January 15, 2008 09:01 PM by Joe Reality
American Idol, the biggest show on television, returned for its seventh season with auditions from the city of Philadelphia. Just like is customary with this stage of the auditions, the bad singers took the spotlight over the good singers. After seven seasons, it’s obvious that people have figured out that they don’t have to be a good singer for Idol to make them famous.
There was somewhat of a Star Wars theme to the episode, as two contestants showed up dressed up like Princess Leia. Only one of them was female. Twenty-seven year old Ben Haar from Newark, Delaware wore a Princess Leia slave girl costume, but before he got a chance to sing, Paula Abdul said she found his chest hair distracting. Eager to do anything to extend his TV time, Ben volunteered to wax his chest hair and come back. A freshly waxed Ben barely got one line out of his song, before the judges thanked him and sent him on his way.
The second Star Wars fan to take on Princess Leia was twenty-four year old Christina Tolisano from Enfield, Connecticut. While she pulled off the costume considerably better than Ben, she met with a similar fate with the judges. Christina didn’t take her rejection as well as Ben and ranted over how the judges had passed over her because she came across as too much of a dork.
However, the strongest piece of “actressing” came from twenty-three year old Alexis Cohen from Allentown, Pennsylvania. Alexis sang Grace Slick’s “Somebody To Love.” Simon Cowell said her performance was possessed, and even though Randy Jackson recommended Alexis sing in a cover band, all of the judges passed on sending her to the next round. After Alexis left, Simon Cowell compared her look to Willam DaFoe, who played the Green Goblin in Spiderman.
Even though Alexis was initially polite to the judges, she went off on Simon Cowell after leaving. Alexis’ rant included such memorable lines as “Well, Simon didn’t like me, but he’s a big, fat, bad word,” “I thank you, I will leave with my dignity,” “I’m going for actressing,” and “If I could legally moon you, I would.”
Other contestants that got their TV time, but will not be going to Hollywood included twenty-five year old Alaa Youakeem, twenty-two year old James Lewis, twenty-two year old Nick Stano, sixteen year old Sybill White, twenty year old Zhengzong Yu, sixteen year old Temptress Browne, eighteen year old Mark Hayes, twenty-eight year old Udgeet “Udi” Sampat, twenty year old Elyse Wojciechowski, twenty-two year old Teresa Anella, twenty-eight year old Brandi Park, thirty-nine year old Milo Turk, nineteen year old Pedro Rivera, twenty-nine year old Shekhinah Bathyehudah, and thirty-two year old Paul Marturano.
Of course, there were a couple good auditions mixed in among all the bad auditions. Twenty year old Chris Watson from Dover, Delaware stood out as having one of the best and most unique voices. Nineteen year old Joey Catalano also had a great voice and a great story to go with it. Joey Catalano had recently lost over two-hundred pounds. The most heart-warming story came from Angela Martin, who has a daughter with Rett Syndrome. Twenty-six year old Angela said “It’s not about fame for me. It’s about getting her the best care, the best therapist, because the doctors told me my baby was never going to walk or talk, and I’m going to get that for her.”
Also joining Chris, Joey, and Angela in Hollywood were twenty-six year old Melanie Nyema from Los Angeles, California; twenty-five year old Junot Joyner from Bowie, Maryland; twenty-three year old Jose Candlaria from Bayonne, New Jersey; seventeen year old Jonathan Baines from Smyrna, Delaware; twenty-three year old Kristy Lee Cook from Selma, Oregon; twenty-eight year old Beth Stalker from Grand Blanc, Michigan; and twenty-four year old Brooke White from Van Nuys, California.