"American Idol": Episode Three of Season Nine: Chicago Auditions

1/20/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes

Although it was the shortest audition episode of the season thus far, the Chicago auditions were not short on entertainment. While there weren’t too many stand out performances--only 13 contestants made it through to the next round--there were several contestants with such great stories and such potential, that it’ll be nice to keep an eye on them during Hollywood week.

My favorite of the night was in a familiar face for longtime Idol viewers, Angela Martin. This will be her third trip to Hollywood for the show, and hopefully the first time she won’t need to pull out for extraneous circumstances. The reason why I think she’ll be successful in Hollywood week, and why she deserves to be watched carefully in the coming weeks, is because she has what so many contestants lack--experience. She knows what Hollywood week is all about, and, as Kara so rightly pointed out, she listens to criticism and works to better herself.

Some of my other favorites from the night include Charity Vance, a 16-year-old with an incredibly sweet voice; Katelyn Epperly, another young talent who auditioned solely because it’s her mom’s favorite show; Paige Dechausse, a survivor of anaphylactic shock; and John Park, the lone male talent of the night, who has a surprisingly great voice.

However, my favorite part of the episode was in the guest judging. Shania Twain stands out as the best guest judge of the season because of her honesty and strong constructive criticism.  Shania didn’t hold back to give both objective and technical commentary, and she kept up with the witty banter of the panel. While the guest judges before her relied on a simple yes or no and some Paula-esque positivity, Shania went above and beyond, and fit in with her judges in terms of the value of commentary she provided.

In terms of the bad, while there were laughable montages of people who couldn’t sing while wearing over-the-top costumes, the highlight was in an early contestant named Amy Lang. With her brimming Broadway energy befit for an episode of "Glee," I knew her audition would have some surprises. Despite truly loving her package where she explained her irrational crush on Ryan Seacrest, even telling him of some inappropriate dreams, the entertainment began when she fainted, or so everyone thought. Despite having some singing abilities, Amy’s audition was over the moment she pretended to faint--it honestly didn’t matter how she performed after that. Another truly memorable bad performance was in Brian Krause, who gave an absolutely creepy performance in falsetto, which was met with both Simon and Kara asking if it was a joke. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Getting asked to swear on your mother’s life that your performance was genuine is an all time low for American Idol contestants.

While we're just three episodes into the season, I think that the 16-year-olds are the ones to watch so far. Some of the most talented auditions have all been from 16-year-old females. Maybe this year the youngest contestants will be the ones to beat.

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