An American Idol Camp alumni, Alex Attardo, also gave us a disastrous audition. Dear clean cut guys in button down shirts that are tucked into your dorky pants – please stop singing “Proud Mary.” Was that some kind of requirement this year? Michael Perotto already made me giggle on Wednesday night when he announced that this was his song choice, and Alex’s decision wasn’t any better. “Maybe we should cancel the camp,” Randy laughed after Alex changed keys within the first three notes of the song. “You were so off the melody in that song…” Steven sighed. In other words, Idol Camp did nothing to help Alex’s chance of actually becoming an American Idol.
But not all was lost before the end of the New Orleans auditions. Jacee Badeaux came into the room next. He’s 15, though he appears to be about 10 with his chubby, teddy bear looks. Regardless, he sang “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” with a sweet and effortless tone that some of the 25 year olds who’ve auditioned for this show wish they had. “You are so sweet and so cute!” Jennifer squealed. But what about his voice, which is what really matters in the competition? “Your voice is really, really beautiful,” she said. Steven took the praise a bit further. “And the sparkle in your eye is like, forget about it. It was like a work of art. It was a thing of beauty.” Jacee, like Brett earlier, is another quintessential American Idol contestant to me. Hopefully this adorable kid will continue to win hearts and stick around.
We ended the night with a sob story in Paris Tassin. Paris got pregnant when she was 18, and the doctors recommended that she terminate her pregnancy because her baby had hydrocephalus, or extra liquid in her brain. Paris continued with the pregnancy, and her baby was luckily born healthy with the exception of some hearing loss. In order to tug at the heartstrings even more, Paris sang Carrie Underwood’s “Temporary Home,” choosing the verse about a young, single mom. Boy, does this girl know how the play the game. I felt horrible thinking it, but I really didn’t feel her singing was very good. Her voice had a weird throaty vibe, and at times she was just screaming. There was some genuine power behind it all, so maybe she was just nervous. Her story combined with her choice of song, though, was a sure fire way to get to Hollywood. She even made Jennifer Lopez cry. “When you sang, I felt it. It brought tears to my eyes. I could just feel what you were singing, and I know it meant something to you,” Jen told her while on the verge of tears. Paris promised that she’ll do better in Hollywood, even though none of the judges were complaining, and off she went.
At the end of the day, a lot of talent seemed to come out of New Orleans, though, despite the fact that there were definitely some contestants to keep an eye on, much of them seemed more mediocre than truly star worthy. How many people have been let through so far that Simon Cowell would not have stood for? It’s a thought that keeps running through my head. Though these judges seem to work well together and have a positive energy, they’re missing the twinge of nastiness that Simon had and a truly good judge of vocal ability needs in order to turn down the less than original singers. Hopefully, with their second chance, these singers will prove more talented than they seemed at a first glance.