We’ve come to the final night of auditions …ever. It left me feeling very sad. It’s a tradition, for me. I’ve held 3 newborns while watching American Idol over these 15 seasons. I’ve attended half a dozen Idol’s Live Tours. I have a Blake Lewis t-shirt that I mostly keep because it’s well worn and red – I need a red t-shirt. It works. I look forward to January and a new season and a hope we’re going to discover someone really great. This is the last time. It’s been alotta fun.

Let’s get to the auditions. It was two hours and Fox showed us quite a few.

Hollywood Bound

Jessica Cabral –  Voice and annunciation like a young-female-Billy-Ocean. She, a first generation daughter of Brazilian immigrants. Wait. Is she “first generation” if her parents immigrated and she was born here? I’m going to say, “yes.” The judges marveled at her, and Harry told her she was “beautiful before she opened her mouth,” and then, “way more beautiful when she started singing.” Yes, Harry …this is the magic of singing. If someone sing, they gain 3 or 4 hotness points. A 4 becomes an 8. Like Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. If he was mopping up vomit in a school cafetria, he’d be lucky to bag the lunch lady with the weird mole. But he’s a lead singer. So he bangs supermodels. It works in reverse, Harry.

Sorry. Had to explain the singer-hotness factor to Harry, because he’s always been famous and handsome, so he might not actually know.

Brian Dale Brown – Talented. Fat. Funny. Does a good impression of Scooby Doo and a dumb impression of Keith Urban. And he’s fat. And a little obnoxious. He has a voice in there somewhere, but he also growls and sings really, really loud. Just because you’re fat like Chris Farley, doesn’t mean you’re funny. Just because you’re the loudest guy at a party, take a pause and make sure people are really laughing and not uncomfortably laughing. Anyway, he got a Golden Ticket.

Chynna Serrod – In past seasons, everyone went right to trying their best to hit all of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston notes, but now, even the girls who you expect to throw some soulful R&B into our eardrums, well, they don’t. Instead, like Chynna, she’s a girl-with-a-guitar trying to win with the boy-in-the-guitar formula. A Golden Ticket was easy pickin’s for Chynna.

Lillian Glanton – Blonde Country-Girl who fashions herself a singer-songwriter who wrote a really clever song about a country-girl not needing a country-boy, and it was great. But she wasn’t. Harry picked up on it right away and, based on the voice, he said, “no.” Keith, on the other hand, must’ve looked and listened past the nasally voice and pitch problems, and liked the rest of the package, so Keith and J-Lo gave her a Golden Ticket.

Kayce Haynes – Former drug addict who says he cleaned up his act and that’s a great story, but his performance lacked punch. Luckily the judges didn’t knock him off the wagon by rejecting him, and he made it to Hollywood. I feel awful secretly hoping he relapses while in Hollywood. Hey. It would be good TV.

 Zach Person – So good with his “Next Door Neighbor Blues” and he was cool and different. I wish it didn’t have to stop and would’ve liked to see another song. Then it made me mad because for the past 3 or 4 seasons, our finalists are unspectacular and blah. I got mad because as much as I still love the show, the fact that guys-with-guitars win and then …do …nothing …and don’t chart and don’t become overnight sensations means all the “cool kids” stopped watching the show years ago and I really don’t know my fellow viewers anymore. Idol viewers used to be everyone. Now, it’s people with bad taste in music and …oh no …I’m one of them.

Colette Lush – A red-head who said red-heads would be extinct by the year 2030, sang like an 80s pop-star and totally reminded me of Tiffany. No. Reminded me of Tori Amos, and I realize that might be the red hair influencing my opinion. Judges compared her to Carrie Underwood in that she wow’d them without hardly any effort so a Golden Ticket she earned.

Avalon Young – Here’s another girl who should pass Go and head right to the final 12 or final 10, and even though she’s plain and doesn’t try to be glam, and she’s 21, she’s irresistible. The judges will want to get her past Hollywood. Well, they should. They need to absolutely avoid putting a Nick Fradiani (Season 14 winner) or a Caleb Johnson (rocker Meatloaf-look-alike from Season 13) anywhere near the top-10 because American doesn’t get it right. Put a bunch hot chicks and cute boys up there, with some really unique R&B acts, and avoid any top-10 risks who are too old to capture the attention of pre-teens and teens.

Seriously, the judges can’t even take risks with the top-12 girls and top-12 boys. Nothing unique or different. Go with cute and adorable and young. Trust me.

Jaci Butler – A lead-singer of an Alternative band. She had green hair. Her bandmates said she should audition. I immediately didn’t like her rendition of Bruno Mars and I felt like she thought she was already so great. But aside from her green hair and overconfidence, the judges still send her onto Hollywood. She won’t do well playing with the other kids.

Stephany Negrete – A Mexican-Mexican (her and J-Lo’s words, not mine). Really pretty and really skinny. Had a nice voice. Deep. Kinda like Toni Braxton. Everyone said she “thought” too much, but they all liked her enough to want to see her in Hollywood.

Manny Torres – The man who we’ll all remember as the final Idol audition, ever. A Puerto Rican from Michigan (go MIGHTY MITTEN) currently living in Chicago who put a little Latin flair into a Maroon 5 jam. He’s a ball of energy and Harry said, “in milliseconds, it was a ‘yes’.” Keith liked how he stayed in a zone and this was the right guy to get the last ticket to Hollywood, ever.

And it’s a wrap.

The End of the Road

As I mentioned in last night’s recap, every “no” was more final and more devastating than in previous seasons because in every other season, those who auditioned and got sent home could lick their wounds, pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and spend a year focusing on the next year and next chance to audition. Like Gina Naomi Baez who auditioned with her dog. I left the room. Then she started singing and I came back into the room. Her voice was huge. But she was ho-hum in the judge’s mind, and her idea to have a dog with a matching outfit didn’t do it for Keith, Harry, and J-Lo. And for her. That’s it. Done. Now it’s back to the community theaters. The bars. Nothing else. Maybe she could be a back-up singer. I’m not saying she’s got no shot, because the pop-culture landscape and Top-40 charts have had their share of contestants booted early, or who were cut in Hollywood, and some who the judges wouldn’t even put through to Hollywood. And they make it. But my point is, this is the launching pad. One month you’re unknown. And the next month, you’re famous. And if you play your cards right, by summertime, you could be at a party with Justin Beiber or Selena Gomez. You get to be on talk shows and whether you actually have fans or not, you’ll get a CD.

Similarly, I always thought, as a blogger, maybe this is the year someone from Entertainment Weekly or InStyle happens upon my recap, hidden on the Internet with thousands of other blogs, and Tumblrs, and Vlogs and Vines …I kinda always thought I might be discovered to write a real column about Idol for a real magazine and I’d have thousands of readers clamoring for my hilarious book, “How To Succeed In Life By Following the American Idol Method” and it would compare “auditions” to interviews and pick-up lines that lead to entry-level jobs and first-dates, and then eventually promotions and marriages. Oh, what a book that would be.

But alas, it never happened. And for all but 190 moving onto Hollywood, no matter how big a fan these auditioners were of Idol. they’ll never get to their musical career through the Fox camera and our TV screens. And I have only 4 months to really write something clever and get discovered or, I too, will need a new show with a smaller audience and impact on pop-culture, and hope anyone cares enough to find my blog.

Luckily, I still get to write for a few more months about one of my favorite shows ever and I’m lucky you’ll be reading along.

See you next week in Hollywood. Thanks for reading.

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