Recap: 'American Idol' - Denver Auditions
7:55 p.m. ET. Look, I know I don't get a vote on these things, but in the future, if it would be possible not to have Oscar nominations, "American Idol," the "Lost" premiere and Groundhog Day all align together on the calendar, I'd really appreciate it. [And yes, I'm well aware that "Lost" premieres are never, alas, going to coincide with anything else ever again.]
7:56 p.m. I'm just really tired. So if I come across as extra incoherent or extra catty, The former is more likely than the latter. But you've been warned. Anyway, on to Tuesday (Feb. 2) night's "American Idol" after the break...
8:00 p.m. One Denver contestant will take it to the limit, Ryan? We can't wait!
8:02 p.m. Why do we need Victoria Beckham back? She was not a good guest judge the first time around. Is there any hope she'll be more substantive this time around?
8:03 p.m. Our first contestant of the day is Mark Labriola, who gets regularly compared to Jack Back. This is because he's husky and he bites all of Jack Black's comic mannerisms. A long discussion ensues regarding child abduction. It's all very funny. Wait. Make that "funny." His voice isn't bad, though I don't know why he has to mime the actions he's singing about. Victoria's a big fan after having initially feared he was going to be a joke contestant. He gets four "Yes" votes. Way to go, Kung-Fu Panda.
8:07 p.m. Montage of nervous contestants.
8:07 p.m. Mario Galvin has a nervous laugh. He's a nicotine addiction counselor and it takes 10 seconds for Simon to start mocking his laugh. He ends a lame rendition of "Jailhouse Rock" with a laugh. The judges laugh at him, not with him. I'm neither laughing at, nor with him. I'm watching college basketball.
8:13 p.m. We're told that the air in Denver is always clean, at least until "American Idol" comes to town They're either celebrating the pollution brought in by the "American Idol" entourage or else making a not-so-funny joke leading into a filler segment with Denver contestants swearing at the camera.
8:14 p.m. Kimberly Kerbow is beautiful and she has an adorable little child. Her voice is chirpy and affected. Simon thinks Kimberly is trouble, but he puts her through to Hollywood anyway because, as I mentioned, she's beautiful.
8:16 p.m. Lots of people going to Hollywood.
8:17 p.m. Will Danelle Hayes join them? She's another mom. She's also a karaoke hostess. She just wants to support her family, darnit. Oh, and guess what? She isn't an unattractive mother. Yeah, I know you're shocked. She yells. There's some soul to her yelling, which might be why Simon likes. Kara's moved by Danelle's story and by her yelling. Posh Spice thinks she's gorgeous and loves her yelling. Four "Yes" votes for Danelle's yelling!
8:20 p.m. Denver is the city of hot moms with mediocre voices!
8:25 p.m. Posh Spice likes it when contestants dress to impress. Or when they dress as hot dogs.
8:25 p.m. Meet Casey James. He survived a motorcycle accident and looks like a model. He has the same scarring as the guy who fell out of a tree and broke his wrists and also looks like a model. There's a real laziness in the "American Idol" clip packages this season. Casey's audition is dull and weak-voiced and the ladies love him. He lets down his air and the women love him even more. He unbuttons his shirt and the judges love him even more. Kara justifies her decision to order an auditioner to strip down by saying, "Well, we got to see Bikini Girl." Umm... Kara. Bikini Girl was a fame whore and an exhibitionist. Nobody *told* her to strip down. She did it because she wanted to. When you start ordering contestants to take their tops off, that's a bit icky, Kara. But if "American Idol" wants to stake its claim to being pro-sexual harassment, that's OK.
8:28 p.m. More cute kids? Really? And with drawings of the judges?
8:29 p.m. This cute child seems to only be a sibling or friend to 16-year-old Tori Kelly, who oversinging a John Mayer song. Simon is correct on this one, calling Tori's voice "almost annoying." But Posh Spice likes her look and her jewelry. Posh calls Tori the best voice of the day, which can't possibly be true.
8:31 p.m. I need to revisit Kara telling Casey to unbutton his shirt and cajoling him into going topless. That's like a horror-story that actresses like to tell about producers and casting directors. Only it was celebrated as funny on national TV and he was rewarded for it.
8:36 p.m. It's Day Two in Denver. We're going to begin by wasting our time with Austin Paul, a long-snapper for the University of Colorado football team. Yes, a long-snapper. He has a list of things he'd like to accomplish before he dies. He has a silly falsetto and keeps taking deep breaths mid-verse, which he describes as just one of the tricks up his sleeve. "You come off a bit cocky," Kara says. Simon calls him annoying. Austin disagrees. Victoria calls it "arrogant" and complains that the performance made her "itchy." Austin insists he could make money for Simon. How could Kara not ask Austin to take his shirt off?
8:39 p.m. Kenny Everett considers himself "a male Mary J. Blige," dubbing his singing "a community service." To the surprise of all-and-sundry, Kenny isn't a talented singer. He's like an eccentric homeless performer, waving and wailing to stir up interest in his air-raid siren of a voice. "You've got to be kidding me," Kenny says after getting his "No" votes. They are not, fortunately, kidding him. He is not, unfortunately, dissuaded and sings several more verses before departing.
8:46 p.m. Bad voices. Mockery. Cat-killing! It must be a montage! These bridging montages have taken some of the time previously dedicated to extended bad auditions on this show.
8:48 p.m. Nicci Nix travelled from Florence, Italy to audition. She has a strange combination of an awesome accent and an awful helium-fueled speaking voice (and a porn star name). She travelled 14 hours to have an embarrassing "American Idol" audition, which makes her worthy of her screentime. Strangely, Posh Spice likes her attitude and her shiny skin. Wait. Randy gives her "a million percent yes." And Kara and Simon also give her "Yes" votes. For what?!?!? She wasn't even close to good. Or are they just letting her use frequent flier miles?
8:55 p.m. Our last singer of the night is Haeley Vaughn, a self-described "miracle child." She was born prematurely and she lost her father at a young age. She dreams to be "the first black pop-country-mainstream singer." She singers out of her nose, completing a night where I didn't enjoy a single one of the singers I was supposed to enjoy. Simon and Kara and Randy all like that she's "bold." Haeley has a sister and a niece who love the judges and enter the room for the final judgement. Randy gives her "a hundred million percent yes." The other judges agree, albeit with less specific math.
8:59 p.m. Ooops. We have time for one more contestant. Oh right. The contestant who will top Bikini Girl. It's Bikini Boy. Ty Hemmerling clears the room. Wow. His mom must be so proud.
9:00 p.m. Coming up tomorrow night, people who could sing, but weren't necessarily hot moms, part of a big ethnic family or recovering from cancer.
Look, I know we had a couple pretty people tonight. But could anybody actually sing? I didn't hear a single singer tonight who I'd ever want to hear again. That isn't to be confused with cute people I'd want to see again. I'd definitely give Kimberly Kerbow another shot. You may love the boy Kara forced to strip.
But could anybody SING?
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