I wasn't that surprised when I read that last night's auditions in Chicago only resulted in thirteen tickets to American Idol's Hollywood round. Think about it: how many good singers did you spot last night? That said, I'm a bit dismayed that there were only thirteen golden tickets last night--a testament, perhaps, to the unpopularity of accordions and what Randy called "musical boobs".
Fingers crossed, then, that we see more big talent in Orlando. It's only the second time Idol rolls around that city--it seems to prefer Miami more--although season 4 runner-up Bo Bice started his stint on the show after passing auditions there. And I think he's the only one from that batch of try-outs who made it quite far.
Tonight's guest judge is a certain Kristin Chenoweth, the woman behind three modestly successful albums. Her debut, Let Yourself Go, was released in 2001, and featured her take on several jazz standards. Her follow-up, 2004's As I Am, was a collection of Christian songs. Just two years ago her Christmas album hit number 77 on the Billboard albums chart.
But of course that's not all she did. You must've seen her on television. Yep, she did win an Emmy last year for her role on the cancelled and still-lamented Pushing Daisies. She also showed up on The West Wing's final season. If you've seen Sit Down Shut Up, you must've recognized her voice. And Glee-starved gleeks know her as Mr. Shue's crush back in high school, April Rhodes.
But Chenoweth, of course, is best known for her stage career. She's been singing from childhood, and has a reputation for hitting all those high notes despite being under five feet tall. The one-time beauty queen kicked off her Broadway career in 1997, building a name for herself in productions of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown and The Apple Tree--and, of course, Wicked, that popular musical which earned her a Tony nomination, one that she would lose to her co-star Idina Menzel. In case you're in New York this April, you might want to catch her on the Broadway revival of Promises, Promises.
If you're auditioning in Orlando, please, do not get intimidated. I think Kristin is a very nice fella. Oh, wait, the auditions are already over. My bad. Let's just see whether we'll see more good talent this time around. Again, fingers crossed...