Tuesday was the season’s first one-hour show and it went by too fast. No real superstars tonight and no real freaks, either. Dang.
A quick rundown:
- First up was Tatiana Del Toro from Puerto Rico, who thought she was competing in the Miss Universe pageant with her long gown, press kit and overly enthusiastic way of introducing herself (“Hi, I’m Tatiana from Puerto Rico!”). She sang Aretha’s “I Never Loved a Man” and wasn’t too bad but the judges ragged on her. The poor girl begged and begged until she finally got a golden ticket. (The judges are way softer this year.)
- Nick Reed, Pippi Longstocking’s beat-boxing long-lost brother. I have no idea what he was doing but he was no Blake Lewis. He’s not going to Hollywood.
- Dean-Anthony Bradford, who wore a coat made out of his couch. Simon made fun of his hair color but Bradford claimed “the carpet matches the drapes.” I learned way more about this guy’s interior decorations than I needed to and he couldn’t even sing.
- Jesus Valenzuela, a nice-looking and seemingly cool guy. Simon wasn’t crazy about him at first but wanted to meet Valenzuela’s two young boys, who accompanied their dad to the audition, replete with signs. The judges allowed Valenzuela another chance and he sang “Unchained Melody” with his kids in the room. The panel didn’t want to “make the boys sad” so they gave Valenzuela a golden ticket. See what I mean about the softness?
- Dalton Powell, who solved the Rubik’s Cube in seconds but could not squeak out a decent version of Smokey’s “Oh Baby Baby.” He admitted he’d never sung in front of people before. What did he think would happen if he went to Hollywood?
- Akilah Askew-Gholston, my favorite (only?) crazy of the evening. The first part of her last name sums it up—she was all over the place. She brought anatomical diagrams, believing she’d sing better if she carefully studied how the body works, especially the “trashea” (trachea) when one sings “a capellaly.” After the judges nixed the original song she performed, she begged for another chance, saying, “It came from the wrong rectum.” My soup almost came up through my nose. The judges were not interested in hearing her sing further but Akilah wouldn’t leave. (Simon kept calling her ACK-kee-la, which was almost as funny as the rectum comment.) I like how Kara finally got the job done by getting up, hugging the girl, saying, “Sweetie, it’s time to go” and gently pushing her out the door.
- A montage of three good singers who got through—John Twiford, who sang Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed;” Allison Iraheta, a redhead who sang “Natural Woman” with a raw ache no 16-year-old should have; and Raquel Houghton, an Antonella Barba lookalike who sang “Son of a Preacher Man.”
- Annie Murdoch, a pixie blonde who looked like a young Cheryl Tiegs. Too bad her singing wasn’t as pretty. Simon said she sounded drunk and not just after 1 or 2 bottles but “a whole crate.”
- Adam Lambert, a dude in a black leather jacket and David Cook’s hair. He bravely sang “Bohemian Rhapsody” and pulled it off. The judges worried about him being too musical theater but put him through.
- The tearjerker of the evening (there has to be one, right?) was Kai Kalama, a guy who put his life on hold to take care of his mom, who has a seizure disorder. He sang The Platters’ “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and sounded almost exactly like the original version! (My momma had the record, as in vinyl, so I know.) The judges said he needed more stage presence but all said yes.
I didn’t see anybody I loved tonight—there were stronger singers last week. Did you like anybody? Are you ready for Hollywood weeks yet? Leave a comment then check back Wednesday night for the Louisville, Kentucky recap!
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