Notes from Archie country, after the jump. ...
After a dull episode last night, will "AI" rebound tonight? Beginning with David Archuleta material, including a clip from his audition. Teasing the Osmonds again, and Salt Lake City's "only Goth." ONLY Goth? Oh, why should we expect anything to be true on this show?
Clips of SLC at 5 a.m., crowds already gathered. Ryan teasing who will be good, bad, great. Randy arrives first, and appears confused by where they are. Paula links it to the "High School Musical" movies. Simon poses for pictures. Randy ponders "this whole Utah vibe." Ryan says that when you think of Utah's musical history ... the Osmonds. Then we get David Osmond, 29, son of Alan Osmond. Clips of vintage Osmonds. Notes that Alan has been fighting MS for decades. Emotional shot of Alan talking. David also has MS and has been in a wheelchair.
Osmond? MS? Potential of returning to a wheelchair? Is this an automatic or what? All he has to do is carry a tune -- and he's an Osmond, so that should be a given.
At the audition, David cops to being an Osmond Osmond. Sings a Take 6 song, "Something Within Me." And he's fine. Paula worries that he may not be a solo artist -- singing a group song. Randy says it's not his favorite song choice. Kara questions all the runs. Simon fears he will not be contemporary enough. We don't even see the votes. It's Hollywood.
Tara Mathews, Goth girl, who also says she has ESP. Simon asks if she is going to win. "I have a good feeling," she says, "but I don't know." Song: "One Day I'll Fly Away" from "Moulin Rouge." Bad. Randy is shown pounding his head. Simon says "the whole thing was just horrendous" -- including the song choice and the outfit -- and she sounds like a baby. She leaves before the other judges say anything; Kara tries to mollify her but she's gone -- and ticked.
Sequence of bad performers, including the long-haired "can I sing something else?" guy from the promos.
Guy shows up with a buddy in a pink bunny suit. Shades of "A Christmas Story." Chris Kirkham. Bunny man accompanies him in the audition, and Simon makes Chris stop so the bunny man can move aside. Sings a line, and Simon stops him to declare that it isn't working. The guy's not a bad singer but bunnyphobia appears to have kept the judges from listening. No Hollywood.
After a break, scenes of contestants, more Archuleta footage, contestants doing mocking "golly gee" homages to Archie. Series of the judges saying no and the contestants being pleasant and polite when rejected.
Ryan in the waiting room urges contestants not to concede when the judges are tough.
Frankie Jordan, stay-at-home mom, singer-actress, convinced she is going to Hollywood. Sings Amy Winehouse. Whom she basically imitates. Simon quite likes her, and her face. Paula also approves. Four yes.
Megan Corkrey, another mom, getting a divorce, major tattoo on right arm, considers this "a crossroads." "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" (although she does it as "That"). Nice voice, very Broadway. Randy kinda likes her. Paula really likes her -- "bordering on loving you." Simon calls it "one of my favorite auditions." Kara likes her glow. Hollllllllywood.
During a break, a bit of Kelly Clarkson's video for "My Life Would Suck Without You." Which, I have to say, is an excellent song title. And it's nice to hear her kicking it up again (although I wouldn't put this ahead of "The Trouble With Love Is.")
"Hot streak" of Hollywood tickets. Then Andrew Gibson, nerdy looking, singing gospel. And doing it very well. Simon says it does not fit his definition of soul. No Hollywood. This is a clear case of the judges zapping someone because of his looks (just as they favor others based on looks).
Austin Sisneros, senior class president. "When I Look to the Sky" (which the judges don't know, and still seem uncertain when Austin says it's a Train song). Solid but Randy calls it a "weird, strange song choice." Austin says he feels that they don't want him to fail -- but Simon says "we haven't quite joined the fan club yet." Austin offers a bit of "It Takes a Village" by Raffi. OK, that is a weird catalog to dip into, but fine vocals again. Simon doesn't like this song. Randy says "you've definitely got a voice" but again questions song choice. Four yes to Hollywood.
Ryan talks about "HSM," its good vibes and happiness, leading into clips of tearful rejects.
Jarrett Burns, "Put Your Records On," but we don't hear much of him before we go into a sequence of the bad and the scary. (At the end of the show, we see he got Hollywood.) Then 5'11", 16-year-old Taylor Valeanua, "Joyful Joyful." Very nice if a bit slow. Kara was impressed by her when she was practicing in the bathroom. Randy thinks she has good natural potential. Four yes to Hollywood.
The nightly heartache story: Rose Flack. Living with her best friend and her family; her father died when she was 13, then two years later her mother died in a car accident. Says the audition "is the determination of the rest of my life." Also tells the judges "I'm charming." Song: "I Feel the Earth Move." I like the soulful undercurrent at the beginning, but she has problems later in the song. Not great. Simon looking uneasy. Paula says she has a beautiful face and aura but "gotta work on vocals, though." Simon questioned the song choice but says she has something special that make her "one of the few I'm going to remember." Four yes to Hollywood -- but the judges also know her background.
Next: New York and San Juan in a Thursday-night show. With two cities in an hour? And one of them NYC?