Tuesday, January 29, 2008

American Idol Season 7 Omaha Auditions

Chris Bernheisel, 24, Fremont, NE - "Since You Been Gone," Kelly Clarkson
So the plan for Omaha was to start the show with an idiot, but an infectious and fun idiot. I have no idea what to think of Chris, but he clearly entertained the hell out of the judges. In his pre-audition interview he said "Today I'm so happy. I feel like I could explode and happiness is going to go flying everywhere...yeah." I think he did explode a little bit in the audition room.

He brought gifts for the judges, and Simon made it very clear that bribery is always a good thing (expect tons of gifts next season to be dumped on the judges). He even brought a photo album of himself with Kelly Clarkson to show what a humongous OH MY GOD THE BIGGEST American Idol fan he is. So much so that he got overwhelmed just talking about it and started crying. You see, he's wanted to try out for 7 years but never had the money to travel "so thank you so much for coming here." Wow, what a great set up. Now this guy's going to blow us all away, right? Of course not. He sucks ass.

The whole thing would have been completely forgettable except that right after he was rejected, he asked if he could audition to work the red carpet at the finale. And then began to announce as if he were there. Suddenly, I liked this guy. He's got chutzpah! Clearly amused, Simon told him to tell local affiliate FOX 42 that they wanted Chris covering the finale for FOX 42. Chris continued to be excited and bounce up and down and scream and sing Paula Abdul songs until he left the building. And amazingly, as soon as he got outside he started jumping up and down even more. Apparently we were getting the subdued "inside voice" Chris. Good lord, I bet he jumps on small children and knocks over old ladies all the time when he's outside.

Jason Rich, 21, Stout, IA - "When You Say Nothing at All," Keith Whitley
Jason had me worried for a minute there. It really looked like his nerves were going to get the best of him. After three tries he'd only managed to get through two lines of his song. "You've just blown that," Simon told him. And it was a damned shame. Not only does Jason have an awesome first name, but "dude can blow," to quote famed wordsmith Randy Jackson.

Simon gave him one last chance, and apparently the pressure was enough to open the floodgates. Suddenly Chris was belting out line after line. Randy didn't see any "star quality" in him but he has a nice tone to his voice. Everyone agreed to give him another chance and a ticket to Hollywood, but with a parting warning from Simon. He will never, ever, ever get another chance like that. "If that we're a live show," Simon explained, "We're off the air." And he's right.

Hey Paula! Look who finally decided to show up.

Rachel Wicker, 23, Richmond, MO - "Don't Tell Me to Stop Loving You," Lee Ann Womack
Rachel is a six-time arm wrestling champion, which means we got to see her arm wrestle everyone in the waiting room, including Ryan. Did you notice that Ryan had a little muscle there he was flexing? Aw, that's so cute, Ryan. Look at your adorable little bicep *mwah* *mwah* *mwah*.

She finally gets into the audition room and she's so country that Garth Brooks had to check to see if she stole his twang. It was decent enough, if a bit too stylized country for me. Simon's problem was "You're performing as if you've been doing this for 50 years, at the end of your career, as if it hasn't worked out." Randy asks one of the age old questions I've always wondered. What is with country singers and the half yodel sound they put in their voices (to convey emotion or something)? It's not natural. But despite her supertwang ("Able to crack up and down three octaves with every syllable! It's Supertwang!") Paula and Randy put her through.

No comments: