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“American Idol” Hits Aspen and WBKR’s “Idol” Expert Chimes In [Video]

WBKR’s American Idol expert, Steve Thompson, was hoping for a “Rocky Mountain high” last night as Idol auditions rolled into Aspen.  And, while we had the usual assortment of freaks and non-contenders, we did have some folks ready to step up to the plate and knock the socks off Steven Tyler, J. Lo and Randy Jackson.   In fact, several of them sang country!  We had everyone from a gal who butchered “Jolene,” a bipolar girl who just may win the whole thing with her Carrie Underwood-like chops, a Lady Gaga wannabe and a guy who calls himself “The Magic Cyclops!”   So, did the contestants deliver? 

Steve joined Moon and me this morning to chat about last night’s highlights and lowlights!  Take a listen . . .

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From Steve Thompson:

  • After the bottomless low of San Diego, could this show actually aim for a Rocky mountain high?  Hard to say.  Once again, there are a few that seem talented in an audition but may not have a snowball’s chance of surviving the first few days in Hollywood.  Either most of the talent was from Pittsburgh or Savannah or the producers are holding back with one of those shows that showcases “other talent” from all the auditions.  To quote a lyric from John Denver, this one hour show seemed like “a long time to hang in the sky.”
  • Jenni Shick is a music teacher who decides to sing Heartbreaker by Pat Benatar.  Let me state, for the record, I don’t recall ever having any music teachers who looked like Jenni when I was in school.  This was okay, but not really warranting a ticket to Hollywood.  You know, if they could find someone who could sing We Live for Love note for note, then they might have something.
  • Curtis Gray sang It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday by Boyz II Men.  I thought he did this song reasonably well, but I still am not convinced.  I’ve said this for years, but wouldn’t you think Boyz II Men should be Men II Men by now?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPYlfDhV23k

  • Richie Law, also known as Scotty 2.0, sang I Wouldn’t Be a Man by Josh Turner.  Every year someone comes along trying to be exactly like last year’s previous winner.  Not only does Richie have the deep voice he chooses a Josh Turner song.  If there had been no Scotty, I think Richie would’ve had more impact.  Frankly, his choice just made his audition easier to dismiss.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_VhF57_SvM

  • Mathenee Trego sang Hey Jude by The Beatles.  You know, it’s nice to actually hear a song I recognize in these short clips they afford us.  He actually sounded in tune on the yeah yeah yeahs– which is not as easy as it sounds.  Still…  Is this the best of Aspen?
  • In one of the strangest (oddest?) audition pieces we’ve ever been subjected to, we found a twin whose sister apparently is the one that mom (and everyone else) likes best.  Telena Hedgespeth, whose name evokes either Dickens or Rowling, determines to sing Bring Me Some Water by Melissa Etheridge.  Not good by any stretch of the imagination.  I am convinced she will be most likely to be the twisted sister who twists off her sister’s neck.
  • Haley Smith does a reasonably smooth interpretation of Tell Me Something Good by Rufus.  My quibble?  When Chaka Khan gets in the dirty groove of this song, smooth is not what you want to hear.  I respect Haley doing her own version– I just didn’t believe in it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti91aoY32rQ

  • Alanna Snare tries to sing Jolene by Dolly Parton.  This wasn’t a good idea.  If she had been any more off-key she would’ve been on a different sheet of music.  Maybe it was her nerves.  Then again, maybe she should’ve stayed at home instead of trying out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr-aX9eM5NM

  • Shelby Tweten sang Temporary Home by Carrie Underwood.  Well, we had one of those grim backstories.  Shelby has been diagnosed as bipolar and uses music as part of her therapy.  I thought she did rather well, especially in comparison with some of the other folks who received golden tickets.  I’m not sure if she will be able to make it to the top 24– she might be a year or two away from truly making her mark.

  • Jairon Jackson sang an original composition that was just about as inspiring as watching paint dry.  I saw no reason, other than the fact that J Lo may have been in cougar mode, why this guy received a ticket.
  • Angie Zeiderman comes across as a bit of a performance artist wannabe when she tries to sing her first song.  However, her rendition of Blue Bayou actually sounds comparable to the Linda Ronstadt version.  I’m not saying she was as good as Linda– just that it was comparable.  I wouldn’t be shocked if she made it to the Las Vegas round.

  • “Magic Cyclops.” After 11 years of this nonsense, we shouldn’t be shocked by these stunts.  I guess the producers are just trying to enliven the proceedings, but we’ve known all along that these guys don’t know anything about comedy.  Who was this guy?  No one should care.  I’ll admit the reason he spoke with a British accent was because “the only station they could get was PBS” had a glint of wit, but that’s all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPoebpaCre8

  • Only 31 people made it from Aspen to Hollywood.  Maybe San Diego was better after all.
  • Tonight? Houston.  We can only hope.

@January 25, 2012  Stephen W Thompson

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