Auditions: Minneapolis (or "... Other Door") -
A waitress in Texas... a student in Alabama... a
mother in North Carolina... another student in Oklahoma... and finally, a guy
who went prematurely gray in Alabama... The question now... Who's next?
We start where we left off last year... with a
guy from Minneapolis named Prince... then a quick pan to the city itself, home
of our first televised audition. The state of 10,000 lakes... and of 10,000
people who all believe they're the next American Idol.
Joining our three judges today... popstar Jewel.
You may know her for her hits "Who Will Save Your Soul," "You Were Meant for
Me", "Foolish Games", and "Intuition." You may also know her as the host of this
season of Nashville Star.
Okay, time to go into the audition room. You know
the drill, no state given, it means they're Minnesotan. No city given means
they're from Minneapolis.
First contestant... Jessica Rhode (21, Cottage
Grove), a makeup artist at the Mall of America. Also... Jewel's biggest fan. And
thank you Ryan for putting her world at a tailspin. She goes into "You Were
Meant For Me"... Jewel... doesn't want to talk right now, but Simon thinks
it sounded just like her. They all pass. Sorry, Jessica. She's taking it in
Next, urban Amish man Troy Bennum (24, Sarona),
who claims he's never seen "American Idol" before. And how the heck did he find
out about this? He sings "You Can Be Mean To Me" as featured on the Bob and Tom
Show... "I didn't say I was great, I didn't say I was the best, and I certainly
didn't say I was the next American Idol." I think that was a given, buddy.
Next up, the Next Carrie? Nope. Next Katharine?
Nope. The next Constantine? Nope. How about Jesse Holloway (19, Gary, IN). He
says he has a unique vocal range. He implies that he takes 295 to get to
Richmond (meaning he takes the long road to a short thought). He goes with "My
Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion. Strangely enough, there's a cheer outside that
sounds better than Jesse's audition. He wants to go get some water. He does
so... and comes back. Sounds the same. I would've just not come back. Judges
agree. He doesn't get a pass. Second audition... the first two notes of "Don't
Stop 'Til You Get Enough." "Why do you think we're looking for a two-year-old
who can't sing?" Simon asks...
Next up, Apollo Creed? No, just Charles Monroe
Moody (26, Brooklyn, NY) symbolizing a knockout performance. He sings an aria in
Italian for his audition... and it actually sounds decent. Too bad this isn't
Opera Idol. "That song's kicking your butt." You just got punked by Jewel. He
goes back into his corner and comes out with "When You Tell Me That You Love Me"
by the season four Idols. "The fact that we're taking this seriously is
disturbing," Simon says. They all say no.
Outside, a real fighter named Denise Jackson (16,
Madison, WI). Her mom struggles with drug addiction, and she was born a crack
baby, raised by her grandmother. She believes she was born with a gift. As for
the glasses... well, she just likes them. She sings "You're Gonna Love Me"...
(C-Note: If you're playing the American Idol drinking game, take one shot right
now). Honestly, that song is bigger than she is, and she seems to be reaching
for that breadth. Granted, she succeeds where most people fail. Paula says she's
powerful and adorable. Simon says she did everything right. It's four yeses all
Denise Jackson - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD
And Denise is still celebrating!
Meanwhile, there is a condition that affects
thousands of people every year. It's called... forgetting your words and really
screwing up. These poor people can survive... unless their name is Teshawn Moore
(27). She attempts to stifle her way through "Kiss" by Prince. That... didn't
Next up, Perla Andrea Meneses (25, Margate, FL),
originally from Baranquilla, Colombia. So she looks, sounds, and is from the
same town as Shakira. Well then... She came with two backpacks, a teddy bear, a
guitar, and a dream. She calls it a "Survival story." First try, "Call Me" by
Blondie. Randy wants two seconds of "Hips Don't Lie". Sounds like Shakira-lite.
But Randy likes it better. Jewel thinks she's cute and perky, but the singing is
"in the middle". Paula agrees with both. Simon says song choice is going to be a
challenge, but hopefully it's one that she'll meet with style...
Perla Meneses - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD
The women are coming with all the golden tickets.
The guys... not so much. Will Matt Volna (25, Elk River) change that? He's into
older country. He's got "flair" and "pizzazz". He does Johnny Cash's "Folsom
Prison Blues". Sounds dead. Randy didn't get it. Simon... "categorized under
The guys just got worse, as evidenced by Kah'reem
Copeland and... some other guy. Time to send in the Navy's Idol, Jarrod Fowler
(27, Peoria, AZ). He's stationed on the USS Ronald Reagan, where he's the Reagan
Idol. He sings "God Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts. Pretty good,
actually. You have to be good to be the Reagan Idol. Simon says people will like
him, saying yes. Paula agrees. Jewel agrees. Randy agrees, but he needs to watch
IS3 Jarrod Fowler, USN - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD
Almost 2p, and the Midwest turned into the
Midworst, thanks to Rakel Garcia. What about Trista Giese (22, Brainerd), who
does the Lion from the Wizard of Oz... More like the Wizard of Kashyykk. She
sings "King of the Forest"... talk about a royal pain. All noes.
Next, a vocal teacher, Stephen Horst (28, New
York City). He knows the deal. Don't just sing the song, tell the story. He
sings "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith. Sorry, he OVERSINGS it. Randy
thought it was "wild". Stephen did a program in Disneyworld. "Perfect for there,
people walking down the street, no one really listening." But yeah, it was very
musical theatre. "You shouldn't be a vocal teacher. I wouldn't take a vocal
lesson from you." Simon's just amazed at Randy's audacity. Needless to say, they
all say no.
Next, Michelle Steingas (19, Excelsior) sings "If
This Is Love" by Deana Carter. It was a little effected, really. Jewel thought
it was good. Randy liked it. Simon thought it was an odd song choice, but the
public will like her for being confident without being irritatingly precocious.
Michelle Steingas - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD
"I can quit my job!" Not just yet. You're not the
American Idol yet... That didn't stop most people, though. Dayna Dooley (27,
Inglewood, CA) wasn't in any immediate danger of losing her job. Partly because
her boss flew her out. She didn't make it in Pasadena, so hopefully she's going
to shine here. And there's her boss now! She sings "Tell Me Something Good" by
Chaka Khan. It was a bit undertoned and bombastic. Pitchwise, it was all over
the place. Randy and Simon go with me on this one. Simon calls for his boss. He
hears her sing all over the office. And apparently today wasn't her day. Until
she sings in front of Gary. She needs him in front of her. Still wasn't good
enough for a golden ticket.
And while the judges continue to play "Three's a
Crowd" with these guys, Matt Sato (16, Maplewood) waits for his chance. He's in
show choir, and his parents really don't see the financial burden as a plus
side. "California Dreaming" is the song of choice, and I don't hear it either. A
little too immature, but maybe in a couple of years. Simon thought it was good.
Jewel was surprised. Randy likes him. It looks like a yes...
Matt Sato - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD
First person he calls... Mom. "She's proud of
me." Good for you, Matt.
Next, Rachel Jenkins (21, Minnetonka), who works
with her parents in a body shop. Her husband is in Iraq right now. She's in the
Reserves. She says she's ready to go in a moment's notice. She sings "His Eye Is
On the Sparrow". It started off well... then dropped a bit. Simon and Jewel
agree on that. But will America like her? Simon says... Yes. Paula... Yes.
Jewel... Yes.... Randy...
Rachel Jenkins - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD
Next, Sarah Krueger (19, Eau Claire, WI) goes
with the Katharine McPhee version of "Over The Rainbow". Seriously. It sounds
just like her. Simon cites being in control. Jewel says she's got a good
personality. Randy says yes.
Sarah Krueger - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD
Next, the biggest fan of
American/Pop/Canadian/Australian Idol we could find... Brenna Kyner (24, South
Holland, IL), she and Idol are like BFF. She'll audition in televised tandem
with Jason Anderson (16, Burnsville), a juggler. He juggles while singing
"Somebody Love Me" by Michael W. Smith... Weak voice... Randy says that he's
perfect for "America's Got SOME Talent," obviously giving Simon a hard time
because he created it. And Simon? "You just summed up Minneapolis for me." And
Jason's reaction? "(^_^) them! Those (^_^)damn sons of bitches cut me off!" He's
taking it surprisingly well.
Brenna, meanwhile, sings "Under Pressure" by
David Bowie... much to the same result. She has a degree in vocal performance...
and even that didn't help.
We end our days in Minneapolis with a tribute to
its favorite son... and a "Kiss".. with Perla. So we now know these montages are
prearranged. "Dog, Prince will NEVER be on this show again, man."
Josh Flom (20, Chisago City) is pushed into this
by his dad. But if his dad had any say, he'd be a hockey player. Josh goes the
rock route with "Bad Day" by Fuel. Randy said it didn't feel like him. He thinks
Josh is a fake rock. Simon challenges him to find an ABBA song to sing in that
... so he runs out and gets the lyrics to... ANY
ABBA song. He goes with "Dancing Queen", which plays over the video with a
legitimate rock band. And Josh's version? Not any better. And "Copacabana"? Same
old same old. We like HIM, but his voice is grating. He says he's in a band?
He's better off there. As a solo star... no.
That'll do it for Minneapolis. Seventeen golden
tickets head out the door. Is one of them the next American Idol? The search
continues in Seattle next time.