Happy New Year from Game Show Newsnet!
Thanks for visiting!

GSNN Primes
American Idol
Season 12
8p ET Wednesdays & Thursdays

SS Monday SS Tuesday SS Wednesday SS Thursday SS Friday SS Weekend SS Archives Primes Lineup About Us
InSites On the Buzzer Numbers Game State of Play WLTI Block Party Video Wall Replay News Archive Contact
Previous Episodes
January 16
January 17


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 Mariah Carey
Randy Jackson
Nicki Minaj
Keith Urban
Mentor Jimmy Iovine
Announcer Mark Thompson
Creator Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
EP Nigel Lythgoe
Ken Warwick
Cecile Frot-Coutaz
Simon Fuller
Trish Kinane
Packager 19 TV & FremantleMedia North America
Origins CBS Television City, Los Angeles
Web americanidol.com
Airs 8p Wed & Thurs, Fox
@American Idol

Copyright Statement

No infringement of copyright is intended by these fan pages; production companies of shows this site covers retain all rights to the sounds, images, and information contained herein. Copyrighted material appearing on this site constitutes fair use, and no challenge to copyright is implied. 

Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

Powered by 1&1 Internet

Auditions 3
January 23

Chicago. It's our kind of town. We came looking for talent. We leave taking 47 of the willing. Now the search for the next Idol continues southward, down Carolina way. START YOUR ENGINES!

Spoiler alert... there's gonna be a fight.

AUDITIONS: Time Warner Cable Arena
CALLBACKS: Charlotte Motor Speedway - Concord, NC

More successful American Idol alums have come from NC than any other state. Kellie Pickler, Clay Aiken, Fantasia, Scotty McCreery, Bucky Covington, Chris Daughtry... scoreboard.

First up, Naomi Morris (28; Charlotte; bartender), a fashionable sort who came dressed to impress in an ensemble of her own creation. Project Runway is tomorrow, dear. She sings "Respect" by Aretha. We'll say it again... Project Runway... Tomorrow. That's your bag, Naomi. Idol... not so much. She continues with another song... Okay, this joke has gone on far enough.

Oh yeah, and Naomi has rather large breasts and a rather small bra. At the 8p hour. What are the kids thinking? ... By that, I refer to Naomi's kids... Boobies.

Joel Neimoyer (20; Carlisle, PA; fast food worker) is a ball of nerves. And he's going to hurt himself if he doesn't calm down. Probably a good idea to sing lying down, a method backed up by science (See season 5). Will the judges let him lie down on the job while singing "Feeling Good" by Michael Buble. Lying down. Yeah, that's not helping. And he's lost his sense of direction. At least he made it out of Concord alive. We hope.

Brian Rittenberry (27; Jasper, GA; bookkeeper) draws inspiration from his son and his cancer-stricken wife (appendix cancer) who, thankfully, is still with us. A survivor's husband deserves a survivor's performance. Let's hear one with "Let It Be". Very powerful low tenor on this guy. If he can find a base of songs that match that voice, he can be a threat. The judges give him a pass, and we finally have a hopeful out of the Charlotte audition.

Jimmy Smith (27; Waynesville, TN; social worker) is another Keith Urban ingénue. So we know who the star of this show is. Anyway, Jimmy found out about online auditions via Twitter. And now here he is. He sings "Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts. I picture him switching from country to R&B on a dime. And if you're taking score at home, this is the 27th time Nicki has said "Poppin'." It's a big "Yeeeeeep" from Mariah and the others. Sarah-Joi Crowe (17, student), Haley Davis (26, Charleston, SC), Na'chelle Fullins-Lovell (Charlotte)... all join him. So are a lot of other people as the judges head to lunch.

Matthew Muse (23, Florence, SC; student) likes karaoke. He communicates through his eyes and lets the rest of his body fall into place. He thinks he sounds like Brad Paisley. After "When I Get to Where I'm Going", we can safely say he's NOTHING like Brad Paisley. Well, maybe one thing. They need to shave. And now the judges are making fun of the poor guy.

Next up, another Idol bus... it's a school bus. We're going to Alpharetta, GA to pick up Isabel Gonzalez (16; student), who sings "Nothing Could Ever Change This Love" by Sam Cooke. She has the old-time voice of someone three times her age. It's distinct enough for Hollywood, but can she survive there? We'll find out later on. Right now, though... SILLY STRING & CONFETTI!

Taisha Bethea (21; Concord, NC, musician) sings for a local band. Her bandmates think that she's got a good shot. And unlike most African American singers, she's straight rock with "Folsom Prison Blues" by Cash. Very nice vibrato. Her second song, "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette. She's got a different tone to her, and she's got a nice upbeat vibe. But she's more suited to the band thing than she is a solo artist. She deadlocks the panel, Keith exercises executive privilege, which apparently you can do in year one as a judge... so Taisha is Hollywood bound.

A long day of judging was about to take an unprecedented turn with Summer Cunningham (20; Warner Robins, GA; student) singing "Lean on Me". A few less runs, and she could actually have something there. She has a nice voice. She's been a country girl, but she sees herself more of a blue-eyed soul girl. Randy says yes, Keith says yes. Mariah says yes. Nicki? "Why are we picking her apart?" Because Fremantle is paying you handsomely to do so. And then the bottom falls out. And because reality TV lends itself to that, the cameras are still rolling.

Bottom line is... she's going to Hollywood... and a misplaced comment from Randy brings the day to a halt. That's all you need to know.

Day 2. The four judges return to the perch.

First up, Brandy Alexandria Hamilton (25; Charlotte; Navy reservist), who got in trouble for singing in uniform. She sings out of uniform, "All I Could Do Is Cry" by Etta James. She's got that gospel voice to her. I can see her as a balladeer. So can the judges. She's in. A good voice to unite a panel in need of unity. And parting words (translated by Nigel) "Please don't fight, it makes us sad."


Ashley Smith (22; Charlotte; hostess) is ... wily. She sings "Cowboy Casanova" by Carrie Underwood while making Nicki look normal. Meanwhile, her voice is not bad at all, and like the rest of her, you never expect it. The judges LOVE the song choice. Randy thinks she can sing anything she wants. And the judges send her through.

Another #nickinicknames montage.

Janelle Arthur (22; Oliver Springs, TN; fitness instructor) performed at Dollywood when she was 8. She also met the lady. She sings "Where The Blacktop Ends" by the Australian on the panel. The judges love her, but I think she screeches. The judges send her to Hollywood. Less screeching in the future? Hope so.

Keith has to leave early, so the rejections will come fast and furious. Just to let you know.

Rodney Barber (27; Charlotte; singer/bouncer) is "The Voice of Charlotte", saying "'bout a million people of Charlotte put it on me". He's singing downtown quite a bit. And he's very good. But is he American Idol good? He has been homeless for a while, but people have given him the strength to pull through. He sings "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain as a way of paying it forward. He's got a big strong voice. He's got a nice backstory. He should wow the crowds in Hollywood. Let's see how he gets on there.

Candice Glover (22; St. Helena Island, SC; administrative assistant) was last seen as the FINAL cut in last year's Vegas round. She's back for another go, and she's simply being Candice. Let's see if the judges will respond to that with "Syrup & Honey" by Duffy. In a word... WOW. Don't be surprised if she outlasts Hollywood this time.

Ja'Bria Barber (16; Clover, SC; student) likes to hunt & fish. More specifically, she loves "frog gigging", which entails going out at night, spearing bullfrogs, tearing their legs off, frying them in hot sauce and eating them. And yes, they taste like chicken. She tries not to croak on Bonnie Raitt's "Pride and Joy". Very raspy and very emotional. Good song choice to match a feisty young little thing. Grab some frogs, because you're going to need the energy in Hollywood.

Brad Harris (28; Maiden, NC; supermarket worker) is a guy who butts heads for a living. Or a hobby. Or something. He also does a killer Seacrest, AND he was a rapper in Houston under the name "Bakon". Here's your bacon moment. He sings "A Whole New World". And after singing that, I'm about to shuttle off this planet. More bacon, please.

It's getting down to the wire, as victories are celebrates and defeats are consoled. That leaves Seretha Guinn (26; Charlotte; hair stylist), who is here with her daughter cheering her on. Her boyfriend was in an accident that nearly cost him his life. He ended up getting some metal grafts, eight surgeries out of a possible 10, and one less finger. All things considered, he's no worse for wear. She sings ... the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme. SERIOUSLY.

Let's take a moment to consider the following. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has a register of 360,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers. That translates to millions upon millions of songs from which to cull audition material. And Seretha chooses "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air". Props for her voice, but... WHAT THE BLOODY (^_^)?!

... she continues with "How Can I Live" by Leann Rimes. THAT gives her a golden ticket. She and 36 others get the checkered flag at Charlotte Motor Speedway. But as one race ends, another must begin.

Next time, we trade our wheels for alligators as Randy comes home. Our trip through the South continues with New Orleans NEXT TIME.

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