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American Idol

Recap of American Idol Season 10, Week 1: The New Orleans Auditions

Everybody knows that New Orleans knows how to party, so we were almost expecting to see beads being flung, "ooh-ooh-bees" being flashed, and shots being tossed back when American Idol rolled into town for Season 10 auditions. The crunk-o-meter didn't go quite that high in Randy's hometown, but there were plenty of memorable moments in good ole N’Orleans.

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The Worst

• When will contestants learn that singing the song "I Am Telling You" in a big, dramatic way doesn't automatically make them the next Jennifer Hudson? Natasha Palmer, a 21-year-old clerk from Marerro, Louisiana, slaughtered the J.Hud/Dreamgirls ballad with her failed vocal acrobatics. And we are telling you... she's NOT going to Hollywood.

• Gabriel Franks may somewhat resemble a younger version of Steven Tyler (though Steven thinks he looks more like Mick Jagger), but the Baton Rouge pizza maker can dream on if he thinks he sounds anything like the rock legend. After Gabriel’s performance of Bad Romance, Steven commented, "You think it was a bad choice of song?" Well, Steven, there’s that and the bad vocals, bad facial expressions, bad stage presence, and bad idea for this guy to audition in the first place. We’re just tellin’ it like it is.

• 18-year-old nursing student Alex Attardo had a sweet story to tell: He first sang in front of an audience when he went to American Idol camp at age 15. (And yes, there really was such a thing as Idol camp. And we totally wish we could have gone.) But after his disappointing audition, Randy Jackson only had one thing to say to the former Idol camper: “Maybe they should cancel the camp.” Harsh! But we were thinking the same thing.

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The Best

• Jordan Dorsey, a piano and vocal teacher from LaPlace, Louisiana, was the first contestant to give J.Lo “goose pimples all over [her] body” when he sang a sweet and soulful rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Aww. That song gets us every time! Plus it doesn’t hurt that Jordan is very easy on the eyes.

• Watch out, Mark Anthony. Jovany Bareto, a 23-year-old ship builder, is eyeing your wife! “You are a goddess in my eyes,” Jovany told J.Lo, before singing a Spanish ballad that earned him a ticket to Hollywood. Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that he also took off his shirt to show Jennifer his hot bod. (Then Randy and Steven had to ruin it by lifting up their shirts too, but we’ll just rewind and pause on Jovany.)

• Jacquelyn Dupree — a 24-year-old cosmetologist from Summit, Mississippi, who turned out to be one of the night’s best singers — brought along her uncle Jerry Wilkinson to the auditions. He was Randy’s high school football coach, and the two had a little reunion right there in the audition room. So, what did Steven Tyler have to contribute to Randy’s surprise reunion? “So coach, did you ever paddle [Randy’s] a--?” he asked. The coach replied, “It was too big to paddle.” Oh, snap!

• Brett Loewenstern, a 16-year-old student from Boca Raton, Florida, talked about being teased as a child for being different. “I’m a red apple in a pile of green apples,” the ginger teen said. “I like to stand out.” He admitted that he has been called a dork and he was never invited to birthday parties growing up. But dude’s old classmates are going to be knocking on his door after seeing his “Bohemian Rhapsody” on Thursday night. “You were fabulous,” Steven said, before Brett received his ticket to Hollywood. “This ticket is a representation of believing in yourself,” he said. Mark our words: We’ll be seeing a lot more of this kid.

• Speaking of teens who can sing their butts off, 15-year-old Jacee Badeaux stunned the judges with a voice that hasn’t even changed yet. But his young speaking voice didn’t matter when he belted out “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.” “You are so sweet and so cute,” Jennifer gushed. “Your voice is really beautiful.” He even got a “double helping of ‘ooh-yeah’” from Steven, so you know he’s good. We heart Jacee!

• Paris Tassin, a 23-year-old medical assistant from New Orleans, spoke about being a single mother to a child with special needs. (Geez Idol, what is with all of the sob stories this year? You’re killing us!) When Paris sang Carrie Underwood’s “Temporary Home” in honor of her daughter, J.Lo couldn’t hold back the tears. But even without the sad story, she would have been one of the best singers from the New Orleans auditions, which sent a total of 37 hopefuls to Hollywood!

01.21.2011 / 11:34 AM EDT by Latoya West
Related: American Idol, Recaps

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