Wednesday, January 14

AI8 - Phoenix Auditions (1/13/09)

Aaaand we're back! Some interesting montages at the beginning - they even acknowledge Taylor's existence! Highlights of David Cook, yay. And our first clips of a few who advance to Hollywood... I recognize one of the spoilers and he's annoying me already, lol!


For the most part I'm only going to list the folks who get through. I won't include this in the recap, but I also take notes on the short clips they show of unnamed people getting through, so if anyone wonders if "that guy in the sweater vest who looked really familiar" got through, I might be able to answer you (yes! I'm guessing we saw him in a previous season but that's all I've got for now).

Emily Wynne-Hughes (21, CA, #30995) - her mom was a singer, we get family clips, & she's shown in the ads... gee, wonder if she's getting through? ;-) Our (first) requisite pink-haired rocker girl of the season; she's in an all-girl band who of course doesn't know she's here (until now) and whom she's planning to abandon should she advance, or at least until she gets to the Daughtry stage & can include them again, anyway. She sings "Barracuda" and is decent, even if it does sound much like the original. 4 yeses & she's through!

J.B. Ahfua (male, 16, UT, 34577) - I don't know the song he sang, R&Bish. 4 yeses.

Arianna Afsar (16, CA, 30252) - founded a program called "Adopt a Grand-friend" and is adorable. Sang "Put Your Records On." Like her - my favorite of Day 1.

(Day 1 - 10 advance, we saw 3 audition)

Stevie Wright (female, 16, CA, 36925) - bubbly girl w/a big smile. Sang "At Last" and is very good! Didn't oversing it, doesn't wear tons of make-up. 4 yeses, though Simon's a bit concerned she's too nice & not competitive enough.

Michael Sarver (27, TX, 36762) - works on an oil rig, married w/2 kids, big guy. Sang "Thank You" (Boyz-2-Men) and is decent.

Katrina Darrell, aka "Bikini Girl" (20, CA, 32160) - a model with a gimmick that works - Simon has said he knew he'd put her through as soon as she walked into the room! She sang alright - Mariah's "Vision of Love," without the "swing" as Kara called it, but was still good enough to please Randy. She also has a thing for Ryan & kissed him afterward. I doubt she'll last long in Hollywood but we'll see. I noticed that in part of her clip she had a different (higher) contestant number on...? Oh and I finally got to hear Simon pronounce my name, lol.

Brianna Quijada (22, AZ, 28331) - the other bubbly brunette in a black & white top. She starts out with the verse of "Let's Hear It for the Boy" and gets stopped right as she's going into full voice on the chorus... I wanted to hear a bit more. Simon was done at this point, the others not really sure, not impressed... Paula asked what other songs she had & let her sing some of "Killing Me Softly" which was much better. Simon then changed his mind & he and Paula put her through.

Deanna Brown (25, KY/LA, 28393) - blond who didn't have any family with her so grabbed someone else's as forced to by the producers for the 'cute family-oriented clip.' Sang "Dock of the Bay" and got 4 yeses; Paula said she had "quiet confidence". Not sure what I think yet.

Cody Sheldon (17, MI, 10257) - looks like Danny Noriega 2.0 from the face but not the personality. Cute kid, longish hair, makes horror films. Sang "Wonderful World" (I don't know it; he said it's by James Morrison, whoever that is, sorry) and is good - different. I like him.

Alex Wagner-Trugman (19, CA, 26379) - our first geek-with-nice-voice-in-need-of-makeover-and-awaiting-Clay-comparisons (down to wearing a striped shirt) of the season. Taught himself to sing in his bedroom closet which they later discovered had mold which made him sick; thus Simon reading from the info sheet that he "came out of the closet" and ensuing defense/explanation from Paula. Sang "Baby Come to Me," asking Randy to sing along at the chorus. Very nice voice, though rather affected in his singing style. Great snarky, dry sense of humor though - Simon said he didn't like it and Alex quipped quickly, "I could do 'God Save the Queen'". ;-) Also apparently Simon had this thing about asking contestants in what 3 countries they expected to become popular (the montage showing such brilliant answers as "New Jersey" and "Paris"); Alex replied somewhat quickly Zimbabwe & some obscure country. Anyway, Simon said no but the other 3 yes and he's through. A lot could hinge on the makeover and whether he can ditch the affectation - he could garner some young fans early and that makes a big difference.

Last up is Scott Macintyre (23, AZ, 38136) who is blind. He's a singer-songwriter who plays piano & Kara says it's especially brave of him to be auditioning without the "comfort" it provides. He says he also skis and ballroom dances! Not to mention started college at 14 and graduated at 19. Wow. So he sings "And So It Goes" and is very good. Also in need of somewhat of a makeover, or at least a shave, haircut, & nicer t-shirt. But I like his vocal tone and he is a very good singer. 4 yeses, and none from sympathy. Will be interesting to see how he fares in Hollywood. (New info- apparently his whole family - including the cute brother who brought him in - sings! See MacIntyre Family Singers on YouTube!)

And Phoenix is done! 27 total advance (of the 17 on Day 2 we saw 8). My Top 50 spoiler list has 3 from Phoenix but we didn't see any of them sing, yet.

Tomorrow Kansas City! Welcome back, American Idol!!

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