Jebbica from Idol Mania reported on it and included the videoclip:
Jim Ranger is a father and pastor who wrote his own song to sing at the American Idol 9 Los Angeles auditions. The song was called “Drive”. Jim seemed likable and I really appreciate the fact that he wrote his own song, but he was just a bit too Danny Gokey soundwise for me. Guest judge Avril Lavigne handed him a bit of a reality check and gave him a “no”, but he was through to Hollywood nonetheless.
Jabbica failed to detail Lavigne's "no." If you listen carefully, here is what Lavigne and Kara DioGuardi said to Ranger:
Avril Lavigne: You're married and you have 3 children? And you're a pastor? It would be ... you know, to become a pop star you have to travel and you have to leave everything. It's difficult out there on the road. But, I do think you have a good voice.With all the other contestants that come before them, many of whom are married with children, why on earth did these two "judges" question Ranger's ability to parent and pastor? Did they ask the same of other contestants? Would they even think to ask that of a woman, let alone those of other faiths? Did Lavigne and DioGuardi take issue with Ranger's profession? The next night, when Lavigne was gone (along with her catty attitude she displayed towards others) and Neil Patrick Harris sat in as guest judge, the panel did not question another contestant about her abilities to pastor. Maybe because she was single? Or Lavigne's catty attitude wasn't there to influence the panel?
Kara DioGuardi: I don't know how you really can do everything ... at once, if you were to go through this ... how you can really be dedicated to your church?
Jeremy Helligar of True/Slant caught Lavigne's double standard, as well:
But my big beef was with guest judge Avril Lavigne. She worked my nerves out of the box with her mean-girl reaction (”awkward,” “that was really bizarre,” “he was sweating like a maniac”) to 19-year-old Neil Goldstein, who (badly) sang the Meat Loaf song. But what really annoyed me was her contradictory dismissal of Jim Ranger, the worship pastor from Bakersfield, California, who sang an original composition called “Drive.” (For the record, I think he was barely above average.)
“You’re married, and you have three children,” she said (asked?). Pause. “And you’re a pastor(?). To become a pop star, you have to travel, and you have to leave everything. It’s difficult out there on the road. But I do think that you have a good voice.”
Her final verdict: “Um, I’m sorry, I think I would have to say no.”
What does someone’s marital status/number of kids/job have to do with his or her singing talent? As someone who’s been a star since she was a teenager, Avril knows the demands of the business ...
Perhaps now that her marriage is history, she wants to save potential Idols from the same marital fate. But is it really any of her business? Idol has age limits, but there are no rules regarding marital status, kids or, for that matter, choice of career. Was she really concerned about the quality of Jim’s family life? Was it about his religion? Or did she just not think he was any good? She said she liked his voice, so certainly not the latter.
Luckily, the two other judges Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell were not put off by Ranger's vocation and passed him on to the next round, basing their decisions solely on Ranger's talent ... as it should be.