American Idol headed to its second audition city Wednesday night. Dallas might have found Idol its first star seven years ago, but the pickings were pretty slim this time around.
You know the great state of Texas is running short on talent when Simon starts telling Randy that his has to give this girl a chance. But I’m not sure it was Kayla Hatfield, 24, rendition of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart” that won over Simon or her bubbly personality. Simon went as far as to tell her that he wanted to be her for one hour a day.
Simon was also campaigning for Oklahoma State junior Kyle Ensley, who has political ambitions of his own that include the Governor’s Mansion in his home state. Although I don’t think Paula was sold on his version of “Somebody to Love” by Queen, a nudge from Simon swayed her.
But Simon wasn’t all sunshine. He told Tulsa native Alaina Whitaker that she wasn’t as good as she thought she was and called 21-year-old Brandon Green “forgettable.” However, I’m not sure Ryan will easily forget Green, or at least his hobby of peeling his finger nails and saving them in a bag. Nonetheless both Whitaker and Green won over Randy and Paula for a trip to Hollywood.
Not even pictures of the kids he counsels could save 80s throwback Kyle Reinneck of Edwardsville, IL from Simon, who called him “menancing.”
While talent did not abound in Dallas, neither did the eccentric.
Judges were limited to hassling 19-year-old Bruce Dickson of Bastrop, TX about his personal life. When a rejected Dickson, who proudly professed that he’d never had an intimate relationship with a woman and that he was saving himself for his first kiss on his wedding day, asked for advice, Simon told him to kiss some girls.
They also brought in newlywed Angela Reilly’s husband, a model who helped her prepare for the audition. Simon tried without success to get Angela’s hubby to criticize her performance. Hopefully their marriage is better than her singing.
We were also treated to two montages of auditions – one of cross dressing men and one of Kelly Clarkson fans’ singing the hometown girl’s hit “Since U Been Gone.” In all honesty, I’m not sure which segment was scarier. But the guy going on about how breezy his dress was probably tipped the scales.
And finally we met Simon’s biggest fan, Renaldo Lapuz. This Reno native was dressed in outfit worthy of James Brown. Whether they were giddy with exhaustion or moved by his reverence for Simon, the judges were embraced his performance of his original composition “We’re Brothers Forever.”
Renaldo might actually have been the highlight for the evening if they hadn’t hyped his audition, which was the very last one of the night, throughout the entire show. The only thing that annoyed me more was the Moment of Truth ads across the bottom of the screen for two hours.
My picks for the evening are Kady Mallory of Houston and Drew Poppelreiter, 24.
Simon told Malloy that she was the best he’d seen so far and given the limited prospect I’d have to agree. Although this 18-year-old does vocal impressions that included Brittany Spears and Carrie Underwood, I agree with the judges that she sounded best when she sang “Unchained Melody” as herself.
A farmer from Saltillo, MS who sings on his tractor when he gets lonely, Poppelreiter has a good country sound that shone when he sang George Strait’s “Check Yes or No.” He’ll have to work a bit on his stage presence, but I think he has potential. He’s definitely got the sweet, polite country boy down, right to the fact that his trip to Hollywood will be his first time on a plane.
Overall, Dallas was not an exciting night, unless you were the contestant who went into labor while waiting for her audition. She named her child – what else – Idol.
At least we were spared the foul-mouth contestants we left in Philly. My husband was disappointed in his hope to find either a contestant with a cool rock sound or a gong to help with eliminations.
Thankfully the next audition isn’t until next Tuesday when American Idol heads to San Diego.