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Previous Episodes
January 13

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, Quisla Alexander, Jason Block, Don Harpwood & Gordon Pepper, GSNN

Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, Randy Jackson
Creator: Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
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: Kansas City
January 14

Gordon: Welcome to Kansas City!...Do you feel welcome?
Chico: Are you kidding me? *I'm going to Kansas City... Kansas City here I come!*
Gordon: Even if you don't, it's Gordon Pepper and Chico Alexander here, welcoming you to this recap. Last year, the millions of people voted in David Cook. This year, the millions of people want to be the next David Cook. Tom Gauer may be reading this as we check out the American Idol auditions. And Tom, if you are reading this...hi.


Chico: Paula arrives with... Jason Castro? Pay attention. This is relevant.
Gordon: The reason why it's relevant is because Jason's BROTHER will be auditioning. This could be either really good...or really bad.
Chico: We'll see what's what later. However, first up is Chelsea Marquardt (19; Parsons, KS; waitress), who sang in varsity choir growing up in high school. She thinks she's got emotion and power. What she has is "Without You" by Eric Carmen.
Gordon: What she hasn't got is a consistent pitch or tone.
Chico: I'm guessing she was one of those girls that stood in the back.
Gordon: Chelsea says that her parents don't think she's good enough. As we find out, their thoughts were justified. It was pretty bad and ranged all over the place. Simon called it a cat jumping off the Empire State Building.
Chico: And Randy adds the sound of a siren coming to rescue said cat.
Gordon: Paula: Take something positive from this. Simon: What positive stuff can we take out of it? Paula: Me and Kara haven't said anything. Simon: That's positive.
Chico: I tend to agree. She said she picked the wrong song. Well, the first step is admitting you have a problem.
Gordon: It's not the song, dawg.
Chico: Next, is Ashley Anderson (20; Clarksburg, NJ; singer) singing "Footprints in the Sand"... by Leona Lewis.
Gordon: Jersey girl!
Chico: This song happens to have been co-written by one Simon Cowell. So we know she's done her homework...
Gordon: But...can...she...sing?
Chico: Not to completion, because she sings "Foot-STEPS in the sand"
Gordon: That would be...bad. Fortunately, she sings very well.
Chico: Simon, no surprise, calls it one of the best songs he's heard.
Gordon: It's a great song. She sang it very very well, and she gets 4 yes's. Yay Jersey girl!
Gordon: My favorite line from a parent so far. Ryan: Do you think the judges liked it? Mom: If they're smart.
Chico: Ha.
Gordon: That's Jersey attitude for you. Love it.
Chico: So Jersey attitude meets Hollywood sunshine.
Gordon: Go Jersey! And she ADMITS that it was part of her plan. Kudos for her thinking smart. Jersey girls are smart, too.
Chico: Cool. Next up, Casey Carlson, Casey in KC. (20; Minneapolis; bubble tea maker). She sings "A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton.
Gordon: I like the first stanza, which is countrified. Then it just becomes bland to me. She does hit the pitch though.
Chico: She has a voice, but she has no rhythm. Simon says she has a vibe, while Kara says she sees a package. Good stuff. She's THROUGH TO HOLLYWOOD.
Gordon: The family squeals, but she massively needs to step it up if she wants to get any further.
Chico: Oh yeah. Meanwhile, we have... well, it's a talent contest. Let's see some talent!
Gordon: And then we get bizarro talents - like flipping and throat waving
Chico: What about Brian Hettler (20; KC; student) who tried to get into conservatory.
Gordon: He wants to get through with...opera.
Chico: He left music for 2 years and sees Idol as a return to greatness. He sings "Think" by Aretha.
Gordon: Now remember when we were talking about GOOD song selection?
Chico: Yes.
Gordon: This would be BAD song selection
Chico: This is just horrifying. It definitely doesn't play up his strengths.
Gordon: No. The sad thing is that he has a voice and if he did any other song, he may have gotten in.
Chico: Randy says it was "definitely different". Simon... "everything was wrong." He wants to sing Josh Groban...And in three... two... one... "You Raise Me Up"... which isn't that better.
Gordon: If he sang it and not overblew the lyrics, then he would have had a shot.
Chico: And now... fugue for a loser.
Gordon: Terrible strategy by Brian.
Chico: Meanwhile, Missouri turns into... misery.
Gordon: The show me state shows us tears and sad singing
Chico: Meanwhile, we're back on the street with David Cook's parents... who just happened to be in the shot.
Gordon: You don't think that you?
Chico: Oh, of course not. Anyway, we'll see if anyone can make a song their own...James Michael Avance... doesn't.
Gordon: He hits the pitch, but the tone was way off and he's being called a singing Ryan Seacrest.
Chico: Billy Vinson... doesn't. Chris Jones... doesn't.
Gordon: Deandre Hopkins...doesn't.
Chico: Von Smith (22; Greenwood, MO; singer) is up next... if he looks familiar...
Gordon: And now for a rant, we present to you...Mr. Chico Alexander.
Chico: He was on YouTube... which led him to the View... which led him to a contract that may or may not have expired as of yet, but I believe the termination clause comes into effect. That is, if you have a prior contract, you have to lose it. Hence and therefore, he is this year's Kristy Lee Cook. He says he's not afraid to be who he is... but who is he? He'll be singing "Over the Rainbow"... I'll take showboating for $200, Alex.
Gordon: Way way theatrical. I hate the performance. But he'll get in.
Chico: Oh yeah, no doubt about it. He just needs to control it a skotch.
Gordon: And he'll get in. And he'll make the Top 36. And I'll be sad.
Chico: I wonder if he'll have to take down his YouTube videos to do it.
Gordon: Probably.
Chico: Let's go to the panel. Randy says he's got the vocals. Simon says his family loves it when Von does that whole run thing. Kara says he's got a great instrument. Von Smith is THROUGH TO HOLLYWOOD.
Gordon: Randy is impressed. Simon is happy. Paula says yes. Von gets in. Chico, can I be excused from the recap now?
Chico: No.
Gorodn: Darn.
Chico: Now... back to Jason Castro's brother Michael...Michael Castro (22; Rockwall, TX; college student)... also doesn't like interviews. He says Jason's "more, like, girly".
Gordon: I believe Michael has gone to the same emporium that Jason went to.
Chico: Either that or it's genetic. Anyway, he says he just started singing "like, 20 days before the audition".
Chico: He sings "In Love with a Girl" by Gavin deGraw. He's a little weak in the throat.
Gordon: He' decent. He'll get in because of the last name.
Chico: Simon thought it was "good-ish." Kara thinks he's ballsy. And we have a sweep. Michael Castro's THROUGH TO HOLLYWEED.
Gordon: Yay. Hollyweed?
Chico: Hollyweed!
Gordon: That related to Mistleturd?
Chico: Yep. And now... Banana Boy. And now, a message from Banana Boy.
Gordon: Hey Chico, do you want a banana?
Chico: As a matter of fact, I do. *eats a banana*.
Gordon: Orange you glad I didn't ask if you wanted an orange?

(waa waaaaaa)

Gordon: Where did THAT come from?
Chico: I have NO idea.
Gordon: If he really wants a banana, I know a bunch of places in the Village that he can slurp a banana on.
Chico: Vaughn English... not so much.
Gordon: Does he want a banana?
Chico: Probably not. Next, Matt Breitzke (27; Bixby, OK; welder)...He got married... had a child... and put his music career on hold for that. He makes his return to music with "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers. He transposes the lyric a bit, but it works.
Gordon: Now THAT is a good song selection
Chico: Now this is a believable performance. Randy calls him a "cool bar singer", but not right for the competition. Kara likes Matt. Paula likes the control of his vibrato. It's all on Simon...
Gordon: Its a nice loungy voice. I agree with Randy that it's not 'pop' per se, but it's good and if they are accepting Theatrical singers, they should introduce lounge singers too.
Chico: Matt.... is THROUGH TO HOLLYWOOD!
Gordon: He has to be more versatile if he is to advance further
Chico: I can see him being versatile. Next, a Jazz singer, Jasmine Joseph (17; Norfolk, NE; highschool student) She says nothing else exists...
Gordon: For Jasmine, nothing else exists for her. Varsity sports may need to exist, because singing clearly doesn't.
Chico: Now she sings "Over the Rainbow"... and she was outshined by a YouTuber in a hat.
Gordon: And a guy in yellow parading around with a banana.
Chico: That makes ME sad.
Gordon: And she leaves without the judges saying anything.
Chico: Next, Jessica Paige Furney (Wamego, KS; 19; caregiver), who lives in the Wizard of Oz capital of the world. She is a caretaker by day, mostly of her grandmother. She sings "Cry Baby" by Janis Joplin
Gordon: She's very very good.
Chico: She definitely gives life to the song without emulating the singer. That's a quality. Simon says she stands out. Randy calls her a natural. She's THROUGH TO HOLLYWOOD. And it's her birthday, too!
Gordon: She has Top 36 potential.
Chico: Sure does.
Gordon: It's time to meet friends and singles.
Chico: And siblings.
Gordon: And now singers who are rap siblings.
Chico: They're going to rap for us... India and Asia. They both think India's the better one.
Gordon: They do their own song called 'Cookies'
Chico: And dedicated it to Randy. File that one under "What exactly are you trying to say?"
Gordon: They rapped...and now they sing.
Chico: And now for the REAL audition. First is Asia McClain (24; stay-at-home mom) "Some Kind of Wonderful"... the song. Allegedly.
Gordon: Strike 1
Chico: India Morrison (22; college student) is next... and I don't know what that song is, but it sounds passable.
Gordon: No it doesn't. Strike 2.
Chico: Asia doesn't get a pass. India.... DOES get a pass.
Gordon: Good for India.
Chico: She gets the cookies.
Gordon: Now if I'm the mom, I may have eaten too many of those liquored up cookies. Why am I naming one daughter after a country and another after a continent? (And for those at home who are regular watchers of Family Feud, yes Asia is a continent. NOT a country.) Though apparently, she's as big as a continent.
Chico: Gordon! What you do, Gordon?!
Gordon: No home game?
Gordon: Moving on, let's move on, shall we?
Chico: Next is Jamar Rogers (26; Milwaukee, bartender)
Gordon: And he oversings 'California Dreaming;
Chico: Which is a shame, because he sounds good. He doesn't need to cook it.
Gordon: He's got a nice tone to his voice and he does hit the pitch, but he's really loud. He does get 4 Yes's though, but he really has to shape it up to advance.
Chico: Judges say... THROUGH TO HOLLYWOOD. His best friend Danny Gokey (28; Milwaukee; music teacher)...He's got a story to tell. His wife was born with a congenital heart defect. Eventually, she was claimed by it. He tried out because he believes that people can see who his wife was through him. He sings "Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye.
Gordon: He the better of the 2 singers between him and Jamar.
Chico: Indeed.
Gordon: Jamar has the more powerful of the tone, but Danny can control it well.
Chico: He's got the attitude, the tone, the soul. He's got the package. Randy says he's one of the best they've seen. No surprise. HE'S THROUGH TO HOLLYWOOD. Best friends turned rivals... This is a story to watch.
Gordon: It could be. The next set of singers will be fun to see their 10 second cameo appearance. We don't see even a placard of their performances. And we get a cacophony of bad vocals.
Chico: Next, Anoop Desai (21; Chapel Hill, NC; college student)... call him Noop-Dawg. He studies folklore at UNC (my alma mater)... and among that... barbecue
Gordon: So therefore, I must root against him.
Chico: Thanks. He sings "Thank You" by Boyz II Men. We know Gordon thinks it's going to suck. So let's not even go to him.
Gordon: I will remain unbiased for the purposes of objectivity. Unfortunately, he sounded good.
Chico: He's got a nice vocal. Not overwhelming, but nice. Simon calls him geeky.... as if there was something wrong with that.
Gordon: Don't forget the last geeky person from North Carolina was Clay Aiken.
Chico: Very true.
Gordon: It was nice and smooth and he has Top 36 potential. Therefore, I must root against him. No one from Chapel Hill is allowed to win American Idol
Chico: Just like no one from Jersey is either?
Gordon: We'll get someone there.
Chico: But he's THROUGH TO HOLLYWOOD. Tar Heels strike AGAIN!
Gordon: What. Ever.
Chico: Next up, a montage of the weird with singers we've seen before...
Gordon: And we get the evil group montage of people forced to sing Signed Sealed Delivered which isn't part of their audition.
Chico: Really lazy, Fremantle. Next up, it's time to see some gimmicks. We see an iPod, a ninja, and a a ventriloquist, and two bunnies.
Gordon: Hi bunnies.
Chico: Andrew Lang (19; Columbia, MO; ice cream server) brings in his gimmick... his own cheerleaders...Reminds me of Gary from "Pokemon".
Gordon: One of which looks like she can pass for Asia's long lost sister, not to mention sings like Asia. She has hair that looks like a Strawberry Parfait.
Chico: This can only end one way. Badly. He sings "My Girl" by the Temptations... With that much of a buildup, you would expect some substance.
Gordon: ....can we bring the cheerleaders back to sing again?
Chico: Yes. Yes we can.
Gordon: Way oversung and vibratoed out. He could have gotten away with it with a better song. Simon is giving out negative points to the cheerleaders. The ladies are giving positive points.
Chico: He tries again with "Ain't Too Proud to Beg"... Well that's just obvious.
Gordon: He sings the same style and theatrical nasalness of the first song and that dooms him. Andrew needs another year of training and needs to diversify himself.
Chico: And maybe to chill a little. Next is Asa Barnes (28; KC; high school band director). He brought his daughter with him. He says it's okay to be a good dad. He sings "The Way You Make Me Feel" by Michael Jackson.
Gordon: He sings....Michael...Jackson.
Chico: Actually, it's pretty good.
Gordon: He does sing it very well and has a good head and chest voice control.
Chico: It doesn't emulate MJ.
Gordon: He has Top 36 potential
Chico: Definitely. THROUGH TO HOLLYWOOD.
Gordon: Good job by Asa
Chico: Next is Michael Nicewonder (20; Grand Island, NE; sandwich maker)... he got a medal in elementary school for vocalizing.
Gordon: Michael is confident, thanks to a fortune cookie. I'm scared, daddy.
Chico: Funny thing happens between elementary school and now. Puberty.
Gordon: His mother is not supportive. So far, the non-supportive mothers know what they are talking about.
Chico: He's related to Hank Williams, Jr. He sings an original....This song doesn't make sense on ANY level.
Gordon: Does he know any instrumentals?
Chico: He also sings one original for his grandmother...which ALSO doesn't make sense on any level.
Gordon: It's off to Hallmark (which is where Simon suggests him to do songwriting for) for Michael.
Chico: Next is Dennis Brigham (19; Glen Carbon, IL; floor maintenance), who had a dream about Simon last night....
Gordon: And he flips for Simon.
Chico: He had a dream that said "Yes".
Gordon: He's either going to be really good or really bad.
Chico: He sings "With You" by Chris Brown. He's very nasally...and he switches to "Used to Love U" by John Legend, which is actually a LITTLE better.
Gordon: He needs another year to get a better tone and more polish on a performance and audition.
Chico: Yeah. Paula says yes. Simon says no.
Gordon: Paula and Kara have left their senses and said yes. Simon says no. Dennis gives the 'the family flew in speech'.
Chico: And the result... THROUGH TO HOLLYWOOD. But he needs to get better... and FAST. Or else, he's going to be on one of the first planes out.
Gordon: Simon calls the women 'duped'
Chico: That's your quote of the night... "That was called being duped." I think we have a couple of singers left... I don't know if I have it in me.
Gordon: You can do it, Chico.
Chico: Well, it's almost the end of the day... and almost the end of the talent. And almost the end of the day for Mia Conley (27; janitor), who ... is sleeping through the day... That looks familiar. She sings "Lovin' You" by Minnie Riperton.
Gordon: Next thing that needs to be cleaned - he vocals.
Chico: Pitch is all over the place. Money note did not do it for me. It's a no all around.
Gordon: Mia sings 'Congratulations'. Mia is deluded.
Chico: Congratulations... You're awake. You're not going to Hollywood, but you're awake. First words out of her mouth... "You made the wrong choice." "And God is going to get you for that." I believe the Almighty has other things to worry about.
Gordon: Make that very deluded.
Chico: Heh. Last up, Lil Rounds (23; CSR; Memphis), a mom of three. She survived a tornado in her hometown of Memphis. She had to relocate with her children and husband. She thinks Idol will have a hand in reshaping her life. She sings "All I Do" by Stevie Wonder.
Gordon: That's another great choice of song.
Chico: This competition needs a good belter. And she's a good belter. Paula loves her.
Gordon: She reminds me a lot of Latoya London
Chico: Jennifer Hudson here. The rest of the judges agree. Randy calls her a mixture of Fantasia and Mary J. Blige. That's a definite THROUGH TO HOLLYWOOD.
Gordon: Definite Top 36 potential here.
Chico: Top 12 here. Good way to end the night.
Gordon: Very nice. So the Show Me State does show us some talent.
Chico: Yep. 27 golden tickets went out the door.
Gordon: Next time when we meet up, we look at San Francisco. Will it be The San Francisco treat? Or the San Francisco Suck?
Chico: The Golden Gate opens... next time.