Thursday Night TV: AMERICAN IDOL S10 in New Orleans & PERFECT COUPLES
American Idol Season 10 New Orleans Auditions
New Orleans is a vibrant city with a big personality but the auditions there yielded a pretty standard batch of hopefuls, a mix of talented singers, delusional ones and crazies in outrageous outfits thinking that would actually help their chances.
Standouts for me:
- Jacee Badeaux—Jennifer Lopez said she got goosebumps from the 15-year-old’s singing but my reaction went deeper. Something shifted inside my chest when I heard him sing “ (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay”; it’s what happens when I encounter something unexpectedly beautiful. Can’t wait to see what else he can do in Hollywood.
- Jacquelyn Dupree—she brought in her uncle Jerry, who was Randy’s high school football coach and they had a little reunion. I was skeptical, thinking she was currying favor with Randy, but she didn’t need any gimmicks. She had amazing control in her rendition of “I’ll Stand by You,” switching from big powerful notes to whispered ones on a dime.
- Paris Tassin—the single mom of a special needs child brought tears to Lopez’s eyes with Carrie Underwood’s “Temporary Home.” Tassin seemed to really connect to the lyrics, her voice infused with a desperate ache. It didn’t hurt that she’s also gorgeous.
- Jovany Barreto—he did a nice job with Luis Miguel’s “Contigo en la Distancia” and got three yeses. But then he took off his shirt to show off his abs, which was tacky and absolutely unnecessary.
- Brett Loewenstern—this red-haired boy moved me. He said kids at school call him dork and geek but he finally figured out that as long as you like yourself, it doesn’t matter what others say. I had sudden flashbacks to my school days because I knew exactly what he was talking about. He said he wanted to spread his message to other kids who are bullied so I crossed my fingers hard, hoping he would do well in the room. And he did! By singing “Bohemian Rhapsody,” no less. Have you ever tried singing that song in karaoke? It’s hard! With crazy-ass notes all up and down the scale! So I’m rooting for this kid because I want him to keep doing his thing.
After AI was over, I watched the Perfect Couples pilot, a new addition to NBC’s Comedy Night Done Right on Thursdays. The sitcom revolves around three different types of couples: perfect Dave (Kyle Bornheimer) and Julia (Christine Woods), tempestuous Vance (David Walton) and Amy (Mary Elizabeth Ellis), and self-help psycho-babbling Rex (Hayes MacArthur) and Leigh (Olivia Munn).
This show is awful in so many ways but let’s start with the central problem: no one behaves in ways that are recognizable in real humans. Vance and Amy start making out like mad, attacking each other on Dave and Julia’s couch in the middle of game night. With Dave and Amy sitting right next to them! In case you’re not laughing yet, Rex and Leigh don’t want to be one-upped so they start making out, too! Who does this? How do these boorish people have any friends at all?
Vance and Amy are the most obnoxious, with no discernible redeeming qualities. Rex and Leigh are simply not funny. I was surprised to find out Leigh is supposed to be Vietnamese since Munn doesn’t even look Asian to me, much less Vietnamese (she’s half Chinese). And Rex, in pronouncing the names of several Vietnamese dishes, was so far off, it was the equivalent of someone pronouncing “bread” as “monkey.” Or if I saw “casa” and said “pollo.” This annoyed me because if MacArthur didn’t know how to pronounce those words, he should’ve asked the script supervisor on set, who could have Googled from her smart phone and found the answers for him. So much for self-help. Nerd verdict: Far from Perfect.