Next stop on the American Idol audition circuit: Chicago. Even though the Windy City provided this season's largest crowd of hopefuls (12,000) only a lucky 13 made it through to Hollywood. On hand to offer some advice (and some much-needed life to the rotating guest judge's chair) was country-pop diva Shania Twain. Her comments were thoughtful, but the fact that she spoke up at all was a vast improvement from the previous two installments. So who impressed the panel? Below, we offer our take on the evening's highs and lows:
Katelyn Epperly, "Syrup and Honey"
She came to audition for her mother, who's emotionally struggling since her father recently left them. After an impromptu therapy session from Simon, she delivers the Duffy tune in her own original way, which impresses the judges. Kara wishes her voice was perkier to match her prettiness and Simon says it's a little bit like the lights were off in her head. But all the judges agree she has potential and send her through to Hollywood.
Charity Vance, "Summertime"
She's refined her chops by singing for customers at her parents' beauty salon in Arkansas. Randy says she has a small voice, but Shania thinks Charity's control reflects her on personal style. Simon thinks she has good voice for making records, so all four judges put her through to the next round.
Angela Martin, "Just Fine"
Angela is no stranger to the audition room. She made it through to Hollywood in Seasons 7 and 8. The first year she was cut after her father died, and she had to leave the second because she faced a warrant for an unpaid parking violation. Simon says she's talented and in need of break and that people like her are the reason he likes doing the show. Kara applauds her taking their advice and coming back stronger. She goes through.
John Park, "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know"
Shania really opens up here. She loves John's lower register, which she refers to as his "bottom end." Randy then makes everything else she says about his performance dirty. He earns a spot in the next round.
Paige Dechausse, "A Change Is Gonna Come"
Painfully corny/inappropriate Seacrest line alert! While introducing Paige, who once almost died from a sever asthma attack, Ryan suggests she will "breathe new life" into the room. Very tear-jerky, her vocals are too indulgent for Simon. Shania and Kara like her and beg Randy to let her through. And he does.
Curley Newbern, "A Woman's Worth"
After a super-high-pitched audition leads Simon to question whether Curley's singing draws animals outside his house, he up and bolts from the room.
Alannah Halbert, "I Will Always Love You"
She also has a problem singing her song in the appropriate key. Despite a group lesson from Randy, Shania and Kara, Alannah, who admits she had no idea what she's doing, is sent home.
Harold Davis, "Nice and Slow"
He calls himself the Champ, which dooms him from the start. He wants to be on Idol because he's tired of eating microwave dinners. His plan: Do a really bad Usher impression and hold a note as long as possible. He's terrible, but he tells the judges it's because of his allergies. He cries (a lot) as he heads home to his microwave.
Amy Lang, "Dr. Feelgood"
Amy certainly has lots of spunk — and a serviceable singing voice. But she's too caught up in her, ahem, special talent (making her chest move to the beat) to really be taken seriously. Kara calls her talent "boob boxing," but there will be none of that in Hollywood this year.
Brian Krause, "Tiptoe Through the Tulips"
He was told by his Army commander in Korea to never sing while in uniform, but someone should have told him to never sing period. He respectfully calls Simon and Randy Mr. Cowell and Mr. Jackson, respectively, but all the judges are terrified by his squealing interpretation of the Tiny Tim song, complete with creepy tiptoeing. The judges send him home, where he says a warm bubble bath would help him relax.
Which singers made the grade for you in Chicago? Do you think Shania was an improvement from the other guest judges?
Next stop on the American Idol audition circuit: Chicago. Even though the Windy City provided this season's largest crowd of hopefuls (12,000) only a lucky 13 made it through to Hollywood. On hand to offer some advice (and some much-needed life to the rotating guest judge's chair) was country-pop diva Shania Twain. Her comments were thoughtful, but the fact that she spoke up at all was a vast improvement from the previous two installments. So who impressed the panel? Below, we offer our take on the evening's highs and lows...