Thursday, February 08, 2007

American Idol Week Four: San Antonio Goes Auditioning and The Best of the Rest

If you thought you saw egos flare during the past four weeks of American Idol auditions, please remember that Hollywood week is just around the corner. The whole lot of golden ticket holders from the summer auditions are bound to be on their best or worst behavior--but nowhere in between. Hollywood contestants are going to forget their lyrics, embarrass themselves with ridiculous dance moves, or party the night before the audition that will (or will not) take them to the top 24 of this year's season 6. It's going to get ugly. Simon, and even Randy and Paula do not fuck around by Hollywood time, because they know that whomever they pick they gotta listen to for the rest of the season (or at least until they get voted off.) But this remains in the future.

Two days ago San Antonio would have bored us to death if it weren’t for some serious production values from the show's producers. With only a few contestants that stood out, and the "other door" joke that was starting to wear a little bit thin, Idol producers gave us a whole segment of "other door" mishaps. The "other door," of course, is the locked left door that angry/happy/sad contestants slam into as they skip (or stomp) out of the auditioning room. Realizing how hilarious it was to hear Simon utter "other door" after every other tryout fell into that push bar, the producers made a whole segment of "other door" crash highlights. It's like the blooper reel of audition room exits. Who knew?

I liked San Antonio, though, because it was ripe with southern manner. People say sir in Texas. This happened last week in Birmingham, too, and they even say it to Simon. (Last week in fact there was a highlight reel of "yes sirs" and "thank yous" in response to the judges' harsh criticisms.) As I've said before, audition season is very much a lesson in manners, and it was a relief to see at least one portion of the population leave the audition room with grace, not swears.

Then again, not all of them were so sweet. My favorite was the bunch that asked Ryan of Simon's nationality: "Where's he from, French?" Yes, "French," ladies and gentlemen. After Ryan told them he was actually British the matter proved itself even more ignorant: "He can go back to British!"

God bless America.

Also about San Antonio: Simon arrived in a new oversized pair of aviator shades. I hadn't seen those before. They must be new. Much shinier than anything I've seen on him before. I am starting to notice how top-heavy Simon is as well. His chest and arms are really disproportionately large to his lower torso and legs. Judging by the spring in his step, it also looks like he walks on the balls of his feet, and not heel-to-toe. Someone's going to have achilles tendonitis!

The Rest of the Best on Wednesday night did not give us much to shout about. It was a highlight show of audition season’s best and worst contestants, but we had pretty much seen them before, at least in brief sound bites from previous shows. Paul Kim, however, did shine through The Rest segment with a blazin’ voice and attitude. Good lookin’, too. He’s marketing himself as the first Asian Idol, and I think that just might score him some votes. Assuming that he makes it past the Hollywood round. Which brings me to…

Next Week: The Hollywood Round! Find out who will be your Top 24!

This week’s mentions: Paul Kim, Jimmy McNeal, Ashlyn, Baylie Brown.


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