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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

Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson
Creator: Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
Nigel Lythgoe, Ken Warwick, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Simon Fuller
Packager: 19 TV, FremantleMedia North America
Origin: CBS Television City, Los Angeles, CA
Airs: Tuesdays at 8pm ET and Wednesdays at 9p ET on Fox


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Auditions: Charleston
January 23

Gordon: This is Gordon Pepper, and welcome to another audition episode of American Idol. Joining me this evening is the resident Donut, Don Harpwood.
Don: I have some earplugs ready, just in case.
Gordon: He's up in Canada, but now he gets to be tortured by American singing. You ready for us yanks?
Don: About as ready as I can be.


CHARLESTON, SC - North Charleston Coliseum

Gordon: Full of fun and friendly people. The Friendliest state in the US, according to Ryan Seacrest. You get the feeling that we're going to be proven wrong in 60 minutes?
Don: Yeah.
Gordon: It's Idol's first visit to America's 8th State. More than 10,000 contestants have shown up to audition. Simon wonders if they are on the West Coast. Seacrest wonders where his clothes are. Like earlier on this season, we have another baby crisis, as the first person set to audition, Oliver Highman, has to leave the line. We'll see more of him later. Meanwhile, Rashard Henderson (27, Atlanta, GA) claims to be the complete package and is called the Black Clay Aiken. He looks more like the Black Richard Simmons.
Don: lol
Gordon: He sings' I cant Make You Love Me',, he does sing like Richard Simmons. The pitch is not horrible, but the tone is...ugly. Simon 'You do remind me of Clay's not a good thing....I wouldn't have been surprised if you did a magic trick'. Randy calls it over the top and Paula calls it Broadway. Simon calls it 1970's cruise ship cabaret. Paula tells him to find himself. The judges are right.
Don: Yep.
Gordon: DeAnna Prevatte (26, Albemarle, NC) is from the same place that Kellie Pickler was from - and DeAnna says she can sing better. This sounds like trouble, as she threatens to chase you down with a baseball bat than wear high heels.
Don: Ouch.
Gordon: She talks about her life as a waitress in front of the judges. She sings 'Fantasy'. She sounds very good, but she's over the top, and if she toned it down, she would have had a shot to advance. Simon calls it an angry performance, and despite liking the passion, he says no. The rest of the judges agree. I think that if she toned it down just a LITTLE bit, she would have had a shot.
Don: Yeah, that was a bit much.
Gordon: The crowd is coaxed to tell Simon to have some Southern Hospitality. Not very likely.
Don: Heh.
Gordon: Crystal Ortiz (26, Raleigh, NC) and Randy Stark (27, Abilene, TX) met on the Message Board. Say it all with me. AwwwwwwBarf.
Don: AwwwwwBarf
Gordon: They met by a trash can (recreated via dramatization) - and they are going - as a duet - to audition. That's trouble right there. They sing 'She's More' by Andy Griggs. Change the song to 'Sing less' and you have the idea on how the audition went.
Don: That didn't go well at all.
Gordon: Simon called it complete torture and questions Randy's advice on giving hints on auditioning. Crystal asks Simon about her parents, and Simon calls them deaf. At least the judges congratulate them on their marriage. So far, dueting on the show that we've seen... 0 for 5. Next up...another duo. Great. We have a brother and sister duo looking for an 'Ow' Factor'. I may be saying Ow for a different reason.
Don: We could be making it 0 for 6 soon.
Gordon: Michelle (26, Fort Mill, SC) and Jeffrey (24, Newberry, SC) Lampkin will sing 'I'm Your Angel'. It's slightly pain-inducing, but it should be enough to get them through to the next round. Simon calls it slightly inappropriate, but it was good. He likes both of them, but liked Jefferey better. Paula tells them both to work on the tone. Randy liked them both...but only wants Jefferey to advance and not Michelle. Paula takes them both. Simon agrees...with Paula, but warns Jefferey to work with Michelle, or her stay will be brief. Duets are now 1 for 6. Whoopie. Simon yells at Randy for trying to split them up.
Don: Heh.
Gordon: Would you have taken both of them?
Don: Yeah, but I would have agreed with Simon in that Michelle needs some improvement.
Gordon: We go back to Oliver Highman, who is now going to the hospital...and is lost.
Don: Oops.
Gordon: But maybe he's glad he's not in the room as the judges, as they are subjected to a montage of bad versions of Carrie Underwood's 'Before he Cheats'. The issues range from bad tonal to bad pitch to Brandon Rogers I forgot-the-lyrics-itis. And let's not forget people who ignore the judges requests to stop and keep on singing.
Don: Oi...
Gordon: Then we have 16 year old Amy Katherine Flynn (16, Knoxville, TN), who's the captain of the dance team. She wants to talk about abstaining from sex. We need to hook her up with Mr. No Sex in Philadelphia. Randy says that Simon needs that course. Heh.
Don: LOL
Gordon: We become bored for the next 30 seconds while Amy Katherine gives the spiel. You have the feeling that she's not getting very far in the show?
Don: Pretty much.
Gordon: She sings 'Reflections'. She's not that bad, but her voice is not as strong as the other voices in the competition. She does sing better, but she's wispy. Simon agrees with me, as he tells her he thought the song was too big, and add that people will either like her or find her very annoying. We have found this year's Michaela Gordon.
Don: Looks like it.
Gordon: Paula finds her adorable and says yes. Simon says...yes? Randy agrees, but says that she needs to improve. A thrilled Amy moves on to the next round. Simon tells Amy to give Ryan the 'abstinence' speech. Randy agrees with the speech. Simon tells Randy to give Amy a week in L.A. Heh.
Don: I think she won't get far in Hollywood.
Gordon: We get another montage of bad singers. And Oliver Highman is still in the hospital.
Gordon: We have one more contestant of the day. London Whiteberg (24, Sullivan's Island, SC) has had to give up the Idol auditions to stay with her father, who had cancer. She stayed with her dad until he died. This is her first time that she has been able to audition. She sings 'Good Morning Heartache'. I don't like the fact that she can't stay on pitch, but she'll probably get in on the tone and the back story. Randy thought it was ok. Paula liked the tone, Simon thought that there was nothing that stood out. She does gets the Yeses from the Randy and Paula and advances.
Don: Good, but not great.
Gordon: And maybe it was because they needed to send SOME people through. 15 people advance in the first day, which is pretty weak.
Don: Which I guess is why we saw a ton of bad acts. Hopefully Day #2 will be better
Gordon: And we do indeed go to day #2. The people are still friendly. We go to the Charleston Air Force base, with Lindsey Goodman (28, Charleston, SC). Lindsey pilots a transport and delivers goods to Afghanistan. She sings 'Black Velvet', covered by a number of artists. She has a nice powerful voice. I'm not nuts on the pitch. Paula is concerned on the nerves. Simon calls her performance cabaret. Randy and Simon say no, and the pilot is shot down.
Don: Overall, it sounded "eh" to me.
Gordon: Aretha Codner (22, Buffalo, NY) is from Jamaica, and she is named from Aretha Franklin. She's wearing a light blue dress with a white belt. She's got Aretha's...uh....assets, and she's not afraid to wear them very tightly.
Don: Heh.
Gordon: She sings 'I Have Nothing'. Aretha Codner starts very slow, but gets going and sounds really hot...until the pitch-modulating refrain, where she modulates into several pitches that I don't comprehend. Kids, don't even bother singing that song if you can't hit the modulating pitch in the middle. Aretha missed brutally, and she's done.
Don: A bit loud for me.
Gordon: Aretha starts talking about her good her voice is. Simon says she murdered it and it's time for a Simon fight. Aretha says that she stops crowds with her voice. Simon asks if they disappear. Aretha says the crowd comes closer. Simon asks if they were carrying anything (presumably to bonk her over the head with). Paula loves her confidence, but it's a no from her. Randy loved the belt, but it's a no from him. 3 No's and Aretha is done. Aretha is trying to argue with the judges, and that's not going to do much and Simon sends her off. NOW Aretha is pleading with the judges, and that's a bad move after you have yelled at them about how good you are. Honestly, she was not bad. She picked a disastrously bad song to audition with.
Don: Agreed.
Gordon: Now Johnathan Boson (20, Beaufort, SC)...he's bad.
Don: *Puts on earplugs*
Gordon: You got any for me?
Don: *Gives Gordon a pair of earplugs*
Gordon: Thanks. Joshua took 'And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going' and mutilated it beyond recognition. Why must guys sing women's songs? Joshua wants to sing something else. The judges say no. Josh says that in South Carolina, this sort of singing is what the judges are going to get. Joshua calls the show fake and rigged. Simon calls him rude and deluded. Joshua, who bolts out of there before the judges have the chance to tell him no, tells Ryan that the judges say that South Carolina sucks. Josh says that he's going to be on World Idol. Joshua is...what would you call Joshua in Canada?
Don: Very delusional.
Gordon: There's no Canadian slang on that? Like a Looney with no Tuney?
Don: That works.
Gordon: And we continue with bad auditions...Tara Smith...pass. We get a montage of singers that get the word 'no'. And based on the singing, it's evident why. Meanwhile, Oliver Highman (27, Cornelius, NC) returns...with wife....and baby.
Don: Nice.
Gordon: He sings 'Just Get Here' by Oleta Adams, and you know I hate it when men sing women's tunes.
Don: Yep.
Gordon: He doesn't do the song any justice, either. The judges hate the vibrato and the song is over the top. Paula thought he has a great voice, but a terrible audition. I have to agree and once again bad song selection dooms another contestant. Emma Grace Highman may show up in 16 years, but Oliver will not be. But hey, he's got a story to tell.
Don: True.
Gordon: And we have a total number of South Carolinians, on the second day, who advance....8 people. Yuck. Maybe Josh was on to something when he said that the judges think that people in South Carolina can't sing.
Don: Yipes.
Gordon: 23 people total.
Don: Ugh.
Gordon: On the next show, we go to Nebraska. It can't be any worse than South Carolina, can it?
Don: Let's hope not.
Gordon: Join us in 6 days to find out.