Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world, the “City of Dreams.” Well, after Thursday’s “Idol” auditions, a better moniker may be the “City of Delusions,” as the Angeleno Idols have clearly broken with all reality when it comes to their star quality.
I guess we should’ve known when we found out MySpace was involved. That’s right, in a move as cutting edge as the Discman, “Idol” joined forces with the has-been of the social networking family. Some 16,000 hopefuls auditioned via the site and the best were invited to Los Angeles (not to be confused with “Hollywood”) to sing for the judges.
Don’t they realize that MySpace is to Facebook as Simon Cowell is to Steven Tyler?
Antiquated methods notwithstanding, producers actually found one talented vocalist among the cyber singers. Karen Rodriguez, 21, of New York City looked a little like a young Lopez, no doubt giving her points in J. Lo’s book. Even more importantly, she sounded like a young diva. It takes a ballsy contestant to attempt Whitney Houston but it takes actual talent to get it right. Rodriguez’s rendition of “You Give Good Love” was enough to garner a Golden Ticket.
Don’t get too excited. The majority of the episode wasted our time with goat-like vocals, elderly contestants and a few spirituals that would make the Baby Jesus cry. One audition even culminated in a strange chubby chaser incident involving a female Frank Sinatra impersonator and Randy Jackson.
I was wondering where all the William Hungs had been hiding!
Even contestants who received Golden Tickets reeked of mediocrity. Here’s a tip, Tim Halperin (pictured above): If you can’t hit the high notes in “She Will Be Loved,” then you should probably pick another song. But I guess it’s a nonissue when you gush about your boyhood crush on La Lopez, despite asking her age.
Though she let her hips do the talking, 23-year-old Heidi Khzam also delivered an uninspired audition. The belly dancer shook her booty, accompanied by Tyler on vocal percussion. While she was legitimately talented at shaking ass, her singing voice was thin and pitchy on “Superwoman” by Alicia Keys. It in unclear whether the judges voted at all because the viewer’s only saw Randy yelling out a libidinal “YES!”
We get it, guys. You like pretty girls. The joke is wearing thin.
While overly cocky warblers like Daniel Gomez, 18, are fun to mock, I have to wonder about “Idol’s” ethics when they feature “singers” who appear to have mental health issues. Matthew “Big Stats” Frankel, 27, fancies himself a music producer, rapper and CEO.
In his “formal introduction,” he instructed the judges to “relax their minds and let their bodies reach climax.” Maybe that would sound hot coming from Marky Mark, but Big Stats was another story.
I wasn’t entertained; I was uncomfortable.
Though the L.A. auditions were largely a bust, it is worth mentioning the Gutierrez brothers, Mark and Aaron. These cuties gave a confident rendition of “Lean on Me,” complete with harmony. While it’s always interesting to see people audition in pairs and learn how they’re related, I think it truly sways the judges. I’m confident that these two would’ve made it through separately, but “Idol” is not a group competition.
Hopefully this round of auditions will serve as a juxtaposition to next week’s San Francisco tryouts.
Look on the bright side. It can’t get any worse.