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Idol Says “Cheese!”

Mr. Hough (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Last night, American Idol rolled into Wisconsin and our judges, Steven Tyler, J. Lo and Randy Jackson got an ear full from people who rocked and some complete freaks who thought they rocked!  As he does every week, our American Idol expert Steve Thompson breaks the episode down for you in Idol Chatter! Enjoy!

From Steve Thompson: I’m amazed about some of the folks who have decided to audition this year.  Is there some new law that says every 15 year old that tries out for AI must get a golden ticket?  I find it very odd that there now seems to be more talent per capita in the youngest age limit than exists in the oldest age limit.

Is there no end to the effort to make Danny Gokey relevant to America?  AI has to go and trot out Milwaukee’s favorite son as if he had actually won something.  Trying to make Danny Gokey into a star reminds me of an old line from the “M*A*S*H” tv series: “we’re taking lessons from the losers now.”

By the way, he said continuing to rant, I think after ten years we all get that when the circus comes to town every reporter from every news organization has to cover it.  The two or three minutes talking about the media talking about AI was two or three minutes the next advertiser lost money on.

Yes, there were some interesting singers and personalities in tonight’s episode.  Stop being so darn impatient.

Scott McCreery did a nice job of singing both Josh Turner and Travis Tritt.  Maybe without Cowell the current judges might have more respect for country singers.  I found myself wondering if the kid pursued a professional baseball career would he sing the national anthem at his own games?

On the other hand, to paraphrase Randy Travis, we had dj wannabe Joe Repka.  His version of “The Longest Time” seemed to take the longest time.  Maybe he can find a job in radio– I’m sure he could be just as annoying as Seacrest.

Emma Henry, the fifteen year old from Colorado, did an interesting take on “True Colors.”  I’m wondering if her voice is better when she’s not sick.  Sometimes singers can sound better when they’re under the weather.

We were then shown at least four singers who proved that you sing Lady Gaga at your own risk.  Judging from last week’s shows, this was obviously a trend.

Naima Andeapo sang an old Donny Hathaway song and sang it quite well. I doubt I’ll be able to recall how to spell or pronounce her name, so in the future I may just refer to her as Jill Smith.

Finally, we were shown someone trying to sing a Jennifer Lopez song.  I know.  You’re thinking exactly what I’m thinking.

The dentist with the giant toothbrush?  I guess he thought it was Sesame Street Idol.

Jerome Bell did a nice version of “Let’s Get It On.”  Somehow I doubt that song is requested much at bar mitzvahs.

The producers would like you to know that Justin Bieber is currently the pop flavor of teens everywhere.  This is for those of you who may have been stranded on an island with passengers from an ill fated Oceanic flight for the past six years.

The girl’s first name was Thia and it rhymed with her last name.  Interesting song and she sang it well enough, but they really need to keep the names on the screen long enough for those of us who type slowly to fully understand.

Nathaniel Jones comes up from some unknown US Calvary unit from the Civil War and makes the obvious song choice of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”  Somewhere Ken Burns is scratching his head.

Molly Swensen sings a sultry, smoky rendition of” Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay.”  Was it just me or did anyone else think that a girl who sings like that wouldn’t be sitting on the dock of the bay by herself?  I don’t recall hearing many female singers attempt this one– and boy, did she do it justice.  And she’s an intern in the Obama White House?  Well, to paraphrase a line from “Some Like It Hot”: nobody’s perfect.

By the way, AT&T…  I’m sick and tired of the eating tacos outside the office commercial.  Thanks!

Haley Reinhart sings a very cool rendition of the song “Oh, Darling.”  She tried out in Chicago last year and came back with a better song.

Tiwan Strong sang a nice version of “Twistin’ the Night Away.”  Will he go far in the competition?  Doubtful.  However, it’s nice to hear someone who doesn’t have to sing full blast to get his song across.

Steve Bigguhn sang and became the first accountant to make it to Hollywood.  I think this is an error.  Aren’t there always accountants at the Academy Awards?

Vernika Patterson sang “Loving You” and the judges were not loving it.  Somewhere in Heaven, Minnie Ripperton did not recognize her song.

Albert Rogers did a decent Obama impersonation but sang poorly.  That’s about all I got out of it as well.

As someone who will root for the Packers against the Steelers, I really wanted to like Meghan Frazier– until I heard her try to sing Justin Bieber as if it was an opera.  As I reread this, I find myself doubting I actually heard it.

Allyson Jedos gave us one of the first rock songs of the year with her interpretation of “Come Together.”  I found it interesting that Randy asked her if she could sing Aerosmith when Aerosmith actually covered the Beatles song.  Oh well.

Tonight’s Danny Gokey Memorial Tearjerker Award goes to Chris Medina.  After a heartfelt and tragic story told the only melodramatic way that AI can tell it, he sings “Break Even,” which sounds a bit to my ear as if the song could’ve been written about his circumstances.  A great song sung with great emotion.

All in all, we were shown 13 of the 53 who made it through to Holywood.  I was impressed with the White House intern who isn’t Monica Lewinsky and, even as I cringed with the story, Chris Medina.

Thursday night– Nashville.  As good as Nashville is reported to have been, I find it hard to believe they only devote an hour to it.

As always, we’ll see– won’t we?

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