Friday, January 30

AI8 - San Juan / New York Auditions (1/29/09)

Last audition show, yay! I don't really like how they skipped back & forth between San Juan & New York, but I suppose they were trying to hid the really dismal turnout in Puerto Rico. It's easy to tell which is which by contestant number though, and I'll separate them here.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Jorge Nunez (20, PR, 63695) - This was one of the fun build-ups that makes you expect a bad singer but then surprises you! Jorge is very confident and energetic and thinks that he will "wow" people with his voice. He sings "My Way" in Spanish and then "What a Wonderful World" in English. He is a very good singer and an attractive kid (I think he has a 'pretty' face, in a masculine way). 4 yeses.

"Crazy Rocker" Joel Contreras didn't get through, but I thought his Marc Anthony-sounding voice was better than some who have. I know the shtick was OTT though.

Monique Torres (16, PR, 60178) - Cute little bro Christopher got her through. She sang "You Can't Hurry Love" and "I Turn to You," and she has a good voice but the judges thought she didn't seem young enough (too "cabaret", tm Simon). Paula & Simon were the (only) yeses.

Patricia Lewis Roman (20, PR, 63743) - Her parents were married in this building. Sang "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" (and I wanna ban this song from Idol!!). Too belty but her voice is ok. She did a 2nd song in Spanish... Paula said no, Randy & Simon said yes, & we didn't see Kara's vote.

and Kendall Beard (23, TX) - Pretty blond in multicolor dress who was in the promos as having amazing talent. I thought she was just ok (dawg). (eta: Apparently she's country and we haven't seen much of that yet, so that may be what got her in.) 4 yeses.

A total of 9 advance from PR (we saw 4).

New York City

Melinda Camille (22, CT, 96837) - Melinda wants to "uplift humanity" and enjoys dancing naked (in her bedroom). She is a very, very happy person and is barefoot (a trend this year?). Sings "Feeling Good" (appropriate!) and is good enough. That and her interesting persona get her through. I like her!!

Jackie Tohn (27, CA, 102723) - Girl rocker; plays guitar, writes music, dad is musician as well. She sings "I'm Yours" (just ok) and "I'll Do It All" (better). Her husky voice is decent but her personality & singing style are strange. Paula calls her "unpredictable and surprising." She's also done quite a bit of acting (IMDB lists guest roles on The Closer, among others). 4 yeses.

Nick Mitchell, aka "Normal Gentle" (27, CT, 95437) - Waaay OTT, flaming, shiny-shirted guy with geeky glasses... we've seen the type, usually annoying and talentless. Sings a farcical "And I'm Telling You" and of course Simon hates him and says not to be a comedian. After feigning hurt feelings he responds to a comment from Simon with a joke about Simon "liking it when Seacrest does it," which makes Simon laugh. He then offers to sing "Amazing Grace" and pulls over a chair... he actually has a decent voice when he's serious during the first few lines but then flashes back into full diva mode (love the TWoPer's comparison to Paul Lynde!). Kara and Paula are greatly entertained, as is Randy, so he gets 3 yeses despite Simon's no, and to everyone's surprise (especially Ryan's as he emerges, ticket in hand) advances to Hollywood!

Ashley Hollister (21, NJ, 102719) - Just get a short clip of this blond in a black tank top. Not conventionally pretty so a bit more interesting than most of the cookie-cutter blonds, but we'll have to wait and see.

Kenny Hoffpauer (16, PZ, 91376) - Definitely want to see & hear more of Kenny!! I think he sang Jason Mraz and I loved his voice!

And that was all we saw of the 26 who got through, except for the usual blurry montage of people waving golden tickets. Someone caught a glimpse of Angela Martin (dead Dad girl from last year? she was really good & many expected her to be in the finals but she wasn't). There was also a married couple (kissing) who both had tickets.

Next week: Hollywood! Where the big question is, who will be the biggest (annoying, controlling &/or crybaby) Diva? Bikini Girl? Tatiana? or Adam or Norman? ;-) I love Hollywood Week!!!

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