Thursday, January 17

AI7 Dallas Auditions (1/16/08)

Dallas saw over 13,000 try out, with a total of 24 advancing to Hollywood. There hasn't been an audition stop in Dallas since Season 1 (where they found Kelly). And one hopeful didn't make it to her audition because she went into labor! She named the baby - a boy - "Idol."

First up is Jessica Brown, 24, TX (24576). She basically says she was a meth addict in college and heard "Jesus, Take the Wheel" as she was starting rehab so it was a very important & special song to her. Now she's a wife and SAHM of 2. She sang "I'll Stand by You" and was pretty good. Simon said she made the song interesting. Advances with 3 yesses.

Alaina Whitaker
, 16, OK (12709) sings Faith Hill's "Stronger." She has a great voice and IMO is the best we've seen so far! She has long blond hair & looks a little bit like Carrie Underwood (are we sensing a theme here?). She's Rumored Top 50.

One I kind-of wish had gotten through is 19-year old Bruce Dickson, who made a promise with his dad's encouragement to wait for "the one" and not even kiss a girl until his wedding day. He's built up as one you expect to be really bad, but I thought he was pretty good (on "Ain't No Sunshine") except for some strange phrasing & being a bit shouty. Oh well; I'm sure he would've gotten much ridicule.

Pia "Zpia" Easley, 24, IL (19948): "I've Got to Use My Imagination" Pia is a black gal with very short hair (& a mini mohawk) who says she's a model and background singer. She sings confidently and has a good, soulful voice. Simon likes her a lot.

Up next is Brandon Green, 21, MS (19450), another RT50. He has collected his fingernails (that he "peels" off) in a Ziploc bag for years and shows them to Ryan. Alrighty then. He wants to be a positive influence on others if he wins. He sings "Rich Girl," an interesting choice. He's decent; Simon thinks he's forgettable so he advances with 2 votes.

Kayla (or Kayla Dawn) Hatfield, 24, TX (24697) lives on a horse farm and has 2 children. When she was 18 she was in a serious car accident and her face was severely scarred, though it has healed well. She has an incredibly positive outlook on life and is so "happy" that Simon says he wants to be her for one hour a day. She shouts & growls her way through "Piece of My Heart" but there are glimpses of a good voice in there. Simon says yes right away; Paula says no but Randy puts her through.

Last on Day 1 is Kady Malloy, 18, TX (16874), yet another blond. She does vocal impersonations & demonstrates a spot-on Britney. She starts "Before He Cheats" but the judges stop her in favor of doing something to show her own voice better. She chooses "Unchained Melody" so of course Simon loves her; he says she's the best they've seen so far (I think this was the first audition city).

Ryan says Kady & "11 others" made it through on Day 1. The montage shows the remaining 6 of these 11.

Day 2 starts with the Bad, and seems to continue with more bad, until...

Kyle Ensley, 21, OK (20929) is presented as a political candidate (with some cute editing stuff). A junior at Oklahoma State, he's double majoring in International Business and Political Science. Kyle is wearing a light yellow shirt with a red tie and has curly hair and glasses. He lists qualities that a good candidate should possess and says he wants to be a good role model - "Elect Me as your next American Idol!" - and we're all classifying him as the typical nerd who thinks he can sing. When he starts Queen's "Somebody to Love" we find out that he's right! He has a good voice with decent control & confidence. Simon asks him to promise he won't do what Clay did in doing "weird things" with his hair and wearing a red jacket, and he promises. Randy says no but Kyle advances as Paula gives in and says yes. I like this one and look forward to seeing what else he has up his sleeve!

Next through is one of my favorites from RT50, Colton Swon, 18, OK (21757). He's in a band w/his brother and plays guitar (pronounced "git-tar"), drums, and bass. He could be a tween favorite with his cute face and spiky hair. He sings "Boondocks" by Little Big Town (I hadn't heard of them before this week) and has a good Southern Rock sound. He tries to fool his parents that he didn't get through & even got the judges to say mean things as he was walking back into the hallway.

Another guy from the RT50, Drew Poppelreiter, 24, MS (16216) is a farmer who gets a big background clip w/his family. He sings "Check Yes or No" and has a deep country voice. Simon says no (because "it's not my thing" - yet he *adored* the blond female country singer!!) but he advances with the other two judges' votes.

The last to advance is Nina Shaw, 24, from Kelly's hometown of Burleson, TX (19679). She's a tall black gal wearing a yellow flower in her hair. She sings "Run to You" which is just ok & then part of another, jazzier song. Simon says too cabaret but she advances with 2/3.

The last auditioner gets a lot of airtime. Renaldo Capuz is a 44-year old Asian man wearing a white, feathery hat and cape-like jacket. His hat has Simon's name and he praises Simon before, during and after his song ("You're a great person, Simon"). He sings an original called "We're Brothers Forever" and Randy and Simon encourage him to repeat the chorus about 10 times. He's not a terrible singer but is very shouty. Still, could have a little William Hung style popularity potential.

The ending montage shows another 5 who advance, including a white guy w/very long dreadlocks who has to be Jason Castro from RT50. But that leaves 3 of the 24 that we were never shown at all, even briefly. One may be Michael Preston, listed in RT50 as auditioning here. Aaron Sanders is also listed and I believe he may be the tall black guy in the post-Day 1 montage who said "I'm a Star."

And in the preview for next Tuesday's San Diego stop we see David Archuleta, one of the rumored frontrunners.

So far I'm happy with the audition shows and excited for what the season may hold. I'm also ready for a break for a few days though!

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