- The girl who sang the Simon "Footprints in the Sand" song, the cute girl who sang "Thousand Miles". Problem with these two is that this is all I can remember about them...they will have to find a way to stand out. We tend to see a lot of these "pretty girls with pretty voices" girls early on every year, and they all seem to blend together, which usually means they don't last long.
- The big welder guy with the family. Of course, I am a sucker for "Ain't No Sunshine," and if you have any kind of voice at all you can NAIL that song. Great "singer's song." This guy was no exception...nice soulful voice.
- Kumar. For those who don't get that reference, he was the Indian-looking guy (Indian like Ghandi, not Indian like Wahoo McDaniel) who Simon said looked like a geek. Well, yeah, he did, but also an amazing and very surprising voice, as well.
- The girl with the adorable grandmother who sang "Cry Baby" by Janis Joplin. First of all, it's refreshing to hear somebody sing a Janis Joplin song without doing a Janis impersonation. Second, that's a VERY difficult song to sing (Janis had more range than she gets credit for), and I thought she pulled it off.
- Elliot Yamin v2.0. The widower guy has a story that is going to be exploited like, whoa, if he gets to continue, and I like his voice, although...how do you mess up the words to "Heard it Through the Grapevine?" Not a big fan of the California Raisins?
- Lil Rounds. The exception to the "no-name" rule, for obvious reasons. This girl is my early favorite. Great voice, great personality, great story, nice look. That's the combination for a top 4 contestant. Not to mention a name that sounds like it came straight off of Death Row Records.
- OK, maybe Jason Castro wasn't really stoned all last season. Maybe it just runs in the family. Although, I admittedly couldn't hear much of what was being said/sung while he was on the screen due to our oldest daughter's constant screams of "OMG, he's SO HOTT!!!" What is it with teenage girls these days and these little wimpy emo boys? Anyway, pretty nice voice, and he may stick around awhile due to name recognition, but I don't think he has the chops to go too much further than Hollywood.
- I'm going to have nightmares about that one girl screaming "NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO" over and over again. I wish I could have seen the audition...apparently Simon must have murdered her firstborn or something while she was in there, to warrant that kind of reaction.
- It was really nice of Maggie Gyllenhal to stop by and cheer for that one guy. Pretty cool to get an established movie star to take time out of her schedule to come support an undiscovered singer, and dressed like a cheerleader to boot. Unfortunately for him, he's going to stay relatively undiscovered. His problem was that he took two beautifully written and soulful melodies (My Girl and Ain't Too Proud to Beg) and then tried to do a bunch of unnecessary extra stuff to them. Some songs just deserve to sung straight, you know?
- What they did to Michael Nicewonder last night is a prime example of what ticks me off about the early audition episodes. This guy has obvious mental deficiencies, he is singing original songs that he wrote about his mother and grandmother, he seems to be a genuinely sweet guy in that innocent way that it seems that only the mentally challenged can naturally be. What am I, as a viewer, supposed to do with the judges laughing at him, and then the close-up interview of him in tears afterwards? Is that supposed to be entertaining? Funny? There has been less of that crap this season, but every time they pull something like that it infuriates me. Like my brother said...why not just give the judges rocks to throw at them while we all point and laugh? "M-O-O-N, that spells Hollywood, that's where Tom Cullen is going, laws yes." (sorry...just got through reading The Stand).
All in all, I'm still enjoying the early auditions this season more than I usually do. But that little promo on the end of last night's show has me itching for Hollywood week already!