Wednesday, January 14

AI8 - Kansas City Auditions (1/14/09)

Over 11,000 showed up to audition in the city that found the reigning Idol! And we do find a bit of talent here...

Ashley Anderson (20, NJ, 68142) - Tall, thin girl w/long hair; her 'gimmick' is that she's singing a Leona Lewis song *cowritten* by Simon Cowell! Since when does Simon write music?!? And it's a religious one, even! (As Pacey/Peter says in the Fringe ad, Just when you thought things couldn't get any stranger...!) So it's called "Footprints in the Sand," except she says and sings "Footsteps" instead and he corrects her so she starts over. He still loves it (of course) and she's through with 4 yeses. She's a belter & was ok I guess, but nothing special.

Cute ad for Idol starring David Cook, w/him in 'reverse' dreaming about winning & then shown on stage playing "Light On." Tag line is "Dreams Begin Again...."

Casey Carlson (20, MN, 70298) - perky brunette in a white skirt sings Vanessa Carlton's "1000 Miles" and is pretty blah. Somehow she gets 4 yeses and advances.

Von Smith (22, MO, 70090) - Von is one of the spoilers I've seen a bit of. He's going to be a polarizing contestant - great voice but waaaaay oversings and will be a love-him-or-hate-him (he already has fangirls) and might also have a bit of an attitude. He does "Over the Rainbow" and the softish parts are good, the rest painful. Of course he gets 4 yeses and is through to Hollywood.

Michael Castro (20, TX, 75108) - yes, this is Jason's brother! And Jason is there with him. Michael has a rock look - red streaked hair, piercings, black jeans w/pocket chain, etc. He's not any better at interviews (they shows clips from both of them) but says he's different from Jason in that Jason is "girly," which Jason later makes him explain as being emotional. Jason says, "so I have emotions, and know how to express them well... some people call that an artist." Hee. And apparently Michael is a new singer just like Jason was last year - he says he started singing 20 days before the audition! Figured "if J can sing, I can sing". And... he can! He does "I'm In Love With the Girl" and has a smooth, fairly strong voice. Kara is impressed with his attitude and he gets 4 yeses to advance!

Matt Breitzke (27, OK, 74922) - tall bald guy w/a mustache and goatee, married with a 3-year old son. He "played the bar scene" for years but got a day job as a welder to be responsible & support the family, so at 27 this is probably his last shot at a singing career. He sings "Ain't No Sunshine" and I love him!! Seems like a great guy, grounded, with a nice tone and style. For some reason Randy says no but 3 yeses are enough!

Jessica Furney (20, KS, 70698) - her hometown has the Oz Museum and she lives with her 93-year old grandmother. Shown playing guitar though she doesn't use it in her audition. She sings "Cry Baby" from Janis Joplin (I don't know this one) and unlike most Janis singers, her voice doesn't sound anything like Janis'! She's good though, nice but not cutesy, and gets 4 yeses.

India Morrison (22, MO, 77139) - the younger and smaller of 2 sisters who audition together, initially rapping something about cookies to Randy. Anyway I don't know the song she sang, but she's good (and also dances & choreographs) and advances.

Jamar Rogers (26, WI, 70808) - tall black guy, sings (shouts, mostly) "California Dreamin'" and strangely gets 4 yeses from the judges. No way I would have put him through. Next up is his bff who they've been pimping as tonight's sob story...

Danny Gokey (28, WI, 70891) - a music teacher whose wife Sophia died 4 weeks ago (from a congenital heart defect). Of course there are photos and clips from several different pre-audition interviews discussing his grief and how he almost didn't audition, but once he's in the room we get to focus on the singing. The song is "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and he has a nice, smoky/rough soulful voice - very nice! He wears glasses and reminds me a tad of Robert Downey, Jr. (whom I adore). The judges like him too; Randy and Paula say he's one of the best they've seen. 4 yeses, obviously! He's very excited (not emotional, yay) and I hope he's around for a while, though this style of singer rarely make the finals.

Anoop Desai (21, NC, 74002) - a Masters student in folklore, dresses a bit geeky and seems very intelligent. Sings "Thank You" and the voice is surprising! Smooth R&B, very, very nice! 4 yeses and he may have surpassed Matt as my favorite of the night. (*New info: there are several really good YT videos of his collegiate a cappella group Clef Hangers!)

Andrew Lang was the redhead who brought his own cheerleaders - he sang "My Girl" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" and was deemed too theatrical. I thought he was decent, at least as good as some others they've put through (definitely better than Jamar), though I'm sure he would've gotten cut at some point in Hollywood.

Asa Barnes (28, MO, 77281) - tall black guy who's a middle school band director; another dad, and plays the drums. Sings "The Way You Make Me Feel" and for once MJ proves to be a good song choice! Has a nice voice and smile. 4 yeses.

Dennis Brigham (19, IL, 75035) - black guy w/sunglasses who dreamt that Simon like his audition. Sings "With You" (Chris Brown) and is just ok. Pleaded w/the judges to let him through and everyone but Simon gave in, though they shouldn't have.

Last is Lil Rounds (23, TN, 74315) - another spoiler & she's been in the ads. Married mom of 3 whose apartment building was hit by a tornado so they're struggling. Sings Stevie Wonder's "All I Do" (I don't know this) and is very, very good. Like Finalist-good. I can't tell what her personality is like yet, but she seemed to be more 'humbly overwhelmed' by the judges' praise than cocky or diva-like, which bodes well.

27 total advance to Hollywood from Kansas City, and we got to see 13 of them! And more good than bad auditions tonight, yay!

No comments: