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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
 
Host Ryan Seacrest
Judges Simon Cowell
Kara dioGuardi
Randy Jackson
Creator Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
EP Ken Warwick
Cecile Frot-Coutaz
Simon Fuller
Packager 19 TV & FremantleMedia North America
Origins CBS Television City, Los Angeles
Web americanidol.com
Airs 8p Tues & Wed, Fox
Available In High-Definition Where AvailableStreaming Online

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Auditions: Orlando
January 20

So far, the Season 9 Auditions have been through 3 cities. Now, it's time to see what Orlando has to offer, as Randy, Kara, Simon, and a guest judge continue to send the talented to Hollywood and send the crazy and delusional back home.

ORLANDO
Amway Arena


They say that this is where dreams come true. Well, on this show, that can't happen until the judges arrive. But first, Ryan, Randy, and Simon had to take a break, spending some time in Miami. However, Kara and tonight's guest judge, Kristin Chenoweth (who was recently on Glee), are already in Orlando. Once the men arrive, though, it's time... for interviews.

Okay, now we can get going. First up is Theo Glinton (22; Fort Pierce, FL; Cosmetologist), who says he's beautiful. He has what appears to be a pair of capes to each side of him. He wants to do it all. As for his audition, he sings "Heartbreaker" by Pat Benatar... Okay, my mistake. He screams it out. Simon points that out, and when Theo says he could do another song, Simon says no. He tries anyway, but Kara thankfully interrupts, noting that he's over-the-top. Needless to say, the judges say no, and he's heading home... if he can find his way out of the room.

After we see a few more nos, we see that Kara and Kristin made a pact and are having fun with it, and they managed to annoy Simon. So, as Seth Rollins (28; Lakeland, FL; Insurance Adjustor) walks in, there have been no golden tickets handed out yet. As if he didn't have enough pressure on him, his almost-5-year-old son, Samuel, has been diagnosed with autism, and he wants to do what he can for him. It's also his last chance for this, due to his age. He goes with "Someone to Watch Over Me" by Frank Sinatra, and he's actually quite good. Kristin likes that Seth made the song his own, Kara wants to keep hearing him, and Simon likes his song choice. Randy says he should exert a little more, but everyone says yes, and Seth has the first golden ticket of the day!

The contestants have been reaching for the stars, and while some have seen success, others haven't done so well. Next up is Jermaine Purifoy (24; Cleveland, TN; Telecommunications Student), who had previously auditioned in Season 7. He didn't make it then, but he hopes that this will turn out differently, as he goes with some Tony Bennett. It sounds really good. Kristin loved it, Randy thought it was the best-sounding audition this season so far, Kara was hanging on his every word, and Simon approves of the song choice. They all say yes, and he's off to Hollywood!

Just one contestant left for Day 1 in Orlando, and it is Shelby Dressel (18; Avon Park, FL; Waitress). As a kid, her seventh cranial nerve was undeveloped, leaving her unable to use the right side of her face. She's pursuing her dream now, singing "Turn Me On" by Norah Jones. She does good up until she abruptly stops, apparently forgetting the next line. Simon likes her, but he wasn't blown away by her voice. Randy thought her voice was cool, though, while Kristin sees her potential. As for the votes, everyone does say yes (Simon added "with a small y"), and Shelby has her golden ticket, along with 18 others from Day 1!

Onto Day 2, and since Kristin had to be called back to New York, it's just Randy, Kara, and Simon this time. Before the day began, Kara advised the contestants to just "go for it," and Jay Stone (25; Miami, FL; Music Business Grad Student) takes that advice to heart. He chooses "Come Together" by the Beatles, and... he beatboxes. And sings. At the same time. It certainly sounds different. Kara thought it was amazing. Randy then asks if he can really sing, and Jay goes into "Ain't No Sunshine" without the beatboxing. On to the votes. Simon says no, Kara says yes, and after a quick comparison to Blake Lewis, Randy... eventually... says... yes! It took some convincing from Kara to get Randy to say yes, but Jay is heading to Hollywood!

In the meantime, the ladies can certainly dance, but can they sing? Janell Wheeler (24; Tampa, FL; Sales Representative)... Brittany Starr James (23; Coral Springs, FL; Entertainer/Student)... Kasi Bedford (19; Seminole, FL; Student)... They certainly can, and they each get golden tickets! How about Cornelius Edwards (24; Boynton Beach, FL; Security Guard)? He learned to dance from friends who were "adult entertainers." Um, yeah. Anyway, he sings "Rolling" by Tina Turner. As he sings, he jumps and does the splits... in more ways than one. Yep, his pants now have a big tear in them! After that, the judges don't need to see any more moves from him; in fact, Simon doesn't want him to move at all! Nonetheless, Cornelius gets 3 yes's, and is off to Hollywood! After he gets some new pants, that is.

Time to bring in 2 sisters: Bernadette Desimone (27; Cherry Hill, NJ; Waitress) in a blue dress, and Amanda Desimone (23; Cherry Hill, NJ; Sales Associate) in a yellow dress. They live with their mom, and their house has a salon. For them, there's always a performance going on. Bernadette goes first with "Hit the Road, Jack," then Amanda goes second with "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" by Whitney Houston. Randy felt that Bernadette's choice was easier to sing than Amanda's, while Kara felt that they could bring something to Hollywood. As for the votes, Randy says yes to both, Kara says yes to both, and Simon says yes to Bernadette and no to Amanda. That's enough to send both of them to Hollywood!

Will Jarrod Norrell (28; Marietta, GA; Graphic Designer) have as much luck as those sisters? He warms up outside, but when he gets in, he tries to sing "Amazing Grace." He tries, but he's failing. Oh, man, is he failing. Kara's first words after hearing that: "Good Lord. What was that?" She thought he sounded like a lawnmower. I'd add, "running over a cat." It looks like a unanimous no, but Jarrod says he needs a couple more seconds. Randy says that he just can't sing, but once again, he tries (and fails at) the same song. He clearly doesn't want to leave, so the judges call in security to escort him out. But he's still refusing to leave! It gets to the point where the security has to slap handcuffs on him, forcing him out! The result is a tense moment in the room, but afterwards, Simon breaks that tension with this line: "Yes or no?" Heh.

The last contestant of the day is here for redemption. Matthew Lawrence (25; Starke, FL; Manager of a Trucking Company) has had a desire for adventure. Unfortunately, that desire somehow led him to rob a bank with a BB gun at the age of 15. That led to 4 years in jail, and it hurt his family. Now, he wants to do something that will make them proud of him, which is why he's auditioning. He goes with "Trouble" by Ray Lamontagne, and... Wow. I'm impressed. Simon thought it was so believable that it felt like he could have written that song himself. Kara felt that he had a lot of control of his voice, and Randy notes that he's so genuine. An easy 3 yes's means that he has a golden ticket! Overall, 31 of those tickets have been handed out in Orlando!

Next time, the auditions roll through Los Angeles.

For more info on the Orlando auditions, and to see this episode in its entirety, go to www.americanidol.com.