American Idol – Chicago


Ok so seriously, who remembers a time when we actually saw so many successful contestants in a single episode? I can’t remember that time, if it ever happened. I mean, I started 4 minutes late and they had already had some hilarious thing about a girl not making it, and some chick that had some kind of connection to Vince Gill, who sang really well. Burn, Idol. I mean, Wednesday you didn’t have your first singer until 12 minutes in and last night you just hit it right out of the gate? Ok I get it! I need to watch as soon as 8:00 hits! Lesson learned.

And more importantly, I think I learned the lesson that if you want to watch a great episode of Idol,  you tune in for Chicago! I should’ve known when people like Hailey Reinhart and Katelyn Epperly (I was just talking about her yesterday and her performance of The Scientist) came from Chicago Auditions. Man those auditions just had talent oozing out of them for the most part! It was just a great night of music, some good laughs, and some good tears (just once for me though, I’ll get to that in a minute). Could we have seen the future winner in last nights episode? Twitter certainly seemed to think so!

Speaking of Twitter. I’m gonna call this post a bit of a “social media edition”. I was on twitter and watching live so I was picking and choosing some of the best lines I saw, for some of the more… standout contestants. I think you know who I’m talking about, yes?

In fact, lets discuss the more unique contestants before we delve into the ones who delivered actual talent, and not just a laugh.

First off we had Mrs. Bush, the massage therapist/superhero. I feel like this was the point where I just clicked with Nicki. As much as I thought I’d hate her going into the show, I genuinely believe we have the same sense of humor. I just get her. Well, her sense of humor. I hate her cattiness, fashion sense, finger condoms and British accents, but her humor makes me laugh. I also feel like we have the same taste in men, but we’ll get to that later…

Back to Mrs. Bush though (no relation to any famous Bush families, much to my chagrin). Lets see what Twitter had to say, shall we?


Marks comment was my favorite and probably the most astute. Secondly, if you’re confused about the hilarity of that last comment, they you’ve obviously never seen Donnie Darko, and we probably can’t be friends. Ok, ok, I forgive you, but go see it before I see you again. Thanks.

Secondly, we had Kevin Navity who got into music thanks to Vanilla Ice and TMNT Rap. Well, I can’t fault him for that. I too was a big TMNT fan. What’s that you say, not familiar with TMNT rap? Let’s see if google can help enlighten you…

I should’ve known. Maybe it’s a child of the 80’s thing but I used to know all the words to this song. Now, unlike me, Kevin took his love of Ninja Rap, to a love of dancing, to a love of martial arts, to a love of… dropping a bō into the lake? Awesome-sauce. I mean, you knew he had to be good, right? At first I questioned seeing the subtitles. I don’t get it… he’s completely understandab…. ok nevermind. Wow. Twitter pretty much had the same reaction.


When Nicki said “What Randy, you don’t like him? I love him!”  I was dying. And Keith saying he should stick to dancing was like Mariah telling that Asian Justin Beiber wannabe yesterday, that he should DJ. Come on people. Come on.

Third and final contestant I’d like to mention on his own, and not because of his singing ability, was Griffin Peterson. Oh Griffin! You can follow him on twitter like I am at @GriffinPete. I was really sad when Keith had to leave the audition but for this particular one, I think it saved Griffin. I honestly don’t even know what he sang or how well he sang it. I know it wasn’t bad because I hate a pretty face that thinks he can sing but can’t, like second time auditioner and Golden Ticket receiver, Johnny Keyser. I seriously don’t know WHAT the judges see in that guy.

But back to dreamy Griffin. I think Nicki summed up my thoughts perfectly saying “Beiber don’t do this to me!” and that his name should be shortened to “Grrr”. Word, Nicki!!Randy, shut your damn mouth and just listen to these ladies. They know what’s up. And if you even were to question whether they were right or not about teenage girls loving him, may I present to you, Exhibit A, Twitter:


’nuff said. I can’t say we’ll see him post Hollywood as he wasn’t even in my Top 5 of favorite singers of the night, but boy has a pretty face and a nice voice so it was fun to look at him for a few minutes.

Let’s talk about my favorite 4 contestants, shall we:

First there was Clifton Duffin. Wow. I seriously liked this kid. Singing his mother’s favorite Luther Vandross song (Superstar) and having her watch, unbeknownst to him? So adorbs. I wrote “adorable” like, 5 times for him. I like his shyness and somewhat of a vulnerability, but only in his pre-audition talking. I didn’t sense any unsteadiness in his actual performance. It was as perfect as it could be.

Coming in third, there was Isabella Parell (Baby it’s Cold Outside) I loved everything about you dahling! I loved that you wanted Keith to sing with you, it was the perfect song choice. Your look was perfect for your sound, and I loved the little bit of humor,writing on the note for Keith to say “You were wonderful. Please don’t read till after we’ve finished our duet”. I also really liked Isabella’s dad asking the camera guys about how much action they get. He’s right, they probably do get a lot!

As much as I’d love to differentiate between a first and second place, I can’t because I loved these other two contestants equally. At least when it came to singing ability. So, I’ll just talk about them in order of appearance.

First we had Kez Bon. Kez Ban? Catherine? Whatever this persons name is, I have to say, the Producers fooled me. When (s)he was asking the camera if she was going to be one of those auditions that people made fun of I was thinking, “Yes. Der”. Specifying that she was from North Carolina, Planted Earth, and that as a street performer, accidentally burned down a tomato plant? And to say that (s)he didn’t even hope to win, I kind of thought the judges/producers would just tear her apart. But maybe now, Kez Ban will want to win? Maybe (s)he just hasn’t really seen praise like that before? But Kez Ban is an original in the truest sense of the word and I’m so glad I was wrong about my original opinion! It was almost like the Susan Boyle audition all over again! I mean, you know you’re good when you can see this on twitter:


His individual shout outs don’t come easily! And I appreciate his opinion more than anyone else that writes about Idol. He wasn’t the only one though:


And I’m drinking that kool-aid too! To say America was surprised is probably a ginormous understatement! When (s)he said (s)he’d sing Pinocchio, I didn’t even know what that meant, but the song was great. Who would’ve thought the original song would be even better! She kinds of had an Ani DiFranco quality, no?

Oh also, 10 points to Keith for the zinger about asking KezBan if (s)he had any old flames. Loved it. Oh, one more thing I wrote down, I loved when she was in her post-audition interview and (s)he tells Ryan, “If you want some excitement, you’re going to have to wait till the shock wears off.” Truer words have never been spoken.

And finally in my group of favorites, there was the, Lazaro Arbos. Wow! F-ing WOW. I knew, probably from psych class or Discovery Channel TV show, that stuttering doesn’t affect singing. It’s a different part of the brain from speaking. Amazing little fact, isn’t it? I figured he’d be good based on all the commercials leading up to his performance but to just see him speak about his troubles and how he doesn’t really have a lot of friends, it was so heart wrenching. He seems like such a cute kid (a young William Valderrama, no? or a young Richard Alpert?). I loved his look and his bow-tie especially!


No matter what he looked like though, his signing was just breathtaking. Bridge Over Troubled Water was the perfect way to pull on the heart strings while still proving what a great singer you are. Talk about a Moment. That was a moment if I’ve ever heard one. I’m tearing up writing about it now. How can you not! If you aren’t, you don’t have a heart. I don’t know how far he’ll make it because something tells he might have trouble once the stress of the show kicks in but this was just a perfect moment for him and I hope he remembers it. I know America will.


As for the rest of the group, here’s a small recap.

Mackenzie Wasner (Whenever You Come Around) – The girl whose dad has a Vince Gill connection.

Kiara Lanier (The Prayer) – The girl who sang for Obama.

Stephanie Schimel (Dream a Little Dream) – I think this exchange said a lot about Stephanie –

Keith: Doesn’t she look like a star?
Nicki: I don’t think she feels like a star.

But she made it through, so does it really matter? Not today, friends!

Gabe Brown (Gimme Shelter) – The baker. I was glad they asked for the follow-up song because the first song didn’t impress me but after the second, I wouldn’t have minded hearing more. He’ll have fun the day he’s in Hollywood. I also really liked this tweet:


Finchy (God is Able) – I didn’t love him, I didn’t hate him. His voice was definitely good. Better than Joshua Ledet, who tweeted that Finchy was in his group in Vegas last year! You could tell Mariah got “brought to church” as it were. I definitely liked his attitude.

Mariah Pulice (Let it Be) – It’s bad when you are jaded by every sob story isn’t it? I felt little to not sympathy for this chick. I wanted to but I just didn’t feel for her. Maybe it’s just a story I’ve heard too many times? I don’t know. I’m not completely cold hearted because I certainly cried once this episode, but it wasn’t for her (see above). She was a good singer though and I’m glad she made it through. But I agree with Michael Slezak’s article when he said “Reality TV is about as appropriate for someone in the early stages of recovery as a pit filled with live boa constrictors is okay for a miniature dachshund.”

Brandy Neely (Your Cheatin’ Heart) – Good song, definitely the perfect pick for her. Have fun in Hollywood (she’s been there twice before with Idol), and good luck picking a song as good as the one you just performed with because that’s going to be the hardest thing for you.

Josh Holiday (Back at One) – Sorry dear but I already forget you. And Johnny Keyser after you, I don’t even want to justify him with his own section. I already feel like I’ve talked about him more than I want to. He creeps me out.

Categories: American Idol, Television | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “American Idol – Chicago

  1. Pingback: American Idol – San Antonio « baccalabloggala

  2. Pingback: American Idol – Bus Tour Candidates | baccalabloggala

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