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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tequila Sundown, Perfect Packages, and Producer Manipulation

Tonight's show opens with the camera panning in on a ramshackle trailer in a barren yard.  Inside the trailer is a young man holding a baby.  I believe the voiceover says something about little towns and big dreams.  I believe the young man talks about wanting to do this for his kids.  And then...

A pretty blonde girl with hair extensions who is not named Brittany or Tiffany or Amblee or Asher is introduced.  Her name is Austin Wolfe.  She sings Radioactive.  The judges love her.  She is the *total package* according to JLo.  Translation:  She is pretty, thin, and dressed well.  I thought she had a whiny almost harsh tone in her voice but I am learning that I am evidently just plain musically challenged because she is called a force to be reckoned with by either Keith or Harry.  She gets a golden ticket to match her golden hair and smile. 

When I hear the term *total package* I think of Toddlers and Tiaras.  They are always looking for the *total package* in 6 mos. to 15 year olds,  which means a fake smile with fake teeth, fake nails, more makeup than Tammy Faye Bakker, fake hair, and big old ugly bedazzled dresses for beauty.  If they wag their fingers at the audience, hold them to their lips, and then shake their fannies a lot, they have the total talent package.  Which makes you wonder...was Miley Cyrus a child pageant contestant?  But, I've digressed. 

After Austin, Haley the Lumberjack auditions.  I liked her better than Austin but she didn't have hair extensions and was a little zaftig to be the total package so I suspect we won't hear much more from her. 

After a montage of three who get the golden ticket and are praised profusely but of whom I suspect we will never hear again and a forgettable girl named Samantha (to me anyway), Alex Preston appears.  He has been holding court in the holding area, explaining to his groupies how he cannot do anything but play his guitar.  He tells the camera he is really shy but was in a band or something and that helped him overcome it.  He goes in and tells them he wants to *start* with an original (like this is his concert and they will want to hear several tunes from him).  His original is faux angst driven drivel as far as I'm concerned.  He bangs on his guitar because he also plays drums.  Harry is impressed with something he does with his chords.  Alex says he wants to *grow as an artist*.  I find him arrogant and full of his own importance.  He was pushed by the PTB on Facebook and I suspect will be pushed in Hollywood week.  I will be finding fault with him whatever he does because I think he is a phony.

Another girl named Samantha from Louisiana comes in.  She wore a fanny pack.  She is not the total package.  She also sings an original which starts off with her sing talking like Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady.  The song is not memorable and Harry looks chagrined because he wanted this Louisiana girl to be good.  So, she gets to sing another song and chooses The Jefferson's theme song.  Ok, it wasn't horrible but when they play the soundtrack from the Jeffersons right after she exits with a golden ticket, you realize it wasn't that great either.  She is fodder.

Then we get a montage of people with odd names. Ellie Duke (they don't tell us what happened to her of if they did, I missed it), Fish from Hawaii, and Julie (Judy?) Awful.  The Awful girl did not awe me and I cannot remember whether she went to Hollywood or not.  Fish does go to Hollywood which makes his family of 50 very happy but I suspect that is the last time they will be celebrating.

JLo likes this kid called DJ Bradley.  He shows up with messy hair and in wrinkled shorts.  He sings without emotion.  JLo thinks he is quirky.  Keith and Harry are on the fence but let him go through.  I think JLo has been flying around on chartered planes and living in gated communities and staying in 5 star resorts too long.  What she thinks is quirky is what every slobby teen boy looks like these days.

After Kenzie, a 16 year old screamer with hair extensions who I kind of liked, Hazely Van Patten, a reformed alkie country singer, auditions.  She was all set to be a child prodigy in Nashville at 14 or 15 but in a year she lost it all due, she explains, to her addiction.  Keith is rooting for her and so am I but after hearing her sing I'm thinking that her failure to make it in Nashville may have had as much to do with her mediocre voice as it did her addiction. She better improve if she wants to make live TV.

At about this point in the program, my mind started straying and they were all starting to sound alike.  I have a list of about 4-5 people who I cannot for the life of me remember now with notes like *blonde hair extensions*, *screamer*, *mediocre*.   However, CJ Harris is unusual in that he is a black country singer.  They tell us his father died which may mean we will see more of him as time goes on.  He also gets the pimp spot before the hour break which is another good sign for him.

Day 2 opens with Tequila who announces her presence to the holding room with what some would call a joyful sound and others would call an obnoxious bleat.  Her story is that she sings in church and for the dead at a funeral home.  The judges must have thought she was the second coming of Zoanette (I haven't forgotten about her) crossed with Candace Glover.  Nope...not nearly as ridiculous as Zoanette and way not as talented as Candace.  I looked to see if she made the top 31 and I will spoil it for you and tell you she did not.  I'm relieved. (Although she seemed like a nice enough person and I wish her well in her future endeavors).

Ok, I have to confess my notes are all mixed up so I'm not commenting on any of these in any particular order.

The girl whose father is somebody Mike from the Sugar Hill Gang was not very good.  I think they let her through so they could see her dad.  Sort of like they let Jim Carrey's daughter through a year or so ago and then sent her packing the first day. 

Kimberly the opera singer was a Zoanette scale contender at 8.  Harry suggested she would be more successful at opera.  I do not think so but what else was he going to say as she clearly thought she was giving them a killer audition.  Ouch.

Briston, the 15 year old from Nashville impressed them a lot more than he impressed me.  Particularly when he bragged about his great grandfather being a Nashville recording star and inheriting his Gibson but didn't know what his name was.  WHAT???  If you are going to use your family legacy to get points at least learn what it is before you go shooting your mouth off.  If he goes very far, I may not like him very much.

I thought Dexter, the country singer from Alabama, who wore the hat with the BBFF initials on it (for Bang Bang Flop Flop Kennels) was pretty good.  I'm afraid he is a bit chubby to be the total package, however.  If he gets very far, I predict sabotage to make way for someone more photogenic. 

And, we end the show where we began.  The young man with the baby is Jason Crasher from a small town somewhere in the South (of course he is...the trailer gave that away).   He lives in the trailer with his aunt for now and has another baby we meet.  I'm beginning to think he actually lives in a 3 bedroom 2 bath ranch house and just moved in for a day or 2 with his aunt to make his story better.  They love him.  He gets the Marielle treatment....he opens and closes the show.  They will give him a better hairdo and some better clothes and he will be the total package.  Count on it. 

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