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Auditions: Boston - February 7

We're in the last stop, the home of the world champion Boston Red Sox... the world champion New England Patriots... and the next American Idol? We'll see about that as Randy, Paula, Simon, and a blonde puppet for the Fox network invades Beantown.

It's the worst of the weather that's bringing us down today, as we hope that one of these proud wet ones will be the next Idol. Simon may be a bit harsher today because of that whole Tea Party thing a while back. We know that the last thing he wants to see is... a Patriot. Meet Pats fan James "Ghost" Yokley Jr. (23, Lynn), who learned his style from the Midwest. He says that he's a hip-hop melodic. He marches... and it's probably the quickest turndown ever... Randy loves the get-up, but isn't keen on the audition. Paula likes the content, but this is the competition. Simon wants 10 seconds of "Lean On Me". Ten seconds too many.

The boys say no. Ghost appreciates the honesty.

Next up, Ayla Brown (17, Wrentham), whose father was a senator, whose mother was a local TV personality, whose ball skills got her to college, and whose voice kicked off a Pats game. Impressive pedigree. She sings "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." I say Boston has her first winner. She's impressive. Randy wasn't blown away, but she has a good voice. Paula only heard "power voice." Simon agrees, saying she's a bit robotic. She has a good voice, but it's empty. Randy still says yes. Simon says no. Paula... asks her what would happen if she made it all the way. She says she wants to do both music and basketball. Good answer... Paula gives her another chance. But she needs more than one emotion.


And Ayla's mom even looks like she's on TV often. Next, an immigrant Irada Jafarova (22, Bethesda, MD), who came to the US three years ago to chase a dream of singing. She's a mezzo soprano. She thinks she has the whole package. Her rendition of "Unbreak My Heart", bad as it was, turned into a strip show. Simon calls her a regift. Randy asks for something else...

And the strip show continues with "Chain of Fools". And "How Do I Live". She didn't even say thank you upon leaving.

Next up, Laurence Soares (27, New Bedford). And next out, Laurence Soares (27, New Bedford). Next after that, Alison Laverdiere (22, Leominster). And next out, Alison Laverdiere (22, Leominster). Katherine Hofmann (19, Mastic Beach, NY) wasn't any better. And the war of the British was on again... and the British is winning.

But the battle is not over, as our next soldiers, the O'Donahue twins... of which only one will sing, Rebecca (25, Dobbs Ferry, NY). She sings "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles. She's beautiful, but not in singing. Paula and Simon say no... at first. Paula believes that she's got a bit of magic... flips, so...

Rebecca O'Donahue: GOING TO HOLLYWOOD.

Tatiana Ward, meanwhile (22, Hatfield, PA) has something to prove to her grandmother, who disowned her mother after she married a black man. She delivers a flawless "My Cherie Amour", but I'd dodge a few allegrettos here, but still, nice. After buttering it up, Simon says she reminds him of a pet poodle. Paula would like to hear more colorful vocals. Decision time... it goes to Paula again...


And all the golden tickets in the room were given to ladies.

Later in the show: "I really can sing, but I'm nervous as hell and I gotta pee."

A few of the auditioners shouldn't quit their day jobs. The best job... at least the one worth an audition piece belongs to Holly Corrente (25, North Providence, RI), who works at a rehab. She works with people with disabilities. She tries to incorporate music. We'll see if she can incorporate a good audition here. She goes with Anastacia's "Left Outside Alone." Very nice, a little throwbackish. Randy agrees, saying no. Paula says no. Simon... also no. So not bad, but not good enough. Will we see her again next year? Probably.

Kenneth Maccarone (21, Providence, RI) is a bit wound up after waiting 12 hours in line. He sings Cher's "Believe"... just like Cher... SCARY! He can also do Judy Garland... Simon suggests being a female impersonator. "Absolutely not." Ken and Simon have at it about sounding like Cher... He's not going to be walked all over. "Good. Cher, you're not going to Hollywood."

And that was the end of that.

Still looking for good guys. We found some young men ready to be led to the slaughter. Should we even let Kevin Covais (16, Levittown, NY) in? Okay, we'll let him in. Another audition with "You Raise Me Up"... And another good audition with Josh Groban.  Randy nods in approval. Simon calls him "a jolly nice young man". But no one under 20 will relate to him. Paula says that he's an underdog. Paula again brings out the Clay Aiken argument. This time, it works on Randy.


From there, we spread "Joy to the World"... but no joy to anyone to actually sang "Joy to the World". From there, we finally go to the man who says he's the next Clay Aiken... Michael Sandecki (20, Washington, DC). It's his only card, and he's playing it to the fullest. He sings "In the Still of the Night". Great. Now try again without the mouth aerobics, the pitchiness, and the suck.

Simon says that it was obvious to look like Clay, but not to sound like him. Paula... agrees. " Mike says.. "I really can sing, but I'm nervous as hell and I gotta pee."

So that's what Mike does... Go to the loo.. come back... and ... no, still bad. Sorry.

At least you got to pee to "Chariots of Fire." So there we go. The final 28 out of the final 175 are chosen from Boston, now we move to the next stage... Boot camp. But before we go there, we get the trip in five minutes... to Daniel Powter's "Bad Day."

Tomorrow, the beginning of the three-episode arc that is... Hell Week. Until then, I'm Chico, this is American Idol. I'll see you in Hollywood.


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