Wednesday, February 6

Best of the Rest (2/6/08)

First up is the 2nd Hoosier in the Top 24, Amy Davis, 25 (20828, auditioned in Dallas). She says her family is "lower than lower middle class" and she would use earnings from any success she receives to help her struggling single mom. The judges ask about her ethnic background as they sense a 'little' something, and we're told her maternal grandmother is Japanese. She sings "Blue Bayou" and is just ok IMO.

Next we finally get to see the puppy (named Panda; awwww!)! Unfortunately we also have to see 3 bad singers: Panda's owner, Ashley, and the twin brothers Chris (whom she used to date) and Cory (whom she currently dates). But the puppy is adorable!

Cardin Lee McKinney, 20, TN (43501) is T50. She's a waitress. She sings "One Night Only" from "Dreamgirls" and is FABULOUS! And somehow Simon doesn't like her?! He says her voice isn't contemporary & she's too theatrical (um, the song's from a musical!). No matter; she advances. And I *LOVE* her!!

JoAnn Borgella, 25, NJ (82653, auditioned in Philly) is also T24. She's a plus-size model and has sung The National Anthem at Madison Square Gardens (which majorly impresses Randy). She sings a Celine song I'm not familiar with called "I Love You" and is good enough to advance, though she doesn't have the 'big voice' one has come to expect from plus-size black women. Simon says no but she gets 2 votes and is through.

Alesha Stelzl, 18, CA (3032) is yet another long-haired blond girl. She sings Celine's "Surrender" and has a nice tone to her voice but it's all wrong for that song. Paula says she sounds like Dolly Parton & the judges end up telling her to come back later to sing one of Dolly's songs for them. Of course she doesn't know any, and a surprised Ryan tries to sing several for her expecting her to recognize them, but she doesn't (and, thankfully, he stops). She ends up learning "Islands in the Stream" from the internet and sings most of the chorus correctly. She still makes some weird facial expressions while singing and Simon sticks to his earlier no, but Randy & Paula say yes. After she leaves Simon admits to the others that they were right and her voice did work for that song.

There's a mostly-funny montage of Simon mispronouncing a bunch of contestants' names, some intentionally. Which segues perfectly into...

Chikezie Eze (yes, that's really his name!), 22, CA (613, San Diego), who also auditioned last year but makes it to T24 this year. He sings Luther's "All the Woman I Need" and, as the previews hinted, is very, very good!

Lastly we have Danny Noriega, 17, CA (1356, also San Diego), also T24 & also auditioned last year. He says he has his nerves more under control and is being more "himself" this year (which explains itself when you see him, trust me). He sings "Proud Mary." Oh, this one is going to be entertaining!! He does have a good voice, but he's so OTT (and Simon didn't call him theatrical?!), overly confident, and sure to grate. He advances easily and could definitely be our "I can't wait to see what he does this week" finalist this year! :-)

And that's a wrap! We're told 164 advanced to Hollywood and there's a long promo, showing several people playing instruments (cool!), including Jason C & Colton B on guitar (2 of the T24 guys we haven't gotten to see/hear yet), and Brooke and David A on keyboard. Ryan promises "some of the greatest performances to ever grace our Hollywood stage." Bring it on!!

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