Thursday, January 25

AI "New York" Auditions

Also known as East Rutherford, NJ, auditions. Also known as "New Yor, New Yor."

We see guesses from various people in line as to how many people are there, but we're never told the correct answer! (Unless I missed it?) It's a lot, anyway.

We have a guest judge: Carol Bayer-Sager, award-winning songwriter. Who greatly resembles Joan Collins.

And our first auditioned is a familiar face: Ian, who also tried out for So You Think You Can Dance last summer (complete with his chinchilla boa, because he wants people to know he has money, he says). He can't (dance), nor can he sing, nor is he a "superstar" as he claims. But he is funny when he argues that, saying "you can ask my family, my friend [yes, singular], or one of my therapists...."

The first actual singer is Sarah Burgess (#8279), a 19-year old from Ohio who, we are told, lied to her parents and said that she was staying overnight at a friend's house because her father doesn't want her to pursue singing. I don't know why, because she's really good. She sings "Call Me" and I think with some vocal coaching she could be awesome. She advances, crying, and then Ryan helps her call her father, who sounds supportive enough on the phone. But everyone is still sniffling (what?).

Constantine is mentioned because there is a tall Greek woman auditioning in New York, where he did. Um, ok, but I'm not complaining. She's not very good though.

Next is Ashanti Johnson, 28, who has made it to Hollywood *twice* before! She says she's lost weight and worked very hard for this, but sings "Loving You" and is just ok. She gets very upset and dramatic when she doesn't get through.

This year's BFF are Amanda Coluccio (#2122) and Antonella Barba (#2123), both 19. Amanda, who has some vocal training, goes first with "Crazy." She's good enough to advance. Then Antonella, who's had no training, sings... what, I didn't write down (gasp!). But she's very, very good! And very pretty (and very tall). I like the tone of her voice & her vocal style; she could go far.

A guy named Clifton Biddle plays the harmonica and sings a ZZ Top song. Alrighty then.

Last on Day 1 is Kia Thornton, 27 and from NJ (#12378). She sings "Ain't No Way" (Aretha) and is great! As soon as Simon started complimenting her she got very emotional, saying something about always watching and believing/respecting everything he says. She is humbly grateful to all of them as she easily gets 4 yesses and advances.

Day 2 starts without Simon, but we still have Carol so that's 3.

First up is Jenry (like Henry, with a J!) Bejarano, an extremely attractive and mature looking 16-year old black guy who was adopted "into a Bolivian household" (in New York) at age one (#6315). He gets backstory, pictures of his family, etc. He sings "I'd Give Anything to Fall in Love" and is very good. They put him through but Randy advises him to "stay humble."

Nakia Claiborne sings "Dancing in the Street" & a slower song but fails to impress. Making a very bad impression is Sarah Goldberg, who admits to never having sung before and expects them to teach her. She goes on, and on, and wastes much of my time. Lastly in this bad stretch is Antonio Torres, Jr., who is 47 years old and sings "New Yor, New Yor." Just like that.

And Simon is back, in time for the best girl on Day 2 IMO. Jory Steinberg (25, CA, #804) is a cute gal who grew up in Canada and met the Queen. She said that like it was because she lived in Canada that she got to do that. Um, ok. She sings "Chains" and is very good. Could make Top 24.

Porcelana Patino (27, NY, #4173) is an "AI Soldier" as she has been militantly preparing for this audition. She's spent over a year losing weight and working on other things... She has a rocker chick look and a brash attitude, not to mention a physique that proves her claim. She sings Mary J. Blige's "Love without a Limit" and is good enough to advance. She seems surprised! So she's not too cocky, I guess!

There is a montage of the judges mispronouncing peoples' names, then somewhat of a Simon look-alike who sings very high soprano on Kelly's "Before Your Love." He's interesting, but not right for AI.

Rachel Zevita, 18, is an opera student (#6008). She's an interesting mix - dressing Bohemian style, she sings first rock in an angry, rough voice (Jeff Buckley's "Eternal Life," which is ok), then "Get Here" with a softer tone, and finally at Randy's request some opera. Simon says "you're all coming to Hollywood." Could be one to watch.

Ryan is having a 'fiesta' in the contestants' waiting room. Which leads to a montage of "All Night Long."

Chris Richardson, 22 from VA (#8963), sings "A Song for You." He rushes the phrasing but has a great voice and style. Plus he slightly resembles Justin Timblerlake. He advances.

Nick Pedro, 25 (#10377) made it to Hollywood last year but dropped out after he totally couldn't learn the words to "Build Me Up, Buttercup" for the group round. He says he'd never had vocal training before but has been working this past year. He sings "Fly Me to the Moon" and is very good! He gets 4 yesses and promises he won't let them down this time. After he leaves the room Paula tells Carol that they all really liked him last year & were rooting for him so were disappointed that he failed then, and hopeful for him now.

Lastly Isadora, a clairvoyant, is... well, just bizarre.

And that ends New Yor [tm Antonio]. 35 advance, of which we saw 10. And I think this is the end of the 2-hour audition shows; yay!!

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