American Idol Top 3 Auditions: Thrice-A-Roni
Idol's trek to San Francisco produced more Golden Tickets than the LA leg, which means... well, almost nothing, really. LA was terrible. Still, it seemed like Jennifer Lopez rode the 6 train into a positive new attitude this week, and Steven Tyler allowed his face to sag into a jar of sympathy. But who were the best auditions of the week? These three troubadours with the most unbearable life stories ever.
Clint Jun Gamboa
I love contestants who choose to showcase perfect vocals by singing the worst songs ever. It's subversive or something. If Carrie Underwood burst onto the Idol scene singing Drowning Pool's "Bodies," I'd probably appreciate her more. Dive-bar manager Clint Jun Gamboa trilled his way into my affection with his cover of "Billionaire," the worst song of 2010, the past decade, and the past existence. Clint's pitch-perfect melodic sense was hard to deny though, and now I'm ready for him to start a horrible-songs-cover-band called "So Frickin' Bad." Or a gayish vaudeville revue called "Oprah and the Queen."
James Durbin won the most badges in the Sh*tty Backstory Club this week, telling tales of his father who died of a drug overdose, his diagnoses with both Tourette's and Asperger's Syndrome, unemployment, bullying, a tiny horrible vest, a crying disorder, his poor newborn probably named "IDOL2011," and Steven Tyler's face. That is some strife! Even though he auditioned with Muddy Waters's "You Shook Me," he went the Adam Lambert route and hollered like a clown demon up there. OK: Is that actually singing? That Adam Lambert caterwaul-but-like-a-child-sorcerer thing? I'm still figuring it out, even though my nose is bleeding. Either way, James' range was impressive, and he rightfully sailed on to Hollywood Week -- where Randy Jackson will personally kill more of his relatives and Steven Tyler will take one look at his lame dance moves and diagnose him with Jive Cancer. The pain never ends for this guy.
Emily Anne Reed
Now hear this: Emily Anne Reed is the kind of person who says, "I came to San Francisco because my father told me when you spread your wings, you better spread 'em far, kid." Aw. She is going to be unbearable. Worse, she has a cutesy "old timey" (as Steven Tyler put it) voice like season eight's Megan Joy Corkrey, and that means she's going to be slaughtered by the judges come Top 12, if she makes it there. Though she sounded fine on her ye-olde-house-of-buttermilk version of "You're Getting to be a Habit with Me," there's no way she can sing the bejesus out of Idol standards like "I Have Nothing," "Alone," or anything involving, like, loudness. For now, though, Wispy Lee Jones's voice is delightfully anachronistic, and you better like it because her house burned down last week. Idol said so.