Friday, 3 February 2012

Louie, Louie, Baby Now, We've Gotta Go

The last of the initial audition screenings starts with a 2004 shot of a girl on a tractor. Carrie Underwood before, with more than a little help from Simon Cowell, becoming American Idol's biggest success by far. She auditioned at St Louis. That's where we see the last of the oddballs and the few real contenders we're allowed to preview before Hollywood.

Great to hear Louie Louie although only the chorus. I mean, this is American TV and those lyrics are probably still banned. Some weird guy in a car (ostensibly Ryan's cab driver but I don't buy that) is moaning about the crowds and jams that the huge turnout in the town create. Not quite sure why this is thrown in. I reckon there's a new producer who likes this sort of wacky stuff.

Johnnie Keyser is a good-looking guy to start. Jennifer gets seriously carried away and you have to wonder what Coca Cola had put in the red plastic cups this week. Randy and Steven seem to have been infected too. The guy sings A Change Is Gonna Come pretty well but is he really potential live show talent? Only on looks.

Another producer special as we get a bonkers black and white interlude. Are they short of decent audition tapes or something? Surely there were some entertaining or interesting candidates for these several minutes' worth of prime time TV? If I were an advertiser, I'd be asking for rate reduction.

Almost 20 minutes in - that's over 33% of the programme gone already and we've seen one act. Finally we see Rachelle Lamb. Says she's divorced and her ex held her back. Haven't we heard that before somewhere? She does a Faith Heeeeel song Find Someone New. That was nothing amazing. She'd have to do a great deal more to move on from Hollywood where, yes, you guessed, our Cola-injected judges duly sent her.

Old bloke in a car again. Some idot who says music is his wife. Several people on the stage at once. None any good. Stupid girl in a pink hat. Odd boy. Really ugly bloke. This is rubbish.

Cue decent audition after a break. Rees has a back story - he must be reasonable, at least, to get that on air. He does Lean On Me. OK. That's all. Again, the judges go 'Definitely yes!' and all that. I must be missing something. Or maybe I should try some Coke.

As if this show hasn't been amateur enough, the Mentos intros and outros for this series are dreadful. I do hope you guys across the pond have something better, especially as you get far more interruptions than we do.

Ethan Jones is up next. Another back story. Is anyone normal in St Louis? This is the first good singer for a long time. He's got a good chance of going further. Interesting.

Odd spot time again. This time it's a guy who works in the auditions hotel. He totally wrecks some Stevie Wonder track I couldn't even recognise. Presumably someone will suggest he keeps his day job. Maybe all his friends on the staff put him up for this just so that he'd be able to see hinself later and consequently shut up for good.

So, as the minutes tick by, have they kept the best bits til the end as they are prone to do? Someone they want us to remember? Maybe someone we can get enthusiastic about and worth putting through to Hollywood and maybe lock us in for some future stages?

Lauren Gray is that hope in the producers' minds. She was in a Southern Rock band with her father and does a good job of an Adele number. Her voice isn't that great though and, after a while, starts to get boring. She's certainly talented and worth putting through to Hollywood but after that - not so sure. She does seem to have captured the judges' votes, though, somehow. jennifer seems to have forgotten how passionate she'd been earlier about the good-looking guy and now says she can sum up the talent in St Louis in two words. Lauren. Gray.

That's it. there's a long, long re-run of all those we've seen but none of the hundreds that got through but we haven't seen. we're told 46 get through at St Louis. That's 42 we didn't see so, to be honest, you begin to wonder what is the point of trying to review any of these early stages?

Next is Hollywood. I don't usually like to give anything away but I am seriously tempted to tell you that none of the bunch we actually heard tonight get very far. If the producers can promise me that there'll be no more old blokes in cars or dodgy Cola quotes then I may just hold back from announcing the names of those who do make it through to the live shows several stages down the line.