|Casey Abrams impressed the judges with his bluesy vibe|
The show opens with a written notice offering an apology for Steven Tyler's behavior, telling us it will never happen again. The first guy up has the misfortune to have the last name of Muck. Tyler asks, "You know what that rhymes with, don't you?" So much for that.
Ryan tells us that 7,500 people turned out for the auditions and we are off. Ryan is late. Jennifer's husband Marc Anthony shows up for a little kissy-face with JLo.
First up is Corey Levoy who turns up with the sister Brooks whom he just met, despite the fact they only lived 15 minutes apart. I'm not going to touch that. Corey tells us they "clicked" instantly. Jennifer wonders what his sister would do if she were on the judging panel, and guess what? They pull her in to sit with the team. How bizarre.
Corey is singing "I Can't Make You Love Me." I'm not totally buying it, but Steven Tyler claps. Sister Brooks says her brother gives her "chill bumps." Randy is surprised and impressed. JLo says he's gifted and landed the runs perfectly. It's a big yes for Corey.
Holly Cavanaugh is originally from Liverpool, England. She sings "At Last" with a bit too much flourish. Tyler tells her she was all over the place with melody. Randy agrees. Jennifer thinks Holly needs to get a bit more comfortable on stage. Holly starts to cry. Randy tells her she's not quite ready. Jennifer wants to give her one more chance. We go to break and Holly will have to wait.
We return from the break and the verdict on Holly. Her parents tell Ryan she is really nervous. Holly sings another song ("The Climb") and does better. She's too nasally for my taste, though. Jennifer and Steven say yes, and Randy reverses his decision. She'll get eaten alive in Hollywood.
We see a montage of people who "leave their big dreams behind in Austin." Next up is Rodolfo Ochoa who sings "The Circle of Life." Ugh. Not the next American Idol Jennifer was hoping for. Tyler tells him the singing was terrible.
Lots of cowboys follow. None of them can sing. Can John Wayne Schuluz, 23, break the mold? John's a real, live cowboy who works on a cattle ranch. He reminds me of Michael Sarver. John's' sad story is that his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. Her wish was for her son to audition for 'Idol.' And so he does.
John Wayne sings "Believe" by Brooks and Dunn. He has a nice, authentic country voice. So, good looks + country tone + sad story = a ticket to Hollywood. But before he gets that ticket, the parents get dragged into the room. The verdict is read and everyone is jubilant and mama cries. "I don't think America will be disappointed in him," she tells us.
Day two dawns. Jennifer's lips are bright red. Courtney Penry says she's been dreaming about this day forever. She is madly in love with Ryan and says she will marry him one day. They hug. She swoons. She finally breaks away from Ryan to do her audition. She tells JLo she's beautiful. Courtney tells the judges she can do a chicken imitation and launches into it. Courtney is totally off her rocker.
Courtney is singing "Stay" by Sugarland. Jennifer tells her she needs to do some work on her weaknesses. Randy says there are "a couple of bad habits she needs to break." Steven says yes, Randy says no, and JLo says yes. Now Courtney can go to Hollywood and continue her delusional relationship with Ryan.
We fast-forward through Shauntel Campos, Alex Carr, and Caleb Johson, all of whom are going to Hollywood. We have a nice run of good singers. Not a lot of names, though. Steven is ebullient.
Jacqueline Dunford and Nick Fink are boyfriend and girlfriend. Footage shows them skipping through a field hand in hand. These two are nauseating. Nick tells us they are setting out to be 'American Idol's' power couple. The come in to audition together. Jackie can sing ("Mercy"). Nick loves it, but do the judges? Nick steps up. He sings ala Josh Groban. I think he's better than she is. Jennifer says they were both very good. Tyler loves them both. "It's a beautiful thing," says JLo. They both get a yes and they're going to Hollywood. Can their love survive? Who knows.
Janelle Arthur is rather defensive about her home state. She tell us she's been trying to do this for five years. Girl can sing, I mean she can sing. Reminds me a bit of Kellie Pickler, but prettier. Tyelr wants to hear something more uptempo. She complies. I say Top 10. She's got it all - country, good looks. She totally gets a yes.
The winning steak ends with a girl dressed as an armadillo. Ridic. Lots of bad auditions fast forward by. There's a girl in feathers. No, no, no.
Our final audition for the night is Casey Abrams, who really does look like Seth Rogan. He plays a melodica, a strange harmonica/keyboard instrument. Casey is concerned the judges will be tired. He tells us he's been practicing for this his whole life. Casey sings "I don't need no Doctor." He's bluesy all right. I am reminded of Taylor Hicks with a dash of Sundance Head thrown in for good measure. Tyler closes his eyes. All together, the judges give Casey a yes. Tyler asks Casey to play his melodica, and we are out on a truly good note.
All together, 50 contestants made it to Hollywood. Los Angeles is up next. Love the one hour shows. Thanks Nigel!