American Idol: Planes, Ships, and Auditionmobiles

Though the NFL finals would delay Sunday's proceedings by close to an hour, American Idol managed somehow to cram yet another audition show into its first week back on the air. This one was set on an aircraft carrier docked in San Diego harbor, for reasons unknown. Acoustics? No. A surprise aerial attack from the judging panel of The Voice? Possibly. Here now, as is our custom, are the good, bad and downright ugly from the third stop on Idol’s eleventh auditions tour. Except instead of “the ugly,” we have instead “the huh?” As in, Jim Carrey’s daughter? Huh?

The Good

Tattooed pinup-bear Jason “Wolf” Hamlin is a golf course mechanic by day. Two years ago, his dad gave him a git-fiddle (guitar) on his death bed. Wolf committed himself to learning how to play it, and darn it if he isn’t a natural. Hamlin is everything an Idol contestant should be: humble, working class all-American, talented, and not afraid to make vague come-ons to Ryan Seacrest in front of millions of people. Thank god Steven asked to hear something else, and the judges let him play his git-fiddle: It was his second song, a ferociously authentic rendition of “Folsom Prison Blues,” that really clinched it.

Nineteen-year-old Kyle Crews is a curly-headed frat boy from UC Berkeley who fancies himself something of a ladies’ man. He also has a surprisingly soulful voice, all things considered. Is it the BEST male voice they judges had heard until now, as Steven, who’s prone to fawning, blurted out? I’m not so sure about that, but he’s good.

The Bad

Every year has a contestant who shows up wearing next-to-nothing. If you’re lucky, it’s someone who looks good wearing next-to-nothing. And Jennifer Diley definitely qualifies. What she doesn’t do, however, is sing well. Or even half-decently. She brokered a deal with the Devil (the Devil being Randy), though, in which she was allowed to sing a second song—Mariah Carey’s “Hero”—and if the judges hated it, they didn’t have to say another word. She had to walk out in shameful silence. Well, you’ll never guess what happened next.

The Huh?

Let’s just say this: Jane Carrey seems like an incredibly sweet, grounded girl with a nice enough voice, if no stage presence. There’s one hitch: She’s Jim Carrey’s daughter. That made me instantly uncomfortable. Jim Carrey’s daughter on the stage of a nationally televised singing competition? Then again, she's probably always had a tough go of it, always in dad’s shadow since the age of 2, when J-Lo first laid eyes on Jane on the set of In Living Color. Her occupation is listed as “waitress.” Does that mean Jim Carrey’s daughter actually waits tables? Why am I having such a hard time wrapping my mind around all of this? After her audition—which got her a ticket to Hollywood (duh, she’s Jim Carrey’s daughter)—she called up her dad to tell her the good news. And as good an actor as Jim Carrey is, he had a hard time sounding legitimately thrilled for her. Or maybe it was just me. (Jane's audition begins around the 2:30 mark.)

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