So Olivia Newton John is the guest judge and her first comment is, "I have no idea what to expect." That's rather an odd statement since just a few days ago she appeared on "Grease: You're The One That I Want" and worked as a guest judge where people performed and she and the other judges critiqued them. Uh, it'll be something like that, Olivia. And even if she HADN'T just appeared on an "Idol" ripoff, surely she watched an episode or two just to get her bearings. She would be the only person in America who DIDN'T know what to expect: gentleness from Paula, more direct and pointed comments from Randy, sarcasm from Simon and a parade of people, most of whom can't sing.
Is it my imagination, or have they spent a lot more time this season during the auditions showing losers? The stories seem to be taking longer to tell and far too many of them are about people who can't sing. Not counting montages, I saw only three people that got tickets. That's one ticket every 20 minutes. They put a lot more people through than that -- were their stories so boring we had to spend our time with the losers? And I don't even know what to say about the old man whose wife just died of cancer -- thank goodness he didn't expect anything more than appearing on TV and singing to her, but I hate to see this show turning into therapy. As for the three people who did go forward:
Alaina -- who sang Michael Buble's "Feeling Good," I thought she was okay, a borderline choice, though the song is very difficult to perform. But Simon thought highly of her, so maybe I missed something.
Brian Miller - who got cut in Hollywood last season. He seemed to start way to high for A Change Is Gonna Come, but cute and he can sing decently. It's interesting to see all the people who've gone to Hollywood more than once -- it's a phenomenon I hadn't really paid too much attention to before. But I'd like to know what's different just one year later -- did he take lessons? -- that makes it worth giving Brian another chance.
Brandon Rogers -- the backup singer who has turned with Christina Aguilera and others who did a lovely version of "Always On My Mind." By far the best performance of the night, though since he only had two competitors, that isn't saying much. We've heard a lot about "pros" getting in this year and of course winners like Taylor had released albums independently and even Kelly Clarkson had done backup singing (or worked on demos) and had a record deal that went nowhere. I'd say all that is fine, otherwise how would you define unknown. But per Entertainment Weekly, one contestant about been part of an r&b group that had scored a Top 40 hit -- now that seems over the line to me. If you've been in a group that's had a hit song on the radio, you should be ineligible.
All in all, another slow night. Only one more night of auditions to go, I think. Then they head to Hollywood.