). Yes from Simon!
All told, 34 finalists from New York advanced to the next round.1 2 Next-->
View Printable version of this article