Show of hands, how many of you honestly forgot Carrie Underwood was on American Idol? The country singer has seen so much success since she was crowned champ in Season 4, we have a hard time remembering she was once forced to suffer through Broadway musical night and participate in those terrible Ford music videos. But Idol will not let you forget that they are responsible for your beloved country warbler! Last night’s stop in St. Louis began with an overdramatic prologue featuring footage of a pre-fame Underwood planning her road trip to the Missouri city to audition for the show. Did the judges find somebody just as worthy to win as Carrie? Find out below.
This is the final night of auditions before we head to Hollywood, and oh, what a nice, simple, unexciting audition process it has been. It’s clear that the Simon Cowell days of spouting cleverly evil metaphors are over, but we can’t help but miss the tragically embarrassing Idol moments that kept us laughing days later.
It’s not that we want to see anyone cry when their dreams crumble in front of them; the contestants we enjoyed the most were the foul-mouthed, clueless, overly-confident rejects who would flip the bird at the camera and curse out the judges on their way out the door. Or the hopeless but loveable brief additions to pop culture, like the “Pants On The Ground” guy. (Whatever happened to General Larry Platt, anyway? Is he hanging out somewhere with the Man With The Golden Voice?) Maybe those auditions weren’t sincere (or at least their inclusion on the show wasn’t), but they got people talking because they were wild and, more importantly, memorable.
Although there have been many impressive singers highlighted on the show, there haven’t been many to keep people yammering on around the watercooler (except maybe Jim Carrey’s daughter?). And for the first time this season, we honestly didn’t think there were five contestants interesting enough to include in our audition recap, which is either indicative of the talent in St. Louis, or the fact that a full minute of airtime was handed over to awkwardly previewing Madonna’s new music video for “Give Me All Your Luvin’”. So here are the three you should know heading into Hollywood Week:
The 3 Contestants To Watch From The St. Louis Auditions:
Johnny Keyser, 22. Johnny looks like Jonathan Rhys Meyers and sounds like Jason Mraz. He sings “Change Is Gonna Come,” and by god, we’re swooning as much as the judges. Johnny has enough good looks, confidence, personality and talent to send him to Hollywood only after singing a few notes. We see bright things for this one.
Rochelle Lamb, 28. Rochelle is currently going through a divorce from a man who tried to stop her from pursuing her dream, so she sings “Find Somebody New” by Faith Hill with her adorable daughter by her side. She has a lovely, spunky voice, and as much as we’re totally done with country – the one-two punch of Scotty and Lauren last season wore us out on the genre – we’re rooting for her.
Ethan Jones, 22. Ethan shall be known henceforth as The Contestant With The Bloody Forehead, as, you see, Ethan walked into his audition with a trickle of blood from a cut rolling down his face. (Yikes. We really couldn’t give the guy another five minutes to go dab a tissue on that, Idol producers?) He sings Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be”, which we specifically marked as one of the 11 Things We Don’t Want To Hear In Season 11, but we guess Ethan didn’t read our post. Ethan isn’t as impressive as good as the judges think he is, but we are a little touched when his estranged dad, who has abused drugs and alcohol his whole life, tells him over the phone that he’s now clean and sober.
Today is the last day of auditions, as the Hollywood Rounds begin next Wednesday February 8. In our seven episode recaps, we have a total of 33 singers worth keeping an eye on — so refresh yourself on the Savannah, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Aspen, Houston and Portland auditions, and begin campaigning for your favorite to make it to the finals!