Captain’s Corner: Repeat Offenders, Contenders

The less we see of contestants like this, the better.

The less we see of contestants like this, the better.

Let the mind games begin.

As the auditions go on, we start to learn a lot of things; the relationship between Harry Connick and Keith Urban is hilarious and bring credibility and fun back to the judging table; perhaps the reason we’re seeing a lot of people get tickets to Hollywood is because they’re showing us more talented singers and less William Hungs; and the producers definitely try to play favorites.

It’s hard to find someone who wasn’t annoyed/pissed off/confused by the replay of Marrialle Sellars, who we saw get a golden ticket in last Thursday’s cold open. I’m not her biggest fan; she looks like a hair-whipping Willow Smith and sings like pre-skank Miley Cyrus. It’s an interesting blend of looks and talent and the perfect type of contestant Idol wants to be a contender on the show. But it was forced last night. And it’s going to hurt Miss Sellars chances rather than help.

(I’m too lazy to do the research, but in year 13 of the show, I’m willing to bet the biggest population of people watching this show is the 28-40 crowd. Teens watch – when they’re not popping Molly, of course – but I’d bet married people watch this show more than anyone else. And if there’s one thing people in that demographic hate, it’s young, so-called talent getting pushed down our throats.)

The judges are starting to look more comfortable. I’m not sure the order the tryouts were filmed – Idol is notorious for not showing the auditions in chronological order, for whatever reason – but Urban and Connick are a pair of prepubescent boys with their older sister J-Lo rolling her eyes at their behavior spouting how much more mature she is before laughing while no one is looking. It’s similar to the chemistry of Simon, pre-crazy Paula and Randy before he fully transformed into Dawg. Connick auditioning with Urban as a judge seemed genuine and it was funny. I’m more upset I don’t know what Urban wrote on his ankle; I’m sure it wasn’t a phone number. It was probably something filthy that definitely wasn’t appropriate for TV.

Last night’s talent didn’t impress me. Again, I was concerned about the amount of tickets being handed out; at this point as long as your voice doesn’t crack you’re getting one. The reason I’m thinking this is because the morons are gone. We had a couple idiots last night, but that took up less than a minute of the broadcast and they were far from the focus of the show. So we’re getting to actually see people and form opinions before Hollywood Week, which is only going to drive more people to the show.

The raging downside to this is we’re not seeing the in-betweeners. They’re the ones who have been told by everyone how good they are and when they sing and fail, they break down. Seeing those tears are always the best. I was upset Karlita and Rikita didn’t lose their minds more. (PS dressing like you’re going to the club is never a good way to head to an audition unless it’s for a Twerk Team video).

Keri Lynn Roche

There’s no in-between for me with contestants like Miss Roche. I either love them (Bowersox) or hate them (everyone else). Roche didn’t look like she was going to impress me (but I drooled once Urban talked about a fragel. I need a fried bagel for breakfast everyday) and then she “just decided” to sing “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons (I thought it was Eminem because whenever I hear white guys yelling I assume Marshall Mathers is involved) and I “just decided” I fucking love her.

Julian Miller
Bruno Mars called. He wants his act back.

Paris Primeau

I hated her at first (a little more after I found out she tried and failed on The X Factor). And it’s really hard to express hatred for a 16-year old online without coming off like a raging asshole (even tougher is describing their look without sounding like a creepo/pedophile). Here’s the thing though: after I listened to her a second and third time, she started to wear on me. Maybe the pink hair threw me off; I don’t like people who do shit like that because it’s not authentic. They’re doing it because they want everyone to look at them. Which is exactly what they hate (Boom, old guy rant over). Her choice of “House of the Rising Sun” wasn’t original, but it sounded so damn good. How do I know? Because it was note for note, accent for accent and breath for breath, a replica of Haley Reinhardt’s final three performance a few years back. This isn’t a knock on Miss Paris. She’s got the pipes and there’s proof that whatever she has can work.

Bryan Watt

Maybe the safest, whitest guy Idol’s had in years. He is the definition of WGWG, or at least should be in some online dictionary. He’s a good-looking dude – not crazy handsome like Spencer Lloyd, but who is, right? – has a strong voice and a jawline that could double as a deli slicer. Oh, and he’s a Tampa Bay Buccaneers visor away from looking like Jon Gruden in 2002. The 40-plus female crowd is gonna lose their goddamn minds over this guy. His audition was perfect because it wasn’t over the top good, but just good enough. Those are usually the ones who dominate later on.

Khristian D’Avis

The only thing worse than her fake accent is the stupid apostrophe in D’avis. It was thick and strong when she started and as she kept talking, it slowly disappeared before she got called out on it. And for the record, she wasn’t good. She better not get far in Hollywood Week. Or come up with a better accent.

Jena Asciutto

First off, Gina is not spelled Jena. It’s Gina or Geena. Off to a bad start with me already. Then she picks “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele? Two strikes. The reason I hate this song choice is because it’s impossibly hard to sing and if you don’t nail it, you come off sounding like an asshole. She didn’t nail it. I’m glad they let her through, because I think she’s gonna do well – but she needs to make smarter song choices (Again, feel like an asshole for calling out a 17-year old, but she chose this path).

Melanie Porras

Love, love, love. Her look is A-plus, he voice is A-plus and her song choice was terrific. I loved the take on “Fever” (which I’m sure somebody else has done seeing how everyone except Tupac covered it) and then she crushed out the Jovi, which would have only been better if she had a barstool to kick out from under her as she sang it. Melanie and Keri Lynn are gonna have to fight over my undying loyalty.

Liam Newberry
They’re called skinny jeans bro. Not chubby jeans. Take it from a fat guy – not a good look.

Jade Lathan
She’s so good I want to hit her. I didn’t want her to go to Hollywood because she’s gonna eliminate a lot of people I want to see go far in this show. She’s what the producers want. The only thing I’m worried about is the potential for Diva-dome. She seems sweet and innocent and hopefully she won’t turn into a demon being awake for 18 hours straight on group night.

Sarah Scherb
Only mentioning her for one reason – she has a goofy dad. His celebration when she came out and broke the news was the least athletic and most awkward thing I’ve seen since Tom Brady’s TD celebrations. She’s gotta tell him to get his shit together.

Sydney Arterbridge

She nailed “Loving You,” a song that’s impossibly hard to do because of the strength you need to go that high and stay that high, but she’s going to be a problem later on, which is going to be awesome. How do I know? Her twitter page features Chris Brown. That tells me one thing – this chick is straight up crazy. No woman should like Chris Brown. He’s the biggest asshole on the planet. So when she gets into group week, she’s gonna be batshit insane. And that’s gonna be awesome.

Maurice Townsend

I’m jealous of him for a few reasons. For one, his hair is better than mine. And two, he found a way to have three boys right off the bat before having a girl. I got stuck with one girl and another on the way, so FML, right? He’s what American Idol is all about; just a perfect family guy, good voice, won’t act like a dickhead. But I don’t think he’s going far. He’s still winning life though.

David Oliver Willis

This is probably going to be incoherent rambling, because I can’t talk about DOW without gushing. I’ve got a DOW Jones (Boom, hashtag he should use for his fans). He was screwed by Nicki Minaj last year and not in a good way (is there a good way?) and I’ve been waiting to see if he’d return or try and do his own thing on an indie label. When he said he was going to sing “Too Close” there was a pause and I got pumped thinking he was going to sing the No. 1 Boner Jam of the 90s. Instead it was an indie rock song and he crushed it. He’s Top 12 guy. No doubt and I totally disagree with Connick – he can win this show.

Brandy Neelly
Forget her audition or her country twang. What was up with her makeup? Her face was four or five shades lighter than everything below her chin. Whoever did her makeup obviously had no clue what they were doing; a good artist will understand what the lighting is going to do and not make you look like Heath Ledger playing the Joker.

Ethan Harris
His voice is too soft to succeed. He’s getting eaten alive in Hollywood. He’s passive and will bend to whatever anyone says. Nice drawing though, bro. Will probably get him far on American Artist.

Ayla Stackhouse

Like her, both for her voice and her correct pronunciation of the word “aunt” (If you’re saying “ant” stop; you’re doing it wrong). I’m also looking forward to the inevitable battle on group night between her and Miss Arterbridge. And Ayla ain’t backing down.

Eric Gordon
I’m torn. While I loved the look – almost Hunk City – the voice didn’t do enough to get me thinking he can do much on the show. He’s right up there with B-Watt in terms of 40-plus women loving him. He’d be better off in a boy band as the sexy, unintimidating older guy,

Ryan Nisbett

Love the story. I’m battling fathood right now (was winning until winter hit) but I’m not giving up dairy and all that other crap he did, so I’m not gonna be 160 pounds. Damn. I do want to punch him in the face because I hate hipsters, but when I close my eyes and listen I like him. Then I see him and hate him. So there’s that. I think if he shaves the silly-ass mustache and pubic hair on his chin, he’ll have a bigger appeal. Also, can’t wait to see him play an instrument; if he’s a true hipster, it’ll probably be a washboard or a kazoo.

Marrialle Sellars
Not addressing this. Too controversial.

Follow me on Twitter – @DudesReviewIdol – for live tweeting of the East Coast Idol (slightly drunk) and West Coast Idol (blackout city), with an instant review coming after the East Coast showing and a full Captain’s Corner tomorrow after I dominate the trampoline park with my 2-year old.

-The Captain