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American Idol

American Idol 2012 Recap of the Portland Auditions From February 1, 2012: Is It Vocal?

Hipsters and health food for everyone! American Idol is in Portland, Oregon for the first time ever. Let’s take a look at who comes out to play in the City of Roses.


Brittany Zika: Brittany has a kicky fedora and giant, black hipster glasses. She also has a really nice, warm voice that works perfectly on “The Story” by Brandi Carlile. The judges encourage her to de-accessorize a bit, and she becomes super adorable, earning three enthusiastic yes votes from the gang.

Naomi Gillies: Naomi asks permission from Steven to sing some Aerosmith, which she receives. Her cover of “Cryin’” isn’t spectacular, but it’s not bad, and she has a really cute jacket, so we like her. The judges like her, too, and give Naomi three “yes” votes.

Ben Harrison: Ben is blond and apple-cheeked and describes himself as “adorable” and says “rock and roll” approximately 900 times. He attempts to sing Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” Of course, “attempts” is the key word, because it’s awful. Bye, Ben!

Jessica Phillips: Last year, Jessica’s long-term boyfriend had a massive stroke, and when he woke up in the hospital, he didn’t know who she was. They’re still together, and she helps him with his speech therapy. Jessica cries, and we cry. Vocally, she’s pretty good. She’s got a nice R&B voice, and that combined with her — very touching! — backstory wins her an easy three yes votes from the judges.

And that’s our show! Apparently forty-five people got golden tickets in Portland, but we sure didn’t see many of them, did we?! Tomorrow night: St. Louis, and a sneak peek at Madonna’s new video. Yay?

Ben Purdom: Ben is goofy and a little dorky and suffering from a head cold. He sings “Born This Way” and then “Super Bass,” and he’s not good, but he’s not as horrible as we expected. The judges are unimpressed, and send him packing.

Jermaine Jones: Jermaine is 6’8”; holy guacamole! His family is musical and church-y, and his mom says Jermaine “came out singing.” He sings “Superstar” and his voice is nice, although maybe not as good as Ruben Studdard’s back in Season 2, who auditioned with the same song. The judges are into him, though, and he gets three yes votes!

Britnee Kellog: Britnee has blond hair, a nose ring, two adorable young sons, and an incredibly crummy ex-husband. Her take on “No Good” is smooth and sexy and certainly relevant to her backstory. She’s pretty and very charming, and we’re happy to see her go through to Hollywood.

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Sam Gershman: Sam’s profession is listed as “Motivational Dancer”; how awesome is that? She’s aggressively cheerful, and she speaks like a Disney princess. Her voice, unfortunately for Sam, is just sort of okayish. No Hollywood for Sam; back to Andalasia with you, girlfriend!

David Weed: Because of David’s last name, he gets Cypress Hill as background music and dumb marijuana jokes from Steven Tyler. He sings “Tom Sawyer” by Rush. He sounds almost decent for about two lines, and then it all falls apart. David’s willing to consider a career as a stand-up comic, but he’s not funny, either, and the judges send him home.

Romeo Diahn: Romeo is a Liberian war refugee and spent years in a camp in Ghana. Talk about a total 180 from our last auditioner! He sings some Bob Marley and it’s nice; his smile is probably better than his voice, though. Jennifer Lopez isn’t sure if he’ll be able to handle the whole Idol machine, but she and the guys put him through anyway.

02.2.2012 / 10:06 AM EDT by Tracy Fusaro
Related: American Idol, Recaps

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