American Idol Episodes

2002, TV Show

American Idol Episode: "Auditions #1: Savannah"

Season 11, Episode 1
Episode Synopsis: Part 1 of the two-part Season 11 opener features preliminary auditions in Savannah.
Original Air Date: Jan 18, 2012

American Idol Episode 1: Singin' in Savannah and Seacrest's Evil Twin Season 11, Episode 1

It's time to cozy up on the couch and break out your ice-cold can of Coca-Cola... because Idol. Is. Back. (Those were dramatic Ryan Seacrest-esque pauses.) Throughout the season, there will be highs (a la Kelly Clarkson's "Respect"), and more often than not, there will be lows (William Hung's "She Bangs"), but the important thing to remember here is that we're in this together. OK?

Before we get to the night's best performers, can we just get the worst part out of the way first? With his black v-neck and offensive faux spray-tan, let's all agree that Seacrest is truly as deplorable as ever. Perhaps the most frightening part of the evening was our chance meeting with Shaun Kraisman — Seacrest's doppleganger and subsequently my new worst nightmare. On the cheesiness scale, this guy is like a hunk of bleu that's been rotting in my fridge for three months.

Now that that's off my conscience, we shall continue with the positive! Below are the contestants that were highlighted this evening — they are by no means fantastic — they're just the ones we know are going through to Hollywood.

David Leathers, Jr. (a.k.a Mister "Steal Your Girl")
Before singing a beautifully performed ballad, S.Y.G. alleges that he's 17, but everyone watching knows this is a blatant lie. He is actually 9. Another fun fact: he's competed against Idol winner Scotty McCreary in a singing competition — and took first place!

Gabi Carrubba
If Gabi Carruba were the type of girl to post in the personals section of Craig's List, her ad would read "tap dancer-cum-singer and lover of Nigel Lythgoe." Which isn't saying much. She has a sweet-sounding voice, but it was also seemingly generic. I doubt she'll stand out enough to make it to the final 24.

Stephanie Renae
She's the doe-eyed 15-year-old that nails a rendition of "Inside Your Heaven," and while she's undeniably talented, I think her youth and inexperience will get the best of her. She makes it through to Hollywood with two out of three "yes's." Randy's critique? "Not yet."

Schyler Dixon
We're reminded that Schlyer actually auditioned last year with her brother Colton. This year she's opted to try out sans her sibling — she's 16 and trying to be an individual, damn it! But the judges will have none of it. "Bring in Colton!" "Coltonnn!!!" they yell at the poor girl, who is destined to forever live in her brother's shadow. So Schyler does a very impressive version of  "Break Even" by The Script, but Colton follows her, and steals the show. During his performance, Schyler looks on, stabbing her brethren with her piercing blue eyes. They both go to Hollywood, but sadly, Colton will never make it there because Schyler has contracted a hit man.

Lauren Mink
Up until this point, it's been all about the youngsters, so when 25-year-old Lauren takes the stage, she looks like she should be in geriatric care! She's got a passionate voice and a girl-next-door look — not to mention, she works at a program for adults with disabilities. Total package? I think so.

Shannon Magrane
She's the six-footer with a size 11 shoe who brings her girltourage and extremely large father into her audition. Shannon has the fresh-faced look, and man does she have soul. I think she's here to stay.

Amy Brumfield
This year's version of Crystal Bowersox lives in a tent because, as she said, she can't afford $100/week hotel room. (Though I'd have to imagine a $100/week hotel room couldn't be much of an upgrade from the tent). The good news for Amy is that based on her first audition, it's a near certainty she'll be moving on out of that tent in no time. She's extraordinary and unique.

Ashlee Altise
I was really expecting the braided, bunny-hopping Ashlee to be a complete train-wreck. And that she was — but she also happened to have an incredible voice. The judges loved her (J. Lo called her "crazy," in the nicest way possible, of course), and sent her through to Hollywood. She has talent and a great shot of making it to the top 12. She'll just have to lay off the meth first. (I kid!)

W.T. Thompson
This all-American boy quit his job at a federal prison to audition for Idol, which probably isn't the most strategic move when your wife is six months pregnant. But like Martin Luther King Jr. before him, the man had a dream! And it's a good thing he also had sympathetic judges. W.T. did have a "sparkle" as Jennifer said, but unfortunately, I don't think he'll last very long.

Brittany Kerr
She's the NBA dancer (and a Blake Lively/Carrie Underwood hybrid) who single-handedly proved that the male judges are powerless to a beautiful woman. Brittany definitely has pipes, but let's face the music — she was nothing special. Yet she goes through to Hollywood.

Phillip Phillips
The guy so nice they named him twice! Save for his awkward fist-clenching, Double-Phil was awesome. Quite possibly my favorite of the evening. He's got the dreamy blue eyes and raspy voice that American Idol dreams are made of. Are you still dying over that acoustic version of "Thriller"? Because I am.

I am not even going to waste space in this recap by acknowledging the disaster that was Maweno Kodjo. The second-hand embarrassment I felt while watching was akin to a kindergartner pissing his pants in front of the whole class. And that is all I'm going to say about that.

Another thing that traumatized me -- and this one I'll talk about, because it's supposed to be cathartic or something — is the oversexed Steven Tyler fans talking about his "10 inch record." Worst of them all? The single white female from Buffalo, N.Y. who grabs his ass and claims he's her future ex-husband. Incidentally, he's old enough to be her grandfather.

Ok, now it's your turn! Who was your favorite? Your least favorite? Do you, too, lust after Steven Tyler's 10-inch-record? Go forth, and comment, Idol fans!

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It's time to cozy up on the couch and break out your ice-cold can of Coca-Cola... because Idol. Is. Back. (Those were dramatic Ryan Seacrest-esque pauses.) Throughout the season, there will be highs (a la Kelly Clarkson's "Respect"), and more often than not, there will be lows (William Hung's "She Bangs"), but the important thing to remember here is that we're in this together. OK?

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Premiered: June 11, 2002, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: The smash reality series showcases wannabe pop stars competing for a record deal by crooning for a panel of judges, including, most entertainingly, the acid-tongued Simon Cowell, who departed the show in 2010 after serving for nine seasons. The judges review a performer's talent (or lack thereof), and at-home viewers then vote for their favorite potential star. The show helped launch the careers of such artists as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert.

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