‘American Idol’: Orlando Auditions
Last night the Idol judges headed off to hear Orlando’s finest attempt to croon, warble and beatbox their way to Hollywood. Ryan Seacrest called it the most dramatic episode ever, and he wasn’t kidding. There were tears. There were handcuffs. There was guest judge Kristin Chenoweth and split jeans. Hop below the jump to see how all the musical mayhem played out!
SPARKLE, THEO, SPARKLE: The first contestant introduced is the bedazzled Theo Glinton, who twirls across the screen wearing glitter, a cape, feathers and plastic jewels that are glued onto his face. First thought: this is what Lady Gaga probably looked like on prom night. Theo screams his way through Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker,” and, needless to say, it’s a no all the way around. As a consolation, Ryan helps pull the gems off the diva’s face. And, wait—did Theo just call him “Miss Ryan Seacrest”?
KARA AND KRISTIN = BFFS: Next we’re treated to a montage of Kara and guest judge Kristin Chenoweth hugging, giggling and bonding during their time together. Ryan bluntly proclaims that the two female judges proceeded to “annoy the sh*t out of Simon”—which makes us wonder why Fox and CKX didn’t just hire Kristin for the full season, instead of Ellen.
CRY ME A RIVER: Alright, anytime they spend more than 20 seconds on a hopeful contestant with a sob story, you know these people are going through to Hollywood. Cases in point: Seth Rollins and Matt Lawrence. Seth has a son with autism, and the sympathetic segment about his family persuaded us that Idol‘s producers had — at least briefly — regained perspective after Tuesday night’s sappy bit on Katelyn Epperly, who auditioned in Chicago because her parents got divorced. (Yeah, so?) And Matt got arrested at age 15 for robbing a bank, which, c’mon, is kinda badass. Both guys wow the judges and earn golden tickets. Sometimes crime does pay.
AMERICAN COUGAR, PART II: John Park brought out guest judge Shania Twain’s inner Mrs. Robinson in Chicago, but it was Jermaine Purifoy who put the “O” in Orlando for Kristin Chenoweth. After an impressive rendition of Tony Bennett’s “Smile,” Kara tells James—who first auditioned for Idol back in Season 7—that he has “a great voice, and it’s honest.” Randy says “two billion percent yes,” and Kristin just gives him a “my hotel suite, eight o’clock” look.
GIMME A BEAT! Our guest judge is suddenly “called back to New York” after day one (rip off!), so it’s just Simon, Kara and Randy from here on out. Day two begins with 25-year-old beatboxer Jay Stone, who rattles off a pretty bombastic version of the Beatles’ “Come Together.” Kara says the audition was like “a crazy rollercoaster ride,” and when Randy inevitably draws a comparison to Blake Lewis, Jay chimes in that, au contraire, Blake couldn’t beatbox and sing as good as he can. It’s a no for Simon, but Kara and Randy ensure that, yes, we will be seeing the human drum machine again in Hollywood.
SPLITSVILLE: Cornelius Edwards informs the judges that he’s got some pretty slick moves he learned from his friends who “are adult entertainers” who “dance for money.” The 24-year-old begins to belt out “Proud Mary,” but when he falls into a split, so do his pants—right down the crotch.
It’s a yes from all three judges, and America learns that the sometimes all it takes to find the path to Idol glory is a few hours on the ol’ stripper pole.
TERRIBLE TWOS: There’s a brief bit with Bernadette and Amanda Desimone, two irritating sisters from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, who work in their mom’s hair salon. One does “Hit The Road Jack” while the other gives a snoozy performance of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” Just when you’re thinking Simon will put us all out of our misery and shoosh these broads off with a snide comment, the two of them somehow make it through to Hollywood. This promises to be as bad as Sister Act 2.
SECURITY! The night wraps up with Jared Norrell, who gives a rather arresting performance of “Amazing Grace”—literally. Kara says, “Honey, it sounds like a lawnmower.” Unfortunately, Jared doesn’t seem to take the hint, and keeps singing. Randy calls for the security guards. “I can’t leave,” Norrell says defiantly. “I cannot leave!” Oh, but you can. As he’s dragged out of the building in handcuffs, we start to realize that maybe all the nuts really do roll down to Florida. Thanks for the (disturbing) memories, Orlando!
Next Tuesday: Los Angeles auditions.