Apparently we’re nearly done with “American Idol” auditions.
And all in the blink of an eye!
Season 13 auditions conclude on Thursday (January 30) night with a talent showcase from Omaha.
Will it be yet another night of talented guitar players?
Click through and follow along!
7:58 p.m. ET. It’s been a low energy afternoon. That means I’m counting on Omaha to perk me up. OMAHA!
8:00 p.m. We begin, again, in The Chamber, a gimmick that has barely paid off in any notable way.
8:01 p.m. “I’m freakin’ out, man,” says an Andy Richter lookalike who I’m assuming isn’t going to Hollywood.
8:02 p.m. Awesome. Not only are we pretending that the “Idol” judges all carpool together in the same SUV, but we’re also pretending that Ryan Seacrest drives them.
8:02 p.m. Our first singer Quaid Edwards is from Nebraska and he’s even a Cornhusker. Quaid has two last names and he has a musical pedigree. His mom was in a band called Jolie & The Wanted and she used to tour with Keith Urban. To his credit, Keith does a decent job of pretending he remembers Quaid’s mom. Quaid doesn’t smile through his cover of “Change Is Gonna Come,” which is always a plus in my book. J-Lo warns Quaid that he does too many runs and doesn’t hit all the notes, but she likes him. Keith agrees that runs should be something you feel. Harry says that Quaid is headed in the wrong direction if he wants to be a great singer. Quaid promises he has a great work ethic. “I’m as green as they come,” says the kid whose mother is a professional singer. Quaid is going to Hollywood. Jolie comes in and gets a hug from Keith. She’s proud of her son and it looks like Quaid is wiping away tears. And J-Lo definitely is wiping away tears.
8:10 p.m. Why does Ryan keep falling down this season? And why is he so bounded and determined to look macho?
8:11 p.m. It’s Simon Hauck. He’s the picture with this recap. And he’s bad! He doesn’t know why the judges didn’t like him.
8:12 p.m. It’s a “dry patch” in Omaha. In Omaha?!? Get out of here.
8:12 p.m. I could have used a picture of Madisen Walker. She’s only 15 and she loves brownies. She’s good and commercially appealing, but dull. Keith thinks it was a perfect karaoke rendition of a Carrie Underwood song. J-Lo wants to see her grow and votes “Yes.” Keith also votes “Yes” and Madisen and her slightly misspelled name are going to Hollywood. Keith tells her to gather life experience. After she leaves, Harry says he wouldn’t have voted her through.
8:15 p.m. It’s our first guitar of the day. It’s Nebraskan Alyssa Siebken. She does an acoustic cover of “No Hands” by Waka Flocka Flame. It’s so-so and Alyssa gets “Yes” votes from the two nice judges. Her reward, other than that Golden Ticket, is a selfie with Seacrest.
8:17 p.m. Looking just a wee bit like the serial killer next door is Tyler Gurwicz. He’s got a very pure tone and he seems to be dreaming of cutting somebody’s throat as he sings. This is much more “scary” than “pleasant.” I don’t know that America has voted for a “scary” contestant on “Idol” since the glory days of Scotty Savol. “I don’t know where I would place you on ‘American Idol,'” Harry says. “You just look angry when you sing,” Keith says. Harry is the deciding vote and goes “No.” Tyler gets threatening and tells Harry that he’s making a mistake. Terrified, Harry tells him to sing a different song to prove he can do more. Harry is stymied. We pause for a commercial break while Tyler decides whether to kill or sing a different song. We’ll see if the judges are still alive when we return.
8:24 p.m. We’re back. Tyler is still there. “Your life is on the line right now,” J-Lo says. Tyler finally finds Jeff Buckley’s “Grace” in his arsenal. He is, again, lip-sneeringly OK. And… Tyler is going to Hollywood. “That may have been my first slip in judgment,” Harry admits.
8:25 p.m. More judge-talk about the importance of being honest and constructively critical.
8:26 p.m. Don’t beg.
8:26 p.m. I’m intrigued by this guy who does so-so impressions of all of the 20th Century’s presidents. What was his name? And could he sing?
8:27 p.m. I guess we know Tyler Marshall can sing. Or he can over-sing. I don’t get the random key change he does in the home stretch. But he’s still got a good voice. “You look like a happy guy,” Keith tells Tyler, who agrees. Tyler’s going to Hollywood. He’s very excited. This is one of those episodes that’s really low on quality footage, so we’re spinning our wheels on so-so contestants and doing clip packages to avoid acknowledging that there was no point in going to Nebraska.
8:32 p.m. Balloons!
8:32 p.m. Harry stands by C.J. Jones for a rendition of “Stand By Me” that I don’t especially buy. I’m assuming Harry doesn’t buy it either, because he attempts to upstage C.J. at every turn. “I’m excited to see how far you go,” J-Lo says. I’m not. But he’s going to Hollywood anyway.
8:34 p.m. “You are the cutest thing I’ve ever seen,” J-Lo tells Dajontae Lenear, before he does an OK Sam Cooke cover. Dylan Becker plays the guitar and is so-so. They’re both going to Hollywood, but no matter what Ryan says, I’m not convinced either is a star in the making.
8:35 p.m. I guess we know that Paula Hunt is going to be good. She sings in the Heartland of America Air Force band. I don’t think we’re going to mock somebody who sings for our troops for a living. I’m not sure if I’m getting any star-power from Paula’s presence, but she’s the best singer we’ve seen so far in this subpar episode. “You sing so naturally,” J-Lo says. Paula agrees that her mother had record deals back in the day, but she lost her voice to MS. That’s very sad. Harry says we have the best military in the world because they get to listen to people like Paula sing. Paula’s going to Hollywood. And now, another commercial.
8:43 p.m. It’s like the producers told FOX, “Yeah. We’ve only got around 35 minutes of footage tonight. And somebody at FOX said, “Vamp!”
8:43 p.m. People came to Nebraska from all over. That includes North Dakota’s own Andrina Grogden. She’s fine and she’s got a couple nice twists on her cover of “Halo.” J-Lo, however, thinks that Andrina is singing with fear. Harry calls her “a better-than-average singer, way better than average,” but he doesn’t think her voice will hold up. Keith disagrees and just thinks Andrina is raw. In a better city, we wouldn’t be seeing Andrina at all and she certainly wouldn’t be advancing. Here? She’s going to Hollywood. It’s the Nebraska Curve.
8:47 p.m. We had North Dakota. Now it’s time for South Dakota to attempt to represent with Christian Scholl. Because he’s a square-dancing caller, he’s getting screentime, which is mostly a set-up for Harry to make a domestic violence/square-dancing joke. He’s not good and he can’t even advance.
8:48 p.m. Oh right. That’s why we’re in Omaha, because it once yielded David Cook.
8:52 p.m. The generally so-so, shout-y Casey McQuillen capitalizes on the Nebraska Curve. In Omaha, Casey gets called “angelic.” She’s going to Hollywood.
8:53 p.m. Our last Omaha contestant is nervous. She’s Tessa Kate and she plays in Branson, Missouri and also sells river cruise tickets. She smiles her way through “Folsom Prison,” as if it’s a happy, smilely song. I love when folks grin their way through shooting a man in Reno just to watch him die. Sigh. At least she’s high-energy. Harry tells a strange story about kissing the TV when Barbara Mandrell. Jennifer compares Tessa to one of the Chipmunks. Tessa’s the last beneficiary of the Nebraska Curve.
8:57 p.m. Somehow, they gave out 21 Golden Tickets in Omaha.
8:58 p.m. A total of 212 people got tickets to Hollywood through all of our auditions.
8:59 p.m. Up next? Hollywood Week. Forget everything you think you know! And get ready for a shocking twist in an airplane hanger.
Yeah. That just wasn’t good. Oh well. It happens.