Thursday, February 3, 2011, Fox, 8 PM (ET), Los Angeles, California ‘” “American Idol” auditions in Los Angeles were the weirdest yet. Even the armadillo who auditioned in Austin couldn’t hold a candle to eccentrics like Matt Scott Frankel Productions (MSFD) “Big Stats” who rides the bus and claims to be a record producer of “millions” — . (well, “a bunch,” anyway) — including Chakka Khan for the Story to Tell Tour. Only a rather frightening 59-year-old Cooper Robinson from Cranton, Arkansas who channeled James Brown while clad in feathers and a totally weird outfit and screamed “I didn’t come from Arkansas for nothin'” outdid MSFD!
Continuing with News of the American Idol Weird, we had Victoria Garrett from Longview who even elicited the comment “That was weird” from Steven Tyler and, from Randy, the mantra, “You’re going — to Siberia.” Others who were not good were Jeanette Manning, Daniel Hall, Anthony Granger, Arista Pemberton (who looked like she may have hurt herself doing the splits) and Tynisha Rodgers of Hoboken, New Jersey. They were joined in being bad by Justin Carter, Daniel Gomez of Corcoran, California and Isaac Rodriguez, as well as the girl who chased Randy with the microphone after claiming she was doing a tribute to Frank Sinatra and forgot the words to “My Way”—which seemed particularly apropos.
ON THE POSITIVE SIDE
There were contestants who were put through from L.A., At least one of them came to the competition via MySpace taped auditions, a first this year. That MySpace success story was Karen Rodriguez, 21, from New York. Heidi Azhoum, 23, a belly dancer, certainly made an impression on Steven Tyler and Randy; she was promptly given a ticket to Hollywood while Jennifer Lopez just shook her head in exasperation.
Among the very best were the two brothers from Redlands, California, 27-year-old Aaron Gutierrez and 28-year-old Mark, a math teacher, who dueted so beautifully that Steven Tyler said, “It was Godlike the way you two sang.”
I also liked the message that 23-year-old Tim Halperin of Fort Worth, Texas, a successful contestant, underscored. The message? “Never ask a woman her age.” This was brought out by the contestant’s life-long devotion to J-Lo. Jennifer asked him how long he’d been a fan and he said “since 5th grade,” causing Jennifer to ask him how old he was. Unwisely, Tim followed up by asking J-Lo, in return, how old she was. Tim had to be reminded of Rule Number One of Old-Time Chivalry by Randy Jackson, i.e., “Never ask a woman her age.” I was glad to see there are a few who still remember that manners dictate a few things, and that is one of them.