Wednesday night’s auditions in Orlando had plenty of people with sad stories. There was Seth Rollins, a 28-year-old insurance adjuster whose 5-year-old son, Samuel, has autism. Rollins had me when he sang “Someone to Watch Over Me,” but having his son utter “Daddy’s going to Hollywood” after the successful audition was a nice touch.
Rollins was soon followed by 18-year-old waitress Shelby Dressel, who grew up unable to move the right side of her face. But the one who really got to me was Matthew Lawrence, 25, who went to jail as a teen for robbing a bank with a BB gun. His story and his soulful version of “Trouble” were the perfect way to close out the show.
Not that there weren’t plenty of laughs. I adore guest judge Kristen Chenoweth and her cartoon-like voice always makes me smile. Plus she almost made me like Kara DioGuardi, watching the pair of them goof around during the first day of auditions.
With the “Idol” wannabes, sisters Amanda and Bernadette Desimone seemed like they had stepped right out of a “Saturday Night Live” skit. Between their Jersey girl big hair and effusive support of each other's vocals, I wasn’t sure whether I should be guffawing or touched.
And Cornelius Edwards, 24, reminded me of comedian/singer Jamie Foxx, not just because of his singing voice but also because of his comical “ My pants done ripped” after his flying split destroyed his jeans.
As for 28-year-old Jarrod Norell, who had to be taken out in handcuffs after singing torturing “Amazing Grace” ... it is now getting to the point where you wonder if people are no longer content to just sing badly to get some air time.
The Orlando auditions had more talented people than Chicago but Chicago had the much better guest judge.
Shania Twain was beatiful,smart and witty and gave good advice and had fun. Not to metion she is a music icon who knows everything about the industry.
The guest judge in Orlando I have never even heard of and was so annoying.I can't see how anyone could stand watching that.
I do not like the sob stories either and I watch the show to see Kara with as little on as possible. I loved it when she ripped her dress off with Bikini girl. I also agree, bring Shania back and leave Ellen on day time TV, cause I do not watch day time TV at all. Idol should have a guest judge every week, so you dont get bored with the same people all the time. As for Paula, she was not all there.
...umm, people...? Isn't this show supposed to be the "cream-de-la-cream" of "REALITY TELEVISION"...? Where everyone and everything is soooooo "REAL" and "GENUINE"...?
Makes you wonder....
To Debbie: No, that's not why Simon is leaving. Please follow the news stories and educate yourself before commenting! He's leaving to produce another show similar to Britain's Got Talent only here in America and does not want to be on two similar shows, as that would create a "conflict of interest." People do move on and do other things in their life. After 9 years, he's entitled. He's a big reason the show is successful, the most successful on television, despite all the negative comments here, and is hoping (correctly, I hope) that the show has grown bigger than him and can stand on its own, which it can. Did you notice that Randy and Kara were taking more control in leading the judging on Wednesday? It was Randy, not Simon, who kept saying, "let's take a vote." And he was sitting in Simon's traditional seat on the left instead of his usual seat on the right. They're preparing for the transition. Don't be so hard on these folks, you have no idea what you'd really do if you were in their position, which, face it, all of us would like to be!
I personally liked the dude that did the beatbox song. sorry anyone that can do that is tallented as crap. need to get him and blake together. Now that would be cool.
I agree, its getting old and tired. Idol has become like the Olympics. The same nonsense happens there as well sob story after sob story.
Idol is about Simon running his annoying mouth and these pitiful stories to pull you away from the other great talents that didnt provide their sad story to compete.
What happened to watching the sports and the singing??? I've lost it with the Olympics, and now with Idol.
That's the trend now, though. Look at "The Biggest Whiner", nee "The Biggest Loser". What was once an inspirational, competitive show about weight loss, has degenerated into a two-hour whinefest, where the votes for who goes at the end of the show are determined by the ones who are leaving. Plus, the trainers are now psychologists as well?! Meh! You can have 'em all. Who gives a $hit about your story? Can you sing, or not? That's what we want to see, not all this schmarmy junk.
The show is getting played out already. Once Ellen comes on that will be the end of AI. What does Ellen know about singing talent? NOTHING – why not get an actual talent scout as a judge or someone that actually knows about singing? They are better off with the guest celebrity judges – at least they are singers!
"American Idiots" is the by far the better title. It would not only describe the bad talent auditioning, but the judges and the viewers too.
The "Gong Show" lives!
I like American Idol because it's pure "fluff". I know it is scripted and on purpose shows the worst and them some better but at the end of the day – tired, frustrated with Washington, torn up over Haiti – I can turn it on and just watch "fluff" – no dead bodies – no blood and guts – no rape – no reality – just fluff.
I have issues with the guy with the autistic son. I am no expert on autism, but from everything I have read, autistic children do not like to be touched, do not make eye contact and this child was happy, talking, hugging, smiling and making eye contact. I couldn't see any signs of autism. If he does, good for dad, if he doesn't, it takes a sick person to use a child in that manner.
I think this will pretty much be AI s last year....if not, it will by MY last year watching it. It has gotten very predictable. I must admit....a few folks have surprised me....the beat boxer last night...after he stopped beat boxing and really sang...his voice was not that bad. Folks think that they need a gimic to get in. It is so sad because allot of the ones that were told "you're going to Hollywood" have NO business there..just a free trip for them. Still over ALL of the ratings planning....NO ONE beats.."Pants on The Ground"! We need a DVD of "The Worst of American Idol"
This show has turned into a circus act. It needs to stop. There have only been a few good idols and the majority of them are a flop. This show is spent.
'Idol' fans – the Supreme Court just authorized corporate sponsorship of politics. Please momentarily shift your focus to the real world.
well, of all the things that had been said, AI will sail along whatever the size of the waves are. No matter how sad, or how amazing the story of each and every contestants, at the end of the day, it will all be singing at the theater and Ryan will gonna put it back on track and the rest of the judges will just sit there and watch the show the same as the rest of the audience.
I skip this part of American Idol every season. I have children that love to watch this show but I don't want them to watch the mentally challenged people that go on this show get made fun of. I know that everyone else loves this part but I think it sends a bad message that it is okay to watch and ridicule these people. Once they get to Hollywood that is when we tune in. My 4 year old dances around and loves the music. And then it is more family entertainment. We live on the west coast and we watch on an Eastern TV station so it's on early. Looking forward to Hollywood...otherwise out of the loop until then......
I pretty much agree with all of the previous comments: Kara is annoying. Paula will be MISSED. The show is over when Simon leaves. Not watching this season. Looking forward to X Factor–hope to see Paula and Simon and Randy reuinted there.
american idols not a good show. asides from no one really standing out theres just way too much stories and too little singing.
HAHa! I just joined a group on facebook called, "I hate those sob stories on American Idol."
Oh, get over it people. These auditions are hilarious! Are you going to tell me that you didn't almost pee your pants laughing with that 'tip-toe' ex-military guy??? You people have NO sense of humor. Go watch The Biggest Loser!
Right away last night I noticed how Kara is acting different. Trying to be more like Paula. That's an act. Sweetie this, sweetie that, come here, give me a hug. What crap. She's such a fake. Although I am sure the producers told her to do it. Aside from that BS, Matt was about the only one who's impressed me so far.
I can sing but Im very very very shy. How do I get around that? What if Im recorded??? I couln't bear to be photographed Not sure but good lucks to the contestants !!
Simon, a british guy is actually the idol of "American Idol".....
hmm, looks so funny
Time to call it a day I think. Too scripted and looking very tired.
I totally agree. I get sick of being force fed sob stories. Give us the music and singers. I'm always relieved when the auditions are over and all the wackos are done trying for the 15 minutes of fame. I am ready for someone with a real voice.
Does anybody remember "Queen for a Day?" The woman with the most pitiful story got a crown and roses and a new washer/dryer? That is what Idol is turning into. I agree - enough! Human interest stories can be interesting, but they are trying so hard to great some buzz over the back stories that they are not even letting us hear anybody sing.
don't anybody tell Kara to put on a bra
Will not get into Idol until the top 48 rounds...can't take all the fill in caterwalling. ... and this will be my last year..regardless of whether it returns next year or not..
The heck with the rest of the show.
Bring SHANIA TWAIN back.
Just watching that beauty made the show good the other night.
Hell, put her on any show and I'll watch it.
That is one beautiful woman.
As my name indicates, American Idol is now a pre-planned reality show. Its not what it used to be anymore (TALENT) as Season#1 and Season#2 represents. After Season#2, It's always been about Ratings and using actors to act as bad singers. For Example, WL Hung..... and many more similar to the WL Hung.
Its sad that the American Idol producers would do anything to exploit these contestant just for Rating. This show should be rename to the American Idiots.
dude...why would you want Kara to put a bra on? have to have something to enjoy on the show
hi Trudy from Perth, Western Australia we have axed our Australia idol due to poor ratings, but i do enjoy watching American idol alot more people yeah to much on the sad stories, can you sing or not. most of them should been screened 1st, but love it anyway iam gonna come to America on day but not to sing.Trudy xxxxxxoooxxxx
Simon is leaving because Idol is over and they did not find anyone good this season and he knows it. The show is boring now.
The purpose of the show is to sell the products advertised. If you chose to become emotionally attached in any way, you are responsible, not the producers of the show. If you do not like the show, do not watch the show. If you're being honest with yourself you'll admit the show has no real importance in your life. Turn off the TV, get some exercise, read a book and become a better person. Every minute you waste watching, is a minute you could use to make a real difference in the world.
An a capella gong show
Well, I LOVE the background stories! I think it's a big part of the fun of watching the show, to see that just ordinary folks from various backgrounds can have their lives possibly changed in a moment. Not all do, but the possibility of it is exciting, like thinking what you would do if you won the lottery! Kara's not a great judge and in my opinion, Randy is the worst judge. I just don't think he "gets it" half the time. By the way, guys, in case you're wondering, getting us all commenting like this is the whole point of the show and shows the producers they've "hit a nerve," which translates into success! If we really didn't care, we'd not take the time to comment. Think about it...
I loved Kristin and Shania as guest judges and wish they would be full-time judges. They know music, and they're charming, fun, and respectful. Kristin played it very wisely with Kara. It was nice to see Kara actually a little humbled by Kristin and Shania's presence. Never, ever, should Mary J.B. be on that show again. I also would like to see more singing and less personal stories. The personal stuff can be reserved for the rest of the season. But, I sense the producers want people to emotionally connect with the contestants so we'll watch the show to see what happens to them.
I agree, the sob stories are done to death on Idol. Not that I'm not sorry for these people, I really am, but Idol is about good singers, not who can tell the most depressing story. From what I've watched of the auditions thus far, most all of them are so awful that they are depressing anyway and they certainly don't need a sob story to get ahead.
I also hate the background stories. I plain don't care. I want to see the competition. I have the same problem with the Olympics. Instead of droning on and on about the private lives of the top five competitors, I would like to see as many competitors as possible.
@Jen: I use Beyond TV and hit the skip button to skip the sob stories. They seem to last exactly 30 seconds which is how far my forward skip button skips. I think people comment because they are hoping that someone from FOX or a producer of the show will see the comments. Maybe if they see them, they will know how the public feels and the shows can be saved.
Is all about the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and who gets more of it!!
Pants on the ground, pants on the ground...
missin' Paula. Karra is obnoxious, the guest judges are lame
still enjoy the show though
Cheer up "Charlotte" Simon actually is getting Paula on his new show. So you have that to look forward to.
Oh, and don't forget that by the time they get to Randy, Simon and company they've already auditioned TWICE. The producers know exactly who they're sending in and why.
This year is boring. The special judges haven't added a thing to the show and it seems more mean spirited this year. They also seem to be forgetting that this is a singing competition. Some of the contestants that they have let go through to Hollywood didn't have much talent. I hope Ellen brings something to the mix or else this is my last American Idol.
I didn't appreciate some of the patronizing music they were playing in the background of some of the segments.
"I feel pretty, and witty, and gay!"
and then the one they did with the autistic child "Fix You" was really deplorable.
Personal I like Al but the truth is that it is set up almost everything you watch on T.V. is
dear american idol producers – we ALL know the bad singers are fake. i know someone who auditioned and she said they have to go through all sorts of judges before they get to the top dogs. the producers put them on for ratings and i think it's stupid. i want to see REAL singers. idol doesn't need this crap. 90% of the people who watch it, watch it to see talent and to cheer for their fave. you just don't need the staged crap. and i agree with the sob stories. a lot of us have sob stories and they can be a lot worse than some of the ones your show harps on. we don't need the story, just give us the person and the voice. i love idol and always have but i'm with everyone else, just plain tired of the crap.
I never watched American Idol and if i guess correctly as per above comments, these days it's not worth watching American Idol. Guys, please tell if anything new and interesting is being aired on American television these days.
We record the show & fast forward through the commercials & sob stories. Even if you don't have DVR or TIVO, you can always use a good 'ol VHS tape; works just the same! And if you don't like the show at all, don't watch it. Why bother commenting?
Between the sob stories and Simon's departure - this is Idol's swan song. I never realized how much I would miss Paula...
Stop with the back stories during tryouts. I don't care what adversary these people went through leading up to an AUDITION. Obviously they haven't made it yet. Wait till they get to the top 12, then you've made it, then a back story wouldn't be bad.
please, more of kristen as judge. she'll be waay better and credible than ellen!!!
here is the top 24
Christopher "Chris" Golightly
Tyler Grady (Boston)
Benjamin Honeycutt (Atlanta)
Jermaine Sellers (Atlanta)
*Top 24 Girls*
Ashley Rodriguez (Boston)
Lillian "Lilly" Scott
Katie Stevens (Boston)
WAY TOO much white trash on American Idol now... it's like watching Jerry Springer show.
A bunch of morons and stupid people.
why don't they screen all these people first and not let the ones who totally cannot sing even try out? It's such a stupid thing to watch and it's getting so I don't even look forward to the show each week.
DUMB, DUMB !!!
More singing, less background stories and BRING BACK PAULA the show is nothing without her. I am not really even a fan of Paula, but the dynamics betwixt the three is completely gone and Simon looks like he really isn't interested in any of it. NEXT!
that guy who got taken off in handcuffs, shouldn't even have been allowed to try out. He couldn't sing and he was a jerk, the way he behaved. Why is FOX and the producers of AI allowing such idiots on the show? It's a waste of our time.
So ridiculous. So many morons making fools of themselves, and Am.Idol is giving them their 15 minutes of fame. The show is going downhill fast. Kristin C. and Kara acted so childish and silly. It was embarrassing to watch them.
I don't blame Simon for wanting to leave the show!!!
from a very bored viewer, who used to enjoy A.I.
I have enjoyed AI for the last few seasons.....of course, it is a set up. Come on people, the only reality TV is QVC! I have to laugh when QVC is demonstrating a product and we are told it never turns out a bad product and then right there on live TV the product breaks!
Simon is the good actor. The sad, sad stories have made for boring and predictable viewing. I for one am done. There are some great books I haven't read yet.
Just not as exciting as it used to be, i don't plan on watching anymore of it.!
They should probably do an off camera audition to get rid of all the losers before showing the audition on TV. I too am getting really tired of all those morons that can't sing .
I love the show but my hubby has always called it American Idiot!
I have always been a big fan of American Idol, but lately I have been rolling my eyes every time they introduce a contestant with a sad story. don't get me wrong – i love learning the background of the contestants, but it seems like those contestants are taking over the whole show! And quite frankly, some of them are being let through out of pity as supposed to their talent.
Idol has run its course, i think that sums it up.
Sorry but Kara will never be the judge Paula was and will never replace her as far as I am concerned. She just does not fit in as an Idol judge. Will miss Simon, too bad he can't get Paula and Randy on his new show. The three of them are what made Idol and I don't expect to watch it when Simon is gone even though I love Randy..
Don't like the tear jerking stories. the contestants are there to sing, not try to invoke sympathy form the viewers. Their stories do not increase their vocal talents..
When that guy got pulled off in handcuffs, my 6 year old broke out in tears... we thought we were watching a fun singing show, not a violent crime drama . Totally confused her – I felt real bad. This was one of the last "family" shows we could watch together, now I have to censure it.. Seems they are really clutching at straws. Just stick to the singing and judging, show us talent not morons.
I missed the guy from Lima, N.Y. Don't know what he sang-do know he did make it to Hollywood.
I don't miss Paula at all. She was a non-issue for me on the show. So her not being there doesn't make a difference. I just want to watch the contestants. AI should feature all the ones who made it through to Hollywood in that particular city and then show some of the bad ones. No more background stories!!!
I don't watch anymore.....lost interest. I am addicted to the Food Network, and TLC shows.
I see no reason for Idol to continue. The very best, Adam Lambert, has been discovered. No purpose to the show now.
Idol = Sob stories,funny characters,childish fake and immature Kara.
I stopped watching Idol, missing Paula.
This is the first time I watch AI before the top 12. For me it doesn't really begin until the top 12. I have to say I find the whole story telling ridiculous. You either can or can't sing, your troublesome background has no impact on whether we want to see you next week or not.
I'm all for backgrounds on the contestants but wait until there's more to invest in. The tearjerkers are so annoying.
I have been taking full advantage of the DVR. Any time a backstory starts, I skip ahead. And the worthless previews are things to come are definitely skippable. I got through last week's two hour shows in about 80 minutes doing just that.
To the producers of AI....ARE you listening? Do you READ any of this?
Your audience is getting tired of the sob stories and freakshow wacko auditions. How about giving the show a shot of badly needed dignity?
I don't blame Simon for leaving the show. What a mess its become.
the show is boring and tired now. I have not liked anyone so far. I am sick of the poor me stories. Give me a break. No stars this year. Idol is on its way out.
I'm glad to hear all of the negative remarks about the sob stories. I always think I'm just a hard hearted person. It bothers me actually to learn about people before we even know if they make it to Hollywood or beyond. My husband keeps asking why do these people get through that sing so bad or so weird. I tell him over and over again that out of the 10,000 and more contestants a group of other AI people look at them and allow like 200 to go through. So they KNOW THESE PEOPLE ARE BAD OR OFF. It's good to see the process in the sense people would complain of cheating if we only got to Hollywood without seeing all this, but at this point why bother?
So so so produced. I agree that people should get second chances in life (like the guy who robbed a bank at 15). BUT, the guy was NOT that good of a singer, and AI should not be his second chance. He's just not that good. And then Kara D. plants a seed in the public mind by saying, "He's definitely going to be top 10!" It's bologna socks! How about we see all of the others who received golden tickets and are only shown for a split second at the end. I would much rather see those who have made it to Hollywood than waste my little free time watching lame ass people trying to get their 15 minutes of fame. I'm over it, Fox....completely over it.
I'm lapping up every minute of Idol this season, the bad and the good. After all, it's Simon's last season, and after that the show will be over, over, over.
Kara is so annoying. Boy do I miss Paula....She acts silly and childish and is not a good judge of talent. Paula where are you? After Simon goes that will be the end of Idol for so many event hough we will always love Randy also. Sad to see the show go downhill so quickly with Kara enjoying her "status" on IDOL...
Do you really think the judges listen to ALL of those acts that try out? I cannot imagine Simon or anyone else sitting through 12,000 would-be singing stars trying to get accepted. What do you all think?
Since there is obviously one or more levels of screening that contestants have to pass through before standing before Simon, Randy and Tara, I wish that people who appear to be mentally ill would not be egged on only to melt down when told they have no talent and then led away in handcuffs.
All this show really proves is that it is great just to be runner-up.
When they jettisoned Paula, that was it for me ~
It will be great to see what Simon has up his sleeve for the new show.
The Orlando's audition last night was good. The Chicago one was really bad... I still enjoy watching AI and I hope it will last for a long long time...
There is life after Idol.
Jarred Norrell auditioned on AI a couple of years ago, too. There's a brief bit of footage youtube. C'mon...the guy's an actor and the producers hire him to come on an do that. After all the screening that is done before anyone even sets eyes on Simon, Randy & Kara – do you really think they'd let someone dangerous in there?
Remember the girl that had auditioned a few years in a row and she was killed last year by a hit & run driver? She was an actress, too. A good one at that.
This show has never been "real" – they're just doing a worse job of covering it up.
I don't know about the rest of the nation, but during these horrific times, the economy, politics, Haiti Earthquake – we can stand to laugh out loud and really enjoy the talent. I'm lovin it....... Can't wait to talk about it w/ friends and at the workplace!
Of course we all know by now thatsome horrible singers are encouraged by the earlier rounds of auditions just because they make for good TV, even at the cost of a major embarrassment by the contestant. It seems you never get the real sob stories from those that are eliminated, so when that sad music starts, it's a sure sign that the contestant has made it through to the higher ranks.
I gave up on Idol before it even started. It's manufactured "reality." People get on who are clearly not as talented as people who never make it on – just so some judges can have someone to tear down. Also, it gives people the impression that becoming famous in the music industry is easy – just get on American Idol. Most of those contestants, even the winners, wouldn't have gotten anywhere if it wasn't for the show. They were just lucky they were chosen.
I am not a fan of this show (too mean) but I did watch last night because they were showing the Orlando auditions.
I cannot believe that it gets the rating that it does. After each sob story, I said 'I guess he's going to Hollywood'. So predictable.
And....how can some of these people not know that they can't sing? I love to sing, but I'm tone-deaf (!) and don't subject others to my awful voice. How can they humiliate themselves like this? Sad.
Ellen, move over, make room for Kristen, an actual musical talent.
Nothing says 'white trash' like getting arrested on television for 30 million people to see! I'm sure his family is proud.
Please, please, please, no more seeing contestants being dragged out kicking and screaming and in hand cuffs. We see too much of that on a daily basis in real life. When I sit down to escape reality when watching AI, the last thing I want to see is something like that. AI, you want to do your heart strings stories, that's great, but the drama of Jarrod Norell was very disturbing and jarring. No more!
lord this is a fail.
My husband and I were just talking about this the other night!! Enough sob stories!! This is a talent competition, not Oprah! Come on people!!
Come on, Fox: the *only* reason poor Jarrod Norell even got a chance to go before the celebrity judges is because he was so appallingly bad that someone determined it would make "good TV" if they let him get ridiculed for the camera. It was a disgusting stunt, and I really felt for the poor guy.
If Fox–or any other network–wants people to care about their "reality" programming, they should keep it real.
I know Mandy DeSimone – my daughter went to school with her and believe me, she is nothing like the "Jersey Shore" characters. She is a wonderful girl with a wonderful family. And I really don't think their hari was "Jersey like" at all.
That Jarrod guy was obviously high on something. Why was he even allowed in? He was dangerous.
I agree....Idol is becoming the new "Queen for a Day" ( old TV show filled with sob stories ) and I don't mean Adam Lambert.
Glad to know I am not the only one who is tired of listening through 75% sob stories and only 25% singing!!
And can someone please tell Kara to put a bra on??!!?
I gave up on Idol several years ago. The first few seasons were good, but now it just seems tired.
This is what the producers want. You can't have a show on tv that costs that much money too produce and not know what is going to happen before it actually does. its all pre-planned to the last dialog.
it has turned into a Home make over version. they just want singers who have a background they can make a story out of and give the audience a chance to feel something they can connect the singer too. So many talent people even some that sing actually better than who gets chosen are turned away for lack of storyline. It is sad, very sad. The show has run its course. It is now too predictable and somewhat boring. lets get ready for the X-Factor. with no age limit, at least it opens up the door for very dervese and challenging moments.
I am getting a little tired of all the background stories on Idol. I really want to see more people sing. It would be great to get into the stories if the contestants made it through Hollywood week (like the top 24 or something). I don't want to feel like I have to vote for a contestant because of a family issue. More singing, less talking!
Between Haiti and the stories on American Idol, my emotions are spent. I slept in this morning instead of hitting the gym. I just sooo tired.
Idol just feels too produced now. Everything seems planned and fake. It doesn't have that unique feeling it had in the beginning, where it really seemed like people just trying to get a break.
That guy taken out in handcuffs should take the anger management class along with the following classmates: Naomi Campbell, Ivana Trump, and Charlie Sheen!
I was at the Orlando cattle call auditions Cornelius did the whole "my pants done ripped" at the first audition too.
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