Kirstin Says: My Heart Has Turned To Coal — None Of The 'American Idol' Sob Stories Worked On Me!

Wed, February 9, 2011 10:49pm EDT by 5 Comments

I’m over auditions. Thank goodness they are over and we can finally get to Hollywood Week!

Don’t get me wrong, I love good drama. But American Idol overdid the sob story during the San Francisco season 10 auditions Feb. 9. The majority of people who could actually sing had crazy baggage …the show featured everything from house fires to Columbian war. By the time we got to the last talented contestant — who had a dead dad and tourettes — I had run out of sympathy!

“So your dad overdosed on drugs and died when you were nine? Who cares? I’m over being sad!” I wanted to scream at my TV when the tinkling piano music started playing over James Durbin‘s depressing voice over.

James story is a sad one. As I mentioned before, his dad died when he was just a kid and then he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome AND tourettes. He met a girl (who he calls his “angel”), got her pregnant and now he’s a married dad at 21 years old. Oh, and he’s unemployed! I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. No one would think it was real.

Anyway, James is a true talent — he sang Stephen Tyler‘s “Dream On” and had the judges on their feet. He hits high notes much like Adam Lambert does. But I was just so drained by the time we got to him.

First, we were assaulted with the sad tale of the beautiful Julie Zorilla, whose family had to flee to the U.S. from Columbia in the 90s because of the war. The Idol auditions fell on Julie’s 20th birthday, so she wanted a ticket to Hollywood as her gift. Luckily, her moving rendition of “Summertime” earned a “yes” from all three judges and she got to go on her merry way. This pleased me.

Slightly later down the road, came my favorite contestant of the night, Emily Anne Reed, a 26-year-old barista from Virginia whose first house was burned to the ground. Emily’s voice is unique, kind of like Norah Jones mixed with Macy Gray but with less power behind it. She sang the old classic, “You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me,” which got her kudos from both Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez. If Emily can break out of her style and really bring it during Hollywood week, I could see her having a shot in the top 10.

Bottom line of the night: thank God auditions are over. We’ve done our penance sitting through the auditions — which are always my least favorite episodes of the season — and can now get to the juicy stuff! Shimmy. Let Hollywood Week begin!

Who did YOU love tonight? Which contestants are your favorites so far? Sound off below!

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Rita

Posted at 2:33 AM on March 6, 2011  

I am worn out from all the sob stories showcased on AI. This is a singing competition isn’t it? I have never given anyone a sympathy vote. I can still picture Gokey holding the picture of his deceased wife and it still makes me sick.

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danielle

Posted at 10:30 AM on February 10, 2011  

I comletely agree. I heard that Simon Cowell even called this season “extreme home make-over for singers”. Like, we ALL and i mean ALL have sad stories. Most of us watch shows like American Idol to feel good, not to have to hear about everyone else’s problems. It’s draining! Problems don’t make these people unique… it makes them normal.

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Mariko Angel

Posted at 5:53 AM on February 10, 2011  

Well I will say the episode wasn’t as well cut and edited as it could have been, to make it more catching and engaging to the viewer. The three people they featured were all amazing and could all sing. The difference between Emily Anne Reed and the rest of them though was her uniqueness. Year after year the contestants have great voices, but lack that special thing that sets them apart from the rest. Emily Anne, on the other hand, is like a breathe of fresh air from the overly vibrato voices of everyone else. I really loved her old time sound, that I believe can easily mix in with the way music is moving these days. I hope she goes far with or without Idol.

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Jenn

Posted at 11:26 PM on February 9, 2011  

Kirsten,

While I can appreciate your opinion that American Idol tends to pull at viewers’ heartstrings, I would exercise extreme caution moving forward with your very obvious incompetence regarding Asperger’s Syndrome. You’re not alone in your ignorance. In the future, however, I would make sure I studied up a little before I used “sob story” and “Asperger’s syndrome” in the same story.

Not ordinarily out-raged

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Leo Batfish

Posted at 1:48 AM on February 10, 2011  

Uhhhh… what exactly did this Kirsten person say negatively about Asperger’s Syndrome? Seems that she was talking about how draining it was by the end of the audition phase with the “sob” stories, which I wholeheartedly concur with. Funny how you focused on her supposed “incompetence” regarding Asperger’s Syndrome, and no mention of the grossly mispelled “turrets” (tourettes?). I feel for those with Asperger’s Syndrome, and those with Tourettes (as well as their families), but I side with this Kirsten person in that I am also OVER the “sob” stories with “American Idol”. That’s all she was sayin’, so lighten up, eh? Oh, and how about going after “American Idol” for playing up the fact that a contestant had Asperger’s Syndrome, and not shedding any light on the condition with the viewing audience?

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