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American Idol Episode 3 - Greensboro Auditions - Review

Submitted by The Critic on Wed, 2006-01-25 17:59

The Greensboro Auditions episode of kicks off with Ryan reminding us that in Season 2, North Carolina gave us the runner up, Clay Aiken and in Season 3, the winner, Fantasia. Since the state has provided such great talent, this year, the auditions have come to them. Roll credits.

The south has given us Bo, Clay, Fantasia and Ruben so some good things are expected. First up in front of the judges is #60731 Sabrina Oakley, 26 from Greensboro, NC who apparently has won a lot of kareoke competitions and always has guys hitting on her. However, her rendition of Lean On Me Lean on Me makes me wonder whether there was anyone else in the competition as it's pretty bad. Simon jokes that he wonders if when he said guys were 'hitting' on her whether or not she just meant 'hitting'. Simon says she's more Jerry Springer than American Idol which puts a look on her face which pretty much confirms what he's just said. Randy says that when she's at kareoke and everyone has had a 'couple' that she probably sounds amazing. Simon chips in with "couple of gallons". Thinking Simon has it all wrong she storms into the holding area and announces to the waiting contestants that Simon is a *censored* something and that he thought she looked like someone off Jerry Springer. The entire room erupts with laughter leaving her somewhat dumbfounded. Looks like Simon was right.

Following on from Sabrina were the hidden talents of #61871, Cachet Robinson, 25 from fayetteville who believes she's the total package, despite being a self confessed shower singer. She auditions with I'm Every Woman I'm Every Woman. She is a little warbly and obnoxiously flat. She scats a little at the end and Randy asks if that is all she knew. She says yes and Simon is thankful that there are some small blessings. Paula didn't recognise the song. Simon says the best advice he can give her is to buy a sound proof shower curtain as it was one of the worst he's heard.

Two down and no luck. In fact, the next hour was pretty dismal with no golden tickets. Amanda McManaway, 28 from High Point, NC wasn't making any friends out of the judges with that tried number Over The Rainbow Over the Rainbow. Simon threw up his arms and threw a bit of a fit amidst his laughing.

Kellie Pickler Audition

By the looks of this back story #61615, Kellie Pickler, 19 from Albemarlse, NC is going through to Hollywood. We get to see this cute blonde at her job, rollerskating at a drive in diner. She lives with her grandfather after her mother left her when she was two and her dad is a drug user and has been in and out of jail her whole life. She tearfully tells us that it's hard to see someone you love go through that and says that if she makes through today then, apologies in advance, she will have mascara all down her cheeks. She chats casually with the judges and tells us she is going to sing Since U Been Gone Since U Been Gone and that it's pretty big shoes to fill. Paula says wow and then asks her to sing a little of something else. She sings a little of Martina McBride's A Broken Wing A Broken Wing. Paula says she's adorable and that she likes the convition in her voice and she likes her. Simon thinks that she oversung it a little but other than that, he likes her and thinks she's terrific. She can talk. Outside she just breaks down and cries. Inside Simon says "that is a nice girl. Someone I would like to see do well". Here's hoping.

#61172 Shawn De Salazar, 17 from Davie, FL has come armed with his mother, his little brother and a sign saying "I'm on a mission to revive the standards" on one side and when you flip it over to the other side and open it up it has his story about becoming the next American Idol. Ryan asks his little brother if he has any advice for his brother who is about to audition and he says that he has no advice because he just knows his brother is going to make it to Hollywood. He auditions with That Old Black Magic That Old Black Magic and Simon thought it was distinctly average. He adds that he thought it was what you'd hear at an unpopular restaurant. The singer waiter type of thing. Paula thought his voice was very nice but his suit was distracting. It's three no's and gets an aww darn in response. As he walks out, Simon says "But I'll have a coffee". Outside his mother is speechless but his little brother has a lot to say. It's hilarious hearing this kid tell us that American Idol doesn't matter anyway.

While Shawn bought in his poster, there were plenty of others who bought props into the audition, much to the dismay of the judges. There were plenty of chairs, posters and other gimmicks that were hoped would win them a place in the slowly growing list of contestants heading to Hollywood. However, the best gimmick of the day had to be ventriloiquest, #61769 Richard Garland, 25 from Mooresboro, NC who sings Flying Without Wings Flying Without Wings which is the song he sung at his wedding a year ago. He has a really nice tone to his voice and by the closed eyes and look on Paula's face, she's certainly enjoying it. Simon says that he has a good voice but wonders whether he is looking at a star. He thought in the context of the wedding it would have been nice. Richard says that if he'd seen is bride, she was beautiful. Paula swoons. Randy enjoyed the dummy but thought the singing was ok. It's a no and Simon makes a smart remark that it's still ok to work with a dummy as he nods his head in Paula's direction.

The squeeky voiced #60123 Rhonda Jones, 21 from Greensboro, NC sings As Long as you Love me As Long As You Love Me in her pink hat. It's painful and so amateurish. Her little dance moves are excrutiating as well. Simon finally stops her and asks if he can be honest. Rhonda replies "You always are" so Simon tells her that what put him off was that it sounded just like the original. Paula is confused. Rhonda says she is sweet, cute and adorable to which Simon replies that so is Paula but she isn't going through. She begs and says that she wants this more than a whole bag of gummi bears but it's a no. She walks out with a pout but tells Simon that she still loves him.

Steven David Audition

After the introvert, it's time for an extrovert. #60531 Steven David Jr, 28 from Dalzell, SC is confident that he has what it takes to be the next American Idol and if not, he can go back to loading bombs and missiles onto F-16 fighter jets as part of his job in the military. The first thing he does in the audition is tell Paula she is, with a hand movement over his mouth, breathless. He says to her that, if he sounds good, would she come and dance with him and he'll sing to her as part of another song. She says she can't but Simon says they'll change the rules. He says he's been singing since he was two years old with a playskool microphone and that he knows what he's doing. He sings a Marvin Gaye classic, Let's Get It On Let's Get It On to a somewhat embarrassed Paula Abdul. Midway through his audition, Paula says that she thinks she is going to have to go dance with him. Simon and Randy drag Paula over there and they have a little dance as Steven sings to her. Simon and Randy decide that they will judge them both. Randy likes the vocals, as does Simon. It's a yes. Paula is picked up and carried out where Steven's wife joins in on the hug. Randy says that it's becoming like a weird speed dating show. Outside, Ryan talks to Steven's wife who pretty much says that he can slow dance with Paula as long as he comes out with a golden ticket.

Halicia Thompson Audition

With 15 family members outside crossing their fingers and praying, #60178 Halicia Thompson, 27 from Eden, NC is all amped and excited to be in front of the judges while other contestants are outside in the holding room sleeping while the long wait drags on. She performs A different World from the TV series which was originally performed by Phoebe Snow Phoebe Snow and Paula is an instant fan. Simon says she is a total natural talent and he likes her. It's a yes all round. She says she has to kiss Simon and pulls out some plastic just in case he is worried about germs. Outside the family, as can be expected, goes nuts.

Next up to face the judges is #60522 Donny Meacham, 19 from Alpharetta, GA who Ryan is talking to outside and finds out that his mom, who is with him, hasn't heard him sing since he was very young. He heads in and auditions with Bridge Over Troubled Water Bridge over Troubled Water. He rushes the song and it sounds awful and out of key. Simon says he just murdered one of the most beautiful songs of all time and that it went from torture to murder. Paula asks how he thinks he did. Simon says that they have some really good news - that today is the start of a new career. Randy agrees. It's a no and he leaves. His mother is outside to console him and tells him that there is next year. His mom says that they should still keep up the vocal lessons.

Kendra Winston Audition

Having lived in 42 different homes is #60208 Kendra Winston, 24 from Greensboro, NC who we get to see another back story of. We learn that she was a foster child and that by the age of 19 she was married with three children but she kicked her husband out and went to college. Inside the audition room Simon says that she looks a little like Whitney. She performs Ain't No Mountain Ain't No Mountain High Enough. Outside her three children peer through the crack in the door with Ryan as they try to hear her sing. Randy likes it but thought there were a few pitch problems and maybe a little nasally. Paula says she is a breath of fresh air. It's a yes from Paula and Randy but Simon says he would have said no to her voice. She replies smuggly that it doesn't matter cause she's going, at which point everybody has a good laugh, including Simon. She has a screaming fit and then breathes in, breathes out and says "I'm calm" as she walks out as if nothing just happened. That was a fun audition and I'm definitely enjoying some of the memorable contestants this year.

Kenneth Chase Bush Audition

From Richmond, KN is #61556 Kenneth "chase" Bush, 20, who wants to be the next American Idol and thinks that this year someone is going to be the one to top Kelly Clarkson. He sings I Have Nothing I Have Nothing and has a very pleasant tone to his voice and his phrasing makes him sound very unique. Paula didn't know what to expect when a guy comes in to sing a whitney song. Randy thought he had a young Wayne Newton sounding voice. Simon starts with his "I can see you in a dress" thing again. Kenneth says he isn't into drag but he'd wear a dress if it got him to Hollywood. Simon says no but Paula and Randy say he is going to Hollywood.

We now get a segment dedicated to Simon's phrase of the season "I don't mean to be rude". Sure he doesn't!

Next up is the blunt #63506 Chonna, Clepper, 20 from Quinlan, TX who tells Ryan that he's short. They don't really bond so she heads into the audition. Inside she tells us that the outfit she is wearing was bought by her mom, who used to be a stripper, at a lingerie sale. Randy jokes that Simon was going to wear the exact same outfit today. She sings Bring out the Elvis Bringing out Elvis and gets a "very sweet" comment about her voice and that with a little work there could be something good come out. Simon thought there was more wrong than right in the audition. Both Paula and Randy say no but tell her to keep working at it and come back.

Nearing the end of the first day and it's been the girls who have been getting the golden tickets. The guys have been letting the side down. Eric Keaton, 17 from Stoneville, NC sings Why Haven't I Heard From You Why Haven't I Heard from You and shows us why that is the case. #61077 Brandon Haithcox, 23 from Randleman, NC takes his time with his nerves before he starts singing Follow Me Follow Me with his eyes shut and throws in a bunch of Michael Jackson "ow". Simon asks if he likes Michael Jackson and immediately Brandon knows what he was getting at. "I didn't need to do that" he says. "But you did" Simon replies. It's no's all round. Outside he is venting with a girl who is with him. She says that if he had been wearing flash clothes etc he would have made it cause it's all about the look.

We get a segment about everyone's nerves as we see contestants stumbling over themselves, ultimately sending them back out the door without a golden ticket.

Jeffrey Ryan Baysden Audition

#60347 Jeffrey "Ryan" Baysden, 27 from Salter Path, NC comes in to audition with Bless the Broken Road Bless the Broken Road and has a lot of nerves that quiver through his country trang. Simon says he's the first Ryan he's ever met with talent. All three of them like his tone and it's yeses all around meaning he's off to Hollywood.

With a huge expectation to live up to, #60868 Cedric Robinson, 22 from High Point, NC, who is related to American Idol winner, Fantasia Barino, arrives to audition. He says to Simon that he loves him which gets a "and we collectively love you" in response. He sings Chain of Fools Chain of Fools in falsetto and Simon has to tell him that it was absolutely dreadful. Randy said it was rough, in particular, the last run that went through about 12 different keys. He says he's been singing since he was 3 which gives Simon the ammunition to say that it hasn't changed much. He wont be following in the footsteps of his relative.

Paris Bennett Audition

Outside, Randy is talking to one of the contestant's grandmothers - Anne Nesby, who was the lead singer in the Grammy Award winning Sounds of Blackness - who he wishes would be auditioning today. Perhaps the talent has travelled down through the genes to #60377 Paris Bennett, 17 from Fayettevilly, GA. She has a sweet talking voice which Paula comments on before she begins singing her audition song, Cowboy Take Me Away Cowboy Take Me Away. Paula loves how different her singing voice is from her talking voice. Simon says "Thank God it's not the other way around". Paula asks for another song to which she throws in a delightful standards number, Take Five Take Five that so impresses the judges. She is through and will go a long way in this competition. Outside the tears of joy flow as she tells her grandmother the good news. Ryan asks her how it feels and she says she simply can't explain.

24 golden tickets flew out the door on day one and the judges were pretty happy that they made it to North Carolina. Day two started off with an American Idol birthday cake for Idol Judge, Simon Cowell. As he had everyone sing happy birthday to him, which I'm sure he didn't enjoy, the rest of the day was to be one of his best birthdays ever.

Paula and Randy present Ultimate Voice Coach DVD

The first contestant on day two was #63298 Marcus Behling, 22 from Powder Springs, GA and he auditions with She's Out of My Life She's Out of My Life. It's painful as he holds the notes for so long, quivering all over the place. Randy is giggling away and his laughter becomes contagious as Paula joins in. Randy thought it would take 2 hours if he continued on like that. Simon says he's never heard that song like that in his life and asks what he does. Marcus says he sings. Simon asks if he has had lessons to which he replies that yes, he actually owns the Randy and Paula DVD. Simon raises his hands and says he rests his case. He then gets up, walks over to Marcus, shakes his hand and tells him he has made his day before walking back to his seat saying "There is a God". Marcus is asking if he can sing another song but I don't think he realises that his chance is gone and that they are just laughing at him now. Simon is asking if the DVD comes with a money back guarantee. Paula is unimpressed. They ask him to sing another song but they're really just taking the piss out of him now. Simon asks what part of the DVD this is from. Finally Randy is straight with him and tells him that no DVD or training can ever help him. Paula says he should do modelling or something to which Simon chips in with a "Randy has a modelling DVD coming out soon". It's a no and they finally move on to the next contestant.

Simon stands with his arms outstretched and declares that this is the best birthday he's ever had and that he 'loves the world'. How long is this joy going to last? Outside, Marcus shows us the DVD before he takes to it with a hammer. He smashes it into a million pieces and ends with a cheesy grin and a "Thank You American Idol".

To the theme music (You've Got) Personality (You've Got) Personality / Chantilly Lace is a segment dedicated to all the people and the things they do to get noticed. Ryan tells us that the next person we're about to see really is Mr Personality. I'm guessing he's being sarcastic as this guys is dryer that cheese cracker. #64076 Jimmy Crabtree, 24 from Mebane, NC tells us that he's at kareoke bars most nights of the week and recently had a girl come up to him at a bar and ask him to sing at her wedding. He sings Bless the Broken Road Bless the Broken Road and it's awful. I have no idea what that girl in the bar was hearing but this is just painful. He's in a world of his own with his eyes closed as he sings. Simon uses his catch phrase of the season and tells him he has the personality of a hippo when he sings. Paula tells him that she doesn't think singing is a career for him and tells him that if he does any more auditions he should look at those he is auditioning for. Randy tells him he should never audition again.

While James was lacking, our next contestant surely made up for it. #67572 Sammy Neighbors, 22 from Providence, NC admits he is a crazy person and is raw. He brings a red blanket into the room which he says is going to be his magic carpet as he sings A Whole New World A Whole New World from Aladdin. He has absolutely no singing voice whatsoever. He then decides to throw his blankey away and rip into Straight Up Straight Up and Paula looks surprised to see one of her songs thrown in there. When Sammy finally decides to stop Simon says "Wonderful. Just what we need. Sylvester Stallones younger sister singing Paula Abdul". It's a no all round.

Tyra Juliette Schwartz Audition

Waiting in line with a hot cup of coffee and a story to tell is #63595 Tyra Juliette Schwartz, 24 from New York, NY who took an 11 hour train ride to get her after ditching her boyfriend who she caught cheating on her just after she had an operation. She's performing In The Still Of The Night In the Still of the Night and it's very nice. Nice tone, nice control comments all round but Simon isn't sure she's a star. She says that people are only as good as how hard they work and Simon thinks she'll brush up nicely. They all love her and she promises them that they will not be disappointed that they picked her. Ryan says that perhaps she will be able to find a man in Hollywood as there were slim pickings in Greensboro. And with that they roll into a segment about the North Carolina boys with It's Raining Men It's Raining Men.

#64916 Seth Strickland, 22 from Rome, GA was an even whiter Michael Jackson who had some of the moves but was lacking in other areas. His audition of Thriller Thriller was marred by his inability to remember the words. The judges enjoyed his moves but before they could really say anything, he launched into another Michael Jackson number, this time She's Out of My Life She's Out of My Life. Randy is lost for words but likes his toe moves. Paula and Simon basically tell him his dancing is probably a better option for him.

Jordan Southerland Audition

Dressed up in his dad's fireman's uniform, #65975 Jordan Southerland, 24 from Beulaville, NC tells us that he's been watching American Idol since season 1 and gets a "I hope not in that" comment from Simon. He's singing You Raise Me Up You Raise Me Up (Radio Edit) and his voice is not bad at all. Randy thinks it was nice but doesn't say yes. Paula says yes which means it is down to Simon. And he agrees with Paula which means he is off to Hollywood.

Throughout the entire show, we've been hearing about one contestant who is supposedly going to have a cat fight with Paula. Introducing her is Ryan with a back story on some of the more memorable American Idol rejects from previous seasons, including the infamous The Derek, Keith, William Hung and Leroy Wells. The newest member of this illustrious group is the woman who is all mouth, #64390 Rhonetta Johnson, 24 from Charlotte, NC. She thinks she is all that and that her outfit, as described by her is sexy. I guess so, if you like your woman with a bit of extra padding that has escape it's constraints. She thinks she is up to the level of talent of all the superstars. She walks into the audition room and starts singing Oops I Did It Again Oops!...I Did It Again. Randy asks if that was her song but she tells them that she was only joking. They ask her if she thinks she can be bigger than J Lo and she says that she can be. Simon says that in a way she already is. She starts off with You Remind Me You Remind Me but decides that she wants to do another song as she didn't like that one. The judges agree so she sings one line of And I And I before telling them "that was it". She really is nasty. Knowing she's on the ropes she says that she knows she can do much better than this. They all tell her that it's a no and that shes a good singer. Outside she is all upity about Paula and how she'll be on the charts selling more than the American Idol. How many seasons have we heard that? How many of those statements have actually come true, or, even made it into the Billboard 200? She continues to rant and rant and rant. And then rant some more. Oh this is great television. She vents her spleen like never before, making a right royal idiot of herself in front of the entire country. Congratulations on being the latest laughing stock Rhonetta.You deserved it.

Only 9 people made it on the second day which was somewhat surprising after the first day. To round out tonight's episode we get a segment of all the auditions of people who used Fame Fame as their audition piece. Tomorrow night, San Francisco.

I absolutly love Paris! I

I absolutly love Paris! I can't wait to see her win American Idol

~Aymie from





2006 Contestants