Fifty lucky singers made the cut during the American Idol Austin auditions — and they included a potential Ryan Seacrest stalker who imitates chickens, a nauseatingly cute couple who skip together, twirl together, and stare longingly at one another, and a Seth Rogan/Fraggle Rock puppet lookalike who rocks out with something called melodica. As Randy would say: What’s really going on, Austin?
Here are some of the interesting characters who got golden tickets:
What do you do when you’re about to be rejected by the judges? You cry your eyes out and get them to change their mind! Holly McKinney, a 17-year-old student from Texas got some disappointing reviews after her first performance of Etta James’ “At Last.” “I heard the lyrics, but you were all over the place with the melody,” Steven said. After Holly cried the judges a river, J.Lo suggested that she should sing something else. And what do you know? Her second performance of “The Climb” earned Holly a ticket to Hollywood.
Corey Levoy: The guy who’s in love with his sister
We kid! We kid! But the 21-year-old nursing assistant and his sister are awfully close. They met when they were teenagers (We bet there’s an Oprah-worthy story behind that one) and they’ve been best friends ever since. The judges allowed big sis to sit in on Corey’s audition, and he seemed more nervous when she was in the room. But Corey pulled it off anyway, earning a golden ticket for his impressive performance of “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Jennifer told him, “You’re very gifted.” His sister added, “He gives me chill bumps.”
After Courtney Penry passionately declared her love for Ryan Seacrest, we were thinking the 17-year-old student from Missouri City, Texas, would end up with a restraining order at the end of the day, not a golden ticket. “Ryan Seacrest is the sexiest man alive,” she said with a creepy ‘I’m-not-afraid-to-kidnap-him’ look on her face. “Ryan Seacrest will be mine someday. You know you love me. Because I love you and I’ve loved you forever.” When she finally met Ry, she busted out crying. Oh, and that’s before she started squawking like a chicken. Just when we thought she had more issues than talent, Courtney turned out a pretty darn good performance of “Stay” by Sugarland. She got a ticket to Hollywood, so Ryan had better watch out.
A couple that skips together goes to Hollywood together. Jacqueline Dunford, a 21-year-old receptionist from Scottsdale, Arizona, and Nick Fink, her 19-year-old suit salesman boyfriend, sure put on a show for everyone outside the auditions. There was skipping, twirling, hand-holding, and plenty of loving gazes as they waited for their turn in the audition room. The perky pair, who met when they were in the same choir at community college, ended up performing separately (we’re surprised the produces could pry them apart), and they both earned golden tickets. We were also surprised that Jaqueline had quite a bit of edge in her voice as she sang “Begging You For Mercy.” “Favorite couple on Idol in ten years,” J. Lo said. We don’t’ know about that, but maybe they’ll grow on us.
People tell Casey Abrams, a 19-year-old camp worker from Idyllwild, California, that he looks like Seth Rogan, but the guy doing his pre-audition interview seemed to think he looks more like one of those Fraggle Rock puppets. Either way, most people are probably paying more attention to this guy’s instrument — something called a melodica. According to Melodicas.com (yes, there really is such a site), it’s a wind piano “blown into like a horn while played like a piano as it sounds like a harmonica or an accordion.” Now we want one too! But forget about the melodica. Casey Abrams can really sing. He rocked “I Don’t Need No Doctor” by Ray Charles and the judges immediately gave him one of those “all-together-now” yeses that we love to hear. “That was sick good,” Steven said. We agree, Steven. Sick good! We’ll be looking for Casey and his melodica in Hollywood.
So “Wayne” appears to be his middle name, but who cares? The kid’s name is John Wayne! The charming 23-year-old from Karnes City, Texas, sure does the name justice: He’s a true blue cowboy from a long line of ranchers. But what about his voice? It’s pretty damn good! Not too surprising, considering reports say he’s had experience: Shulz released an album titled “Ropin’ Dreams” as a teen.
One more to watch for in Hollywood Week:
· Janelle Arthur, 21, from Oliver Springs, TN: A pretty, small town country girl with a big voice.
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