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American Idol

American Idol Recap: Pittsburgh’s Season 11 Auditions

Whoa whoa whoa, hold everything! Tonight’s Idol is only an hour? We were just getting ready to settle in for the night with our pals Randy and Steven and Jen and Ryan, but apparently the second hour of the show has been pushed back to Sunday night. Sigh! Oh well. Let’s see who they’ve got for us tonight in Pittsburgh.

Heejun Han, 22: Heejun is kind of goofy, giving odd answers in his pre-audition intervew and having awkward banter with Ryan. Is he a joke contestant? Nope! He does a shockingly great cover of Michael Bolton’s “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” and it’s Hollywood for Heejun! Great start to the night.

Travis Orlando, 17: Travis auditioned last year, and now he’s back. He does a nice cover of “Isn’t She Lovely,” but before we can find out whether he gets to go to Hollywood, we have to watch a sad segment about his family — his father’s sick and his mother left them. Travis cries, and okay, maybe we cry, but then: three yes votes and a Golden Ticket!

Erika Van Pelt, 25: Mobile DJ/wedding singer Erika sings “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” with a smoky, soulful voice. She’s very cool and laid-back, and the judges love her sound. So do we! It’s Hollywood for Erika!

Reed Grimm, 26: Reed is from a performing family, and has been on stage since he was 2 years old. So, he’s an Osmond, basically. Reed sings the theme song to early-’90s sitcom Family Matters and it’s totally awesome! He gets variations on HELL YES from all three judges and sails right on through to Hollywood.

Shane Bruce, 19: Shane works in a coal mine. Seriously. It’s family tradition. He will be singing “that ‘Hallelujah’ song from Shrek.” It’s not so hot. Steven pretty much suggests to him that he should stick to singing underground. Shane is very polite, and very sad, in his defeat.

Hallie Day, 24: Hallie’s very blonde and very gorgeous. She dropped out of high school to be in a girl group, and then had a terrible downward spiral of depression and drugs. These days, though, she’s cleaned up and happily married, and her version of “I Will Survive” very easily earns her three yes votes.

Samantha Novacek, 19: Samantha’s sister is a hardcore planker, and proceeds to plank on the floor in front of Samantha while she sings. It’s really dumb. Why is this a thing? Samantha can sing, though, and the judges put her through.

And that’s our show, y’all. Don’t forget to tune in Sunday night for the San Diego auditions!

Creighton Fraker, 28: Creighton wrote his audition song on the way there. It’s... not as bad as you’d expect, and he can definitely sing, but he’s also really affected and over-the-top. The judges love him, though — like, they REALLY love him — so he’s sticking around.

Eben Franckewitz, 15: Eben is like an even-younger-looking Justin Beiber, if you can believe that! He sings a nice version of “Ain’t No Sunshine” — he’s adorable, and his voice is very pure. He’s going to Hollywood, of course. If he survives Hollywood Week, he could end up sticking around for a long time.

01.20.2012 / 09:39 AM EDT by Tracy Fusaro
Related: American Idol, Recaps

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