American Idol: Season 10, Episode 3 – “Slap that baby on the @$$ and call me Christmas”

American Idol: Season 10, Episode 3 – “Slap that baby on the @$$ and call me Christmas”

American Idol rolls in to Milwaukee tonight – evidently the land of cheese and beer.  We have two hours of highs and lows to get through.  Our first high is a nice little duet on “Sweet Emotion” between Steven and Randy.  Our first low – a Danny Gokey appearance.  I’ll just leave it at that.

In what I hope the Idol producers have figured out is their new signature for the auditions – they open the show with this week’s pearl of wisdom from Steven:  “Slap that baby on the ass and call me Christmas”.  Ho, Ho, Ho, let’s get the show on the road.

  • Alright – we’re only two minutes in and we’ve already had two Gokey appearances.  I’m going to go on record – that’s at least one too many, possible two.  Let’s get on to the contestants.
  • Scotty McCreery – Our first singer of the night is 16-year-old Scotty McCreery from Garner, North Carolina.  A throwback country music singer, Scotty had great control and pitch.  I’m not sure that I buy the entire “awe shucks” thing – but the kid can sing.  (Yes, for those keeping score at home, I did just say, “the kid can sing”.  Let’s face it; I’m old enough to be Scotty’s dad.  Wow – that hurts to write…).  Not only can Scotty sing, his rendition of “Put Some Drive In Their Country” by Travis Tritt is the song that caused Steven to utter the now immortal words – “Well hellfire, save the matches, *#&$ a duck and see what hatches.”   The entire room burst out laughing and you could practically hear the producers patting themselves on the back for hiring him.
  • Joe Repka  – Looking like Michael Moore, Joe started off his vignette by saying – “I’m gonna kick this thing straight to the moon!”  My son looked up from his Super Mario Galaxy 2 strategy guide and said, without missing a beat, – “And then it will bounce back and hit him in the face.”  My son is evidently a prophet.  This aspiring radio DJ was so awkward it was painful.  What was with the bizarre Elvis hand gesture every time before he pulled out his “radio voice”?  I won’t even mention his singing.  You’ve heard of people who have a face made for the radio?  Joe had a voice made for the newspaper.
  • My son also picked up on this brilliant insight from Ryan during his interview with Joe – “You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can’t wipe your friends on the couch.”  I have suspicion I’ll be hearing that around the house at some point in the future.
  • Emma Henry – I’m not sure I would have let her drive the family to the audition at only 15 years-old, but there was something I really liked about Emma. The judges all picked up on it – she had a beautiful timbre lurking down inside her voice.  I love “True Colors” and got just a hint of Sarah McLachlan at the end.  I hope Randy’s wrong that the competition will chew her up; I would like to hear more from her.
  • From Emma, we have a commercial break and then a quick montage of some of Milwaukee’s worst.  Juanita Borges looked like something out of a bad Baz Lurhman movie, and sounded like something out of a good Roger Corman movie.  Kamil Anthony looked and sounded like something nested on his head and died.  Kanisha Miller thought louder was better – she was wrong.  Kody Zalewski treated us to a karate demonstration wrapped around a Lady GaGa song, then proceeded to creep everyone out by asking Randy not only for a hug, but also for a sip of his Coke.  Two words – unhealthy obsession.  Two more words – restraining order.
  • Naima Adedapo – Before I talk about her singing, I have a question and a piece of advice.  My question is:  I’m not sure if it was her husband or father – but was that guy wearing a giant Q-Tip on his head?  My advice is:  learn to shave your armpits.  Enough said.  Naima ended up having a pretty good voice.  My guess is that she’ll do well with the judges in Hollywood.
  • It’s 39 minutes in and the moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived – Back Flip Guy!  It still doesn’t get old watching it.  (You can read my chat with Back Flip Guy, Tim Willy, here.)  Hope to see you on the finale Tim.
  • Meanwhile, we have more train wrecks.  I felt embarrassed FOR Jennifer that she had to hear the massacre of her song by Jovan Raymond.  And – let’s just all pretend Giant Toothbrush Guy wasn’t even on the show.
  • Jerome Bell – Hearing “Bar Mitzvah and Wedding singer” didn’t give me much hope, but Jerome was good.  His voice had a great layer of soul with a nice falsetto.  He needs to learn to sing a little softer at times.  Randy said he had “all the ‘isms jumping off”.  I’m sure there is something profound there.
  • There’s something about Justin Bieber next.  I’m not really sure what it was, but I think I may have dislocated my thumb punching the fast forward button too hard on the Tivo remote.
  • Thia Megia – Another in the long line of 15 year-olds tonight.  Thia had a good voice, but she wasn’t one of the stronger performers of the night.  I can hear a voice in the back of my head with a rather recognizable British accent saying – “forgettable”.  I have to agree.
  • Nathaniel Jones – What can we say about Nathaniel?  It’s clear that what Idol has been missing all these years is a Civil War Re-enactor.  It’s seems so clear in hindsight – how could they have missed it?  As Nathaniel was talking, my son decided to look up from his book for a second time and say – “his dad looks like a hippy”.  Ten seconds later Nathaniel says, “people ask me, is your dad a hippy?”  Again – my son is a prophet.  Nathaniel shared far too much about his dad’s (lack of a) sex life before killing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” like it was a Union soldier at the Battle of Chickamauga.  I’m thinking he only got to audition because he was armed.
  • Mason Wilkinson – The judges gave him time to turn around and gather his nerves before he sang.  He would have done better to stay turned around.  The good news was – the two notes he sang were almost in tune.  The bad news was – I’m pretty sure that song had more than two notes in it.
  • Molly DeWolf Swenson – Molly is a Harvard graduate and intern at the White House (who loves Obama, but is quick to point out “not in a Monica Lewinsky, Bill Clinton, intern/President kind of way) As an added bonus, Randy inadvertently smacked her in the mouth during a promo shot in the holding area.  Nice.  I found myself thinking – could we rewind the show and have Randy smack Justin Bieber instead?  She had an amazing voice, with an outstanding lower register.  She sailed through to Hollywood.  My only complaint is, I’m already tired of the White House jokes – and it’s only been 3 minutes.
  • Coming out of commercial have our third Danny Gokey sighting.  He’s outside with a guy who is singing music from the “The Lion King”. Gokey laughs nervously and looks like he would rather be getting a root canal.  An observation for Lion King Guy – if you’ve scared Danny Gokey that much with your singing, it doesn’t look good for the auditions.
  • Haley Reinhart – Haley tried out last year and has come back for another shot.  She had a few flashes of deep fried soul in her voice, but she did FAR too many vocal gymnastics.  She impressed the judges.  Me – not so much.
  • Tiwan Strong – Who knew that Shaq’s little brother had such a good voice?  The highpoint, however, was his aunt (or sister, or cousin, or friend – whatever she was).  As he is celebrating his victory, she screams out – “My God, I gotta charley horse!”  They pause for a moment, then begin celebrating again.  “My God, I gotta charley horse!”  Again, they pause for a millisecond – and then begin celebrating again like she’s not even there.  “My God, I gotta charley horse!”  Surely they can’t continue to ignore her.  Right?  Wrong.  Tiwan glanced at her for a second, and then proceeded to ignore her once again.  Ryan is left to help her out.  It was legend…wait for it…dary.
  • Steve Beghun – Steve is an account (and I’m sure Ben Roethlisberger impersonator on the weekends).  He told Ryan he was a “wedding and funeral singer – but weddings tend to be more fun”.  He could sing – but his voice really annoyed me.  Steven called him “disturbingly great”.  I think he got it half right.  Hollywood will tell us which half.
  • Vernika Patterson – After butchering “Lovin You”, she thinks the only reason she’s getting a no is because she’s not skinny.  No – it’s because your voice is the sonic equivalent of a high colonic.  The best thing I can say about Vernika is that she was the segue in to the long awaited Idol-logo-over-the-mouth profanity montage.  I particularly love the mom who threatens to kick the cameraman in the crotch for filming her daughter’s pain – and then turns to her crying daughter with a look of scorn and says, “Shut up Brianne!”  Parenting at it’s finest.
  • Albert Rogers – He lost me as soon as he started with Barak Obama impression.  I think he sang something, but all I heard was a high pitch wine in my ears.  Kind of reminded me of the State of the Union speech.
  • Scott Dangerfield – I agree with Jennifer; he may have been the best of the night.  When he hit that high falsetto night – butter.  The kid has pipes.  Randy may have given Steven the next Aerosmith hit when he asked is Scott had “Found love in the Idol line”.  If not Aerosmith, then I’m sure someone on YouTube will record something for us.
  • Megan Frasier – Before the break, Ryan asked if Megan could be Idol’s most annoying contestant ever.  I think she’s in the running.  As my wife said – “she’s a ‘woo’ girl.”  It was not a compliment.  Her operatic take on “Baby” was not enjoyable.  I’m not sure what someone could do with a performance like that – maybe use it to dislodge wasp nests from your back porch?  At least her Packers are in the Super Bowl.
  • Alyson Jados – A rocker chick with a crush on Steven.  I’m not sure if his hug before she sang helped or hurt her.  Still, I like her.  There’s nothing better than a woman with a little dirt in her voice.  Steven brought her back to reality a bit with his critique, but ultimately cast the deciding vote to send her to Hollywood.
  • During Alyson’s audition, Steven ripped off what came in a close second for my favorite Tyler-ism for the night: “You will have your turn in the barrel.” I don’t know what it really means – but I know I’m going to find a use for it.
  • The last contestant of the night was Chris Medina.  Usually I have a snarky remark about the last contestant.  Not tonight.  Chris and his girlfriend were engaged to be married, but she suffered a traumatic brain injury two months before the wedding.  The wedding never happened, and now he and her mother take care of her.  As he was talking about the vows they were going to make, he said – “What kind of guy would I be if I walked out on her when she needed me most?” That really hit home with me, and reminded me what love is really all about. When he sang for the judges, you could see the emotion in everyone’s eyes.  They asked him to bring his girlfriend in, and all the judges came out to talk to her in her wheelchair.  I have a new found admiration for Steven after seeing the way he talked to her about Chris, the way he touched her and kissed her on the cheek.  It was a very human moment – by far the best of the show.

That’s a wrap for tonight.  Tomorrow night Idol moves to Nashville.  I have high hopes for the talent in Music City.  I have high hopes for more vocal self-destruction.  I have high hopes that we won’t see Justin Bieber or Danny Gokey.  I have high hopes the Steven will entertain us all once again.  What words of wisdom will he throw down tomorrow night?  You’ll have to tune in to see.  Word Zombie out.

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