OHRS points out that a girl has not won the competition in five seasons, could this be the year of the girl? Thank goodness OHRS is dressed like a normal boy today, no kiddie vest. Seriously, last night he looked like a kid dressed up for picture day at school. OHRS introduces the judges and I love how Steven always turns his back to the camera and waves to the fans who are sitting behind him. It shows he is a stage performer and is still not used to being on camera at all.
First girl up is Chelsea Sorrell, who returns to Stokesdale, North Carolina. Well I am stoked to know that fresh baby back ribs are on sale at the Bi-Rite! Hot damn! She takes on Carrie Underwood’s “Cowboy Casanova”. She started out strong, but I thought she ran out of steam toward the end. DAWG is hesitant about the song choice and wants her to set herself apart, JHO thought it was nasaly and acknowledges that it “sucks to go first”, Steven tells her to watch her phrasing and timing. OHRS also noticed that she ran out of breath at the end.
Erika “Pelt Can Belt” is taking the stage next, but first we go to Rhode Island to see her family and watch her ride her scooter. She takes on “What About Love”, JHO and DAWG are rockin’ out, Steven says her confidence is magical and she nailed it. JHO called her a power voice, but wants her to let loose, DAWG gets an Adele vibe and loves the fact that she is a singing DJ.
Early standout Jen Hirsh is up next, we meet her daughter poodle Sadie in California. Her family owns a vineyard, hmmm…maybe they know the Bachelor Ben, he’s a vintner, and a total drip, but that’s another show…“One and Only”, another Adele song, is her choice, but I find her a little flat, I know she can do better. JHO thought it was beautiful and that she did let loose, Steven liked her confidence, DAWG likes her swag and thinks she’s one of the best this year. OHRS comes on the stage to speak to Jen and she completely towers over him. I know OHRS is short and small, but dang, you could fit him in a thimble.
OHRS asks the DAWG how he feels about the guys. Hey Jun is sitting there with his mouth agape catching flies. DAWG feels they were a little lenient on the guys and warned them that they will need to bring it. The judges must have watched the tape back and realized they were total pushovers.
Staten Island is the rotten place that brought us Bri-Hell Von Hugel and her momager. Bri-Hell is a cheerleader and looks like she is one of the “mean girls”. That momager scares me on so many levels. She looks like the type that would put a fish wrapped in newspaper on your doorstep. Bri-Hell is “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” with all of the guys team surrounding her. I hope they got hazard pay. Sorry in advance to any Bri-Hell fans, but this is the worst performance of the night and the show isn’t even half over. Let’s see the judges navigate this one, Steven says she has a great sense of the blues, JHO thinks she is a true performer and she “eats it up”, DAWG felt she hit the “sweet spot” vocally and compares her to Janis Joplin. Conclusion: The judges are smoking mind-altering substances they confiscated from Dave Matthews’ dressing room.
Hallie Day from Maryland hopes to have us “Feelin’ Good”. DAWG defers the critiquing to JHO who says it was beautiful. Jeezus, drinking game alert…each time JHO says “beautiful” take a guzzlet of your beverage! Uggh…Steven smarms “from day one, you know how I feel”, yes Steven, we know how you feel…can we say, Herpe check?
We head to Mississippi to visit with Skylar Laine where she goes four wheelin’ and works in her small family store. “Stay With Me” is her battle cry. She appears to be very comfortable on stage and she has some sass. DAWG says she is rockin’, performin’, and shows star quality. JHO loved the energy, compares her to Tina Turner gone country, Steven says she is a “pistol” and to keep it up. Skylar is out of breath because her dress has her sucked in like stuffed sausage. Well worth the effort.
Baylie Brown takes us on a tour of Texas where she was quite the athlete and we get to meet her grandfather. She hopes we are all “Amazed” by her performance. She is really shaky. Steven says it wasn’t the best, but she is very pretty. JHO says she’s BEAUTIFUL, also agrees she was shaky. DAWG echoes their sentiments.
Hollie Cavanagh is another Texas native who gains inspiration from her family and friends. I am somewhat confused because she speaks with an east coast accent like she’s from Boston. Sidebar: Hollie reminds me of the actress Laura Slade Wiggins, who plays the character “Karen” from the show Shameless, before the character became a raging bat-shit crazy slut.
Appropriately, “Reflection” is her song choice and she tears it UP. Let me guess JHO, it was beautiful? Steven says she was one of his favorites and he wants to see her let her hair down, JHO thinks she can win it, DAWG says she tried to slay the biggest dragon with the X-Tina song choice.
The Pride of Portland, Haley Johnson, hopes for “Sweet Dreams” with her take on the 80’s hit. Annie Lennox has one of the most remarkable singing voices around and our poor Haley slaughtered it before she began. She wins the “What the hell were you thinking?” award. Somewhere Simon Cowell is sitting in a lounge chair, clutching his moobs through his tight gray baby gap sweater uttering the words “that was bad Karaoke”. DAWG defers to JHO because he doesn’t want to say anything negative. JHO skirts around it as best she can and gets booed, Steven says it wasn’t perfect, “but what in life is?” He says “the money shots were on…spot on.” I am going to leave that one alone. DAWG calls it a nightmare, pitchy all over the place, and agrees with me that Annie Lennox was too intricate for her to take on, “this was a little train-wrecky for me today.” True dat!
OHRS is standing with Joe McGrane and brings up the Steven Tyler incident. Steven cries “I didn’t mean it!” from the safety of his judging seat. Shannon McGrane takes us to Tampa, Florida to show us how overscheduled and tall she is. Shannon tries to “Light Your World” with her song, but the whole thing comes off totally pageanty, wardrobe choices and all. This is like Toddlers-N-Tiara’s, the Teen Years. DAWG said she came out swingin’ and likes her “Lauren Hill bravado”, err…what show are you watchin’ DAWG? JHO has goosies, Steven says his “reality check bounced” and she took it up a notch. I swear, Steven must have a random ass-hat comment generating machine in his pocket.
Jessica Sanchez is the first girl to sit on one of the Coca Cola stools of death and she discusses her swollen vocal chords with OHRS. She finds her inspiration while shopping in California and sings “Love You, I Do”. She gives it her best, considering her voice is injured, but I look forward to seeing what she can really do. She gets the first standing O of the night and she is really shocked, which is good because that shows she is humble. DAWG says “that girl can really sing” and gives her one of the best so far, JHO likes her swagger, her attitude, the growl, the soft spots, and her “body punctuation”, which oddly I completely understood. Steven says her timing is exceptional and she is perfect.
Elise Testone is gets her inspiration from South Carolina with “One and Only”, ALREADY SUNG by Jen Hirsh AND ADELE! What is up? We can appreciate Elise’s take on the tune with her heavy, smoky voice. Damn, she could smoke those Bi-Rite baby back ribs with that voice! Steven said she blew it out of the water, JHO thinks she is the best singer in the competition and DAWG echoes again. He calls her a force to be reckoned with. Elise reveals to OHRS that she has adorned her hair with the flowers she saved from her room service trays. Hmm… and she’s thrifty to boot!
We tune in again for the THIRD night this week…it’s decision time, judges emerge and JHO is wearing a sequiny smock that barely covers her assets. OHRS descends down the Hasbro’s slippery steps to take us through a massive cut of the contestants and narrow it down to the top 13. Half the faces will be leaving… the “collective groan” sign lights up for the audience… each judge will get one wild card selection.
Chase, Dave Matthews, and Jer-Bear face their fate first, all three are just sick about it. We flash back on the Tuesday night performances and I see that our AI tin-man, Jimmy Iovine, is back to give his feedback. Jer-Bear’s nice personality isn’t going to cut it, snarks Iovine. Chase is good looking, but that isn’t going to cut it either. There was nothing fresh or original about him. Damn Jimmy, harsh. Dave Matthews wins approval of Jimmy, he would “sign this guy on the spot.” Jer-Bear and Chase do not make the cut. Dave Matthews gets the first golden stool.
Hollie Cavanagh, Bri-Hell Van Hugel, Hallie Day, and Jessica Sanchez are up next. Jimmy says Hollie has promise, Bri-Hell has charisma but he is baffled by her song choice, Hallie has a good voice, but he is concerned there are too many blondes. Jessica is another that Jimmy would sign on the spot and she is the one to beat. Bri-Hell and Hallie are out and Hollie and Jessica are in. Saw that coming a mile away. Somewhere, Bri-Hell’s momager is having a stroke.
“Mantasia” Joshua Lidet, Hey Jun, and White Chocolate are summoned front and center. Jimmy thought Joshua was the real deal and Jimmy will make sure he doesn’t turn in to Sister Act 3. White Choco doesn’t impress Jimmy at all and neither does Hey Jun. No surprises here, Mantasia is through and in a slightly surprising twist, so is Hey Jun.
Baylie Brown, Chelsea Sorrell, Skylar Laine, and Shannon McGrane take the hit next. Jimmy likes Skylar, good charisma and stage presence. Baylie was out of tune and Chelsea was Carrie Underwood Karaoke. Jimmy felt Shannon was a good performer, but needed help in the styling department. What did I say last night? Too pageanty! Spiff it up for next time, Shannon. Joining her is the sassy, spunky Skylar.
Aaron Marcellus, Crouton, and Grim face the music next. Jimmy’s take on Reed is indeed Grim, way to kitschy and cabaret. Jimmy calls Aaron cheezy Don Cheadle and Jimmy also prefers his salad without croutons. Geez Jimmy, did you take your Simon Cowell pill today? DAWG gives Jimmy a pass on his harsh comments because he realizes the judging was too lenient, which it was. Sidebar: Reed is creepily stroking Crouton’s moob while they wait for OHRS to announce the results, WTF? Aaron doesn’t make the cut and the two goofballs join him. The audience boos, but I have to say I agree with that batch of rejection.
Jen Hirsh, Pelt can Belt, Haley Johnson, and Elise Testone step up to receive the news. Jimmy likes Jen, but not a fan of the Adele wannabes and I think she may have blown it with that song choice. Pelt has won Jimmy’s approval and he felt she showed great restraint and she was in the “pocket”. Train-wrecky Haley was a nightmare for Jimmy as well, out of tune and “robotic mimicking.” Elise won over Jimmy’s cold, black heart with her Adele rendition. Elise is the last girl through.
Milli Vanilli, Eben, Colton Dixon, and Gentle Giant are the last of the men and there are two spots left. Jimmy is a fan of the Giant, sees a lot of potential in Milli, Eben is talented, but not ready for prime time. Jimmy made a comment about Eben not being able to come back because it’s against the rules, which confuses me because we have a ton of re-treads this year! Jimmy finds Colton talented, but he needs to pace himself. Milli and Eban are sent packing, Colton and Gentle Jermaine are in.
The judges have duked it out and they are giving the first second chance to Jen Hirsh and she bangs out a mediocre performance. Jer-Bear is up next delivering an emotional performance, rousing tears from JHO. Surprisingly, Bri-Hell Von Hugel gets another chance and she attacks OHRS in the process. I think momager intimidated the judges. Holy ballz, she does an ADELE song…WTF? Seriously!?!? Thank you Bri-Hell, you have just sealed your fate, with a kiss.
Milli Vanilli gets another go at it and the judges are pleased. Pelt belts out a Lady GaGa tune and I am not too sure that was the best choice for her. The final second chance goes to Grim and OHRS officially bids adieu to the rest of the gang. Grim starts to disrobe and makes OHRS a bit nervous. He busts out his last ditch effort, which is nothing more than a bunch of skatting rather than singing. Unfortunately, he is so odd, I think the judges might haul him back. DAWG goes for Pelt can Belt. JHO’s reinstatement vote goes to Jer-Bear, no surprise there, she adores that kid. And who will crazy Steven go for…Milli Vanilli. I am so glad, sorry Grim fans, but I just couldn’t take him. I am a bit disappointed that Jen Hirsh didn’t make it, but I will gladly say farewell to Grim and Bri-Hell.
Next week Mary J. Blige will mentor, boys take on Stevie Wonder and girls will put on their pageant best and tribute the late, great, Whitney.