The "Idol" gang goes to Louisville, Kentucky. Notes after the jump ...
Usual shots of a city hosting "Idol," teases for good and bad. 11,000 contestants. Discussion of pronunciation of Louisville.
First contestant: Tiffany Shedd, who looks too old and too hard for the show. She thinks she has a great voice and would be great for the show. Sings Mariah's "Hero." (Please see my note about this song in last night's "Idol" post.) She's horrible. Horrible. "What was that song?" Simon asks. Tiffany asks if she can sing it one more time. Big no on Hollywood. But her mother loves her singing.
Next: Joanna Pacitti. Kara recalls that she was signed to A&M Records not long ago. But, Joanna says, "It just didn't work out." Sings Pat Benatar's "We Belong." Not a bad voice, especially following the deluded Tiffany Shedd. She gets Hollywood.
Mark Mudd Jr. Rough-looking customer, says he has almost died five times. Descended from Samuel Mudd, the doctor who treated John Wilkes Booth. Sings George Jones's "White Lightnin'." Got a twang but not a good singer. Paula says it's not the right competition for Mark; Simon asks, "What is ... Wheel of Fortune?" Awkward silences. Then Mark warns "Be careful in whatever you do." The judges take it as a threat.
Brent Keith Smith. Blanchester, Ohio. Bad Company's "Can't Get Enough." OK, if you've had enough beer. Simon unimpressed. Paula and Kara more pleased; more bickering. Then Simon says yes. Some strange Paula-Kara business that they don't keep in the camera frame. But Brent gets Hollywood.
Sequence of bad singers, some deliberately bad. Then Matt Giraud. Country-ish, raspy. Paula thinks he's unique. "I like you," says Kara. Simon is reminded of Elliott Yamin. Four votes for Hollywood.
Ross Plavsic, talking about Chinese characters or some such. I am too tired to sort it out. Has studied opera on YouTube, I think. "Cara Mia" from Jay and the Americans. Not thrilling. He's asked if he has anything current. Says his "Cara Mia" "usually sounds a lot better than that" and that he's a bit dry. Is offered water. Notes how many times he made the Dean's List in college. Sings again. No better. He's sent along. Paula asks for a new water cup, since Ross drank from hers.
Quick run through some Louisville picked for Hollywood (10 total on first day).
Alexis Grace, a young mom. "Dr. Feelgood." She is gooood, knows how to shout without shrieking, but I'd want to hear her work a melody more. Simon says she has a commercial face. Four votes for Hollywood. Randy thinks "you could come out of your shell and surprise the world." What shell?
Aaron Williamson, very big with the "whooo." "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" OK, that was unfortunate. Preaching it more than he's singing it. Kara, Paula and Randy are getting into it, although Randy calls it "a primal scream audition." Aaron offers to bring it down. No Hollywood.
Rebecca Garcia. Was on the local news and Paula saw her. Lyrics on a band on her arm. "Before He Cheats." Oh, bad. Not only no voice, no rhythm. Kara notes Rebecca was voted most humorous in school and thinks the audition was a joke. It wasn't. Rebecca starts to tear up. Kara tells Paula to hit her, since her comment was so inadvertently mean. Simon urges Rebecca not to sing.
Quick run of good singers: Kris Allen, Felicia Barton, Ryan Johnson (Cincinnati), Shera Lawrence. All Hollywoods. Eight contestants so far from day two.
Another tease for the heart tug of the night: Leneshe Young, who after the break is the final contestant of the show. Cincinnati, she and sibs "were raised with nothing, and homeless." "In and out of shelters," says her mom. Tears and hug. Sings song she wrote. She's OK and the song is sort of catchy. Simon says, "I love you. I thought it was quirky fun" and he liked the song, too. Paula says, "I love your lyrics." Randy says it was "hot," although he stops short of blazing molten lava hot. All four votes for Hollywood.
So 19 for Hollywood, more than San Francisco generated.