Here are the particulars: It was a 90-minute show (better than 2 hours), 10,000 showed up, it was the fifth time AI has ventured to Atlanta (Ryan Seacrest’s hometown), Mary J. Blige was the guest judge (much better than Victoria Beckham) and the contestants (25 earned a trip to Hollywood) were not going to make you rush out and buy their first CD next summer.
Maybe we are getting a little two thin-skinned, but the treatment given to Jesse Hamilton from Anniston, Ala., was over the top. They took his Southern background to the limit with stereotypes and ran it in the ground. A little much.
And if you liked the General and his Pants On The Ground here is a link to the AOL Popeater recording of it:
Following is a brief look at the evening:
Dewone Robinson –
“Did you write that as a duet.” (he did) “..it’s one of the worst original songs I ever heard,” said Simon.
Security took him away.
Keia Johnson (26) Memphis, Tenn.
“My Heart Goes On”
Four yes votes and the former beauty pageant Miss Congeniality is on her way to Hollywood.
Miriam Lemnouni (25) Atlanta
Noel Reese (16) Sophia, N.C.
Tisha Holland (18) Riverdale, Ga.
All three very good singers, all three receive Yellow tickets.
Jermaine Sellers (26) Joliet, Ill.
His mom has spina bifida. He’s been taking care of her since he was 17. He has a big gospel voice and he received four yes votes.
Kristy Marie Agronow (25) Atlanta
“Love is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar
“It was a terrible version of that song,” Simon said. “You need to call 911.”
Vanessa Wolfe (19) Venora, Tenn.
Old school country.
“You were a lot better than I thought you would be,” Kara said.
She won’t go far in Hollywood.
Jesse Hamilton (26) Anniston, Ala.
“If Tomorrow Never Comes” by Garth Brooks
He claims to have almost died three times, all through bizarre incidents.
The stereotyping in beyond belief.
He has never sung in public and barely does it here.
“I didn’t recognize that,” Simon said, “go back to welding.”
Holly Harden (20) Rockmart, Ga.
“You ain’t woman enough to take my man”
She is dressed as a human guitar.
Simon tells her she looks like an insect.
Kara says she is a ballsie girl.
Mary J is the only no. Pack up the guitar lady she is on her way to Hollywood.
Mallory Haley (20) Winner, S.D. –
“Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin
Four yes votes and an “I like you,” from Simon.
Antonio “Skii Bo Ski” Wheeler (21) Orlando, Fla.
The name, the outfit are out to lunch, but he can sing (sorta). Simon says no, the other three say yes for some reason and he is headed for Southern Cal.
Lauren Sanders (18) and Carmen Turner (19) – both from Baxley, Ga.
These are BFFs who audition together. Carmen is OK, Lauren is not. Carmen goes through, Lauren goes home. Both weep at the end. Simon said they will be reunited soon enough. He is absolutely right.
(NOTE: Simon decides to skip a couple of auditions. Don’t know why. Probably because he’s Simon and he can.
Bryan Walker (25) Sevierville, Tenn.
“Superstar” by Leon Russell
A singing police officer. Not the look or the voice, but he kinda puts you to mind of last year’s Michael Sarver. Down to earth, nice guy who will never come close in Hollywood.
Lamar Royal (20) Goldsboro, N.C.
“Kiss From a Rose” by Seal
Terrible singer who just refuses to believe the negative vibes the judges are giving him. Eventually has to be ushered out by security as the swear words continue all the way out the door and onto the sidewalk where the occupants of a passing car applaud him.
General Larry Platt (62) Atlanta
“Pants on the Ground”
The General is slightly over the age limit of 28. But he made all of the judges and other contestants smile with his song and dance routine. No worse than William Hung.