Last night, American Idol 7 Episode 1 kicked things off in typical tradition. While some were quick to point out that the premiere’s ratings were down some from last year, it still beat the competition hands down and was the year’s most watched show. In addition to the typical really bad auditions and blatant attention seekers, we also saw some talent. Early strong performers included single mom Angela Martin, cagefighting country girl Kristy Lee Cook, and hoping to sell a lot of records after he dies Chris Watson.
Tonight we head to Dallas, TX for the first time since season 1 (Kelly Clarkson, who they largely ignored for weeks) for another two hour episode.
Stay-at-home mom of two and ex-drug addict Jessica Brown is up first. She sings I’ll Stand By You by The Pretenders (or at least the Carrie Underwood version). Another country singer with good potential.
It’s pretty obvious that park attendant Paul Stafford is going to fail miserably, but let’s watch him anyway. He sings (for lack of a better word) Elliot Yamin’s Baby I Will Wait for You. He hasn’t sung that in public before. Might want to keep that going. Nice guy, though.
Beth Maddocks believes she’s Kelly Clarkson. With that in mind, she sings Beautiful Disaster by Kelly Clarkson. Disaster is certainly appropriate.
Country singer Alaina Whitaker says she gets compared to Carrie Underwood (but likes to think that Carrie Underwood looks like her). She sings Stronger by Faith Hill. Simon likes her but doesn’t think she’s as good as she thinks she is, to which she responds, “Shoot.” I didn’t get any kind of negative vibe from her myself, but regardless, she’s easily through to the next round.
Bruce Dickson has promised his father he will only have one mate. Not even kissing’s allowed. He sings Ain’t No Sunshine. The judges are concerned that he’s got a good voice but may not be worth listening to on the radio. Randy and Paula say he’s not ready yet. Randy’s advice is to kiss some girls. Good potential, though.
Pia Easley tells us she’s a model. I’ll take her word for that. Different. Unique. Not sure how far she’ll go, but she’s good enough to go through.
Brandon Green collects fingernails. Seacrest is sufficiently grossed out. He doesn’t want to be like Britney Spears or Paris Hilton. He sings Rich Girl by Hall & Oates. Simon says he’s forgettable. Randy and Paula have useful comments for him and let him through. It would have been silly if this guy didn’t make it to Hollywood.
A very nervous but overly happy Kayla Dawn Hatfield has a story about a car wreck that her family thought she’d died in. Simon wants to be her for one hour a day. Interesting voice and a nice person, but not quite cut out for this. Maybe if she gets her nerves under control. Paula says no, but the other two say yes.
Katie Malloy’s the last audition of the first day. She does an impression of Britney Spears singing, and she does it quite well. Her potential problem is getting past the impersonations, but when she sings one of Simon’s favorite songs (Unchained Melody) in her own style, she blows them away. Simon says he thinks she’s the best one they’ve seen yet.
Douglas Davidson tells us his father hates him. When he’s done, Simon’s “What the bloody Hell was that?” says it all. And yet they give him a chance to sing a second song, something they don’t do for a lot of singers who are borderline. Simon doesn’t want to hear any more of this stupidity. So after that, he goes on for two more minutes until security escorts him out to “take him to a safe place.”
Angela Riley-? (she goes on about her husband but doesn’t give her married name). Her husband Chad suggests she sing Baby Love. Good energy. And. Well. Not much more than that. Chad likes it, though, and Simon says love is deaf. Like Douglas, she’s given the chance to sing yet another song despite having no prayer.
Kyle Ensley hopes to become governor. Oh, and he apparently may want to be the next American Idol. He sings Somebody to Love. Better than expected but still not good enough. Simon says yes, and Paula agrees with him after much convincing.
A rather emotionless Tammy Tuzinski says Celine Dion is her idol and sings The Power of Love, or If You Asked Me To… she’s not sure which. Not that it much matters either way. She knows it’s a no.
Colton Swan plays guitar, drums, and base. He sings Boondocks by Big Town. Paula cautions against getting lost in his performance, Simon says it’s just okay, and Randy’s somewhere in the middle. He gets a yes from all three.
Drew Poppelreiter is a farmer who’s looking to leave the farm. We already did this story before with the cowboy who sang to his turkey. He sings George Strait’s Check Yes or No. Worth at least going forward to the next round. Simon says no. Randy says yes. Paula doesn’t feel any wow factor but says yes.
Kyle believes he’s a rocker. He sings Kelly Clarkson’s Never Again. He’s got the look down, one which Simon thinks is slightly demonic. Paula’s afraid, too. Not necessarily a bad singer, but he’s not going through.
Nina Shaw is from Kelly Clarkson’s hometown of Burleson, TX. Not much chance of her living up to Kelly, but she’s got a decent voice. Simon considers her old fashioned and cabaret, and he says no. Randy says yes, and as we’ve seen quite a bit tonight, Paula agrees with him, outvoting Simon 2-1.
The last audition of the night is a disaster waiting to happen. Renaldo Lapuz sings an original composition, We’re Brothers Forever, and beyond that, he worships Simon. Joining in the act are Randy and Ryan Seacrest, and Paula joins in with some dancing and sign language. Then Simon gives him a hug. Wow. This is the strangest audition of the night.