Friday, 20 January 2012

Up Town Planking In Pittsburgh

Auditions Part Two. Pittsburgh. We get told it's AI's first visit to this town where Ryan tells us they have their own language. Cue some folk going yousall. Obviously they've never been to Scotland. Or maybe they have. I'm sure the good folk of Pittsburgh must have been delighted that their next entry in the AI Charts was a complete prat called Heejan Han (name nowcorrected, sorry) who doesn't come from Pittsburgh or Scotland for that matter but Korea. With some strange arm wobbling that seemed to induce the same effect in the judges (was that North Korea?) the guy with the big face then takes us all by surprise by not being as bad as we thought he would be. Having said that Hee bo was no Subo but, inexplicably, he gets through to the Hollywood round. Why???

The next guy is Reed Grimm. He doesn't come from Pittsburgh either, but Wisconsin, and sounds like what an illustration to one of his great uncle's tales might sound like, should illustrations have audio. Oh dear, he gets through too. We might have guessed - as there was the video of him as a two year old playing.

Then two more zoom through before I get a chance to figure out who they are.

Photo from You Tube
As if the show hadn't already got slightly silly - there had also been two mentions of gazillions for a pretty average-sounding guy - we get some girl doing planking. Luckily she wasn't the one doing the singing but it was still a bizarre sight of her laying flat out in front of Samantha Novacek. Now this girl can sing well. She desperately needs some advice on what to wear but then that seems to be the case for many of the hopefuls in this town. Surely Pittsburgh isn't that far from the shops that they only shop once a decade?

Reinforcing, possibly forever, the image Pittsburgh is getting for bad clothes and strange names is Creighton Fraker (shown on TV as Fwaker, the w possibly being a subconcious thing what with all that planking and getting Samantha's dress off). Crikey looks and sounds a bit bonkers but then so have quite a few so far and it hasn't done them any harm. Eventually, after being persuaded to sing something we might vaguely recognise instead of a self-penned ditty a duck would be embarrassed to have written, he puts in a decent track and we see someone worth paying attention to. "Let's big this thing down." suggests Randy, whatever that meant. And we get another gazillion which is definitely well OTT but he's through anyway.

And now, for something completely different. Eben Frankowicz. Yes, OK, not that different as he does have a strange name and it's difficult to imagine his school chums yelling "Hey Eben!!" across the school yard but what is different is that he looks normal. A cute kid with helicopter parents. Sings Ain't No Sunshine brilliantly. If AI11 goes down the neat choirboy route then he'll be in the live shows. My first potential winner.

Next up is Travis Orlando, back from last year. "Who remembers Travis?" asks Jennifer. Silence. "I do." she continues. That says it all. Obviously a Hollywood rounder. He didn't need the big and quite sad story to get through but it might have the useful effect of the whole of Pittsburgh now out hunting down his mum. He sang OK but isn't a sure-fire guy to get that much further, for all the emotional stuff.

Another 8 or 9 fly by. No idea who they are.

Shane Bruce. A good ol' coal miner and coal miner's son. He says the sort of things that you can imagine his parents saying at the dinner table. He wants "a stable life". You might be tempted to wonder why he's auditioning for something that would give him almost precisely the opposite but there's probably a cliché his mum would come out with to explain. We see, unusually, a video of the guy performing underground - it's not the underground bit that's unusual; I don't recall seeing many videos of contestants singing recently before their audition being shown. We get plenty later but not on the auditions show. Anyway, he sounds pretty good in that so when he struggles a bit with some notes on the ill-advised choice of Hallelujah you hope they'll give him another track like they did for many others. He had started off with the odd question about whether they knew the song from a film which may not have helped his cause. And when, obviously annoyed with himself for not performing at his best, he appears to have more or less given up and comes out with another of dad's abbreviated comments along the lines of 'gave it my best shot only got one chance' which might also have been followed by 'shall I go now or wait for you to judge that?', you shout at the TV "Shut up! You were OK. Sing something else." Too late. He looks like he's given up and the judges almost don't have any choice, despite his being far better than many others they had let through. So we watch him drift off with his clichés, expecting Randy or Steve to come chasing after him like Simon would have asked someone to do had SYCO been producing the show. Sad.

Hallie Day was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar. Until she met Idol. We get a lot of this girl's back story so it looks like we're going to get something special. She's also the last on tonight so that's another hint as they like to leave us with something good to remember till next week. It seems she joined a band and went to New York a while back but didn't make a great deal. Somewhere along the line she got really low and this girl sure shouldn't need to pretend the emotions when the time comes to perform. I was pretty underwhelmed by I Will Survive but that's mainly because I hate the song after it's been done to karaoke death ever since someone brought karaoke over here and even before that, especially by annoying, usually fat and unattractive women that you might prefer that they didn't. I was totally agreeing with Steven Tyler who wanted another song. "Why?" ask the other two. "I like watching you when you sing." he announces. Classic. I would like her to have blown us away with something else but then that may have reduced her odds with the bookmakers. She is another potential winner - but still a long shot. I'm just guessing but the Debbie Harry looks and obvious talent and passion ought to mean good things for her.

38 get through from Pittsburgh. That's 80 so far. another 220 to go. One of whom is Hollie Cavenagh. This was her in April 2011. Wow.