Thursday, January 31

AI7 Auditions - Miami (1/30/08)

Miami had over 10,000 auditioners; that seems to be the 'magic' number this year. Miami has fewer people advance to Hollywood than Omaha did, but the talent is more impressive, IMO anyway....

Robbie Carrico, 25, FL (73070) is Top 24. I knew his backstory from spoilers and was actually surprised Ryan tells the audience in narration, at least part of it: Robbie the Rocker used to be in a boy band! (He also dated Britney, but I understand why that wasn't mentioned!) The guy's already hated online by many as a poser, and I wasn't prepared to like him... but I do. Potentially a lot. ;-) He sings "Simple Man" and is very good. Seems to have a nice (polite, mature) personality. And definitely a sense of humor, shared by his family who cover him in Silly String when he emerges with the coveted Golden Ticket.

Ghaleb Emachah, 27, FL (71352) is originally from Venezuela. He plays guitar, piano, and harmonica and sings "gypsy music." I thought he was ok; Simon said he'd like him if he (Simon) were drunk. Randy & Paula put him through.

Next are BFF's Brittany Wescott (76599) and Corliss Smith (75918), both 20 & from FL. Corliss is first and sings "Take 5" to Randy. Brittany follows with "My Guy," to Simon per the judges' suggestion. I think Brittany has a very pretty voice, though Corliss is maybe a better singer? Anyway both are advanced and there is a hugfest.

Suzanne Toon, 21, FL (76501) attended a performing arts school. She also got pregnant at 18 and had her daughter Madison at 19 (Madison's father did not stay so Suzanne is a single mom). Suzanne says she hasn't sung in 3 years. "I Can't Make You Love Me" - she's good, and her voice has an interesting/different tone.

Next we get a clip of Jasmine Trias (of whom we had more than enough during her own season, "thank you") and are told that her album went Platinum in the Philippines. Our next contestant is also Filipino: Ramiele Malubay, 19, FL (74854) & T24. Sings (ok, belts) "Natural Woman" and has potential though the high notes stretch her. Simon says she doesn't sound contemporary enough and thinks Randy & Paula only like her because she's short & cute (which she is), and she advances. End of Day 1.

First on Day 2 is Syesha Mercado, 20, FL (67235) - another T24. Syesha was a finalist on the (too short-lived) competition show "The One" so we know she can sing... she does "Think (Freedom)" and is belty but good. We also get family clippage of her w/her father who just got out of rehab after struggling with drugs & alcohol "for years."

Natashia Blach, 29, CO (68639) sings "At Last." She is very good also.

Our last good singer in Miami is Ilsy Lorena Pinot, 29, FL, RT50. I don't know the song she sang but she's good enough.

There are very short clips of 3 guys who advance. Then several folks who don't.

Not advancing but worth mentioning is Julie Dubela, 16, who was in the Top 20 on American Juniors several years ago. She has a good voice which comes out in parts of "Me & Bobby McGee," but she also over-performs and is annoying. When Simon tells her she's precocious, she haughtily asks, "what does that mean?" and the judges giggle. Simon encouraged her (honestly) to pursue acting and she got upset. The judges labeled her over-indulged, which is probably true, though not her fault.

Last is another annoying no (this one a guy all in white). In total 17 advance from Miami. We were shown auditions of 9, which is over half - wow! Plus we were shown 1/8 of the Top 24! Ending with the usual end montage (though it has more repeats of those we've already seen than normal)... and next stop, Atlanta!

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