Thursday, January 14, 2010

AI Season 9: Are Your Pants on the Ground?

The first two nights of American Idol's 9th season have come and gone and we have been subjected to the good, the bad and the ugly. Amidst the disturbing potential repercussions of Simon Cowell's announcement that this would be his last season, we steeled ourselves for the carnival atmosphere of AI auditions in Boston and Atlanta. So far Cirque d'Idol was has been strangely subdued. Nobody dressed as poultry, there were no low talkers or mentally challenged. The cringe factor was mostly limited to some really bad tank tops and acne. Even this season's kick off oddball, a 62 year old eccentric who sang a catchy original tune called "Pants on the Ground", was more adorable and festive than freak show.

Sadly, Ellen Degeneres will not join the judge panel for several more weeks. Instead we have rotating celebrity judges. Tuesday night was Posh of the Spice Girls (stiff, skeletal and appalling) and Wednesday was the immensely talented Mary J. Blige, who was overcome by emotion when a contestant forgot the words to his song.

As always there were a few truly remarkable singers and personalities amidst the nut cases.

Boston on Tuesday:

  • Maddie: Great 16 year old who sang Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.
  • Rocco: the Italian from Providence was wonderfully different. Will bring much needed energy to the show!
  • Adam: The nerd with dark glasses who sang The House of the Rising Sun. The more Kara hated him, the more I thought he was interesting and special.
  • Katie: Another 16 year old with a lot of emotion. Sang "At Last".
  • Justin: Supercute cancer survivor boy is AWESOME. Great voice and not hard to look at.
  • Bosa Nora: This Nigerian guy has a nice voice, adorable parents and zero stage
  • Last Female Contestant: They saved the best for last with a girl from Long Island who belted "Blue Skies" and brought the house down.

Atlanta on Wednesday:

  • Jermain: African American Church dude sang a touching and original version of "What if God Was One of Us"
  • Vanessa: Blond hillbilly girl from Tennessee sounds like Dolly Parton and seems innocent and genuine. She's never been on a plane!
  • Holly the Guitar Girl: Gimmicky but she can sing.
  • Keia: Gorgeous African American girl with great stage presence sang the song from Titanic.
  • Carmen and her BFF: OMG the drama! One got the golden ticket to Hollywood, the other is left behind!
  • ATL the Police Officer: Great white soul but I HATE melisma (that musical effect where 17 notes are stuffed into a phrase that only needs one or two).

Here's Larry the 62 year old phenom singing his soon to be a hit song, "Pants On The Ground"!


Lisa said...

I actually watched a few minute of the first night. I get so uncomfortable watching the contestants trying so hard to please the panel -- it pains me...I honestly can't handle watching a show like that. I hate competition of basically any kind so much that it is almost impossible for me to tune in to AI. But I love reading your assessments! Looking forward to a great season of updates here, at least!

Jane said...

Lisa, you are a very brave girl! I know how hard it must have been for you to watch. Nails on a chalkboard for sure. You should know that I can't tolerate the angst of the pitiful ones anymore either. So I DVR and start watching 30 minutes into the show so I can fast forward!