Season 9 - EPISODE RECAPS
Wednesday, January 13th 2010
by The AI Insider
The best part about American Idol holding auditions in Atlanta is not that it's the show's fifth trip there. What's best is that "Hotlanta" is Ryan Seacrest's hometown, which means the producers get to share Ryan's nerdy childhood photos with us. Adorable. Mary J. Blige is the guest judge, and she promised to be an honest judge.
Dewan Robinson is from a family with Motown roots. This could make him a promising contestant, but he dances the Carlton (one point off the coolness scale). He sang an original song entitled "Lady We're Not Together Anymore." Simon Cowell called it "one of the worst original songs I've ever heard." The critique didn't deter Dewan from singing on the way down in the elevator.
Keia Johnson is a former pageant girl who was awarded Miss Congeniality. Simon says he'd rather have the good looking award. Keia's yellow spandex and red shoes are as bright as her personality and smile. Singing "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion, Keia made this overdone song genuine. With four yeses from the judges, Keia is headed to Hollywood. An innumerable crowd of Keia's family and friends congratulated her and celebrated in the hall with her.
Miriam Lemnouni, Noel Reese, and Tisha Holland are three girls who won over the judges and are off to Hollywood.
Jermaine Sellers is a church singer who must've been subliminally persuading the judges to send him to Hollywood with his LA cap. His mom has spina bifida and he's been caring for her for nine years. With an unusual song choice of Joan Osborne's "What If God Was One of Us," Jermaine's audition was quite refreshing. Kara DioGuardi loves him and Randy Jackson thinks he's the best of all the cities. He calls his mom to share the news and she cheers and he cries. Pass the tissues!
Christy Marie Agronow is a TV show host and producer of "411: The Show" [insert hand motion here]. Although she has great energy and charisma, her performance of Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield" didn't meet the standards the judges were seeking. It's a no for Christy, whose cheery disposition immediately turns aggressive.
After a montage of defeated contestants taking the 27 floor ride in a glass elevator to Mary J.'s "I'm Going Down," we see Vanessa Wolf throw herself off a bridge and into a body of water. She's from Vonore, Tennessee, a town with so few things to do, that jumping off a road overpass and into a murky river is what she does to keep busy. Her mom studied at the Randy Jackson School of Mathematics because she stated that she stands behind Vanessa "100,000%." When nervous Vanessa greeted the judges she said, "Instead of butterflies I've got frogs." Although the judges aren't sure if Vanessa is truly ready for American Idol, they all love her authenticity as a country singer. Upon sharing her good news with her supportive mom and Ryan, Vanessa exclaimed, "I'm gonna ride on an aeroplane and eat peanuts on the aeroplane." Darling!
Another small town hopeful, Jesse Hamilton, needs some good news because he has had THREE near death experiences. Unfortunately, he completely blanks during his big moment in front of the judges. You know when you get the uncontrollable giggles at the worse time – like at church or a funeral? Well, Mary J. Blige was bit by the giggle bug at this moment and couldn't help herself. She dropped her head on the desk and hid behind Kara, who tried to mask her tears and heaving as sadness over Jesse's near death experience. It wasn't good news for Jesse, who struggled through two Garth Brooks songs, but at least he escaped the judges physically unscathed.
If there's one thing that Simon can't stand, it's contestants that dress up in costumes, but would "human guitar" Holly Hardin change his mind? Rockamart, Georgia's Holly has a good country voice and a personality that could rival Kellie Pickler's. Mary J. is laughing uncontrollably once again at the costumed cutie that stands before her. Holly's version of "You Ain't Woman Enough" earned her yeses from Kara and Randy and a no from Mary. Would Simon send through a costumed contestant? He must've said yes because when the elevator doors opened, there was a blonde guitar holding a golden ticket.
Three very interesting men were the next contestants to audition. Lathan Davenport sounded "like a cat barking," Hansel Enriquez could voice Kermit the Frog, and Blake Smith wore a shirt that said "Britney Spears Changed My Life," yet he butchered a hit Britney song.
Mallorie Haley is from South Dakota and she auditioned with "Piece of My Heart" by Janis Joplin, however she put her own country twist on the rock song. Mary said it was the best vocal she's heard. The other three judges also liked Mallorie's whole package, so she garnered four yeses.
After a montage of successful hopefuls receiving tickets to Hollywood, we meet Antonio "Skii Bo Ski" Wheeler, who warns us that his name is misspelled on his shirt. Maybe he should have worn a different shirt, but lo! This shirt says "I'm the next American Idol" on it in gold glitter. Irreplaceable. And to top it off, literally, Skii Bo Ski has the American Idol logo shaved onto his head. He sings his name for the cameras. You cannot deny his huge personality. After singing "Heard It Through The Grapevine," Skii Bo Ski promises he has the whole package: "I'm like the dollar store…you can have everything you want in one package." Simon's response? "A resounding no." When Mary gives Skii Bo Ski a yes, Simon gives a look of disbelief. Kara said yes too, and Mr. Ski tries to ramble something until Randy cuts him off to say, "Shut up and go to Hollywood." On Skii Bo Ski's way out the door, he takes the time to greet every cheerleader he passes in the hallway.
Carmen Turner and Lauren Sanders are "BFFs for life," which translates to "Best Friends Forever for life," a quite redundant title. They say the same thing at the same time and love to wear makeup. The girls take turns auditioning, with Lauren singing, ever so softly, first. Lauren's occupation was listed as "College Student/BFF". I bet these girls have those little heart necklaces that break apart and they each wear half. Carmen was next and sang the beautiful Kelly Clarkson song, "Where Is Your Heart" (that song makes me verklempt!). Simon thinks these BFFs are funny together so he's afraid to split them up, but Lauren isn't quite as good as Carmen. Three judges said yes to Carmen and no to Lauren, and Simon said no to both. The girls were devastated that Lauren didn't make it through, so Simon added salt to the wound by saying, "Carmen, if it's any consolation I don't think you'll be away from her for too long." Ouch.
Next came a montage of southern belles who can't hit the right notes…or any notes for that matter.
Bryan Walker is a police officer in a Tennessee town that he grew up in. Although he loves his job chasing criminals and speeders, he wants to chase his dream of singing. Bryan tackled "Superstar" as if it were an assailant on the loose. Kara loves his unassuming presence and unexpected performance, and Randy agrees saying "the singing police officer is hot." And with that, Bryan will be taking some time off from fighting crime to fight for his dream.
Mary J. Blige fan Lamar Royal is thrilled to sing for his Idol, and interviews that he loves taking constructive criticism. So what happens after Lamar gets constructive feedback from his performance of "Kiss From A Rose"? He interrupts the judges with another song and denies their critiques. What happens when Randy asks if he's a good listener? He said yes and then interrupts them with another song. Even Mary tries to set him straight. After receiving no votes to continue, Lamar cusses and must be escorted out of the hotel by a crowd of security guards. Suddenly he hates his idol MJB and bad mouths the judges. In one last desperate plea, Lamar sings at the passersby who gave him a round of applause.
After that angry auditioner, how were we going to cool down and end the show? Enter General Larry Platt. The energetic older man created an original song called "Pants on the Ground." Mary J. Blige got lost in another laughing fit and is gasping for air. Simon, the talent seeker that he is, said, "I have a horrible feeling that song could become a hit." When Larry reveals that he's 62 years old, Simon's eyes bug out of his head. Larry gets applause for that, but he's more than twice the age limit and ineligible to proceed in the competition. The General then mentions that it's his birthday "this year." Isn't it everyone's birthday this year? By the end of the show, Randy, Kara, and nearly everyone in the holding room lobby were singing "Pants on the Ground." If General Larry Platt and Renaldo Lapuz could join forces, we may have a musical group of proportions never seen before. Can't get enough PotG? Click here to watch it again and again.
Twenty five total tickets to Hollywood were handed out in Atlanta.
Idol next heads to Chicago with Shania Twain. "That don't impress[es] me much!"