Olivia Newton-John makes her second appearance as a guest judge on a reality show in a week. First contestant has so many sound effects with his moves that it feels like a segment on "Funniest Videos." Which is not a bad comparison, considering how he sang....
Four nos. ONJ looks a little better than she did on "Grease: YTOTIW," where her eyebrows were permanently curved and her forehead unmoving... Next up: Another suspiciously old-looking contestant, with a voice that does not make his age an issue. Four more nos. Then a break, followed by bad singers in comparable costumes. One even odder than the Big Bird on Tuesday night.
A cute Hollywood story: Singer who's the daughter of one of Dean Martin's Golddiggers. As near as I can recall, the Golddiggers were known mainly as leggy dancers -- so maybe this gal did inherit her unfortunate voice. Judges recognize that. Begging ensues. Paula, significantly cleavaged, is a major target of begging. ONJ considers "the hard part" to be the begging. What, she doesn't mind hesring all the bad singers? Now Mama Golddigger is brought into the room. She has a better sense of show biz than daughter does. Simon also considers mom "foxy."
Sequence of other contestants' begging follows. After a strong night of Birmingham auditions, Los Angeles is not impressing. Alaina Alexander, 24, of West Hollywood gets a Hollywood ticket, even though she is, as Randy says, "pitchy all over the place" on Michael Buble's "Feelin' Good." Does this tell us that they had to settle for so-so in L.A. -- no matter how many "really's" Simon put in front of his "good" for her.
Back from the break. Now we get a woman who was influenced by Taylor Hicks and whose mother told her she wasn't "TV pretty." She flips at the sight of Taylor's image on the "Idol" backdrop. This is the high point of her appearance. Horrifying "Dancing in the Street." Ryan at least gives her a tepid "Soul Patrol" call-out as she leaves (to Hicks's "Do I Make You Proud").
Backup singer. Sometimes a promising source of contestants. Brandon Rogers, 28, of North Hollywood, does indeed deliver -- on Willie's "Always on My Mind." Muffs one note, but Paula and ONJ are warm. Simon reads through the audition, then calls it the best of the day.
The teaser is for a tearjerker, and here it comes after the break. After another audition, though: Brian Miller, 19, a recidivist, tries to knock it out on "A Change Is Gonna Come." He hurts my ears, but he's cute -- though Simon calls him "forgettable" and says he can't remember from last year. Randy, ONJ and Paula go yes -- so it's Hollywood.
More teary run-up. It's for Sherman Pore, 64, of Los Angeles, whose "lady love of 20 years" urged him to get a petition to appear on the show, while she fought cancer. But he gets in the room, to tell the people that she died two days before the audition. "You Belong To Me" -- one of my favorites. He's not great but he gets by, and Paula is a puddle. Simon shakes his hand. "I am a winner," he says.
Twenty-one people got Hollywood tickets this day, and we've seen three of them in 40 minutes. But I don't begrudge Sherman his moment.
More love: A couple, both auditioning. She's very bad thinks she can vamp Simon. It's not happening. Boufriend goes next. He's so bad, he freezes my DVR.
Another baddie after the break, then another "Idol"-ater, who says he he has been preparing for two years for the show. Don't people have jobs anymore? He's going to need one, and it won't be singing on "Idol." Then, the twist! He used a training DVD made by Randy and Paula.
Nineteen go from L.A. to Hollywood on Day 2. Next Tuesday: San Antonio. (This time, I watched the promo!)