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Tonight’s episode of season 9 of American Idol takes us to Los Angeles, with guest judges Avril Lavigne and Katy Perry.
(Trivia: did you know that Katy Perry got her start in Christian music? I had a chance to sit in on a teleconference in 2009 with the pop star, where she talked a bit about her faith background – “Katy Perry: Clearing The Air On Her Faith, Her Parents And That Celibacy Vow”)
So we’ll find out tonight if Los Angeles as goofy as some of the other audition cities we’ve seen so far. Considering Avril Lavigne looks like she’s wearing a hood with horns, there’s promise for more kooky contestants in costumes!


Well, every kook doesn’t need a costume. Up first is contestant Neil Goldstein, a 19 year old data entry clerk from Redlands, CA who has an IQ of 168 and an ego bigger than his talent. He cracks under the pressure and has a meltdown before being sent out to continue rambling.
Our first contestant through is Jim Ranger, a worship pastor and father of three from Bakersfield, CA, who sings an original song. Simon says yes, but Avril shares her sage advice that being a husband, father and pastor can’t also handle life on the road. Thanks for that, Avril. Kara says she isn’t sure he can go through the Idol process and be dedicated to his church but in the end, he’s through. (As if a worship pastor or leader can’t compete? Hello? Remember Danny Gokey? Kris Allen?)
We’re back with a montage of singers bad enough to make your ears bleed, including Damien Lefavor, martial artist, pacifist, and sandwich maker.
Let’s hope we see some talent after the break.
Nope, instead we get a montage of Adam Lambert wannabes, including AJ Mendoza, a 20 year old from Upland, CA who butchers “Cult of Personality.” An easy four nos. But he’s OK because he shopped a demo to Adam Lambert, who apparently had fantastic things to say. Er … right.
When we come back, Katy Perry joins the judges panel.
While we’re on break: when I first heard that Katy Perry had started in Christian music, I was surprised. Not because of her, but because her journey gives credence to my belief that sticking a Jesus fish on a CD doesn’t make it – or anyone – a Christian. Over the year and a half since I wrote that first post, I’ve followed Katy a bit and have found her to be quirky, funny, and sure, irreverent. But whatever her beliefs right now, she seems very respectful of her religious upbringing and her parents, who are both pastors. So I’m looking forward to her input on Idol.
Day two kicks off with 19 year old water treatment tech Andrew Fulmer, who channels Mick Jagger to perform a Cheap Trick song with a little Iggy Pop thrown in. Uh, it’s a no. No, no, no. As he leaves, Simon comments, “That is one disturbed young man.”
Andrew’s not the only one crying. We have a whole montage of crying rejects, including the Crying Girl who wept over Sanjaya.
But there is talent to be found, when Andrew Garcia blows everyone away. The 23 year old husband and father shares that his parents were in gangs, and they got out and move so their kids would have a better life. Andrew is a genuinely likeable guy, so sincere, and extremely talented. He’s going to be around for a while.
The talent (and religion) continues with 26 yar old Tasha Layton, who is a personal assistant by day and a minister by night. Tasha sings a Joss Stone song; watch out for this girl. She’s a keeper.
Up next is Jasone Greene, a 21 year old student who makes everyone uncomfortable with his sexually charged performance of “I Touch Myself.” Ick. That was really uncomfortable and very weird.
The day closes with 25 year old Chris Golightly, a shoe salesman from LA who sings “Stand By Me.” Chris grew up in the foster care system, and has a backstory of lonliness and at least 25 different foster families. Kara loves him, and tells him that he has just enough talent and story to connect with people, and gives him a big yes. But Katy chimes in, “This is not a Lifetime movie.” Seems Kara and Katy have had a few spats throughout the day. Simon and Katy say yes with a small y; Randy and Kara send him through with a big Yes.
And the Los Angeles auditions end with 22 contestants going through to the Hollywood round.
Tomorrow, the auditions move to Dallas, with guest judges Joe Jonas and Neil Patrick Harris. Oooo, doggies.
RELATED POSTS:
Katy Perry, Christian recording artist?
“Katy Perry: Clearing The Air On Her Faith, Her Parents And That Celibacy Vow”
AMERICAN IDOL POSTS:
American Idol contestant Justin Williams was also a Season 8 contestant
Boston Auditions – blogging live play-by-play
Boston Auditions – recap
Atlanta audtions – Blogging live play-by-play
Auditions Recap – Vanessa Wolf, Jermaine Sellers, Holly Harden, Miriam Lemnouni, Noel Reese, and Pants on the Ground
Chicago auditions – Blogging live
American Idol Season 9 Chicago auditions recap – Angela Martin, Charity Vance, Katelyn Epperly, John Park and boob boxing
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