This is...American Idol
Can the Texas Idols make the cut?
Four out of five of our Houston-area American Idol-wannabes may have not made it through Hollywood week, but Texas still has six semifinalists who will perform live for America this week—a full quarter of the top 24.
While none of them have had the same screen time as frontrunners and producer favorites like New York's Michael "Big Mike" Lynch, whose wife went into labor while he was at "Hollywood week," or the talented, dreadlocks-rocking Crystal Bowersox of Ohio, who fans have already dubbed "Mamasox," the only thing for certain on Idol is that anything can happen. Here's our recap of what these Texas Idols have shown so far—and who has the goods to go all the way.
We still think of her as our Houston contestant, though she technically lives in Cypress and considers Naples, Fla., her hometown. Miles has gotten practically no screen time up to this point, appearing unnamed in a group performance and not seen again until the judges told her she was a semifinalist—as part of a montage. No screen time can be the kiss of death—it's the biggest handicap the producers can throw at you—but a strong live performance could catapult her into America's consciousness in a big way. Hey, it worked for Kris Allen.
Amarillo's Brown was passed over for the last spot in the semi-finals in season eight for the more camera-ready Megan Joy Corkrey. In the year since, Brown has tamed her punk rocker look to a more Idol-friendly quirky-rebellious red pixie cut and retro-cool look to match the lovely, classic tone of her voice (check out her version of "What a Wonderful World" from Hollywood week). But subtle, bluesy vocalists have a way of getting lost in the shuffle in favor of big-voiced belters. Brown's success will likely depend on whether she can woo the judges.
This Arlington-native's version of of "I'm Yours," featuring an impressive falsetto, was dubbed Simon's favorite. (And that's saying something—American Idol song licensing this season is making Jason Mraz a very rich man.) Hall's stage presence is undeniable, but most of his screen time has been spent talking trash on a rival group and hitting on girls in bikinis. Does Hall realize this is a popularity contest as well as a singing competition? He has some work to do on likeability.
Aside from his awesome-sounding hometown of Cool, Texas, James is most memorable for taking his shirt off to lure cougar-judge Kara Dioguardi. Hey, it worked. He took some heat from Simon over a lack of energy and stage presence, but the pipes are there.
Not to be confused with that other Idol Lambert, this 19-year-old cutie from North Richland Hills was the student of one of my friends, so I'm probably just a bit biased, but I think his ukelele skills and boy-next-door charm might have the teen girl texters out in full force. And as the horror that was Sanjaya shows, when the tweens love you enough, it's verrrrry difficult to stop you.
Another suburban Dallas kid, this time from Duncanville, Urban only made the semifinals when competitor Chris Golightly was disqualified (for still being under contract with his former boy band). Urban has seemed plagued by nerves when performing, but he could rival Lambert for the text-vote attention from America's teen girl squad.