Louisville, Kentucky 1.21.09

Louisville, 1/21/09

Tight Black T

I had high hopes that Churchill Downs would produce some thoroughbreds. Well . . . I can say that Louisville was significantly better than San Francisco, but I’m just not feeling it this week.

Before I start my review/recap, I’d like to take a moment to talk to all the parents out there. I know ya’ll love your kids and think they’re the greatest – well mine is, but that’s quite another story. Wink But let’s be realistic people, telling your kid they’re a great singer when they clearly are not is not being a good parent – that’s child abuse. Being a good parent is telling your kid the truth and not allowing them to make a fool of themselves on national TV. If someone could forward this to the parents of Tiffany Shedd I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

I’m not even going to talk about the ugly from Louisville because that is starting to wear on my nerves already. Hollywood week can’t come soon enough as far as I’m concerned. I’m just going to touch on singers of interest here.

There was a curious moment when Joanna Pacitti entered the audition – Kara knew that at one point she had been signed to A&M Records. Is this Kara chick that good, or was she prompted? Anyway, Pacitti was good, but a bit hesitant. She had mentioned in her package piece about having lost a lot of confidence in the past year, and it showed. But I think she has the voice to make it to at least the top 24.

Musician Brent Keith Smith will be a big hit with the girls. But while he has a good voice, his song choice and the almost screaming performance kind of turned me off. I do hope he can redeem himself in Hollywood.

Simon thought Matt Giraud, the dueling piano player sounded like Elliott. Matt only wishes he sounded like Elliott. The only similarity was the vibrato. There is something about Elliott’s voice that soothes me, while this guy grated on me a bit.

Alexis Grace, the 21-year-old stay at home mom grabbed me with her big voice. I usually don’t root for female singers, but she’s got me in her corner already.

Four other golden ticket winners, Kris Allen, Felicia Barton, Ryan Johnson and Shera Lawrence got short shrift in the visibility department. They were all lumped together and we didn’t get a feel for who they are or what they can do. Ryan Johnson sang “A Change in Gonna Come,” which seems to have become an AI audition staple since Taylor sang it. Ryan is no Taylor.

Lenesha Young was our pull at your heartstrings story from Louisville. The 18-year-old spent much of her childhood homeless, but has a very strong family. She performed an original song, which never goes over well with the judges. But Lenesha hit it out of the Idol ballpark on every level – this kid has commercial success written all over her. She’s not my cup of tea, but I can already hear that voice on the radio singing the next Beyonce-like song.

Next week, onto Florida, where it looks like they leave Seacrest out in the swamp somewhere. Hmmmm.

Lil’ Dawg

Brent Keith Smith: Puffyheart

Ross Plavsic: Reminded me of some creepy ghost movie . . . the “woohing ghosts . . .”

Alexis Grace: Such a big voice out of such a little girl!!!

Aaron Williamson: Trying to be Taylor with all that wooing. NEVER!

Kris Allen: Mmmmm, I like guys who wear hats like that. Wink

Seacrest’s Hair

We found Louisville slightly more entertaining than San Francisco, thank goodness. That doesn’t mean, however, that the contestants were any better. Diving right in…

Tiffany Shedd looks like the “Leave Britney Alone!” guy from YouTube, and we were distracted by her huge boob mole until she started singing… her voice sounded roughly like that voice-altering thing Cher uses, but without any sense of pitch. Ew.

Joanna Pacitti is lucky from the start, Kara recognizes her from A&M Records, where she was signed several years ago. She’s Carly Smithson 2.0! She’s also good; we found her voice a bit strident but then again she was singing Pat Benatar. Perhaps she can persuade us with a softer sound?

Mark Mudd, Jr. sounds like those old recordings of hillbillies in the National Archives. His family has a history of bad luck, and it’s not stopping here.

Next to walk in is generic “soap opera bad boy with a heart of gold” Brett Keith Smith, who sends Paula and Kara under the table but does absolutely nothing for us. Yawn.

Then we get a montage of losers: a woman who’s gotta be 40, a goat girl, a longhair, a plain ol’ weirdo, and fat Michael Jackson.

Matt Giraud is a dueling piano player that Simon compares to Elliott Yamin. No. He’s just karaoke to us, so that dueling piano player/comedian personality had better show up fast.

Ross Plavsic is pimped for at least two commercial breaks, and looks vaguely like Ashton Kutcher, so we are prepared to be Punk’d. Closer inspection reveals that he looks like Ashton only if Ashton put his head in a vise for a few days. He’s a dedicated nerd, which is nice for him, but despite the… interesting resonance in his voice, he has no sense of pitch and spends too long being rejected.

We get a Golden Ticket montage set to “Shout”, another commercial break, and then Alexis Grace, a little girl with a baby and a military fiance… and a big voice. She’s cute, but as Paula said, needs to “dirty it up” a bit before she gets to H’wood.

Then a yawn montage, after which we’re woken up by Aaron Williamson, another one of those lanky, loud, super-energetic black guys. He yells his song, gets everyone else in the room yelling as well (and Kara is, apparently, testifying), and Seacrest mutters “What the hell?” and heads in to investigate. Yeah, he’s totally not making it through. And his energy disappears almost immediately thereafter!

Rebecca Garcia is a nice girl who gets interviewed by the local Fox affiliate, then comes in with serious pitch and lyric issues… despite having a cheat-sheet on her arm. Kara oopses and accuses her of being a joke contestant. Oh well.

We get a montage of four yeses that don’t stand out for us.

And finally, it’s time for Luh-vlle’s sob story, the formerly homeless, possibly high school dropout (that’s unclear) Leneshe Young, who is a cute, funny, less-precious Paris Bennett with a decent original song that makes Simon see dollar signs. She’s gotta bring it, though, because I think last week’s tornado lady is our sob-story winner thus far.

Us, cynical? Nah…


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