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Things look up slightly for American Idol in Texas

Ramiro Garcia was born with no ears, but after several surgeries as a child, he's no longer tone deaf.
Michael Becker/Fox

American Idol


Things have not been looking too positive in terms of talent so far on this season of American Idol. Would Galveston, Texas change all that?

Phong Vu started the night by butchering the English language. “I will make you shocked and wowed,” he promised. He spoke Toni Braxton’s “Unbreak My Heart” off key, unsurprisingly. The ordeal made me a twinge uncomfortable, though. Phong seemed, let’s say, very delicate in his emotional state. “I feel the pain. It’s coming through me, I wanna channel it back to you,” he told the judges of his performance. Maybe he succeeded. They looked like they felt a little bit of pain, and they sent Phong home in tears. Poor guy.

Cameron Dobbins sang a thin, nasally “My Prerogative.” Lamounte Hall was “So Excited” that he danced around in a bizarre, androgynous manner. These two boys along with some Scotty McCreery wannabes were also sent home.

Skylar Laine shot a deer when she was 15, and the head of the animal hangs proudly on her wall. She sang “Hell on Heels” and was pretty good. She’s cute in a Lauren Alaina kind of way, but nothing about her excited me. Maybe it was just the shooting a deer thing that turned me off.

After being sent home when she was victimized by Antonella Barba and her annoying friend during Hollywood week of Season 6, Baylie Brown returned for a second shot. Her rendition of “Bed of Roses” showcased a strong country voice with a pretty pop hitch in it. Her voice is one of those that sounds ready to hit the radio tomorrow. Let’s hope she makes it further this year than she did in the past!

Kristine Osorio is in the midst of a divorce and faces being a single mom for the first time in her life. Instead of paying her divorce lawyer, she paid for her plane ticket to the Idol auditions. As she started singing, J. Lo looked to the heavens and audibly declared, “Thank you, God!” Kristine’s voice has a lot of power and a nice Pink rasp. She’ll have to work on the little vocal scoops that she does to get up to some of the notes, but I’m definitely eager to see her again. Kristine goes on to Hollywood.

After that, the yearly judges’ dissension took center stage. Rachael Turner, Reagan Wilson, and Cheyenne James delivered promising vocals, but the boys weren’t having any of it. Jennifer wanted all of them, but majority ruled. It continued to rule with the awful Linda Williams, who shrilly shrieked out some Alicia Keyes. For some reason, Steven loved her. “I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone,” Jennifer said, exasperated. I hear ya, girl.

Alejandro Cazares declared that this would be the first day of the revolution. He was referring to the fact that he wanted to be the underdog Idol winner. No such luck for Alejandro. He sang with overdramatic hand gestures and the shaky voice of a karaoke regular who thinks he’s a lot better than he actually is. When the judges told him no, he cried and begged, but no amount of crying or begging makes up for that severe a lack of talent.

Cortez Shaw grew up in a single parent household with a strong mother figure. Though I wasn’t wild about his up-tempo version of “Someone Like You,” the chorus showcased a very strong, rich voice with the powerful ability to hit some nice high notes. “You’re good looking, you’re sweet, you have a great voice,” was J. Lo’s verdict. Cortez is going to Hollywood!

A short montage of terrible singers flashed on screen before our final auditioner of the night, Ramiro Garcia. Ramiro was born without ears, and his parents were told that he wouldn’t be able to hear or speak. After many miraculous surgeries, though, Ramiro is now able to do both. The worship leader gave an adequate performance of “Amazing Grace.” His low notes were shaky, but the higher ones were decent. I don’t think he’s good enough to stick around beyond Hollywood.

Lots of golden tickets were given out in Texas, 55 in all. Next week, Idol goes looking for hopefuls in Portland, OR.


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