The Golden Ticket: Are we there yet?

They look nothing alike

They look nothing alike

I’ve got a problem.

No, it’s not from my usual devil juice. After the amount of booze I’ve ingested during the NFL Playoffs, I needed a break until Super Bowl Sunday even if DeflateGate is doing everything it can to get me back on the train.

I’ve got an American Idol auditions hangover. I’m done with them.

When they announced the audition shows were going to be shorter and finish quicker, I was all fucking aboard. Here’s the problem – it’s not giving me what I need.

The brilliance of the twice-a-week, two-hour audition shows that seemed to take 100 weeks was two hours gave you time to process the talent you were seeing. Last year producers did a marvelous job eliminating the clowns and giving us the good and the oh-so-close. There wasn’t a sense everyone was getting through and you had an idea of what kind of talent would perform on the stage in Hollywood.

So far this year I’m clueless. Not completely clueless, but I’d like to see more people who aren’t getting through because it really helps establish a baseline of what the judges expect. I haven’t see nearly the amount of producer intrusion like last season – where several so-so talents got in because they fit whatever demo the show was going for – but it’s starting to feel like everyone gets to Hollywood.

This week’s shows were particularly dull. It’s not that the talent was bad. In fact, we saw some very promising contestants and someone who I think can actually win the damn thing.

But there was no entertainment. I could give two shits about the back stories. If you’re homeless, that sucks. If you had a kid when you were 16, sorry. If you have a shitty job you hate and singing is your true calling I could literally not care any less. I just want to see you perform. I want to be entertained.

We didn’t get that this week. We didn’t see any drama-filled auditions where the judges had to really debate if they should get in or not.

Hopefully that will change next week with the auditions from San Francisco.

Now let’s review some of the talent we saw this week.

I was disappointed in Minnesota. I wanted to hear Prince. I wanted Morris Day and the Time. I got nothing. This episode was one of the worst audition episodes I’ve seen because it was as boring as a Harry Connick album. ZING.

Shannon Berthiaume
Got a real Avril vibe from the chick, who’s definitely one of those 17-year olds who cannot WAIT to be 21 and do whatever the hell she wants. Great soul voice but what really stands out is she appears to give zero fucks. Those are the dangerous contestants because they will try anything to get through.

Morgan Ovens

There’s something about her that I’d leave my wife and kids for her if she asked nicely enough and was willing to support me financially while I blog about Idol. As a WGWG, she’s going to stand out a little more than your normal singers, but she’ll have to find a way to survive group nights because WGWG usually struggle with that.

Gabrielle Noe’l
OK voice. Her last named is punctuated wrong. No apostrophe in Noel. She can’t win.

Courtney Guns
Pro – best name so far this season. Con – names don’t get you out of Hollywood Week.

Vanessa Andrea
Love the guitar bjorn. She’s got a folky voice and, as much as I hate saying this, fits the demos Idol wants way better than someone like my future mistress Morgan Ovens. I don’t know if she’s a WGWG or BGWG or HGWG. She’s good though, but group week will be rough for her.

Zach Johnson
Thought he was going to suck, one of those goofy looking guys who is just there as a frat joke. Loved the voice, hated when Connick started ragging on him about BS-ing his country voice. If you don’t talk with a country accent, don’t sing with a country accent? Ever hear of Iggy Azaela? She’s fucking Australian or something and raps like she’s from the South. She’s a billionaire. Harry’s a moron.

Aaron Bissell

Take away the 90s hoop earring, this dude was pretty awesome. He’s got that raspiness that does very, very well. I think if you take him out of the coffee-shop genre, he’s going to get himself booted, but if he can crush every performance he might be able to get away with one bad one.

Cindy Jo Scholer
First off, the gun thing was a big deal for me. I don’t own a gun and I’ve never shot one, but a blond chick who shoots one can play on my team any day. I don’t know how well she’ll do because if the judges don’t give you the ticket ASAP, it’ll be rough on a bigger stage.

Jacob Tolliver
First off, the guy is a pro so that’s a big deal. Love his audition strategy – do something he knows will definitely get him through. They’re not going to say no to a guy with an OK voice who can crush the piano like that. His Sam Smith bit wasn’t bad, but these are the guys who NOBODY wants to get through because he’ll manipulate music every week and do covers that will blow minds. Take away that piano and he’s cooked though.

Hannah Mrozak

If my kids end up like Hannah I’m going to kill myself. First off, there is no fucking way she’s 16. No way. She doesn’t look 16 and she doesn’t sing 16. This is why I’ve been pushing for the Idol WARNING signal when underage contestants audition because when I see a 22-year old, I want to be able to admire her and not feel dirty. I think she can do well, but like I wrote last year about teens – she’s better off learning how the show works this year and not making the Top 24, then chasing the title in 2017.

Mark Andrew

First off, fuck you Idol for trying to make me cry. Having two kids turns you into a sap.
I love this dude. Loved the tone on Soul Shine even if the judges didn’t. His acapella was solid even if I didn’t like the song choice, but like J-Lo said, he’s got that thing that can carry him. His voice is different enough, his look is Homeless Chic and he’s a dad of a cute little kid. America is going to go nuts for him.


I hated all the BS about how honored Harry was about Idol coming to New Orleans and all the pride he felt. R-E-L-A-X. I’d bet half the population there wouldn’t know Harry Connick if he played a piano in their living room. And I’ll prove it when I’m there next month (FUCK I CAN’T BLOG THAT WEEK).

Jelly Joseph
Loved her. She’s legit soul, not some manufactured BS that we see a lot of during the audition process. Plus, like I tweeted Thursday, if I’ve learned anything from watching Treme, curvy black chicks with crazy colored hair always sing awesome. Hope she crushes it going forward.

Tiffany Stringer
Too hyper for me. Not good enough of a voice. No idea why Idol put her through, other than hoping she has an emotional breakdown in Hollywood. She might develop into something, but she’s not good enough right now. I did love the song. Cher Lloyd is on heavy rotation because my 3-year old (at least that’s what I tell people).

Greyson Turner
Elvis Penguin is probably the best nickname anyone’s ever gotten on the show. He’s your typical teenage WGWG. Terrific voice and decent enough playing ability, at least enough that teamed up with this appearance on Idol, he won’t have any girl problems going forward. I’d prefer he doesn’t make Top 24 so he can really fine-tune his voice and playing. Teens struggle with Idol as a competition and that could be a problem here.

Sarah Quintana

How in the fuck did she not get in? It makes no sense. Like if she shows up at Hollywood and can’t keep it together, fine. But you let the silly blonde pep squad girl who’s voice is meh in but you don’t let the 28-year old through? Especially after her just saying “I appreciate your honesty, but I still want to go to LA?” She could have contended and it’s a shame we didn’t get to see more.

Quentin Alexander
Before he started singing I knew they were going to compare him to Andre 3000 because every black dude who walks in dressed funny gets compared to him. Every one. Voice was there and I sneaky loved his attitude, making comments mid song? Awesome. He’s either going to blow people away in Hollywood or not be able to sell out and do what it takes to win. Hoping he figures things out.

Mikey Duran

I still can’t tell if I like the phlegmy voice or if I hate it because he sounds like a Muppet. Good audition, but with that voice he’s a crazy wild card. He sounds soooo different from your typical WGWG and that’s a huge deal. Huge deal. Add his Michael Simeon-esque blue eyes and this kid has a chance.

Nalani Quintello
LOVE the look. Singing needs work, will probably be underwhelming minus the guitar.

Tori Martin
No. Too many sing like her and are better.

Hope Windle
Great song choice, but Liv Tyler shouldn’t be allowed to try out for American Idol.

Ricky Dale Hendricks
Well, here’s the dude all the teenage girls are voting for. This kid is so good-looking someone needs to punch him in the face. I hate country, but was all about his Garth cover. Team up all the intangibles – smile, voice, guitar – all the dads sending their daughters to Hollywood can’t be pumped because he’s gonna hook up with all of them.

Dakota Suarez
So he/she (still unsure how I’m supposed to do that) gets in but Sarah Quintana doesn’t? Fuck. That.
This made me laugh though.

Adam Lasher

First off, having Carlos Santana’s nephew on Idol is outright cheating. That’s like having Chris Kyle’s nephew on Top Shot.

Second, big favorite in this household because we’re pro-diabetes. Not that we want people to have it, but the wife does so we always root for people who have the disease which is why we feel bad when Jay Cutler shits himself every Sunday for the Bears.

Finally, this season might be over. This dude is by far the best we’ve seen. Playing, singing, look, he’s got it all. If he cleans some stuff up – namely the homeless beard and puts some conditioner in that mop – he’s going to get chicks all hot and bothered and will just dominate.

His biggest problem, like most WGWG who get tagged as “artists,” will be fighting the balance of being an artist and winning Idol. He needs to forget about being an individual, unique artist. That can wait until after he wins.

Erica Washington
She looks like an NFL linebacker, so you know there’s no way in FUCK I’m saying anything bad about her. I hated the song choice because I hate Beyonce (sorry) but she’s good. I could see her and Jelly singing it off for the final spot in the Top 24.

So we’ll be back next week, although I’m going to have a tough time focusing with the Super Bowl coming up. If any Idol news breaks, I’ll try blogging, but right now I have to deal with listening to idiots tell me how a deflated football constitutes cheating.