Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Idol Returns and Subjects Jewel to Foolish Games

American Idol is back! I am so excited to devote 4 hours of my life this week to seeing a few dreams nurtured and many more crushed. Apparently it's easier to find a needle in a haystack or Prince at the Golden Globes than to find new talent in Minneapolis. Out of 10,000 contestants, only 17 made it through to Hollywood.

As for the talented, the most promising would seem to be Sarah Krueger, who had a pleasant voice and an amazing head of brown curls, and Denise "Crack Baby" Jackson, who had a harder luck story than Fantasia's and the chutzpah to take on the Jennifer Holliday/Jennifer Hudson "And I Am Telling You" song from Dreamgirls. I also liked Matt Sato, a shy kid with a strong voice and a big zit on his nose. After he got his golden ticket, he phoned his unsupportive mother who had begrudged him his show choir funding and didn't drive him to the audition. She was finally happy for him, and he choked back tears and said, "She's proud of me." I must admit I got a little verklempt. There were also two military people who made it through. Apparently wearing a military uniform to an Idol audition works almost as well as wearing one to a taping of The Price is Right.

There was something a bit off about Dayna Dooley, whose boss funded her trip to audition and accompanied her after she had failed the LA audition. Simon and Randy had visions of boss/secretary porno movies in their head until the genial, harmless-seeming boss was brought into the room. Still, the way Dayna sang "Fever" to her boss made me just as suspicious as Simon. In the end, the judges decided she was attractive but not talented enough for the next round.

There were many trainwrecks. Brenna Kyner resembled Ozzy in the mid-80s, sported a tattoo designed by her Idol Ace Young, and screeched her way through "Under Pressure." Charles Moody sang an opera song while dressed as Apollo Creed. My favorite was Trista Giese who did an bizarre impression of the Cowardly Lion. She was hurt when Simon rejected her and even refused to keep the poster she made for the judges. "You guys are cold," guest judge Jewel said. Remember, Jewel once recorded a song called "I'm Sensitive." Judging Idol may not be a good fit for her, and she wasn't much of a value add. I wonder if she will write any poetry about this experience. Dischord and rhyme, anyone?

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