The Judges Loved, Loved, Loved…
· Scotty McCreery, a 16-year-old country singer from Garner, North Carolina, who has a deep voice that definitely doesn’t match his age. Picture an old-school country star like Randy Travis, packaged in a high-school kid who plays baseball. Definitely surprised us!
· Milwaukee resident Naima Adepado, 25, who is more accustomed to cleaning stages than performing on them. The judges were swept away by her performance, which was smack-you-in-the-face soulful. “Voice-wise and the-whole-package-wise, one of the best we’ve seen,” Jennifer said.
· Jerome Bell, a 27-year-old New Yorker who normally sings at bah mitzvahs and weddings. He earned points with us for picking “Let’s Get it On” by Marvin Gaye. (Swoon!) The judges loved it and Randy said he had “hot crazy vocals.” Got that right!
· Thia McGia, a 15-year-old student from Mountain House, California. (The young ones are taking over this season!) Thia’s soulful performance of “Chasing Pavements” by Adele was worthy of a DVR-rewind. (No DVR? Not to worry, we have a video of her audition below!) “I loved your voice… I thought it had a lot of character and all of that muster and smoke and heat,” Steven said.
· Harvard grad Molly DeWolf Swensen, a 22-year-old from Seattle who now interns at the White House. Randy accidentally punched her in the mouth while high-fiving contestants in the waiting room (that’s cold, dawg!), but that didn’t stop her from delivering an excellent performance of “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.”
· Steve Beghun, 27, from Bloomington, Minnesota. This guy started out with a corny joke, and then revealed that he is an accountant. “Oh god, that’s two strikes” Steven moaned. But surprise surprise: Steve the accountant redeemed himself when he sang for the judges. In fact, Steven called him “disturbingly great.”
· Getting high praise from Jennifer Lopez is Scott Dangerfield, a 22-year-old student teacher from Milwaukee. In fact, J.Lo said, “You might be my favorite I’ve seen so far.” As Randy pointed out, Scott seemed unassuming when he walked in with his plain outfit and glasses. But then he sang some Amos Lee, and it was like “Hello superstar!”
· Chris Medina, a 26-year-old barista/caretaker from Oak Forest, Illinois has the saddest love story we’ve heard since Danny Gokey’s in Season 8. His fiance Julianna suffered a brain injury in a car accident in 2009. The injuries were devastating and left her unable to walk or function on her own. Since then, Chris has been her caretaker, never giving up on their love. Oh, and by the way, Chris can really sing! He earned a golden ticket after breaking out some “Breakeven” by the Script.
The Judges Weren’t Too Sure About…
· Emma Henry, a 15-year-old student from Littleton, Colorado, who just got her learner’s permit. She had a pleasantly unique voice if you ask us, and she was captivating as she sang “True Colors” by Cindy Lauper. “You have a special quality. You should keep working on that,” Jennifer said. Randy wasn’t sure about little Miss Emma, but he changed his mind after she did a little (okay, a lot) of pleading, and she got her golden ticket. Works every time!
· Bartender/waitress Alyson Jados, 26, from Chicago is the biggest Steven Tyler fan we’ve seen audition so far. Alyson seemed like a gushing, giggling groupie in Steven’s presence. Steven even hugged her and said she looked like she could be “one of his... no, can’t say it!” Hmm, what’s that, Steven? After she sang a decent rendition of “Come Together“ by the Beatles, you’d think Steven would be the first to send her through. Instead, he called her pitchy and thought twice before giving her a ticket to Hollywood.
· Restaurant cashier Jovan Raymond, 23, who was bold enough to sing/butcher “Jenny from the Block” by Jennifer Lopez. The song choice didn’t score any points with J. Lo herself. “That’s gonna be me right now… the heartless woman,” Jennifer admitted.
· Megan Frasier, a 20-year-old student from Green Bay, Wisconsin, broke our eardrums with an operatic version of Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” Shudder.
· Vernika Patterson, 20, a student/cook from Milwaukee. The judges definitely weren’t loving her rendition of “Loving You” by Minnie Riperton. And let’s just say she didn’t take it very well. “Half of these people cannot even sing better than me,” she complained. “Is it because I’m not skinny like half of these females in here?” Uh, no. It’s because you can’t sing.
· Civil war reenactor Nathaniel Jones, a 22-year-old from Mount Zion, Wisconsin. He sang “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” — very badly, at that. But we were more interested in what he had to say about his hippie-ish father, who tagged along for the audition. “He’s not a hippie,” Nathaniel clarified. “Hippies believe in sex. He hasn’t gone anywhere with anybody since my mom left.” Can you say TMI?
Gotta love, Wisconsin!