Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The AMERICAN IDOL open auditions

Since all the open auditions are pretty much the same I thought I’d lump them all in one post. Call it AMERICAN IDOL IN A BOWL.

The guest judges varied in quality. Neil Patrick Harris was terrific. I’d like to think he didn’t become the permanent new judge because he’s got that day job and not because Simon realized he’s too good.

Shania Twain showed some personality and paid one hopeful the greatest compliment any singer could ever receive – she liked his ass.

By the way, have you noticed that whenever there is a good guest judge Kara just disappears? This is a huge improvement over incredibly annoying. More good guest judges please!

Mary J. Blige looked like she’d rather be in Iraq.

Katy Perry was refreshingly candid. She had no problem ripping people. If only she wasn’t a worse singer than the contestants she crushed. She did have the best moment of the season so far when she called out Kara for liking some sad sack because of their hard luck story, not singing ability. Katy said, “This is not a Lifetime movie, sweetheart!” Too bad we didn't see Kara's withering retort: “I know you are but what am I?”

Didn’t catch Kristin Chenoweth’s turn. I’m guessing she was perky.

Avril Lavigne was God awful. How can she judge talent when she can’t even spell her own last name? It’s L-e-v-i-n-e. She wore a devil hood. C-r-e-t-i-n.

For what inexplicable reason did they bring the vacuous Victoria Beckham back? They didn’t have to pay for a meal per diem? She wore her hair back and in a bun and looked like Olive Oyl after a rough night with Bluto.

But the worst EVER was Joe Jonas. Proving his only talent is being in the Lucky Sperm Club, he merely sat like a slug. For the longest time I thought he was just Kara’s blow-up doll. But then I always figured Kara was just Simon’s blow-up doll.

The auditions were what you expected. Does every 23 year old contestant have an 8 year old child? Is it possible to get put through to Hollywood if you haven’t had at least one near death experience?

If this is a singing competition why did Ms. DioGuardi and Ms. Oyl make one contestant take his shirt off? If they’re going to do that, just put Tallulah Morehead on the panel.

And while we’re on the subject, I don’t think the judges gave the guy wearing a bikini fair consideration.

One recent contestant was asked to tell the judges something interesting about himself. He said, “I like cheese”. When pressed, he also casually revealed that his mother had kidnapped him as a child and they spent his formative years running and hiding. But I want to get back to that cheese thing.

One night a hopeful just wailed painfully. No lyrics, no melody, just screeching. Posh complimented him on his choice of song. No wonder they want her to guest on THE VIEW.

Note to the 10,000 hopefuls in Los Angeles who desperately yearn to get a trip to Hollywood – you’re fucking IN Hollywood!!

Meanwhile, a girl from Florence, Italy flew all the way to Denver for an audition. She couldn’t go to the ones in Boston and New York? Anyway, she is off to Hollywood – probably with a layover in Taiwan.

They better get to Hollywood Week fast. I hear the other Jonas Brothers wanna guest judge.


Jake said...

I'm surprised Idol hasn't resorted to using past contestants* (or, heck, even "winners") as judges... Their collective commentary could be, "I know what you're going through, I stood where you are now and look at me--"

To which the contestant* could retort, "Yeah, look at you, you loser."

*Let me just say right here, I think the whole American Idol thing is a straight up scam. I think the whole deal is rigged (including the voting by the public--who knows if they even look at those "votes"). And, no, I'm not bitter because I got eliminated in Season 1.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

They better get to Hollywood Week fast. I hear the other Jonas Brothers wanna guest judge.

Good joke, but Ellen DeGeneres will be in place when it starts.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

Don't worry, I knew it was sarcastic. Just being a fact-loving blowhard.

About the Tallulah remark, it reminds me that I want to read her book again. Better pull it down from my shelf.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

*Let me just say right here, I think the whole American Idol thing is a straight up scam.

Richard Rushfield's expose was pretty damn good:

Nat G said...

There are few things in life for which the phrase "Neil Patrick Harris was terrific" cannot be applied.

Tallulah Morehead said...

"If they’re going to do that, just put Tallulah Morehead on the panel."

They begged! I turned them down. I wouldn't want to get within arm's reach of Simon, or within fork's reach of Randy. (He's not randy anyway; he's just a "munchie.") But if I had been there, I wouldn't have had Skinny Boy with the pretty face, too-long-hair, and visible ribcage (and who could actually sing, not that that matters) de-shirt. I'd have gone for the full-of-himself- footballer with Christopher Reeve's nose, massive pecs, and who couldn't sing. Olive Oyl (By the way, the real Olive Oyl is very insulted!) complimented auditionees on their skin. Why not, since they were showing more of that than they were singing talent?

I think I'd rather watch the alternate-timeline plot, where the plane with the judges on it went down on the Island, and even being submerged in the Temple's pool couldn't revive the English language after Randy finished murdering it. It would be worth anything if, after seeing contestants smashed against stone pillars and thrown into walls, Simon had said: "I'm sorry you had to see me like that." And Sawyer has skin worth complimenting.

"Rory L. Aronsky said...
About the Tallulah remark, it reminds me that I want to read her book again. Better pull it down from my shelf."

A much-better use of your time. Cheers.

Aby said...

In the category of things I've learned by watching American Idol.... American's don't understand the concept of birth control. Also once they do have a child to support the only practical option to do so is to become a famous pop star so that you can feed your child because just getting a job would be crazy talk.

Craig said...

I thought Twiggy making a comeback until I realized it was Victoria Beckham. What a fragile, frightening creature she is. Simon openly mocked her last night and she didn't even get it, much like Paula. I would love to see her on every week, just to see which contestants are able to make her face move.

Anonymous said...

Your comments are dead on. I made the same comment about that "I like cheese" guy to my wife.

And I love your replies. People trying to prove they can write comedy dissing people trying to prove they can sing.

Shaan said...


Hi Ken-

Just came across your site a few days ago, really enjoying it. Thanks!

I've got a Friday Question for you, but the backstory is somewhat particular (and long, sorry!) I've broken it up. Thanks in advance for your time!

Moved to LA a year ago. Lucked out: got some writing in the hands of a small, but successful production company (movies, documentaries, commercials, some big, some small)...Initially they wanted a writer to develop a web-series with them. They liked my concept and my first 25 pages so much that we scrapped the web and decided to go for TV. They got some investors to put a decent amount of $$ into a 10 minute promotional (pitch) trailer, which we've filmed and is currently in post. First draft is in. Done, done and done!! Woohoo.... In a month, they're going to try and sell it. They have the access and the contacts. So, off it goes.


Now what?

I'm not naive. I know odds are it won't get picked up.

If it does: awesome!

Worst case: I have a great writing sample. Sahweet!

Ok, more backstory:

It's my only writing sample.

I moved here a year ago, after working the past two years in SF as an editorial & copy writer. Prior to that I was a grad student, a hobo in Europe, a teacher and an undergrad. I didn't study writing, I studied Economics..anyway..I'm 31. I feel too old for an assistant job at an agency, but from what I've gathered, that's where contacts are made..invitations to work in writers rooms are given, and most important: steady paychecks are signed. I've also gathered that many won't hire you if its clear that your goal is to become a writer. So, if I apply, my resume basically says I'm well-educated, and have worked for the past three years as a (albeit not a screenwriter) but a writer. Why would they believe otherwise. That, and I'm a terrible liar. And don't want to, and don't feel that I should have to lie about my intentions.

I know I should keep writing for the screen, and am. I've got a few great contacts and we have loglines for other show ideas on the desks of Development types..but who knows where those will go.

Okokok. Question:

Now what? part 2

I have my one writing sample: a TV pilot script complete with logs for each episode of two seasons, character breakdowns and all the other collateral. Its good. I think so, the producer thinks so, and the handful of professional writers I've shown it to think its good, and ready to be shown to an agent.

But, I'm not convinced. Should I start opening those doors with only one writing sample? Let's assume that its an excellent piece of writing. Even then, is it enough to land an agent? And if I do, are they really going to go to bat for me with one sample?

My ideas are this:

1) Try and get on as a freelance story analyst, writing coverages. Get paydirt, hopefully that opens doors. Does that work?

2) Assist a writer. This would be ideal. I would learn a couple of things, I'm sure, the hours would be flexible, and well, this would be awesome. How do I go about doing that. Knock on doors?

3) Work in a warehouse. Write another pilot, a spec, maybe a feature on the side and in two years start shopping myself around.

So, there it is. Thanks for your time. Any help is much appreciated


Shaan Kirpalani

Anonymous said...

When that contestant said "I like cheese" I'm surprised Victoria Beckham didn't ask, "What's cheese?"

I coughed up a hairball said...

Comment from a co-worker after I sent her your AI roundup:

"Oh please keep those coming; they make me laugh out loud! Whoever who is writing that shit deserves a medal."


Unknown said...

I've got a Friday question for you:

Your thought on this pearl of wisdom from the internet.

"Multi-cam and single cam sitcoms are very different formats. Single cams feel weird with laugh tracks, but multi-cams feel weirder without."

Mike said...

Ken, this is off-topic, but just in case you hadn't heard I thought I'd mention that your old broadcast partner with the Orioles, Jon Miller, has won the Ford Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Got any good Miller stories to share with us?

Ian said...

Thank you for providing the title for my next spec project, "The Lucky Sperm Club." If anyone should ask where I came up with something so inspired, I'll be sure to mention you!