Every once in awhile you come across an Idol show and at its conclusion you simply sit back and wonder: What just happened?
Wednesday’s audition show from Austin, Texas, was a little like that – lotsa cowboyis, some tears, a rather superficial apology for Steven Tyler’s actions the week before and…
Maybe the highlight of the show was Courtney Penry. You see, Courtney is 17, hails from Missouri City, Texas, and claims to be in love with Ryan Seacrest. As the producers are weaving their way through that melodrama they are playing a Lionel Ritchie song in the background and one can’t help but chuckle as young Courtney proclaims that Ryan is the sexiest man alive.
His back account, yes. But I’m sorry, Courtney, Ryan just does not exude sex. But that wasn’t even the best part. Courtney, at one point before her performance, asked the judging panel if she could show them her impersonation. Impersonation of what? Well, a chicken, of course.
Well, I’ll be clucked. She did it, and darn if it wasn’t a right fine job. Coulda been any old chicken in any old coop. It was a thing of beauty.
Then she sang. Steven and Jennifer gave her the thumbs up and that was enough for Chicken Little to head to Hollywood. And, yes, she plucked her way off-stage.
Now I can honestly say I stuck my foot on the stage where Courtney strutted around like an honest-to-God chicken! My life is complete!
Before we move on to the contestants a word about the Tyler apology. It was quicker than an Aaron Rodgers down-and-out pass for a first down. No real explainer. Just said something like the AI producers were sorry for Tyler’s actions and he has promised not to do it again. Don’t even know exactly what they were talking about, but the entire thing had lawerspeak written all over it. Someone was upset over a Tyler comment, action or leer this season and the AI attorneys probably figured … whoa now we better be a little proactive in this issue … hence the apology. We move on.
We shall tell you straight up – by the end of the night they will have passed out 50 Gold Tickets to Hollywood and Thursday night we move on to the L.A. auditions.
Cory Levoy, 21, Longview, Texas
“I Can’t Make You Love Me” – Bonnie Raitt
A mini-backstory. He didn’t meet his sister until they were teens cause of some family issues (and who doesn’t have family issues?). So the judges invite sister out and ask her to help in the judging. Naturally, she said “Go to Hollywood brother!” And, finally, so do the judges. Corey won’t go far. And the saved the best for last. Said he has been told his whole life he has JayLo booty and he proceeds to shake it. Corey, Corey, Corey… you should have stopped while you were ahead.
Holly Cavanaugh, 17, McKinney, Texas
“At Last” – Etta James
A bluesey singer. Not too bad. Cries a lot so they offer her another chance with another song. Along comes (after the commercial, of course):
“The Climb” – Miley Cyrus
Actually, it’s a pretty good impersonation of Miley. She gets three yes votes this time and count on it, she’ll be coming back, naturally crying, on the same plane with Cory.
Rodolfo Ochoa, 17, Los Fresnos
“The Circle of Life”
Off-key and he got what he deserved – a quick C Ya…
NOTE: Next came a quick look at some rejects and one kinda hefty cowboy type walked away saying, out of the blue: “I am 100 percent heterosexual.” On a need to know basis … frankly, I didn’t need to know…
John Wayne Schulz, 23, Karnes City, Texas
“Believe” – Brooks and Dunn
John Wayne can sing a little bit, he’s good-lookin and left Mrs. Idol Chatter to proclaim: “I think this might be the year we have a country winner. I’ve seen a few good country singers so far.”
She just might be on to something there, pardner…
Courtney Penry, 17, Missouri City, Texas
“Stay” – Sugarland
We mentioned all you need to know about Ms. Penry at the top of this report. Just let the feathers fly dear Courtney.
Jacqueline Dunford, 21, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Nick Fink, 19, Scottsdale, Ariz.
One of those couple things. Donnie and Marie are probably elated somewhere right at this moment. Cute, but I really don’t want to see them again.
Janelle Arthur, 20, Oliver Springs, Tenn.
She gets into that talk about being stereotyped Southern thing. It will probably never leave her, take it from one who knows Janelle, so accept it and move on. Actually, she isn’t bad, maybe the evening’s best.
The next contestant came out in an armadillo outfit and that’s all that needs to be said.
Casey Abrams, 19, Idylwild, Ca.
“I Don’t Need no Doctor” by Ray Charles
Soulful singer with a little pizzazz not seen on this show. He makes it through and just might surprise. Maybe.