Captain’s Corner: Saving the Tess for Last
Auditions are done. And I’m bummed about it.
I’ve been watching American Idol since this chick I was dating forced me to watch it at the start of Season 6 (we’ve been married almost four years and now I make her watch it. Quietly) and after the first two years of seeing far too many goofballs and mediocre talent, I was D-U-N with auditions. Hated them. Only had the TV on as background noise.
This season changed everything. All the changes were done with a purpose; producers are learning that the silly singers are a thing of the past and it’s not bringing people to their living rooms. People are drawn in by talent.
And this year we got it.
I’m hoping whatever changes we have going forward are going to be executed as well as the auditions were. I hope we don’t get sappy storylines forced down out throat like a (inappropriate analogy here) or enough tears to fill Ryan Seacrest’s kiddie pool.
Last night brought great closer to the first part of the season. The night started a little slow, but picked up by the end. I hate one-hour shows more than I hate hamburgers (WHO THE FUCK DOESN’T GET CHEESE ON A BURGER?) because they’re a tease. It’s Coke without the Captain. But last night was different. It was, despite what I’ve read in some recaps, a perfect episode. Good length, good talent and closed with someone who I, hammered off Coors Light, thought could be our first legit No. 1 contender for the Season 13 crown.
Here’s what I liked, didn’t like, and can’t talk rationally about:
1) Quaid Edwards
First off, with a name like Quaid you can safely call him bro or brosef. I’m not 100 percent sure he wasn’t Season 12’s Johnny Keyser (PS that would be the most baller move ever; assume a new identity, create a backstory, try and win Idol, then reveal master plan at the end with an evil laugh) but I wasn’t super impressed. The judges couldn’t have been more right, but I was glad they let him in; there was something raw and genuine about him (maybe iQt was the sixth-grade awkwardness when J-Lo said “I like you” and Q simply replied “I like you too”) and these are the types of contestants that end up doing well.
And you’re gonna have a hard time convincing me Urban didn’t hook up with his mom. Urban gets what Urban wants.
2) Madisen Walker
My JBAS alarm was on fire last night. The second Madisen went on screen it sounded – WARNING! WARNING! DANGER! DANGER! – and I knew not to make any creepo comments. Then they got the age out of the way early, confirming my fears.
Her audition wasn’t great, but you don’t need to be to get through. No one’s won Idol in the auditions. She did just enough to get through. If she goes farther, she’s gonna have a hard time earning stray votes from the horny guy crowd because they can’t have a 15-year old on stage wearing dresses with plunging necklines or booty shorts. Because then Madisen’s dad is gonna have to kick somebody’s ass.
3) Alyssa Siebken
If Dudes Review Idol was a legit news operation, I wouldn’t be able to write about Alyssa, because she started following us on Day 1 or 2 of the season and has pretty much been my Twitter BFF. And her taking stupid selfies with Seacrest wasn’t going to change my opinion one bit.
There hasn’t been a female on the show with a better attitude. Seriously, what other chick shows up wearing jeans, a sports bra and a ratty tank top on national TV? Alyssa comes off exactly like the chick every dude loves. She probably talks like a dude, drinks like one and when you’re hanging out with her at a party, she’ll say “hey, you should try and hook up with the chick in the red because she has a great rack.”
There’s a pretty simple playbook on getting to Hollywood and she nailed it. Alyssa played Waka Flocka Flame’s “No Hands,” which is a horrible piece of music. It’s not a track with an old blues sample that’s easy to pick out. It sounds like a late 90s computer trying to sign on to AOL with a bass drop. Listen:
Well, Alyssa went and made it sound like this:
J-Lo kind of downplayed it, but there’s something to be said of her ability to take a piece of garbage track and turn it into actual music. And that makes Alyssa super dangerous because being able to manipulate and retool songs wins Idol. She’s not going to out-sing Tiquila Wilson or even some of the other GWGs we’ve seen; but she’s fun. And fun gets votes.
4) Tyler Gurwicz
They should have booted him after he turned Adele’s song into an aborted fetus. He came off like a wannabe Lambert (all praise Lord Lambert) and when they gave him a second chance, he blanked on a song. He could have done anything. And he blanked.
Yeah, his second go was good. But if you choke like that IN THE AUDITION, what’s gonna happen when you’re live in front of millions? Puke everywhere. Everywhere.
5) Tyler Marshall
You had me at fat black guy in a Red Sox hat.
Listen, my man Tyler needs some style lessons – speaking as a big dude, skinny jeans look awful on us; I don’t mind the electric blue color, but skinny jeans? Come on T-Marsh – but once he opened his mouth I was in love. In a straight way.
When T-Marsh suits up (NOTE TO TYLER: if you get far enough, just wear suits. Nothing crazy. No fucking bow ties. Pinstripes, tie, pocket square. No goofy hats or shoes either) with that voice people are going to lose their shit. And my wife will be wondering why I’m crying on my couch during one of his soulful renditions of a Beatles song.
6) CJ Jones
I don’t get the weirdo hipster hair or the horrible white jacket and that usually means I hate whoever is rocking them, but CJ won me over as soon as he started ordering Connick around.
Good voice, but he’s going to get buried by all the PWGs. I just don’t see it being strong enough to hold up against what everyone else is going to bring to the table.
7) DaJontae Lenear
If this was Chicks Review Idol, JD would be first-team JBAS. Good-looking kid and love the confidence wearing red on red (when I do that I look like the Kool-Aid Man. OH NO). Then he comes in just hitting on J-Lo, acting all shy and shit before flashing a perfect smile. Love this kid’s game.
He’s got a little Burnell in him, but with a lot more strength in his voice. This might not be the year for him, but he could come back in the future and crush it. I see him and Neco Starr battling for a spot next week.
8) Dylan Becker
First question: What the fuck is a shoe caddy?
Dylan looks like a chubby Jason Mraz, minus the horrible, horrible hat. He’s not the strongest WGWG, but he wasn’t bad and won’t be outclassed in Hollywood if he gets a chance to play. Worst case he doesn’t make it and he’s got some years to get better.
9) Paula Hunt
She is the oldest-looking 20-year old since Greg Oden. Paula’s got some Benjamin Button shit going on, but that voice – good god.
First thing she needs to do is fire her stylist. Second thing she needs to do is just wear her fatigues during Hollywood to intimidate the shit out of people, then nothing but long gowns when she gets on the live shows. Her voice is ridiculous. There’s a 99 percent chance of her singing something that makes me cry during the live shows. Check that – 100 percent.
And when her mother, suffering from MS, said “I’m so proud of my baby. I cant sing anymore my children sing for me” I just about lost my shit.
10) Andrina Brogden
If you got the Idol producers shitfaced and asked them to create the perfect contestant, it would be Andrina. She’s ethnic (not gonna play Guess! My! Race! right now), has freckles, has the perfect attitude and seems like American will fall in love with her.
I’m gonna guess we’re gonna see a shit-ton of her next week. I want to see how she does with different styles of music, but I think she’s gonna shock a lot of folks.
11) Christian Scholl
Basically the judges just said Willie Nelson sucks. Because he sounded exactly like Willie, except he wasn’t high (although if Christian was, he might have slowed the pace of the song a bit). Better song choice might have been Willie’s cover of “The Scientist.” And loved Dad wondering if he was pulling the trick ticket move, only to find out the boy failed/got screwed over.
12) Casey McQuillen
Don’t get why the blogosphere has such a boner for her. C-Mack sounded like most every other WGWV (that’s White Girls With Voices). She’s good, but meh; could have been better.
13) Tessa Kate
First game I played when I saw her was trying to figure out if she was Asian. Then I was trying to avoid hating her because I was figuring she was going to zany like Zooey Deschanel (or rather, the way Deschanel is portrayed on SNL).
And then she sang. And I don’t know what it was about her voice. Maybe it was the way it vibrated (Note: I don’t know technical terms; doesn’t matter), maybe it was her tone, maybe it was her smile that had me questioning my undying love to Madelyn Patterson.
Or maybe it was the way she picked Folsom Prison, one of the most man songs ever, and she dropped a feminine twist on it and made it sound fucking terrific.
The down side is this could be her peak. There was that kid a couple years back who auditioned with Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” and the judges kept coming back to it because he never recreated the magic.
But the upside? If she gets better she wins this in a runaway. And by this I mean Season 13. She’s got the looks and the talent and seems to understand good song choice and bad song choice. Alyssa Siebken is still my girl, I’m still stalking Madelyn Patterson and I’m still hopeful some of the JBAS turn 18 soon, but TK might be the one standing on the stage at the end.
Next week can’t come soon enough. I’m nervous and excited to see what the “twist” is going to be – Whichever contestant gets through the obstacle course on American Gladiators is going to the Top 12! – but Hollywood Week is always entertaining.