Sunday, January 21

AI - Seattle Auditions

Of the 9000 who tried out in Seattle, an inappropriately large percentage seem strange. Most of the bad auditions are drawn out way too long and aren't really worth mentioning. The "I Shot the Sheriff" guy is back, this time dressed as Uncle Sam singing "God Bless America." On Day 2 we get this years pair of geeky new BFF, Kenneth and Jonathon. A Taylor Hicks wannabe. And a red-haired guy who thinks he can sing like Freddie Mercury (and is so, so wrong). However, there is also quite a bit of actual talent!

The first shown advancing is 21-year old Tommy Daniels (#81045). He mentions having auditioned in 2004 and 2005; third try seems to be the charm as his "Arms of a Woman" wins him a golden ticket. He has a nice voice and a tiny cute dog; unfortunately he also has a criminal record so we may not be seeing him for long.

Another small dog owner, Melissa Stavros (#79236), tries "I Turn to You" and is decent until she gets to the high parts. She and her dog are sent home.

Next is 25-year old Blake Lewis, a guy with spiky hair who says he's a champion beatboxer. Randy asks him to do some, which he does. Apparently he also plays guitar, dances, and writes songs (check out his myspace, he's really good! though his photos remind me of SYTYCD's Travis). He sings Seal's "Crazy" and though I'd have preferred a straighter singing, he 'does his thing' and that's enough. This guy is getting some buzz; I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the top 24.

Now we have our first siblings of the season; two Indian teens whose dad is a classical musician. First to perform is 19-year old Shyamali (#80202). She sings "Summertime" and has a beautiful voice, and a beautiful face. Simon said she's nothing unique but Randy & Paula love her, as do I. Her 17-year old brother, Sanjaya (#80203), says his musical idol is Stevie Wonder. He sings "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and is also amazing! So they both advance to Hollywood. Simon liked Sanjaya's voice better, and perhaps he is the better singer, though Shyamali definitely has more of 'the look' (unless he gets a haircut, Sanjaya will totally own the nickname Mowgli!). They both seem like nice kids as well, each wanting to be the best but not wanting to admit it in front of the other!

The last contestant on Day 1 in Seattle is Rudy Cardenas, a 28-year old Venezuelan who now lives in LA (#59576). He sings "Open Arms" and Simon cuts him off as soon as he reaches the high part (and reaches it he does, loudly but very well!). I don't know what Simon didn't like, but Randy and Paula (and I) sail him through to Hollywood. A little web research shows him to be in a male jazz vocal group called m-pact that has performed internationally.

7 advanced on Day 1 (we saw 5). Of the 8 advancing on Day 2 we only see 2...

Anna Kearns is 20 years old and 6' 4" tall (#78163). She's a waitress. She sings "Respect" a bit shouty, but is decent.

Lastly there is Jordin Sparks, a 16-year old girl from Arizona with curly hair and a dark, pretty complexion (#80066). She sings "Because You Loved Me" and again is maybe a bit belty, but very good with a nice, strong voice. Her dad Felipe played in the NFL for the Giants & I heard elsewhere that she was on America's Most Talented Kid. With reason. I like her and predict top 45 at least.

That's it for Seattle! Next week: Memphis. And please, use the "other door"!!


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