'American Idol': St. Louis Auditions, End of the Line
This was the last audition episode of season 11. "American Idol" is no stranger to St. Louis. In season four Carrie Underwood auditioned here. She eventually won the title by becoming one of Idol's most successful winners. Madonna's music video made its sneak peak debut right before her Super Bowl appearance.
- Meet Me in St. Louis
- John Keyser - Soulful Guy
- Lauren Gray - Bluesy Girl
- The Show Me State - Everybody Else in Between
- Madonna's Football Theme Music Video
Meet Me in St. Louis
It was appropriate the show opened the last audition episode from eight years ago. Carrie Underwood came to St. Louis where we saw her road trip journey from Checotah, Oklahoma to where she is today, thanks to that one audition for “American Idol.” Now the show has come full circle, will they find the next Carrie Underwood?
There were plenty of shots throughout of St. Louis’ most famous symbol, the Gateway Arch. It represents the gateway to the west. You can go to the top of the apex for its observatory deck. The arch is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial along the Mississippi River.
Many of the would-be contestants were singing “Louie, Louie.” The song would have been better suited in Portland, Oregon since that is where the group, The Kingsmen, is from. There were a couple of standouts while others had nice stories and voices to go along with it. Madonna gave us a sneak of her upcoming video.
John Keyser - Soulful Guy
Pompano Beach, Florida resident, who is a server at an Italian restaurant, did the Idol standard song of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” that had all three judges interrupting Keyser during each lyric. This time, however, was to shower him with compliments, especially from Jennifer “hey baby, yeah baby, do it baby” Lopez. She told him, "You know you're going to be a star, right?" It was a miracle he got to sing the entire song for his audition. I’ve never seen the judges get so excited about someone like that. Obviously Keyser’s going to Hollywood.
Ethan Jones quit school to join his father in a band. Sadly, his father doesn’t play anymore since he’s been in rehab. Jones is now pursuing country music, yet he gave a rousing rendition of the indie rocker Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be.” Afterwards, Jones called his father to tell him about the audition with a ticket in hand.
Lauren Gray - Bluesy Girl
If Lopez was excited about John Keyser's audition she claimed Gray's as "You're one of the best female voices we've heard." She was the last audition of the last audition episode of season 11. Like Ethan Jones, Gray currently performs with her father in a Southern rock band back home in Hardy, Ark. Her family runs a one-stop shop wedding boutique. Wedding shop owners by day, rockers at night. For the judges she gave a bluesy version of Adele’s “One and Only.” They only had one thing to say, “Wow.” She’s definitely Hollywood-bound. Tyler liked how her voice breaks, something that is passed down from generations, it can’t be learned.
Rachelle Lamb is yet another single mom who’s pursuing her dream of music after a recent divorce. She brought to the audition room her daughter. As she stood by mommy we heard her sing Faith Hill’s “Find Somebody New”, a song her ex didn’t like. At least Tyler liked her moxie. She’s going to Hollywood.
The Show Me State - Everybody Else in Between
Last but certainly the least was the ones who didn’t get a golden ticket to Hollywood. There was the usual montage of bad contestants, either with their singing or negative attitude with not making it to the next round. They had another montage that was a take-off of the silent film “The Artist.” I thought it was one of the cleverest pieces the show has ever done. In an unusual twist the hotel in St. Louis holding the auditions featured an actual hotel employee. This was obviously a goodwill audition. Sadly, he wasn’t very good, though he tried. Most likely he was nervous and lacked experience.
Madonna's Football Theme Music Video
With all of its hype I thought we’d see the whole video. It was only a 30-second teaser, not much of one at that. The only difference with this Madonna music video is she featured today’s hottest artists, Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. Obviously it has a football theme throughout it with the three singers as cheerleaders and a bevy of back-up dancers dressed as football players. There wasn’t anything much else to report.
American Idol Official Site, AmericanIdol.com
The Gateway Arch Experience, GatewayArch.com
The Kingsmen - America’s Greatest Party Band, LouieLouie.org
Brian Mansfield, “‘American Idol’: Meet me in St. Louis,” USAToday.com
Carla Patton, “‘American Idol’ Recap: Auditions Conclude in St. Louis,” BuddyTV.com
Lynette Rice, “Madonna music video to premiere during 'Idol',” EW.com