your votes changed the life of a 17-year-old high school
senior from Garner, NC. But the song remains the same
and the journey continues. The search for the 10th
anniversary American Idol starts.... NOW. Jennifer's
ready... Steven's ready... Randy's ready... Ryan's
ready... are YOU ready?
Open call: North Charleston Coliseum
Callbacks: Hyatt Regency
Welcome to day 1 in
Savannah. After 12,000 auditions in Charleston, just north of the city,
a select few are called back to Savannah to make their opening cases in
front of the judges.
First up... another North
Carolinian, David Leathers, Jr. (17; Fayetteville, NC; HS senior), whose
friends call him "Mr. Steal Your Girl", because he's hanging out with
girls a lot. He happened to be in a local contest placing 1-2 with
Scotty. And he actually BEAT him, so expectations are high in deed. He
sings "Remember the Rain" by Century 21. Very high on the treble here.
He looks and sounds like Michael Jackson... and then he sings his "Never
Can Say Goodbye". Making it really simple... really easy... a unanimous
YES. And we're off and running.
Gabi Carrubba (16; North
Haven, CT; HS junior) is a dancer by hobby, has been since the day she
was born. In fact, she goes and gives Nigel a hug before auditioning
"Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5. She's a little jazzy thing to the pop-rock
song. Steven says she nails it. The others agree, and she's going to
Hollywood. Joining her: Brianna Faulk (15; Monroe, GA; HS sophomore),
Neco Starr (20; Atlanta; unemployed), Molly Hunt (15, Franklin, TN; HS
sophomore), and Elise Testone (28; Charleston; musician/vocal
Keeping us going is Jessica
Whiteley (19; Cuyahoga Falls, OH; unemployed), who just loves to sing
anywhere and everywhere. She sings "In This Song" by Charice... and if
you had 21 minutes into the show where we had our first contestant who
was way over her head in suck, you win our prize, Gordon Pepper's voice
on your home answering system. ... Judges? "Awful. Baby this is not your
vibe." She says she'll see us in Texas. Oh. GOD no.
Next up... Ryan Seacrest?
No, it's a guy named Shaun Kraisman (26; Mt. Pleasant, SC; sales
consultant) who just happens to look - and sound - like our generation's
Dick Clark. But does he sound like the Chi-Lites? Here's an assessment
of "Oh Girl". Stick to looking like TV hosts, Shaun.
Shannon Magrane (15; Tampa;
HS student) is six-foot tall with a size 11. She hits the volleyball,
and her dad was Joe Magrane, the St. Louis Cardinals World Series
pitcher. And if you had 33 minutes into Steven making an off-hand
comment about a minor, you win our prize, Gordon Pepper's voice on your
home answering system. WITH HER FATHER PRESENT, NO LESS. She goes with
"Something's Got A Hold On Me" by Etta James. It was a little sour, but
she's got the sass to sell it. She's got a good feeling for Hollywood.
Georgia looks like it had a
winner... Looks can be deceiving. What about Amy Brumfield (24;
Gatlinburg, TN; unemployed). She lives in a tent in the woods and, if
online reports are to be believed, was an Occupy protester. She sings
"Superwoman" by Alicia Keys. Very raspy, very much knowing what she
wants to do. And the judges agree. She's going from the tent to
Joshua Chavis (23; Camden,
SC; unemployed) has a dream of singing the national anthem at a NASCAR
race. He is also smitten with Jennifer. Will he sing for her? His vibe
is more country-pop-rock. He sings "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz. I think he
sounded better with his primal scream. It's funny... It's funny... and
now it's just sad. And now he's just acting out.
Stephanie Renae (15; Orange
Park, FL; HS student) has been watching since she was eight, when Carrie
Underwood took it. Will she take it from Carrie with "Inside Your
Heaven", her season's coronation single? It sounds... like a 15-year-old
singing Carrie Underwood. Kinda shouty and kinda shrill and kinda nasal.
A couple of vocal lessons will help that, but she's in anyway, 2-1.
Next up, Schyler Dixon (16;
Murfreesboro, TN; student/face painter) is returning to audition, this
time without her brother Colton. She's nervous, but she wants to make a
journey on her own. And meanwhile... the judges want to see Colton.
That's just... wrong... Anyway, she starts into "Breakeven" by the
Script. Colton (19; Murfreesboro, TN; face painter) then goes into
"Permanent" by David Cook. BOTH of them are going to Hollywood. How. Is.
That. Even. Possible.
Day 1 is coming to a close
with Lauren Mink (25; Winchester, KY; program director). She works with
people who have intellectual disabilities - Down syndrome, autism, and
the like - and she's trying to work music into her routine. She tries to
work some magic into "Country Strong" by Gwyneth Paltrow. She's a
warbler and she has poor tempo, but she has a great tone to her. It's a
yes all around.
Day 2 begins with ... a
heatwave. Then we come into the singing with Mawuena Kodjo (25;
Nashville; team leader at a food company), who has come originally from
Togo, West Africa. He's a big fan of "Skatti Macrrrrrr...." from last
year. He wants to sing "I Won't Let go" by Rascal Flatts. He... should
let go. And not even wait for it to come back. It was all over the
place. Meanwhile, he arrives with a random cadre of onlookers who say
that he should make it. ... It's STILL a no.
Ashlee Altise (28; Kinston,
NC; sales associate) does a happy dance when she is excited. She calls
it "the joy hop". Hopefully she'll be hopping to the sound of her going
to Hollywood. She's going to sing "Come Together" by the Beatles. With
the scat. She's a performer, and a whole package lady. Singer... no. As
a singer, she's crazy. But the judges love her.
WT Thompson (25; Appomattox,
VA; unemployed) had to quit his job for the chance at American Idol. He
had a job at a federal prison, but he had to make a choice. But would it
be the right choice given that his wife is pregnant? The song is Little
Big Town's "Boondocks". Steven thinks that he doesn't have it yet.
Jennifer differs. Randy... 2-1. YES.
Erica Nowak (28; Buffalo;
bartender) calls Steven Tyler "her future ex-husband". She has the crazy
eyes. She also has the wandering hands. But does she have the pipes with
"Super Duper Love" by Joss Stone? She's nowhere near Joss Stone on that.
It was super duper bad. At least she got to first base with Steven
Tyler. And Randy Jackson.
Pretty faces make a judge
weak in the knees, so imagine what happens when Brittany Kerr (24;
Charlotte; NBA dancer) enters the room. She goes with "Spoiled" by Joss
Stone. She's adorable and she's got a great voice. Steven suggests that
she listen to some more blues. Randy thinks that she can develop. It's
up to the Aerosmith frontman... and it's a 2-1 YES.
We're down to our last
auditioner in Savannah, Phillip Phillips (20; Leesburg, GA; pawn star).
On the side, he's a musician, and his biggest fan is his father. And
yes, that is his real name. He sings "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder. He
puts his own little soulful pull on it with a little Lynyrd Skynyrd for
good measure. He could very well be this season's "hot guy with guitar"
as he goes into MJ's "Thriller". He broke a guitar string on that, but
it's worth it. He gets a golden ticket and joins the other 41 players on
their way to Hollywood.
Next stop... Pittsburgh.