Bikini girl video
American Idol’s eighth season had its two hour premiere on Fox last night with auditions from Phoenix. It featured new judge Kara DioGuardi as the fourth addition to the panel. The show was the same formula we’re used to and it was entertaining if a bit slow in parts. I found singer songwriter DioGuardi a little underwhelming. She fit in unobtrusively, which is probably what they were going for, but I couldn’t get a clear read on her personality. She was nice like Paula but without the sincerity. I found myself fixated on her bad hair extensions and wondering if she thought they looked ok.
Kara’s mini feud with “bikini girl”
At one point DioGuardi insisted on singing the same song,
“Treated Me Kind,” “Vision of Love” as a much-talked about contestant dressed in a bikini, showing that she should put some swing in it and looking surprisingly competitive. It seemed kind of immature and aggressive coming from a grown woman and the audition went downhill from there. Paula got up to defend DioGuardi when the skinny contestant insisted she sang it better. The girl could sing pretty well but I just couldn’t get over the ferret faces she was making along with her attitude. Randy and Simon voted her through despite Paula and Kara’s objections.
Kara’s would-be stalker
Given the tragic suicide of a stalker outside Paula Abdul’s house, producers should be wary of letting anyone audition who seems unstable and is fixated on one of the judges. There was a young girl dressed in a cowboy hat and short skirt who said she was a huge fan of Kara’s. She brought in a big binder full of songs she wrote and went on at length about how she wanted a singing career. The girl couldn’t sing and was wacky to say the least. These auditions were taped before Paula’s “fan” committed suicide, but it seemed thoughtless that the scenes featuring that contestant were included. Producers should have learned their lesson after letting Paula’s stalker through. Maybe this girl was harmless, but those type of contestants shouldn’t be encouraged.
Other highlights of the show included a super deep-voiced guy, an intelligent nerdy guy who could sing that Simon didn’t want to get through for some reason, an effeminate guy with a surprisingly good voice, and a guy with a misspelled “Sexual Chocolate” tattoo on his back. There was also a rockabilly chick with incredible talent, and a blond woman who came to the auditions alone and had a strong unique voice with a warble. A bubbly normal-looking contestant who sang just as well as the bikini girl, in my opinion, was told by Simon that she must have been let through based on her personality. She ultimately got a pass to the next round after a tense few moments.
The night ended with a somewhat inspiring tale of a blind guy who taught himself music. The way that contestant was hyped seemed kind of hackneyed, but that’s how Idol does it. The guy was a talented singer, but he picked the slow Billy Joel song, “And So it Goes” and you couldn’t really tell from that single sample if he had enough chops to make it through. He was given a golden ticket and made it to Hollywood, though.
American Idol continues tonight with another two hour audition special. We’ll be watching, even as we roll our eyes like Simon.