The Idol clan has docked in Long Beach, CA on the Queen Mary for this set of auditions. (Didn't they learn from last season's rough auditions on the Navy ship in San Diego that water auditions are bad news?)
And we are off to a rough start. Mariah is stuck in traffic in LA and Nicki is a rehearsals for something else. It's up to the guys to keep the ship from sinking.
First up, a contestant whose name gives the guys tons of trouble.
Shubha Vedula (Shoe ba Va du la)- 17- Mt Pleasnat, MI
"Somethin's Got a Hold On Me" by Christina Aguilera. This girl has a big voice. Very soulful. Definitely not what the guys expected or me for that matter.
Yes X2. On to Hollywood.
Mariah finally arrives on set.
Brian Martinez- 21- LA
A producer he met in a restroom told him to audition for Idol. (Must have been a producer from X Factor) Poor guy can't sing. That was cruel.
Ryan tells us a tidal wave of talent hits Idol.
Matt Farmer- 26- Phoenix, AZ
Matt is a returned soldier who experienced a traumatic brain injury in an incident in Iraq. he was told the meds he had to take would make him sterile, but he now has a 3 yr old daughter. she is along for the audition. Matt is singing "Change Is Gonna Come". I agree with the judges that he has strong pipes. He does a nice job, but I've heard better on this song. He gets Yes X3 from the judges. Nicki is still MIA.
In a band with her sister. Looks different but not as psycho as she sounds. Go far away before you break everything on the set. Mariah says she needs to get her pastor on the phone now.
Nicki finally stumbles, I mean strolls in with her major muscle-men entourage and Ryan tells us he sees smooth seas ahead. (We all know that means trouble of the horizon.)
Jesaiah Baer- 16- Hollister, CA
"Settle Down" by Kimbra is her song. She is sounding decent when the Fire Alarms on the ship go off. Everybody out says Nigel.
While the fireman check out the problem, we are treated to some of the best singing of the night by some Rasta Man dude on a new VW commercial.
We are back and Ryan says that was Randy's lunch burning. Back to Jesaiah. She isn't rattled by the evacuation, just starts over. Nice jazzy voice. Nicki is shocked. Yes X4.
The ship is said to be haunted and Ryan takes us on a spooky tour. Then the ship's ghosts accompany some really scary contestants including a guy singing "Pretty Woman" and playing spoons and someone who appears to be Native American and performing war chants.
Micah Johnson- 24- Morrow, GA- US Navy (GO NAVY)
He tells us that when he recently had his tonsils removed the doctor accidental hit nerves and now he has a major speech impediment. This impediment is very apparent to us and the judges. He is auditioning because he wants to be an inspiration to others with speech problems.
Singing "Chicken Fried" by Zac Brown Band. He has an awesome country voice. Nicki's eyes are about to pop while he is singing. Keith is singing harmony with him. And it is a resounding Yes X4 for this awesome contestant.
Day two in LA starts out with a lead in of a young girl with amazing talent saying "I'm 10 years old and I will be the next American Idol ... in 5 years." Reminds me of the clips of David Archuleta singing for the finalists of AI Season 1. He had no idea at that point what would happen in Season 7.
Rachel Hale- 21- Prescott, AR
"People Get Ready" She is very soulful. Sounds like Southern Gospel. Keith said she has a touch of Wynona Judd. Randy says she has to be the happiest contestant. "You've brightened the room."
Briana Oakley-16- Antioch, CA
She was featured on Maury Povich's show at age 12 as one of the most talented kids but when she returned to school, she was severely bullied. She has overcome this now and wants to tell other kids to be themselves. Singing "Up To The Mountain" by Patti Griffin. She is totally a Gospel singing girl. Beautiful sound. Nicki "Wow, Wow, Wow. All the stars have aligned to set you here today." Yes X4.
I hope she does well in Hollywood.
And we are up to the final LA contestant and the spot reserved for the heart-breaker story of the day. Is it possible to have one more heart-wrenching than we've already seen?
Matheus Fernandes- 21- Atlanta, GA
This young man stopped growing taller when he was just a kid. Bullied in middle school and high school. He turned to music as has saving grace. He is strong now because of this challenge. Sings "Change Is Gonna Come". This is the BEST version I've heard on Idol. You can hear that he believes the lyrics.
Yes X4. Hollywood, get ready.
Ryan tells us 50 golden tickets were handed out in LA.
My favs in LA: Briana, Shubha, Matheus,Micah