For this “Idol” fan, the Orlando auditions were far more interesting, emotional and dynamic than what we saw in Boston, Atlanta and Chicago. In all, 31 golden tickets were given out (as opposed to only 13 in Chi-Town) What’s more, Kristen Chenoweth has been the most glorious guest judge yet (you gotta love that smile! And those exquisite, lively eyes!) Here is a brief review of the American Idol season 9 Orlando auditions:
First up was the flamboyant Theo Glinton, who was decked out in mirrored appliqués, feathers and a cape. Theo screams out Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker”and, to say the least, does not win over any of the judges. I truly hope Theo’s dream of starting in international celebrity hair salon comes to fruition – because something tells me he’s probably not going to make it in the music business.
Seth Rollins is a sincere, everyman kind of dude with a tear-inducing back story (his kid is autistic). This guy just wants to be able to take care of his family – and you can’t help but root for him. Rollins essayed the Gershwin standard, “Someone to Watch Over Me” and did a fine job with it. He gets the first golden ticket of the day.
Jermaine Purifoy, who auditioned for “Idol” unsuccessfully once before, sang an excellent version of “Smile.” Jermain’s likable, he’s got good energy – and he sings really, really well. The judges agree (especially Randy, who tells him he’s the best he’s heard all season) and Jermaine is off to Hollywood.
One of the most inspiring contestants to ever audition for American Idol has got to be 18-year-old Shelby Dressel. She was born with a nerve disorder that has left one side of her face partially paralyzed. Clearly, it was scary for her to audition for American Idol, so you’ve got to admire her for stepping up to the plate. She does a serviceable version of Norah Jones’ “Turn Me On” but forgets the lyrics before finishing. No worries, though, because she gets a golden ticket. Sweet.
I wasn’t too crazy about Jay Stone’s version of “Come Together” (beat-boxing is not my cup of tea) but, for some reason, Kara DioGuardi was impressed. And she convinced Randy to go along with her. We’ll see Jay in Hollywood. I hope he decides to lost the beat-boxing, though, because he can really sing – and he proved it when he started belting out “Ain’t no Sunshine.” He could have a shot at the top 12 if he sticks to straight singing, in my view.
Cornelius Edwards received a golden ticket, but, mind you, it was not for singing – it was for splitting his pants. “I done split my pants,” said Cornelius after doing a split to go along with his rendition of “Rolling on the River.”
You’ve got to love the DeSimone sisters (Bernadette and Amanda) – but not necessarily for their singing. These two attractive powerhouses from Jersey sing pretty well, but it’s their sparkling, bubbly personalities that got them through to Hollywood.
Jarrod Norrell makes Andrew Fenlon look like a boy scout who rescues puppies and helps little old ladies across the street. Remember Andrew Fenlon? He’s the brooding, angry young man who auditioned in Boston and got all the judges’ knickers in a twist (guest judge Victoria Beckham described him as “hideously arrogant”). After Jarrod Norrell sang a hideous version of “Amazing Grace,” the judges understanedably passed on him. Norrell got so bent out of shape that security had to escort him out of the building in handcuffs. “Act like I can’t sing, Randy,” fumed Norrell as he was led out of the building. Yeah, right.
Matt Lawrence robbed a bank with a BB gun when he was 15. Hey, we all make mistakes. Most of us, however, cannot sing like Matt Lawrence. He turned in an awesome, deeply-felt version of Ray Lamontagne’s “Trouble.” Simon said it was “brilliant.” Kara predicted that he would make it into the top 12. I think she may be right.
American Idol auditions continue in Los Angeles on Tuesday.