American Idol: Season 10, Episode 4 – “That worked out pretty cool”

American Idol: Season 10, Episode 4 – “That worked out pretty cool”

It’s night number four, and the American Idol crew found itself in Nashville.  Hard to believe it’s just the second visit to Music City during Idol’s history.  As I mentioned yesterday, I had high hopes for the talent in Nashville – and I wasn’t disappointed.  The judges set up shop in the Ryman, and got down to business.

I have to say that I was disappointed to find that Steven Tyler did not lead off the show with yet another eloquent turn of a phrase.  Instead, he led off the show with the one word that could sum up most of the evening – Wow.  There were some good “wows”, some bad “wows”, and some what-the-hell-was-that wows as the night progressed.  I’ve got them all, as well as my engaging and thought provoking commentary below.  Onward we go!

  • Darius Thomas – This is the guy(?) who is supposed to be able to hit the high notes.  I’m not sure what he was doing, or if it’s even healthy.  At best it was an awful display of the type of harmonic overtone singing found in Mongolian Monasteries; at worst it was the screeching of person who has deluded himself into thinking he has talent.  I’m going to go with the latter.
  • Christine McCaffrey – She decided to enter singing her own theme music.  I thought it couldn’t get any stranger after that – and then she started to speak.  She sounded like Betty Boop after an all night bender.  Surely that was as bad as it could get, right?  Nope – I forgot that she still needed to sing her audition song.  If she sang through her nose any more, she wouldn’t even need to open her mouth at all.  Still – the best part was her exit, when I think she truly believed that Steven Tyler had given her a yes vote.  Ryan was kind enough not to point out that the audition was actually on tape – including Steven’s resounding no.  I hope they like Christine in whatever private world she is living in.
  • Rob Bolin and Chelsee Oaks – Looks like they saved the best for third tonight, exes Rob and Chelsee (quick poll – Rob Bolin and Phoebe’s brother from “Friends” – separated at birth?  Fire up Google and decide for yourself).  Before I get to their audition, I have to recognize them for one of the best entrances ever.  When asked on camera how she felt, Chelsee replied, “A little nervous – excited.”  When asked how he felt, Rob replied, “This sucks.”   Brilliant.  It’s clear that Rob still has feelings for Chelsee – which made their duet of “To Love Somebody” even better.  Sometimes the best harmony comes from dissonance.  When they sang solo, Rob blew me away.  He’s easily one of my favorites right now.  His voice had the smokiness and warmth of a hickory fueled campfire.  Chelsee was good too – but Rob was the star.  He’ll go much farther than her in this competition.  When the audition was complete, they went out to see Ryan – Chelsee had her whole family there (including her new boyfriend…), and Rob had – no one.  Ryan congratulated him and asked for his thoughts.  “That worked out pretty cool”.  Cool indeed.
  • Back from break and we have a few of the sideshow acts.  A girl dressed like a cheap stripper, and a girl who can touch her nose with her tongue.  This sends Steven into a fit of monkey screeches.  Moving on…
  • Allen Lewis – I liked Biker Guy.  He had a great attitude (“Nothing against pop – everyone’s got their own flavor of ice cream”), and an infectious laugh.  It was like Santa Claus – if Santa Claus was a member of the Hell’s Angels. He got so into his version of “Simple Man” he completely tuned out the judges. It was clear the answer was going to be no, but he welcomed the criticism and gave an exit speech worthy of a politician.  Honestly, I was expecting him to end with “Welcome to the Hall of Presidents”.  Jennifer loved the fact that he “left here philosophizing”.  I’m all for philosophizing.  Party on dude.
  • Stormi Henley – A former Miss Teen USA, whose real name is Stormi (with an “i” of course).  Sporting a sundress and cowboy boots, she definitely made an impression with Steven when she walked on stage.  She did have some talent, but her voice didn’t really grab me.  Jennifer nailed it when she said, “Might be the smallest voice we’ve ever heard.”  I’m not sure the size of her voice was what Steven and Randy cared about…
  • More forgettable sideshow contestants up next.  I don’t have enough brain cells awake at this point to critique each “performance”.  Instead, I’ll just stick with witty nicknames.  There was 70’s Hairdo Guy, Random Blonde Girl, and Prince’s Cousin It.  Needless to say, no one made it to Hollywood.
  • Adrian Beasley – Straight from a farm in Kentucky comes African American adoptee, Adrian Beasley.  In her bio package, she tells everyone that her parents are white.  I had kind of picked up on that previously when the two older white folks said, “We’re Adrian’s parents”.  Her voice had a dusting of country in it, but I’m not sure I will remember it in three weeks.  Steven heard something special in her voice – I didn’t’ hear it.  When she called home to tell her parents she was going to Hollywood, her Dad’s first reaction was, “Who’s going to pay your way?”  Classic.
  • Kameela Merricks – They had me fooled with the set-up on Kameela.  She told us she was “5’2’ with a huge voice.”  I thought she might be good – and then she started singing.  I guess when it comes to voices, bigger isn’t better.  Based on Kameela, bigger isn’t even good.  Steven did through out his one and only word of wisdom tonight, to Kameela – “You gotta go home and get good.”  I’m okay with her just going home.
  • More contestants with nicknames only.  We had Blue Bodysuit Guy, Unintelligible European Chick, and The Crying Cowboy.  My daughter though Blue Bodysuit man might have worn the bodysuit because he “had a bad hairdo and wanted to hide it”.  My kids are cool.
  • Jackie Wilson – As Jackie walks in, Ryan chats up her parents, who say she’s been singing since she was three.  She can sing, but her voice seemed to be very country vanilla to me.  There was nothing I would remember there.  I guess that high note was more impressive in person than on TV – the judges loved it.  She walks out and – wait a minute – did she just kiss the old guy in the Justin Timberlake hat on the lips?  It’s her BOYFRIEND, not her father?  Okay…  Let’s just keep moving, shall we…
  • Latoya “Younique” Moore –I could have told you without ever seeing or hearing her; Latoya was going to be the musical equivalent of a 34-car pile-up on the 405.  How?  The fact that she gave herself the nickname “Younique”.  Really?  She got her 3 minutes of airtime and made sure we all knew she was a recording artist.  What did she record, public service announcements for tone-deaf sheep?  Her audition was stupendously bad, made even more entertaining by the fact that she clearly didn’t get it.  “Younique”?  I think I would have gone with “Youcrazy”.
  • Next we got three quick hits from guys who all got a ticket to Hollywood (if not much airtime).  Paul McDonald showed off his cottony voice with “Maggie May”.  Jimmie Allen wasn’t bad, in a David Allen Greer sort of way.  Danny Pate had a great jam with the judges on “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”.  One quick note to Jennifer – be careful with the “cheerleader yes” in the future, or you may find yourself in Janet-Jackson-wardrobe-malfunction territory.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing.  I’m just sayin’.
  • Matt Dillard – First, I have to respect the work that he and his family have done in caring for 700 foster children over the years.  That’s truly amazing.  Now, on to Matt.  Don’t let the overalls, the banjo playing on the porch (yep – go back and watch it), or the hat fool you – he promises he can “pretty up” if need be.   His voice was not what I expected, but it still didn’t blow me away.  He will need to prove himself in Hollywood in a big way if he wants to advance.  One quick note for Matt – Brett Michaels called and wants his hat back.
  • Has anyone else noticed that every single yes/no split vote shown this year has ended up with the person going to Hollywood?  Can we get some airtime dedicated to the crushing of people’s dreams?  Is that too much to ask?
  • Lauren Alaina – The Idol producers assured us they had saved the best for last in Lauren.  (We’ve already established they saved the best for third with Rob Bolin, but I won’t quibble.)  She’s 15, she’s from Georgia, and she evidently stole Tina Yothers’ hair from 1987.  Lauren’s audition was smokin’.  But for Rob earlier, she WOULD have been the best of the day.  Her speaking voice had the smooth southern charm of a tall glass of sweet ice tea, but her singing voice had the spice of a Tabasco rich Bloody Mary.  She was like Kellie Pickler, but with talent.  The judges were blown away, and quickly gave her a golden ticket.  Since she was the last contestant of the day, she asked to bring her parents out on stage.  She sang their song for them – “I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing” – with a little help from Steven.  It was a great way to end the show.

And that was all from Nashville.  Steven predicts that they found the winner while there.  I’m put a bookmark in this page and come back to see if he is right in a few months.  Next week Idol heads down to Austin, Texas.  I’m sure there will be great singers, but I’m most looking forward to one thing, based on the previews – Giant Armadillo Man.  Enough said.  Word Zombie Out.

© 2011, The Word Zombie. All rights reserved.

One Reply to “American Idol: Season 10, Episode 4 – “That worked out pretty cool””

  1. This is one of my favorite reviews of the episode. I wore a purple bodysuit to the auditions, actually, but I enjoy your kids’ comments. 🙂

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