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January 19
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In the world's ultimate talent search - where the eyes of a nation are upon the best undiscovered singers in the country, where the audience has the power to make or break you, and where a million-dollar recording contract is on the line, there is only one rule: If you can sing it, bring it.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, Jason Block, Don Harpwood & Gordon Pepper, GSNN
Host Ryan Seacrest
Judges Randy Jackson
Jennifer Lopez
Steven Tyler
Mentor Jimmy Iovine
Creator Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
EP Nigel Lythgoe
Ken Warwick
Cecile Frot-Coutaz
Simon Fuller
Packager 19 TV & FremantleMedia North America
Origins CBS Television City, Los Angeles
Web americanidol.com
Airs 8p Wed & Thurs, Fox

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Auditions: San Francisco
February 9

Last time on Idol, Los Angeles came... and went. Hopefully we saved the best talent for last as the audition tour hits its final stop, San Francisco. First impressions are lasting, and this is the last chance to make one. Adam Lambert was found here. Will history repeat itself among over 9000 contestants?

AT&T Park/Westin St. Francis

First up, a young lady originally from the Ukraine. She is a choreographer, a video star, and "a glammed up Shakira". But will Inessa Lee (22, Tujunga, CA) find the victory she's looking for? Not with that vocal. She's "All Out of Love" (Air Supply). And we're all out of voice.

The morning talent was bombing... and so were seagulls, but perhaps it was a good sign, as Brittany Mazur (21, Tucson, AZ), Lara Johnston (20, Novato, CA), and Matthew Nuss (25, Huntington Beach, CA) all strike gold. Will Stefano Langone (21, Kent, WA) join him? He was actually in a bad accident two years ago. He was told that he would never walk again... and yet here he is, not only walking, but striving for greater things. He sings "Grapevine" by the great Marvin Gaye. I personally think that it was a little much, but the judges loves that he has a fire to him, so he's through.

Day 2 begins with a new dawn and Clint Jun Gamboa (26, Long Beach, CA), a karaoke host at a dive bar. He was told, multiple times, that he should be in the line for American Idol. And now here he is with "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy & Bruno Mars. Jennifer likes "Jun Bug". Randy tells him not to lose that gospel voice in him. The judges want him in Hollywood!

Next... Kenneth Berba (22, El Paso, TX)... gives us the quickest judgment ever. No. No. GOD NO.

After that, fresh off of Lombard Street... a Transformer. Drew Beaumier (24, Fountain Valley, CA) sings "Born to Be Wild" by Steppenwolf. And the Autobots fall to the Judgicons.

The ladies have come in full force, but will Julie Zorrilla (20, Los Angeles) join her? She originally comes from Colombia. Her parents took a big risk in coming to America, having abandoned everything that they've built just to escape the guerilla fighters there. "Summertime" from "Porgy & Bess" is her selection... and it's very dirty, very raunchy.. it's perfect. She's through.

Dave Combs (25, San Francisco) sings "Oh Darlin'" by the Beatles...  He represents the rocker crowd. So he thinks. Steven thought he was on another planet, telling him that he's better off tending bar. And he doesn't get any easier with the crowd.

Emily Anne Reed (26, Arlington, VA) had her house burned down. She was at work when it happened. She lost a lot of stuff in the fire, but most importantly, she's lost her only home. She tries to rebuild with "You're Getting To Be a Habit With Me"  by Harry Warren. She's very... different. Jennifer thought it was interesting, specific and unique. Steven thought that the melody left a lot to be desired. Randy disagrees, so it's up to Jennifer. She gives her ONE MORE SHOT.

We're down to the final audition... James Durbin (22, Santa Cruz, CA). Raised by his mother instead of his musician father that he's never really met. He died of a drug overdose when he was 9. Then he was diagnosed with Tourette's and Asperger's. Then he met Heidi... had a son... and then got a place of his own. He needs to keep calm if he wants to prevail. He sings "Dream On" by Aerosmith. Let's hear from the man himself... Steven? "That was over the top. That was so good." Needless to say, he's ... GOING TO HOLLYWOOD!

And that rounds out the field to 327. But it's not going to get any easier as they are slowly whittled to the 24 who will be competing for your vote.

Next time... HOLLYWOOD.

To see extras from this episode, go to www.americanidol.com.