Tuesday, February 5

AI7 Atlanta Auditions (2/5/08)

Over 12,000 contestants are hoping to be the next Clay Aiken or Jennifer Hudson (both of whom were 'found' in Atlanta). Ryan's parents also visit!

First through is Joshua Jones, 26, GA (47503). Josh works with glass and sings Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" fairly well, despite facing the wall as the judges were distracted by his eye expressions while singing. Simon said it was too karaoke but he gets through with 2 votes.

Asia'h Epperson, 18, MO (50641) is in the Top 24. She tells us her father died 2 days ago in a car accident - rough! She changes her audition song to "How Do I Live" and gets through most of it, though I'm curious to hear her sing when she's less emotional (her voice cracked on higher notes & was very breathy). The judges are sympathetic but I think she would've made it through anyway. Paula takes a Kleenex break. ;-)

Brooke Helvie, 18, FL (40592) is a pageant girl hoping to prove Simon wrong & show him that she has genuine talent. Her "Who's Loving You?" is very good. Simon gets a hug after putting her through (though admits after she left the room that she annoyed him).

Alexandrea Lushington, 16, GA (41800) is another T24. She sings "My Funny Valentine" and is decent. Her 93-year old grandmother (there at the auditions with her) is cute.

Our 3rd Atlanta auditioner in T24 is Amanda Overmeyer, 22, IN (didn't get her # but Yay, Indiana!!). Her early nickname is 'rock & roll nurse' as she's a respiratory nurse (who does home visits helping people learn to use their equipment) who rides a motorcycle & has streaked hair. She sings some Janis & then, at the judges' prompting to do something else, "Traveling Band." Has a husky voice but seems to have potential. And there's a cool chick from my normally-perceived-as-hick-filled state, so another yay!

The last contestant shown is Josiah Leming, 18, TN (46069), T50. He's a high school dropout living in his car and sings one of his own songs, "To Run." Having visited his MySpace, I'll say I was a bit disappointed. I didn't hear the vibrato on his recorded stuff, though maybe it's partially nerves. Anyway I really liked his songs and vocally he reminds me of Howie Day. The judges marvel that the southern teen sings with a bit of a British accent, mate. (Simon is pleased.)

Altogether 20 advance to Hollywood; we saw 6 of them. One more night of auditions and then it's time for the Hollywood rounds!!

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