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American Idol Recap: Minneapolis Melody

Another busy, busy Thursday! Here are my highlights from last night's show.



• "American Idol" auditions moved on to Minneapolis. The first contestant sings all the time, she said. Shannon Berthiaume, 17, was a bit nervous, but the nerves seemed to fall away when she sang a big, bluesy version of "House of the Rising Sun." All three judges loved her, praising her raw talent, and she got a Golden Ticket for Hollywood.
• Kemil Casey, 19, a geeky looking guy in a leather jacket, with glasses, thought he had the complete package, because he can also dance. He brought his own prop, a golden microphone. He told them the microphone helped him to get into the mood. He sang "Human Nature" by Michael Jackson. Sadly, he was a much better dancer than he was a singer, just trying to do an imitation of Michael from back in the day, down to vocal inflections. But it was very nasal and not entirely pleasant. Harry Connick Jr. found him "oddly entertaining" because he seemed like just a guy off the street, but he was working the camera. Jennifer Lopez said he probably has a career in show business but didn't think it was with them. Keith Urban told him that he had potential but just not with singing.
• Then were a few tidbits with auditioners, intercut with funny comments from the judges: Morgan Ovens, 24; Gabrielle No'el, 23; Courtney Guns, 23. All three made it through.
• Vanessa Andrea, 25, has a husband in the Air Force and three children. She accompanied herself on guitar, singing "Some Kind of Wonderful," dressed in an off-white lacy dress, red leggings and fuzzy boots. She had a bluesy sound and was very comfortable in her own skin. Keith said the song suited her to a "T," and she agreed that she loves classic rock. Jennifer loved her confidence. She put a call through from her husband to hear the verdict, three yeses, right into the phone.
• Zach Johnson, 20, who looked like a typical college student in a gray pull-over sweatshirt and faded blue jeans, singing the country ballad by Garth Brooks, "Don't Close Your Eyes." Keith said he could tell that Zach likes Garth Brooks. Harry loved his energy and his spirit. He gave him some advice: if he doesn't talk with a country accent, don't sing with a country accent. Keith liked him a lot and thought he had a good voice. He voted yes. Jennifer agreed she wanted to hear him sing without the accent. He sang a second song, and partway through it, Harry held up the golden ticket.
• Aaron Bissell, 17, was a thin guy who played a guitar as he auditioned. Harry liked it, because he said it reminded him of when he would play guitar in coffeehouses as a young guy.
• Cindy Jo Scholer, 26, a pre-K teacher, likes to hunt and fish and has done it most of her life, including bow hunting. She wore a white sparkly headband. She sang "Crazy" by Patsy Cline and had a gorgeous, deep voice but lost the melody a few times. Jennifer thought she lost the melody a bit too many times. Keith thought she had a lot of talent. Harry thought she was sort of yelling. Jennifer voted no, Keith said yes, and Harry cast the deciding vote, sending her to Hollywood.
• Right after her was a guy with weird eye makeup, wearing a bear hat.
• Then it was time to guess whether a red-headed guy with a moustache was going to make it through to Hollywood or not.
• Jacob Tolliver, 20, played piano, Jerry Lee Lewis style, as he sang "Whole Lotta Shaking Going On." Both Harry and Keith called him on the fact that he was just doing an impressive imitation. Keith asked him to play something just like himself. He sang "Stand With Me" by Sam Smith, and Harry liked that he sounded a little more original in it. Jennifer said he was really talented, and she was saying yes. Keith and Harry chimed in, and then agreed to do a selfie with him.
• Hannah Mrozak, 16, sang "Something's Got a Hold on Me" by Etta James. Jennifer found trouble believing she was 16 and wanted to see where she goes. They put her through to Hollywood.
• Kristi Kroker, 21, was wearing torn jeans and a huge sweater, and Jennifer called it more like a high school audition. Then we saw some more video of people who'd been rejected.
• A young father and landscaper named Mark Andrew, 29, had a big scruffy beard, with a knit hat the same color. He played the guitar as he sang, showing off a bluesy voice. Keith asked him to do a different song, and he sang a song from "The Jungle Book." Jennifer thought the tone of his voice could make him stand out from the other singer-songwriters. He got three yeses.
• Tonight, Harry's hometown, New Orleans.

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