"American Idol's" hometown proved to be a lackluster stop for season 10, yielding few promising contestants but plenty of "what the…" moments. It could be because the Los Angeles auditions were scheduled somewhat last-minute, and judging by the footage, looked woefully under-attended.
Those who did turn out, like delusional best buds Daniel and Issac, whose piercings weren't limited to body art, and neither sweet nor angelic Victoria Garrett, who Steven Tyler hilariously declared was "going to Siberia!," were not exactly the best show of LA's talents. Then again, the squeaky-voiced Victoria had nothing on Tynisha Roches, the proud Hoboken resident who carried a microphone around as if it were a natural extension of her hand. She attempted Frank Sinatra's "My Way" and did she ever make it her own! The sheer butchery certainly had Frank rolling in his grave, and probably Sid Vicious, too.
On the flip side, Tim Halperin did Adam Levine proud with a spot-on rendition of Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved" (his sense of tact could use some work, however) Justin Carter rolled out his smooth R&B stylings and wowed the panel and Karen Rodriguez from New York City, one of the much hyped MySpace auditoners, pulled off the impossible - a non-copycat take on Whitney Houston's "You Give Good Love." Ditto for Heidi Khzam, who looks like Kim Kardashian, shakes like Shakira, and sings like Lea Michele.
You could not say the same of Matt "Big Stats" Frankel, however. The hefty would-be contestant gets points for originality and chutzpah -- particularly with his "J. Lo, this one's for you" dedication. Unfortunately, anyone with half a working ear would know in an instant that singing is not for Stats. Or, as Randy Jackson so bluntly put it, "What I see, I don't like."
Two hopefuls the viewers at home will most certainly like are brothers Mark and Aaron Guitierrez, who might be a little goofy, but there's no denying the guys can sing. More than ever before, and thanks in large part to Jennifer Lopez, it feels like a Latino could take Idol this season, and these two lookers are as good as start as any. Plus, you can never go wrong with the sentiment of "Lean On Me," a perennial Idol staple. Steven Tyler reacted by calling the duet "God-like," while Lopez had only one thing to say: "I loved it!"
Attempting to end things on a lighthearted note, but coming off more sad than funny, 59-year-old Cooper Robinson did his best James Brown impersonation to the judges' bewilderment. General Larry Platt he's not (nor is Anthony Granger, an earlier auditioner who performed a literal interpretation of Platts' classic "Pants on the Ground"), though when it comes to hard-to-understand speech, the two could be long lost cousins.
When all was said and sung, L.A. left us yearning for one thing: next week's episode, so we can put this one behind us. Bring it, San Francisco!