AMERICAN IDOL “Austin Auditions” Review

AMERICAN IDOL Austin Auditions

AMERICAN IDOL “Austin Auditions” Season 10 Episode 5 – So they begin the show with a faux public service announcement:

“Idol would like to apologize for last week’s outrageous behavior by Steven Tyler. Mr. Tyler has been warned and assures us it will never happen again,”

Of course they then complete the joke by cutting to him telling some kid his name rhymes with f**k.

FOX humor: if it’s not in-your-face, it does not exist. (Ironically Tyler did behave himself this episode. In fact he looked mostly unconscious. A short attention span will not avail you well in this judging business, brotha’!)

The American Idol auditions in Austin gave me what I expected to get in Nashville: some good ol’ home-cooked country voices. No longer is North Carolina’s Scotty McCreery (Milwaukee auditions) the lone C&W crooner; the Lone Star State had a few things to say about that. Here’s how I rate `em:

John Wayne Schulz, 23, a ranch hand out of Karnes City, TX: 4 stars. This square-jawed, straight-backed looker (wearing the ubiquitous black cowboy hat) doesn’t quite have the down-home growl of the aforementioned McCreery, but he makes up for that with polish and stage presence. Plus, he loves his mama! Who doesn’t love a man that loves his mama?!

(Alright, I’ll caveat that most people probably love their mamas. But it’s the ones who say it on the telly-vision that end up grabbing the heartstrings of America. Gosh darn it, this guy’s gonna fly through Hollywood week like a barn owl through bluegrass!)

Note on John Wayne’s Mama: This smart little lady expressed one of the reasons I think American Idol remains viable: She said it herself. “It gives people an opportunity. A small town kiddo [has] a chance.” And she’s right. A.I. is simple: you just have to have the ability to belt. There are no entourages, no publicity teams, no music moguls attempting to force attractive people with zero talent (like, say, Kei$ha) into neat little niches that will play well with targeted demographics (like, say, really stupid 12-year olds).

And I know how rough the music industry can be; I have a very good friend, the lead singer/songwriter of a fun little band (Ejector Seats!) (Best name ever!) (Too bad a lame electronica band from Britain also has that name!) hip-deep in the San Francisco music scene who has told me her fair share of horror stories. But they plug away, hitting bar gigs, school festivals, whatever it takes to climb the ladder toward even better gigs and getting signed. That’s just how it goes. As Bon Scott growled, bag pipes in hand, “It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock `n roll.”

John Wayne’s Mama is right. American Idol gives that opportunity for any small town yokel to literally come out of nowhere.

(I’m wondering where I should mention that John Wayne Schulz is not quite the cow-ropin’ amateur he plays on TV, being that he released an album titled “Ropin’ Dreams” on the BSW label back when he was 14 years old.)

(I guess now’s as good a time as any.)

Well, maybe Mama was talking about the other contestants, since her baby boy is such a professional. Speaking of which …

Casey Abrams, 19, from Idyllwild, CA: 4 stars. They’re right, Abrams is the amalgamation of Seth Rogan and Fraggle Rock. But that cat can scat! If he doesn’t somehow lose his voice (an event that seemed likely as we got to the end of his audition) he should go far.

Janelle Arthur, 20, a brown-eyed dirty-blond country girl from Oliver Springs, TX: 3.5 stars. Memo to all orange-skinned “actresses” in Los Angeles: this is what a natural tan looks like. Oh, and she can sing too. That skill should take her almost as far as her looks.

Nick Fink, 19, and Jacqueline Dunford, 21, from Scottsdale, AZ: The first self-proclaimed Power Couple of American Idol: 3 stars apiece. I think they both have a chance to get past Hollywood. I also think Jacqueline, who’s old enough to drink, and Nick, who isn’t, will be forced to find different ways to celebrate. Jacqueline will then run off with Scott Dangerfield from the Milwaukee auditions and produce the Most Beautiful Offspring Ever.

(Relax, people, most of my predictions usually end up dead wrong.)

Cory Levoy, 21, from Longview, TX: 2 stars. Not all that fantastic, though his voice is, uh, high. And his sister sure is loving. Let the “kissin’ cousin” incest rumors begin! (Just not from us. We here at Daemon’s TV are above such filthy innuendo.)

Hollie Cavanaugh, 17, from McKinney, TX: 1 star. This pink-faced blonde is clearly not ready for prime time. It’s a race to see whether she or Emma Henry (Milwaukee) will implode first in Hollywood. And what would be the over/under on that, anyway?

Apparently there was a lot more talent from Austin, too; 50 golden tickets in total were given out, which makes you wonder why so little were actually shown. Too ugly? No tragic back stories? Idol made the mistake once already by not showing Kelly Clarkson. But I guess you can’t show everyone.

Time will tell if the 50 tickets were warranted, or if the judges were just sucking on happy gas in Austin.

Tomorrow: Los Angeles! I love it when they say, “You’re going to — uh, HERE!”

Follow me on Twitter! That’s @Axechucker, and only if you have the stones.

Also check out photos of this episode of American Idol:

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