Auditions: St. Louis
stop before Hollywood. The last time we were in St.
Louis, we found a student from Checotah, OK who liked to
dabble in sustainable farming. Eight years after that
fateful road trip, not only is she the toast of
Nashville, she's also a hockey wife. But that was eight
years ago... Today, another crop of hopefuls are hoping
that the judges will "Carrie" them through.
Open call: Scottrade Center
Callbacks: Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark
American Idol is a shared
experience that united 10,000 from all over the place in this moment....
including one elderly guy who says "it beats the hell out of working."
Johnny Keyser (22, Pompano
Beach, FL, server/student) is up first. He's here with his father, who
is his best friend more than anything. He enjoys wakeboarding, but will
he ride a wave to Hollywood? He sings "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam
Cooke. Very very saucy, and it illicits an impromptu duet with the Dawg.
He's definitely got star quality... and he's going to Hollywood with it.
Next up... an homage to "The
Artist". In that there are a few auditioners who are better seen... then
heard. With a dog.
Rachelle Lamb (26, Mountain
View, MO; construction) is going through a divorce, and this has been a
dream of hers. Being an American Idol can give her a better life. She
always tells her daughter, "Chase your dream and mommy will always be
behind you". She used to be a professional singer before no good dude
took the dream from her. Now she'll try again with "Find Somebody New"
by Faith Hill. Sounds a little bit biographical. The good thing about
her is that she takes her craft seriously, but she doesn't take herself
seriously. Good stuff, and it's through to Hollywood for her.
And there's that old guy.
"People with a good set of pipes."
The Show Me State has shown
us some talent... and then it showed us a bunch of crap.
Does Reis Kloeckener (20,
St. Louis, student/pizza maker) have the pipes? He was bullied in high
school, where he was coming from a small Lutheran school to a giant
public school. In senior year, he was singing in a hallway, discovered
by the choir teacher, and the rest as they say is history. He says that
he's tougher for the experience. He sings Bill Withers' "Lean on Me". A
little too quiet for my liking. He needs to have a stronger instrument
than that to stand a chance, but right now, it's a good start. He's
going to Hollywood.
Next to take the stage,
Ethan Jones (22, Pontoon Beach, IL; musician), who enters bleeding. He
dropped out of school to be a full-time musician with his dad and a few
friends. His father helped found a band in St. Louis. He had to take a
sabbatical for rehab, leaving the band to Ethan. He tries "I'll Be" by
Edwin McCain. He has the pipes, but does he have the lasting power?
We'll see in the coming weeks.
Day 2 starts with the hotel
auditor of this fine facility, Mark Ingram (28, Collinsville, IL,
auditor). After singing "Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder, he should probably
stick to his day job.
And it all comes down to
this, our final audition of season 11, Lauren Gray (22, Hardy, AR,
musician/waitress). She's in the family business of... a one-stop
wedding shop. She's the singer in a wedding band with her father. He's a
big fan of Idol, and it would mean so much if his girl got the business
from the judges. She closes us out with "One And Only" by Adele. And
she's got a LOT of pipes. Hope she can keep up the energy... she's going
to need it in Hollywood.
... and that's a wrap from
the road. In total, 310 people from all across the country are going to
Hollywood, where the wheat will be separated from the chaff, and every
song you sing could very well be your last. Who has the chops to make it
to the top, and who will you ultimate be voting for in the live shows?
Next week... HOLLYWOOD IS
WAITING. Until then, good night from the loop.