in New York. Forty-one dreams are still alive. But what
happens when the Idol train moves to the Windy City?
Let's find out...
AUDITIONS: United Center
CALLBACKS: Adler Planetarium
First out of the tunnel of
dreams is Mackenzie Wasner (17, Leiper's Fork, TN; student), whose
father is an accomplished musician. Her first gig: kindergarten. Her gig
tonight... "Whenever You Come Around" by Vince Gill. Could be this
season's country voice, being as young and as vibrant as she is. Keith
says she's got a blend of strength and vulnerability. It's a sweep! And
we're off and running in Chicago.
Wild singing, wilder hair.
And no, we're not talking about Nicki.
Kiara Lanier (21; Chicago;
college student/teacher) just sang for President Obama. Yes she can. But
can she today? She sings "The Prayer" by Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli.
YES SHE CAN! The judges send her to Hollywood... with whatever was said.
Stephanie (21; Milwaukee; lingerie store worker) follows that with
"Dream a Little Dream of Me". Is it a secret dream? Perhaps of a lady
named Victoria? In any event, Nicki wasn't wowed, but Keith was. She
says no. Everyone else says YES.
Melissa Bush (27,
Grandville, MI; student/massage therapist) is usually a quiet person,
but today, she looks shiny. She'll sing "Downtown" by Petula Clark. And
that's where this performance is headed.
Hey look, it's Chicago
native Haley Reinhart! SHE could've been a judge.
Gabe Brown (21, Marion, IA;
baker)... It's time to get on the Idol Bus! His mom is a baker, and he's
brought some of her wares as a little bribe. He's going to sing "Gimme
Shelter" by the Rolling Stones. It's almost there, but it's more
shouting than singing. But Keith loves it. Mariah wants to hear
something else. "We All Die Young". Good for the first, VERY good for
the second. You're going to Hollywood, curly.
Kevin Nabity (25, Polk City,
IA; digital media designer) is a master of the bo, which led to Ninja
Rap, which led to marital arts, which led to dancing. Can Ninja Idol
score a golden ticket? After thinking he's on SYTYCD, he sings "One
Week" by BNL... I'd try my luck at SYTYCD. And just as the judges are
coming to terms with the hard bit of their jobs... in comes the parade
Isabelle Parell (15;
Centerton, IN; student) is a fan of Keith Urban and his wife. And
country music. So this should be a breeze, right? She sings "Baby It's
Cold Outside"... with Keith. She's adorable. It's a good song choice, a
nice Norah Jones vibe. That'll take her to the next stage.
Keith had a concert in
Vegas, so it's just Randy, Nicki, and Mariah. Griffin Peterson (22,
Oconomowoc, WI, student) aka Griff aka Grr aka G. And Nicki is looking
at MORE than just his singing chops. She sings "Washed by the Water" by
Need to Breathe. He looks and feels to Nicki like as a star, but Randy
thought that the voice was below average. The ladies love him, though,
so Griffin is on his way.
Curtis Finch Jr. (24, St.
Louis, tutor) believes that anything is possible no matter who you are,
where you've been, or what you're going through. And it's become
clear that Nicki likes nicknames. Smokie Norful is his favorite, so he
sings one of his favorites, "God Is Able". You can hear his range on
that. That's a good selling point. It's not even a discussion. YES!
Next, another Mariah, Mariah
Pulice (19; Darien, IL, restaurant hostess) had a rough couple of years.
She's a recovering anorexic. She found healing through music. Will she
find a trip to LA in "Let It Be" by the Beatles? You can hear the
courage in her voice. The judges certainly did. And it's a sweep to end
Welcome to Day 2 in
Chi-Town. We begin with Keith returning to the table to witness Brandy
Neelly (17; Louisville, KY; student), a foster-care child. Her birth
father was her adoptive mother's brother. A good decision all around,
but will it sell in the Toughest Room? She sings "Your Cheatin' Heart"
by Hank Williams, Sr. My sister is not a fan. But she has a very loud
voice. Very bombastic. The opposite of Mackenzie from the first hour.
Mariah called it "A-plus-mazing". She's going to Hollywood. Josh Holiday
(Celeste, TX) sings "Back at One" by Brian McKnight. He's on the plane.
Courntey Williams (Greenville, MS) sings "Who's Loving You" by the
Jackson 5ive. Andrew Jones (Chicago) sings "Knock on Wood". Both are on
How about Clifton Duffin
(22, Country Club Hills, IL; student)? He hasn't been discovered... even
by his parents. He sings "Superstar" by Luther, with his parents
secretly listening in. ... We've heard better, but mom seems to dig it.
So do the judges. He's going to Hollywood.
Next up, auditioners marking
out for Mariah. Among them, Ieshia Cotton (19, Chicago, professional
dancer), who sings "Thank You" by Ashanti. We'll say what we said about
Kevin Nabity... stick to SYTYCD... And then things get weird. Mariah
said yes... then said no. See you in the summer.
Who remembers Johnny Keyser
(23, Pompano Beach, FL, musician)? He was in Holywood last year, but
he'll "Try A Little Tenderness" for another round. We know Randy didn't
think much of him last year, but the newbies like him. And here we are
again at diva catfight city. But it's a sweep, and Johnny Five is
heading for another Hollywood Round.
Kez Ban (nee Catherine
Sourbeer, 27, Durham, NC, fire street performer) is about to light the
stage, but first... balloon animals! She doesn't expect to win, but she
would rather a 17-year-old with a dream win it... Okay, moving on. ...
Ohay, she's singing "Pinocchio (I've Got No Strings)". She's actually
not bad. Is it Idol caliber? Probably not, but it's more suited to a
coffee-house audience. And hey, I work in CH. I'll probably run into her
somewhere. But not until she comes back from Hollywood!
FOURTH WALL, KEZ! FOURTH
Ashley Curry (19,
Homewood-Flossmoor, IL, student) has a twin sister. Ashley's a big
musical theatre nut. Her sister... not so much. But she has the
confidence in the family. She sings "Mamma Knows Best" by Jessie J. "WEEEEELL
THERE'S SOMETHING GOING DOWN." Got that right.
Last on the docket is Lazaro
Arbos (21, Naples, FL by way of Cuba, ice cream scoop), who speaks in a
stammer, and he doesn't know where it came from. When he arrived in the
US, it got worse. He sought solace in music. Today, he'll audition with
"Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Paul Simon. And when he does... wow.
Needless to say, he's IN.
Over the last couple of
hours, we gave away 47 golden tickets. Chicago blew us away, but now
it's on to the next city. And nothing could be finer than ANOTHER Idol
in Carolina. Charlotte NEXT WEEK!