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Auditions: San Antonio (or "Commercial with a Capital C") - February 6

Welcome to the home of the Alamo. Will this place be remembered for its talent? Hope so. It's the final stop on the auditions. For Idol wannabes, it's the final chance for a golden ticket to Hollywood. We line up early at the Alamodome, and so do 11,000.

And after seemingly forever, the judges arrive. Simon's suffering from jetlag.

Hopefully that won't be a bad sign for Bryan Kyrish (27). He says that metal is his strong point, and he wants the judges to feel his fire. He's a former "Idol", and he is about to give us a "Rebel Yell". It's 30 seconds of shouting and about 10 seconds of melody. He's got the energy, but doesn't have the tune... Sorry.

Haley Scarnato (24) has been the face of a wedding band for a while. After properly meeting the judges, she goes into "I Can't Make You Love Me". Very sweet. And powerful where it needs to be. Paula says she has a nice control. Randy agrees. Simon... also agrees. To a point. "You can't say you can't sing. I have a slight problem, but I think you deserve a second shot." 

Haley Scarnato - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD

And we have a hoedown. Jasmine Holland (22) sees the hoedown as more competition. The family says she was waiting for this. She's... a little shy. Another person sings "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here"... and it was again... NASAL. People, I have a grievance to make... It's called a diaphragm... USE IT!

Paula calls her really sad. And after walking out and badmouthing the judges for their opinion... I'm inclined to agree. And it's not being negative.. It's being realistic.

Next, perhaps a Texas Rose in Baylie Brown (16; Krum), who sees herself as a city girl stuck in a small town. Her parents see her as a country girl with city tastes. She spends a lot of time in the barn with her horses. Seems like her and her parents see two different flavors to Baylie Brown. She sings "Stronger" by Faith Hill. A delight. And I'm a fan of Faith's body of work ("The Stepford Wives" notwithstanding), and while I don't think she can run with her hero just yet, she's got the makings of a star. Simon says that she's born to be a pop star. "You are commercial with a capital C." Ouch, death knell. But he thinks it's a good thing, so...

Baylie Brown - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD

And could we have any more fickle doors this year? I mean, talk about adding insult to injury. But we do have ONE person to break through the locked door. And outside.. two cousins, Akron Watson and William Green (23/25, both from Dallas). Akron is Bruce Banner. William is "The Incredible Hulk." Hulk is first with a bass version of "Amazing Grace"... Yeah. Doesn't work. How about Akron with "A Change is Gonna Come." Scores better than his cousin, but he's lacking emotion. Simon was bored. Try #2: "Let's Get It On". Less boring. Simon and Paula give him a pass.

Akron Watson - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD

We remember the Alamo, and forget some ... really bad auditions. Will we see some real experience in Sandie Chavez (21, Houston), who sang for the mayor of Houston? She gets through the first two bars of "Black Velvet" by Allanah Myles... Then it just turns into a garbled mess. "I didn't understand a word of that. Was that serious?" Simon asks, reducing Sandie to tears. We find out that Sandie's a teacher... and really, the world needs more teachers.

How about someone who was beaten up in high school because of her voice? Get ready for "Feeling Good" a la Ashlyn Carr (18; Sugar Land). She puts her own little spin on it, and that's a positive. And she's singing from deep down in her gut, so that's also pretty interesting. Simon calls it unique, but the facial expressions were weird. Randy thought it was confusing. Paula says she needs to look in the mirror while she's singing. Randy and Paula pass... for now. Simon would've said yes.

The judges have a rare reversal on their hands. Is she ready this time? She tries out "Inseparable." The end and final and binding result....

...

Wait for it...

"Too good to pass up on."

Ashlyn Carr - FINALLY GOING TO HOLLYWOOD

The end is almost in sight for the judges and the audition tour, but Jacob Tutor (21) aka Jake the Snake, wants to have his go with a rock song sung by a kitten.

I think he's going to go down to his basement and cut himself.

And finally... Jimmy McNeal (23; Waxahachie), singing "Cupid". Which is more like "Cupid/Another Saturday Night" mash-up. But whatever the song is, he can sing it ably. Simon calls it "a little fun Ruben." All three judges go yes.

Jimmy McNeal - GOING TO HOLLYWOOD

That will do it for the audition tour, and 22 people are on their way, but before we go to Hollywood, let's see what DIDN'T make these seven shows. We've saved the best of the best for the last of the last next time.

 

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