San Francisco was the last stop before American Idol turned south for Hollywood week, and though we’re not sure if the judges found the next American Idol in this batch of auditions, they found a smorgesbord of everything else – self-deluded wannabes, humble impresarios, and heartbreaking tragedies. Speaking of which, James Durbin, you are in serious competition with Chris Medina for Idol Season 10′s most sob-inducing back story.
Idol kicked off with the single greatest opening segment of all time. We were about to start shedding a tear for this poor girl who the judges passed on, until…
Please, Idol producers, let this girl back on the show for the finale to finish her audition! Hopefully she’ll be wise and avoid any questionable foods that day.
Inessa Lee, a wee, crazy-eyed girl from the Ukraine, stepped into the room wearing an outfit entirely composed of hot pink, claiming she’s a blend of Shakira, early Madonna and Kylie Minogue:- “A unique creature.” We would delight in imagining Simon riffing on fame-hungry Inessa while sitting on his couch watching the show from home, if only he hadn’t already mentioned that he isn’t watching Idol anymore. Boo.
Inessa whines and puts on an incredibly irrirating baby voice when Steven tells her the absolute truth – she’s not good whatsoever – but eventually she packs her pout and walks out even more confident than before. “They will never see anything more beautiful!” she declares, going down the elevator and leaving the building to carry on with her self-deluded existence.
Instead of showing you her audition (watch it here, if you must), we’d like to highlight Inessa’s self-produced music video, in all its terrible glory:
There should be a show dedicated to airing all the self-made music videos and independently released albums Idol contestants put out before auditioning. We’d watch.
For most of the episode, though, Idol went back to its kinder new persona it put on the shelf during the Los Angeles auditions and highlights the people lucky enough to get golden tickets to Hollywood: Stefano Langone, who suffered a car crash and two unfortunate-looking scars on his arms, sings “Heard It Through The Grapevine” with some sass and flair. Bespectacled karaoke host Clint Jun Gamboa looks like Bruno Mars and sings the Grammy nominee’s hook from “Billionaire” – he’s not as good as Bruno, but he’s not half bad. And Julie Zorrilla, a gorgeous gal from Colombia, sings “Summertime” and suffers from Christina Aguilera-itis, making us squirm with her diva-impersonating vocal theatrics. (Still, she’s good enough to earn her golden ticket.)
And then there is THE VOICE WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR (at least according to Ryan Seacrest). James Durbin‘s sob story isn’t his terrible faux-hawk — it’s that he doesn’t know his dad, because his father (a musician) died of a drug overdose when he was nine years old. Oh, also he has no job and can’t support his angelic wife and beautiful baby son! Also he has Aspergers! And Tourette’s! We don’t mean to make light ofJames’ very serious struggles, but this segment is so melodramatic it’s like watching Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire starring a thin white guy.
And THE VOICE WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR we’ve already heard. It’s Adam Lambert’s voice, in the body of this similarly built 21-year old. He may even be a bit louder than Glambert – apparently, that’s possible – but he’s also got as much potential. We didn’t need the sob story to keep ourselves interested in this kid during Hollywood week.
What did you think of the talent in San Fran? Easily the most impressive contestant of the night was Drew Beaumier, who would have sailed through the competition had he instead auditioned for Michael Bay Presents America’s Best Transformers.