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Sinking in San Diego

As "American Idol" auditions went to San Diego, the hopefuls auditioned on the USS Midway. This produced some audio distractions (thanks to ships and incoming planes). It also inspired judge Steven Tyler to rock some old-fashioned aviator goggles.

1) Jennifer Diley, 19, Columbus, Ohio, sang "With You" by Jessica Simpson and "Hero" by Mariah Carey. She showed up wearing a red-and-white striped bikini top with short-shorts. But her outfit wasn't enough to get her through, even with two men on the panel. She sang and failed to impress the judges, then asked for a second chance, but that attempt was even worse. Reluctantly, she turned and left. Randy Jackson joked, "She should have worn a red bikini." Steven Tyler responded, "That's the problem."

2) Ashley Robles, 26, San Digo, California, sang "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston. Ashley is a single mom with a 5-year-old daughter. We saw plenty of video of her with her daughter at home. "I'm going to be a dancer," the daughter told host Ryan Seacrest. Ashley was dressed more conservatively, in a white tank top and distressed jeans, with way too much blush. Her version of the Whitney Houston song started out a bit rough but finished on some powerful sustained notes that had the judges exclaiming, "Nice." Three yeses and she was on her way to Hollywood. Her adorable daughter held her hands over her ears as the family celebrated with cheering.

3) Jayrah Gibson, 26, Long Beach, California, sang "Just Friends" by Music Soul Child. A self-proclaimed songwriter, he said he's been told he couldn't write or sing, but he still turned up to audition for "Idol." He wore an oversized white T-shirt and jeans and called himself an "R&B and pop artist." He first sang an original song, "Shake Your Money Maker." His real audition song started with just bebopping. He shifted around a lot in a kind of undisciplined way, and I'm not sure what the original song was supposed to sound like. The judges liked it, though. Randy said, "I like people who come in who are ready to make records."

4) Aubree Dickmeyer, 20, San Clemente, California, sang "Feeling Good by Michael Buble, wearing a white shirt and a white tank top with a bare midriff. In the package leading into her audition, she kept saying "America's Next Top Model" insteed of "American Idol." She was very relaxed as she sang, almost as if she'd taken Prozac. Steven liked the flavor in her voice. Jennifer loved everything about her. Three yeses (plus one from Aubree).

5) Ali Shields, 19, Lodi, California, sang some rap and "Like a Star" by Corinne Bailey Rae. She wore a white knee-length skirt with a periwinkle top and a hot pink cardigan. She told the judges she was going to rap for them, but her rapping was really odd and not anything I'd consider rapping. Randy asked her to "ghetto dance," so she popped her booty a bit. I'm pretty sure he was just laughing at her. Her singing audition was weak, too, but she'd previous appeared on the "Ellen" show, picked out of the audience to sing. Maybe because they loved her personality, though, the judges voted her through to Hollywood. Wow.

6) Kyle Crews, 19, San Diego, sang "Angel of Mine" by OMG. He's a frat boy at the University of California, Berkeley (and looks it). He had very curly reddish hair and was wearing a teal plaid shirt. When he sang, he closed his eyes and did way too much gesticulating with her arms. Randy said, "You sound nothing like you look... You can sing, dude." When Kyle said that he struggled with confidence, Jennifer told him to own it. Again, three yeses.

Then there was also a montage of other noise interference, including boat horns and planes landing. "I went through four hours of hair and makeup to listen to this (bleep)," said Steven to one contestant (or was that just creative editing?). He also climbed into the plane behind the judges at one point. Cute.

7) Jane Carrey, 24, Los Angeles, California, sang "Let's Give Them Something to Talk About" by Bonnie Raitt. Home video showed her with her famous dad, Jim Carrey. It was fun growing up with him, she said, and admitted it had been difficult to make her own place in the world. Jennifer remembered her from seeing her as a baby on the set of "In Living Color," where Jim Carrey was a cast member and Jennifer was a Fly Girl. Jane wore a flowered tunic, skinny jeans, and a black cardigan with brown high-heeled boots. Jennifer liked her singing but told her to keep her eyes open and connect with the audience. Steven told her she needs to work on the volume. They all said yes. But would she have gotten through if she were just Jane Doe? She called her dad to give him the good news, and the conversation was played on speaker phone, as he said, with a notable lack of excitement in his voice, "This is going to be an exciting year."

Then, there was a montage of other people receiving their golden ticket, mostly girls.

8) Jason "Wolf" Hamlin, 24, Livermore, California, sang "Midnight Special" by Credence Clearwater Revival and "Folsom Prison" by Johnny Cash. He calls himself "The Wolf" and likes to howl. He dedicated his audition to his dad, who had passed away. He actually did justice to the CCR stage. Steven said he needed to hear something else, and Wolf asked if he could play his guitar (which looked miniature in his big arms). The judges put him through. He did some freaky dancing to celebrate and kissed Ryan on the cheek, claiming he was put up to it (most likely by the producers).

In all, 53 hopefuls made it to Hollywood from San Diego.

Just putting the auditions on an aircraft carrier doesn't make it more exciting.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 24th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
You gotta remember Jim Carrey is bipolar or something like that and requires medication. Maybe that's why he sounded unenthused?

I loved Wolf (who also did Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues) and the Frat Boy, and rumors are already flying that Ashley Robles used to have recording contracts (yes, plural) and that she's a ringer. We'll see.
Jan. 24th, 2012 06:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, there could be multiple reasons he wouldn't be enthusiastic. Two that occurred to me were: 1) he was conscious that he was on speaker phone and everything he said would be broadcast; 2) he knows how hard it can be to be in the spotlight, and he's not necessarily thrilled that his baby girl is headed that way.

I liked Wolf, too, but I don't see him going all the way. He's too bluesy, and he's not "dreamy" enough to attract a huge (young) female following.

Not surprised that Ashley Robles would have had recording contracts. Her personal blog is still up: http://ashleyrobles.wordpress.com/ According to the entries I looked at, she's been doing a lot of DJ work. There's also some very professional looking photos.

Every season there's talk about somebody who has a prior contract or has recorded other records. As far as I understand, the only reason it's a problem is if they're CURRENTLY under an exclusive contract that would preclude them from making a deal for a new album. Of course, most of the people who have recorded other records either did it independently (Taylor Hicks) or have already been dropped by the label.

Does it bother you if she has already had a record deal?

Jan. 24th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, it's no skin off my teeth. She's good but not that good. Don't have a favorite yet, but it's early days.
Jan. 24th, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
I haven't been blown away yet, either. I find myself wondering if I'm just getting cynical or if the talent to date has been somewhat second rate. I did sort of like the guy who sang the theme song to "Family Matters," though.
Jan. 25th, 2012 02:42 am (UTC)
Thank you very much for these recaps. I have been watching them for two years now. I'm in college and a music major, so my schedule is insane. It helps that I can watch American Idol whenever I want. :)

Maybe I'm crazy, but I think these auditioners aren't as good as in years past. In fact(and keep in mind that I'm a classical singer snob), some of them even sound like they're hurting their voices. I will probably never stop watching the show, but this season seems very different to me.
Jan. 25th, 2012 02:48 am (UTC)
You know, I've been feeling the same thing. I keep wondering if I'm just expecting too much from the auditioners. Like you, I've heard a lot of potential but nobody who's blown me away yet.

Glad you've been enjoying the recaps. It makes it worth while to write them, to know that I've got some readers who like them.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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