American Idling | 09.04

american-idol_sm.jpg"Louisville: You can lead a horse to water but you can’t keep it from drinking out of Paula’s cup!"







It can’t be too shocking. I’m sure whatever she’s sipping is so radioactive it practically whistled for Ross Plavsic to come hither

GENERAL OVERVIEW: With ten hopefuls shooting from the starting gate, Louisville was a day at the races. Before I shower these thoroughbreds with praise and sugarcubes, let’s quickly shoot through the damaged goods:

  • Patrick Warner—Michael Jackson, you’ve been served! And eaten alive.
  • Ryan Benningfield—is the local zoo aware they’re missing a zebra?
  • Aaron Williamson—and a howler monkey?

I cannot help but feel that Paula Abdul overreacted to Mark Mudd’s unfortunately delivered farewell coda "Be careful," which Simon was then compelled to aggravate by pinning it as a threat. I honestly believe Mark was wishing them all the best. Honestly. Now, if Paula happens to forget to look both ways before she crossed the boulevard on her way back to the hotel, and Mark’s GMC Suburban just happens to be traveling toward the intersection and his leg cramped up with his Size-12 foot on the gas, well…Paula should have looked both ways.

  • Tiffany Shedd—should seriously consider college. Clown college.
  • Rebecca Garcia—it says here you were voted "Most Humorous" in high school… Oh!… Oh no… Your audition wasn’t a prank? Are you sure? Because I get it. I’m laughing! Ellen DeGeneres, watch out! Ha ha!!… Hm? That audition was for real? Oh, shoot… I’m sorry… What? "Be careful"? Okay, thanks.

Ahhhh… I love the smell of Elmer’s Glue in the morning.

There wasn’t much TV love given to Kris Allen, Shersa Lawrence, Ryan Johnson or Felicia Barton. However, it is my point of view that they’re better off that way. I actually thought extensively about this on the bus to work this morning. I had to: I forgot to bring my iPod. This is how I see it: If we, the millions and millions and gazillions of viewers, watched how well they did, our hopes and expectations for all or any of them would rise to lofty proportions; the pressure to excel would get the best of these kids, and they would proceed to double over and choke, end of story. We’ll hear from them no more; they’ll go back to bussing tables or taking horticulture courses at the community college. As Hollywood Week has already come and gone in real-time, whatever fate these four met is characterized with less epic trauma than what, oh, say…Joanna Pasini would be subject to.

Joanna Pasini, who like Carly Smithson at this time last year, found herself so close, soooooo close, so close to breaking through in the music industry that even Kara DioGuardi recognized her as having once been signed to A&M Records. To have been bucked, to have lost the confidence to succeed, and to then try out for American Idol as a vehicle to get back into the race… Them’s some big stakes to carry with you to the Kodak Theater.

And then there’s sob-story-of-the-night Laneshe Young. She who made me smile! I like her! Raised by a single mother. Did not let the hard knocks get the best of her. Writes her own songs. Simon loves her and her song. If she doesn’t make it to the finals, I’ll stop watching American Idol right then and there, cold-turkey. Then I’ll press play again. But I’ll wait a good five minutes before I do.

Rounding out the Louisville Winner’s Circle:

  • Dueling piano player Matt Giraud who reminded Simon of Elliott Yamin—he reminds no one of Elliott Yamin.
  • Brent Keith Smith whose song was dismissed by Simon as ridiculous. You know what’s ridiculous? The contrived Kara goading. Surrender, Dorothy!
  • Regular stay-at-home mom Alexis Grace whom Randy advised to come out of her shell. Huh? Does he feel compelled to just say anything? Put this judge to pasture already!

Next stop: Jacksonville! I’m genuinely fascinated. I am. I don’t know much about Jacksonville except it’s in Florida and it’s hot and historic and not where Disney World is. I’m sure the American Idol producers will learn me. | Alan Quisimorio

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