By Katrina Galsim
2:10 AM EST, January 23, 2012
“The 'American Idol' auditions are in a … boat, I’m guessing?” wondered one Idol hopeful.
A very large one at that, as the San Diego auditions of "Idol" were held aboard the USS Midway, complete with jets flying above ("Top Gun," anyone?).
Now, let’s take a look at the auditioners…
A “patriotic” Jennifer Diley kicked things off wearing a bikini top and a barely there pair of shorts. After climbing the steps twice just to make sure Ryan Seacrest got a good look, Jennifer sang in front of the judging panel with a blah performance. You know you’re bad when Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson couldn’t give you a golden ticket for your skimpy outfit. As a sign of desperation though, Jennifer sang “Hero” by Mariah Carey to change the judges’ minds. Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse. (Verdict: Goodbye)
You know a good audition is coming up when a back story with a kid is showcased. Local girl Ashley Robles, an insurance agent and a DJ, is a 26-year-old single mom to a 5-year-old wannabe dancer. I have to admit, I did a facepalm when she said she was going to sing “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston (can we just retire that song already?). But hold up, girlfriend got pipes! It was a unanimous “Yes!” from the judges as Ashley sailed on to the next round. (Verdict: Hollywood!)
Jayrah Gibson, a man with a plan, sang an original song for J.Lo called “Shake Your Money Maker” because “She’s got a money maker” (I mean, if that’s your way of impressing judges). The judges really loved him, and his voice and gave him the golden ticket. “I got a ticket to Hollywood! It’s golden! It’s like the golden t-ticket from Charlie, uh, to the … the … the factory! The Charlie … what is it called?” (Verdict: Hollywood!)
Twenty-year-old California girl Aubree Dieckmeyer is excited to be auditioning for “America’s Next Top Model … to become America’s Next Idol … Americans…“ You know what, I blame the jets. They tend to disorient singers. But Aubree must have gathered herself pretty well right before her audition because she sang a very convincing “Feeling Good” by Michael Buble. Randy thought her voice needed more power but liked her anyway. All judges gave her a “Yes” and so do I, not that it matters. But I like the tone of her voice and I’m jealous of her hair. (Verdict: Hollywood!)
Ali Shields, she with the floral sneakers and goofy rapping, can boast of her first two kisses being with Mike Posner and Usher. Her singing of Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Like a Star” was subpar, but she so won over the judges with her personality that they all gave her a ticket to Hollywood (really?). Let’s bring in the entertainment, I guess. (Verdict: Hollywood!)
College student Kyle Crews, who is in love with J.Lo’s “voluptuous” lips, dedicated Monica’s “Angel of Mine” to the female judge. At first I was distracted by his shirt, so when I closed my eyes to listen, I realized his voice isn’t half bad. It’s different. Similar to Season 3’s Jon Peter Lewis, but not quite. I’m curious to see how far this guy will go. (Verdict: Hollywood!)
After Steven was done playing around with a jet, a regular-looking auditioner was interviewed talking about being a mom and being a daughter of … Jim Carrey?! That made it a somewhat In Living Color reunion as Jane Carrey entered the room and J.Lo asked if she remembered her. “I think I was, like, 2,” Jane said politely. Oh, J.Lo. Toddlers don’t care about Fly Girls. Jane sang a solid “Something to Talk About.” The judges gave constructive feedback like connecting with the audience and putting more volume, which surprised me because this doesn’t happen a lot … or maybe it doesn’t get shown a lot on audition rounds. In any case, the judges put her through and Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” is played in the background and I start to feel happy and sunny. (Verdict: Hollywood!)
Last one to audition is mechanic Jason “Wolf” Hamlin who just started singing three years ago when his late father gave him a guitar. His audition was just OK when he sang “Midnight Special,” but thankfully the judges asked for more so he broke out his “git-fiddle” (also known as a “guitar” to the rest of the world) and sang with more grit and gusto. He got a unanimous “Yes” from the panel so we will see him in Hollywood!
“We got so many good people today. Like, seven triple threats,” said Steven, summing up the San Diego auditions. And with that, 53 singers moved on to the Hollywood round.
Wednesday night, "Idol" will visit Aspen, Colo. as Ryan crashes a golf cart. Thrilling stuff.
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