Well, at the risk of pissing off some people, I am going to have to plead Family and beg out of doing the Wednesday recap this week. (Yes, I am aware that I will not be here to do the ones next week as well. I trust you will survive and make good use of the Chat Room.)
We leave late Friday night and between the girls' schedules, musical performances, rehearsals, and soccer training - combined with coordinating five animals, alterations, and packing for our cruise, I really am swamped.
And tonight, to be perfectly honest - I am pooped. Carson and I had to stay up very late last night and get up very early this morning in order for her to be sleep deprived enough for her EEG. I am happy to report that she was given the "all clear" but I am drained.
So do me a favor - YOU tell ME about Idol in Texas. And I promise that if I can find some time before we head out Friday, I will try to write a bit.
OK, this has to be the most boring audition run yet. Seriously - when an hour feels like a Gilligan cruise, and produces no one even remotely as entertaining as Thurston and Luvvie? Sheeesh.
The highlight of tonight's episode wasn't the foster care kid or the self loving guy with the tinfoil pants, but the Where's Waldo appearance of Daniel Franco - castoff from Project Runway several season back.
I actually perked up for that. A momentary Kato Kaelin-bad penny kind of thing where you know you know the guy, can't quite place him, then Wham!
Poor Daniel. I guess this is what happens when you don't make it on one reality show. You just drift to the next one? Anyway, it answers the musicalized question, Daniel Franco, Where Did You Go? (Thanks to Lori for sending the video my way)
The show kicked off with a welcome to LA by resident radio Deej Ryan Seacrest, dressed in a tie no less. Forget the whole You-have-a-face-made-for-radio thing - Ryan looks dapper even when you can't really see him.
Loved the B/W footage of old Hollywood - the "epicenter of entertainment" - I guess that clip of the guys flipping that girl round and round and then heaving her counted as entertainment way back when? It just made me dizzy and brought back bad memories of how I felt the last time I drank too many Chocolate Martinis.
Adding to the odd mishmash that was tonight's episode, the producers managed to work in one of my most hated songs - Kesha's, oops, sorry, I mena Ke$ha's Tik Tok. "I brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack..."
Give me a break, little girl. Even my daughters think you're a poser.
With that stellar set of lyrics in the background, they panned across 11,000 folks gathered at The Rose Bowl to sing for the Three Musicteers and guest judge, Avril I'm-So-Cool-In-My-Horned-Hoodie LaVigne.
OK - hoodie aside, I love Avril. Gorgeous girl, steady stream of great songs. Especially fond of When You're Gone - for obvious reasons (if you're a regular reader).
First up to meet the judges, Neil Goldstein, 19, a goobery young man with an IQ of 168, a FQ (fashion quotient) of 7, and an HQ (hair quotient) of 3. He also shone brighter than the sparkles on Randy's wristwatch - the kid had a face reminiscent of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
He bragged to the camera that "In my heart is the love to perform, the love of others, to exhilerate, to exultate..."
Why at this point was I ready to expectorate?
In went Oafy Taylor, convinced that, "Come what may, come fire, come rain, I'm going to Hollywood."
He launched into Rock and Roll Dreams Come True by Meatloaf, which could have only been eclipsed in awkwardness by him choosing Paradise By The Dashboard Light. Ugh.
Look, the kid had heart, delusions of grandeur, and a voice made for the Wii version of Idol. He, however, was undeterred by Simon telling him No.
"I am not leaving. I'm not going anywhere. Simon, there is no reality except what we make for ourselves."
Well, Neil, the reality you made for yourself is one in which you had a starring role as a shiny, sweaty, belligerent doofus. (I'm being kind.)
He finally left, but made sure to remind us that it's our loss. I shall struggle to move on, Neil...
Any way to redeem things?
Enter worship pastor Jim Ranger - family man - married, three small children. Soft spoken, passionate about his music, you liked the guy right away.
He chose to sing a tune he penned himself, Drive, and his voice immediately reminded me of Bo Bice. Full of energy, a little raw, emotional.
Avril, however, decided that with all her extensive life experience, he could not juggle his musical ambitions with a family, so she told him No. The others disagreed (perhaps visions of Fantasia, Bice, Daughtry dancing in their heads?) and sent him on to Hollywood.
Into each life a little pain must fall - this time into our ears via the musical stylings of Jayson Can-You-See-My-Tonsils-Now? Wilson, Jesse Handsomer-William-Hung Chang, and Martin Fonzerezi.
Given more time to abuse our patience and goodwill was Damien LeFavor. We got to go up to the roof with him to watch him act out a Bruce Lee movie. You see, Damien's first love is martial arts, although he is quick to point out that he is a passivist (and a sandwich maker).
Needless to say, he should stick to his day job karate chopping pepperoni at the Subway because his rendition of You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling made Maverick and Goose sound amaaahhhzing. Even Mr. Miagi would say Wax off, Damien.
The best montage of the night came next - all the little kids on hand to support their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, siblings of aunts and uncles, parents' friends, etc (I've told you that 10,000 person turn out is mostly entourage.) Loved the kid who was obviously commiserating over his sister's vocal demise, "That was crap."
Yes, yes it was.
But Mary Powers, 28, mom to an 8 year old, had more than rectal Play-Doh to offer the judges - a rocker chick, she tore into Love Is A Battlefield. Great vocal - smoky, a little raspy, powerful. I agreed with Simon that the outfit (all black, chains, leather arm covering) were a bit overdone, but her vocal made up for her lack of polish. 4 yeses, and a bonus - her 8 year old got to come in and meet Simon.
Lest you think he is heartless - Simon loves animals and small children.
Despite 23 people receiving Golden Tickets, the producers opted to show a bunch of clips of Adam Lambert wannabes - LOVE him, hate the waste of airtime given to the pokey haired, obviously dyed black, make-up wearing "If Susan Boyle and Adam Lambert had sex, I'd be it." gang.
But we'll highlight one anyway...
AJ Mendoza, 20, was excited because he had sent a demo to Adam Lambert and received some feedback - notice, he did not say it was GREAT feedback.
In front of the judges, he scrang Kilt Of Personality (yes, I know the title is CULT, but it sounded like KILT coming out of his barely open mouth.)
Loved Avril's pithy, "Absolutely not."
AJ is a musical dude, however, with a stage background similar to Lambert's. He is currently touring in Jesus Christ Superstar - you can check out more if you dare at his MySpace page.
Day 2 dawned with guest judge Katy Perry waiting for the other judges to arrive by helicopter. She was less than impressed with the pompous excess of that move. But oh, how Randy glittered in the sun as he stepped onto the roof. That BeDazzler of his must have been like a textile Buford T Justice - in high speed pursuit of his t-shirt the night before.
Seriously, the girls in the Little Miss Perfect pageant don't sparkle that brightly. (And do NOT get me started on his scrotee - that mess of chin pubes he was sporting...)
Austin Fullmer promised the camera that "There's not anyone on American Idol that's sexually been like me."
Sirens sounded in my head.
Decked out in shiny silver pleather pants and a shirt made out of what looked like red and black duct tape, he launched into Surrender. If Mick Jagger and Mick Jagger had sex, this would be it, me thinks.
And what was with the drop to the floor to do a sitting version of jumping jacks? Yeesh. Mommy's all right, Daddy's all right, but YOU just seem a little bit weird, Austin.
As he left the room, Katy leaned over to Kara and dropped the best line of the night, "Are these people frisked before they come in here?"
Another river of tears led us downstream to Andrew Garcia. Now, obviously, as we were whisked away to the home of his parents (both former gang members), you knew he was heading to Hollywood, but it was sweet to see his once tough dad break down in tears at the kitchen table as he talked about his son.
Andrew just wants to provide for his absolutely adorable little boy, an angel with huge brown eyes and dark hair.
In front of the judges, the guy who looked like a hispanic Elvis Costello busted out a soulful, controlled rendition of Maroon 5's Sunday Morning. LOVED HIM. As did the judges - 4 yeses for Andrew.
Tasha Layton, 26, a personal assistant and a pastor was up next. A pretty young woman, in a long black sundress, she took on Baby, Baby, Baby - it was one of those effortless vocals. Maybe not enough to win a confetti shower in May, but definitely worthy of moving on to Hollywood.
Now, as has been the rhythm of this season of auditions, for every breath of fresh air we get to enjoy, there is always a Taco Bell fart not far behind.
Jason Greene, 20, was tonight's cloud of sulpherous humanity. Our first glance was one of him making love to his tummy number while looking lasciviously into the camera.
Color us all surprised when he announced his intention to sing I Touch Myself for the judges. And touch he did, all over, ending on his knees - which is where he stayed for his critique, but not before asking Simon, "Come down here and join me?"
Simon gave him two No's - one for the singing, and one for the offer of floorspace.
Katy said, "I feel dirty. It takes a lot to make me feel dirty."
Jason, with nothing to lose at this point, retorted, "I bet it does, especially with that top." (referring to her lowcut dress.) Way to make friends and influence people, Jason. Nonplussed by his ouster, he pushed up on Ryan and gave him his phone number, which Ryan handed off to a beefy security guard.
Great. Now I feel dirty. And the smell of aromasstherapy still lingers.
Katy proved far harder to impress than Kara, as was indicated by the montage of her saying No to most of Kara's yeses. Perfect opportunity, of course, to insert her hit Hot And Cold in the background.
Bringing up the rear of this Bataan Audition March, Chris Golightly, 25. Cue sad music, and footage of him watching a passing freight train.
Chris was in foster care from about 18 months to adulthood - roughly 25 families. I honestly cannot imagine that. Despite a childhood lived in constant transition, Chris is a quiet, thoughtful young man - although the Guaringlets need to go.
He sang Stand By Me and Kara announced him "One of my favorites." She loved his talent, and his story which would endear him to viewers.
Katy cut in with "This is not a Lifetime movie, sweetheart."
I do believe Kara was one breath away from "Randy, hold mah weave." Simon diffused the tension by granting Chris a "small y" for Yes, as did Katy. Kara fired back, in her best, Step off beyatch, you are a guest, I am permanent voice with a "Big Y" which was bested by Randy's "Giant Y."
And that was it for LA-LA Land - 23 Golden Tickets, a helicopter ride, an almost catfight, and a truly odd cameo of Daniel Franco. ('Fess up - did YOU recognize him?)
Wednesday night takes us to Dallas, but will the Big D be all hat and no cattle in terms of talent? See you there!
Just wanted to shoot this over to you. Two of your DGMS followers finally met in person! Janna and I were rocking out last Saturday night at the knitting store. Too bad I forgot the gnome. Next time I will make sure to carry the little guy in my yarn bag! Enjoy!
Late last week, South Carolina's Lt. Governor, Andre Bauer - one of those compassionate, family values, all-life-is-sacred Republicans - went on the record comparing those who receive public assistance to stray animals. Even worse, he pulled in the subsidized lunch program for children of meager to no income families.
"You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that."
Nice, huh? I guess life is only sacred if it can afford to shop at Whole Foods?
Look, there are people on the "public dole" who will choose to stay there rather than work towards improving their own lives. Taking assistance as a hand out, not a hand up, as politicians love to say. And yes, there are a lot of welfare babies born every day, but it is not the child's fault in those cases, any more than it is the child's fault that mom and dad can't afford Lunchables for them to take to school. It doesn't make the child stupid, less possessed of potential or drive, or less deserving of compassion.
And it certainly doesn't make them stray animals.
Bauer's remarks are beyond offensive. Not only does he flat out state that children in poverty and who receive reduced price or free lunches get bad test scores, he essentially sets out the premise that if you starve the poor, your problem will be solved. After all, his granny said so. Don't feed them damned stray animals or they'll keep coming back fer more and they'll keep f*ckin' under my front porch!
The arrogance is stunning. The detachment from basic decency is reprehensible. And given how many hard working families, pure victims of this shitful economy, now find they need that assistance and that their children qualify for those reduced price lunches? - Well, his comments are as privileged and ignorant as they are loathesome.
The man is a horse's ass. And considering the state he lives in? Well, he'd better be looking over his shoulder.
Membership has its privileges. So goes the American Express tagline.
It also has its privileges if your membership refers to being one of the Diddy brood.
Sean, Puff, P. what-the-hell-ever he chooses to call himself these days - threw his son, Justin, a sweet 16 party over the weekend. Not unusual. Turning 16 is a rite of passage everywhere, marked with parties, friends, cake, etc.
What set the Diddy soiree apart from its more pedestrian peers was the presence of the My Super Sweet 16 camera crew from MTV, big name singers /rappers performing, and the gift awaiting the birthday boy.
That would be a Maybach. And at $360K, it is not exactly a starter automobile for a 16 year old boy.
But that's what Justin received.
Talk about ridiculous.
For those who have managed to stomach an ep or two of My Super Sweet 16, you know it generally follows a teen girl around as she gets ready for her super-major-sick party. The teen girl is typically mouthy, pushy, arrogant, rude, and has no appreciation of what she has to begin with.
Then again, given the parents of the teens being highlighted? It's not exactly hard to determine that the wormy apple didn't fall far from the diseased tree.
Insane amounts of money are spent on bands, dresses - I saw one where the spoiled brat (and oh, yes, she was) was carried in on a chaise by guys in loin cloths. And, of course, she also got an insanely expensive car - hers was an Escalade.
Look, I realize that in four days I am flying my daughters to Florida to embark on a 7 day Disney cruise. That ain't exactly cheap - but it also would not be happening right now if Disney hadn't had a Kids Sail Free offer back in October.
My daughters, however, do not have their own cars. And if they did? I can guarantee you they would not be overpriced, rare, most-houses-do-not-cost-this-much vehicles. They would be used, sensible, safe.
Justin also received a check for $10k which was then - with much PR fanfare - donated to Haiti relief.
Seems to me that $10K would have bought a more-than-decent starter car for a teenager, and that the $360K could have gone to relief efforts.
P. Diddleysquat can spend his money however he likes - it's his. But this show of extravagance is simply a head shaker.
Then again, most of what he does is.
Chime in. Did your child receive a car for their Sweet 16? Did you?
After reading some of the comments I feel the need to clarify - I have zero problem with a child of driving age being afforded transportation. That is up to the parents and the financial means of the family. This piece was simply an observation on the absurdity of buying a 16 year old a $360,000 car.
Hey all - sorry so quiet on this end. Out at a soccer tournament all weekend and now playing catch up / getting organized for our trip / baking Brookies by the gross for Tech Week for the big kids. Carson has training tonight, so I will try to sit down and write a bit then.
Facebook apps. Mindless distractions for people who need a brief escape from the tedium of their days. My poison is Bejeweled. Releasing stress one minute at a time...
And that's a good thing. These days we all have a need for escape.
Sheeesh. YoVille alone has over 15 MILLION monthly users. Which is small potatos compared to Farmville's 74+ MILLION monthly users. That's a lot of escaping.
Facebook has quickly become the preferred "hang" on the internet. MySpace is so 2007. There is just something about FB that seems cleaner, more innocent, upbeat, connective, and just plain fun. Hence, all the successful game apps.
People check in repeatedly throughout the day to update their status about what's for dinner, how hard it is raining, to post an obscure quote, to vent about politics or a spouse, basically, to just feel connected.
And that's a good thing, too.
Until the escapism into virtual reality becomes more appealing than the real life going on around you. Until beating a friend's score takes precedent over carpool. Until harvesting your "crops" beats cooking dinner.
Meet Alexandra Tobias, 21, of Jacksonville, Florida.
Alexandra is the mother of a three month old baby boy named Dylan.
Well, she was. Until Wednesday.
You see, Dylan is now dead. His crime? He was crying while she was playing her game on Facebook so she shook him to make him stop (possibly hitting his head on the computer in the process).
According to this Mother of the Year's version of events, she shook him, put him on the couch, and then went outside to have a smoke. When she came back in the little bastard was crying again (how dare he???) because the dog had knocked him off the couch. (Nice. Blame the dog.)
So what's a mom to do?
Pick him up and shake him some more, that's what. Can't concentrate on harvesting the corn with a 3-D baby demanding attention ... or medical care.
When he stopped breathing (attention getting little shit) she called 911. In addition to his head injury, and obvious shaken baby syndrome symptoms, he also was sporting a broken leg.
THREE MONTHS OLD.
He died of his injuries Wednesday.
While many of us were playing games on Facebook.
Alexandra has been charged with murder. The real kind. Not the Mafia Wars or Vampire Wars kind.
The only thing she will be harvesting from now on is prison time.
Sadly, hers is not an isolated case of an adult with real responsibilities getting sucked into a make believe land. Earlier this week, Dr. Phil had a mother on his program who was addicted to Farmville - so consumed with her imaginary playmates, acreage, and gifts that her children were begging her to stop playing and cook for them, pay attention to them, wash their clothes.
Again, I understand the appeal of these games. Life is stressful, demanding, with serious implications. These games are not. And a little escape now and then is useful, beneficial.
But a baby is now dead. And his mother deserves to rot in a jail cell like a field of untended crops.
And maybe it's time for all us of to evaluate just how much time we spend tending to our real worlds, and how much time we spend escaping from them.
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. ~ Walt Disney
Dreams. That's the entire American Idol premise. From the beginning when kids like Kelly Clarkson had no idea what AI even was, through the heady years of Clay Aiken, Bo Bice, Chris Daughtry, Carrie Underwood, Fantasia, etc - it has been the dream of singing stardom that has kept the crowds coming back again and again.
Old Walt believed that the "secret of making dreams come true" was found in the 4 C's - Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy, with the greatest of these being Confidence.
Well, it's also the reason we viewers keep coming back for more.
Let's be honest, after 8 seasons of ups and downs, good and bad, Rhonetta Johnson and chicken costumes, it does take a level of morbid curiosity to tune back in. In my case it takes courage to sit down at this keyboard and believe I can still find the funny. I kid you not - it can be scary at times. Sometimes the funny is a sneaky little bugger and hides a little too well for my taste. Sometimes, though, like Barry Gibbs's nipples a few seasons back, the funny is just hanging out for all to see.
As for the remaining C's - those of us who keep coming back season after season have a level of confidence in the constancy of the proceedings. That's what makes these audition eps so damned special.
Walt also believed that "Laughter is America's most important export." so let's get into the recap and I'll do my best to keep up my end of the ecomedy...
With opening shots of a NASA blast off, it was only fitting that Ryan would liken the 10,000 gathered to audition to human Space Shuttles. (Some a little spacier than others...)
Time was then spent alluding to Simon, Ryan, and Randy whooping it up in Miami the night before and heading to Orlando via private jet, just a tad hungover. Too bad guys, those afterburners had better kick in because these kids have come to launch their careers, not watch you launch your innards into a bucket.
Kara was already waiting with guest judge Kristin Chenoweth. Do not even ask, "Who?" I shall have to smack you with Kendall's hardcover collector's edition of The Grimmery from Wicked.
Kristin is iconic among anyone who has even a cursory knowledge of theater. A tiny woman with powerhouse pipes, she has a Grammy and a Tony and a legion of adoring fans. Still not convinced? Pull up Kristin and Idina Menzel singing For Good or Defying Gravity from Wicked. Or for fun, try a quirky favorite from around our house - Taylor, The Latte Boy.
Oh hell, here is For Good- enjoy and wonder why your vocals cords can't perform gynmastics like this.
First up to see the judges, Theo Glinton, 22, not exactly the best cure for a hangover. Everything was "glintin'" about Theo - his metallic scarfy cape, the round mirrors glued to his face, even the feathers sprouting out the side of his head were shimmering.
And oh, was he confident.
"I am super at whatever I do. I am beautiful. I am a gift"
Good lord, you could see the BRIDGE OUT lights flashing in the distance on this one...
In the audition room he chose to scring (scream + sing) Heartbreaker. Unfortunately, gift though he may be, he suffers from the same problem as Paula Abdul, no one appreciates the gift that he is.
He left, to be regifted to someone else. As Ryan lovingly picked the mirrors off the poor guy's head, all I could think is that what Theo really needs is a Huxtable intervention - Cliff would have wacked those feathers off his birdbrain.
Time was then wasted on a montage of K&K bonding into BFFs. Cute, but can't we see some singers?
Enter Seth Rollins, 28. Seth is a big boy, married, and father of two adorable children. His son is 5, his daughter 9 months at the time of the Lifetime Movie filming at his home. His son has autism and Seth spoke of the challenges involved and how a shot at American Idol could mean being able to afford the best care possible.
He sang Someone To Watch Over Me for the judges and all I can say is, I love the guy. Great voice, sweet demeanor, you just want to see good things happen for him.
Kara said, "I want to keep hearing you"; Randy (tonight's watch sponsored by Play-doh), Kristin, and Simon loved him as well. Four yeses and he'll be off to Hollywood.
What followed next was a brief montage of a few Golden Tickets, but many more shiny tears set to When You Wish Upon A Star. I guess it does make some difference who you are when it comes to getting facetime...
Up next was Season 7 auditioner Jermaine Purifoy, 24. He didn't make it through two years ago, but is back for another shot.
One has to wonder what got screwed up two years ago because - WOW - the young man can sing. Smooth, strong, controlled - his take on Smile was amazing.
Kristin called it "pure"; Randy said it was "the best I've heard this whole audition season"; Kara called it "honest", and Simon just cut to the chase with "chicks will like you."
Jermaine left with a Golden Ticket and a Smile on his face.
The last contestant of the day was Shelby Dressel, 18, and her face was, well, unique.
When she was born her 7th cranial nerve never properly developed leaving the right side of her face pretty much immobilized. No matter - the girl is adorable. And quite frankly, her talking kind of out the side of her mouth was cute and quirky - a lot like Drew Barrymore.
She sang Turn Me On for the judges, and while certainly not the best singer on the planet, she had something about her that made the judges want to see how she would fare in Hollywood. It was not a sympathy Golden Ticket by any means.
In all, 19 people wished upon a star and had their dream come true on Day 1. Hmmmm, 19? Would have liked to see them...
Day 2 dawned without Kristin - she had to head back to NYC - so it was just Simon, Kara, and Randy.
Up first, Jay Stone who chose to spit and hork while singing Come Together by the Beatle. (Damn you, Blake Lewis!) I was just glad Kendall was not home. For a Beatle devotee like her, this was sacrilege of the highest order and my TV would have suffered from a shoe enema.
Randy asked him if he could just SING. Well, lo and behold, he can. His take on Ain't No Sunshine was actually pretty good. Simon wasn't feeling it or the beatleboxing, but Kara persuaded Randy to give Jay a shot in Tinseltown.
Three more girls got through - Janell Wheeler, Brittany Starr James, and Kasi Bedford, but who really cares about them when time can be wasted watching people cavort out in the holding room?
Cornelius Edwards must have a more interesting tale to tell because the camera slowed down to give him time to shine. What could it be????
Ahhhhh, his dance moves, of which he is very proud, were learned from his stripper friends.
As he sang Proud Mary, he suddenly leapt into the air and slammed into the floor in the splits, landing so hard that his inseam ripped and his nads paid his tonsils a visit. Seriously, his Chiquita manana (man + banana) got pureed.
But the judges were impressed so they gave him a ticket to Hollywood.
Next up, the Jersey state is offering up more than table flipping Real Housewives. This time BSFs (best sisters forever) Bernadette and Amanda Desimone, 27 and 23, respectively, who, like yesterday's young blond contestant, inhabit a house cum hair salon (meaning house that also serves as a salon, not a beauty shop of ill repubic as was intimated in the comments yesterday).
Perky to a fault, but somehow not gratingly so like the Skos of seasons past, they were dressed to ill in brightly colored minidresses with matching shoes (Note to Amanda: kill the yellow pumps. Your feet looked like they were about to supernova.). A tad fake, but in a Splenda made-from-real-sugar sweet way, not an aspertame chemical headache way. Yes, they broke the commandment about not going in to audition together...
Bernadette went first with Hit The Road Jack - not bad at all. Surprising. And she has a gorgeous smile.
Amanda was up next with I Want To Dance With Somebody, and I think did sounded good - but I would have to rewind to listen again, distracted as I was by Bernadette looking like she'd been taken to church and was witnessin' as her sister sang.
Despite the rapture taking place during the audition, the judges agreed to give both girls a shot at Hollywood. Methinks that GROUP SONG and/or a hot tub could derail at least one of their dreams along the way.
Our first view of Jarrod Norrell was of him on all fours grazing out in the courtyard, only there was no grass. Then he was on his back. Apparently some sort of agrarian vocal warm ups.
Jarrod is convinced of his greatness, and for a moment (given all the switcheroos so far this season) I was just sure he was going to bust out some amazing sounds. And while there was an amazing component - the song was Amazing Grace - he sounded like a weed wacker ... or the annoying kid on the pocket rocket that races up and down my street all day long.
Kara stared in disbelief and all three judges gave him a resounding No. Of course, convinced of his own greatness and all, he broke Commandment #58: Thou shalt not continueth to vocalize after thou hast been askethed to leave.
It escalated to security trying to assist him out, then quickly to Jarrod face down again, grazing on hotel carpet while being handcuffed from behind. Certainly not one of American Idol's Most Wanted...
Finally, our last country song of the day walked in. Matt Lawrence's story had everything but a train and a dog getting runned over by a pick-up truck.
Matt is a big, soft spoken boy, only 25, but having been seriously humbled by certain choices he made early in his life, namely robbing a bank with a BB gun when he was 15. He spent his high school years behind bars - 4 years of his life - and now seems intent on redeeming himself in the eyes of the family he "hurt so much."
Good for him. (Also, good for acknowledging the criminal past up front as opposed to the slew of other contestants who audition and then fervently pray The Smoking Gun doesn't out their warranted asses.)
In front of the judges Matt sang an apt song, given his tale of self inflicted woe, Troubled, and woe and behold, the kid can sing. It was passionate, raw, strong - even Simon called it "brilliant." As he walked away with his Golden Ticket, Kara even predicted "Top 12."
In all 31 dreams came true in Orlando. Nothing to make Mickey lose sleep at nights, but a nice offering nonetheless. 31 people who echo Walt's words about Disney World in their own reach for the stars, "I'm doing this because I want to do it better."
Next week we travel to a land much less whimsical, but with plenty of starry eyes to go around - Los Angeles. But given the previews of certain people with their hair practically on fire? One has to wonder whether the City of Angels needs renamed the City of Anger?