Horse racing analogies abound before finally getting started... the auditions are right at Churchill Downs.
Tiffany Chet (18, Cincinatti) She has the support of her parents, too much shimmery eyeshadow, and a very overused peroxide bottle. You can tell from her speaking voice that her voice was going to be froggy, but just how weird it was going to be, I had no idea. And she attempted (and failed) to sing Mariah Carey. Why do they even try? I think she sang Because of You by Kelly Clarkson to her mom after the audition, before grumbling about how she will never watch the show... I can't be sure, though.
Joanna Pacitti (23, Philadelphia) Kara recognized her from being previously signed to a record contract, which didn't work out. She has a very nice voice, though she got a little froggy on the high notes. When she wasn't pushing the high notes and let them happen, it was very nice. She is likeable, so I hope that she goes far. Randy wants more confidence from her. She's going to Hollywood.
Mark Mudd, Jr (25, Kentucky) They made the "his name is Mud" joke, which apparently actually came from Mark's ancestor, who fixed John Wilkes Booth's leg after jumped off the balcony after shooting Lincoln. He sang a country song, and it was kind of all over the place. Paula, in her Serious Glasses, told Mark that this isn't the competition for him, but he's not dreadful.
Brent Keith Smith (28, missed his town, Ohio I think) He's very cute, and he has a very good voice. Wish he would stop tapping his feet while singing, but he was very very good. He busted out in the middle and sounded great. Paula loved him. Simon hated the song on him, because he didn't have emotion in it. Paula ripped his eyes out for that comment. Kara tried to get a word in edgewise, and said that he just needs one great song. For no apparent reason, Kara and Paula started to go under the table. That was naughtier than they meant it to be, I think. He's very very good.
Enter montage of awful, including Irene something murdering Somewhere over the rainbow, a very strange zebra face man, a fat man named Patrick doing his best Michael Jackson impersonation...
Matt Giraud (23, Kalamazoo) He's a dueling piano player. That's fun. He has a nice vibe to his voice, though he sounded insanely nervous. Simon compared him to Elliot Yamin, but said that he seems to not believe in himself. Randy told him to get his swagger on, and he got a unanimously decided trip to Hollywood.
Ross Plavsic (26?) Supergeek. I've met people like him at college. He has been studying YouTube to learn how to sing, and he has a new way of organizing Chinese characters to make them supposedly easier to sing. He chose to sing an operatic song, and the judges all joined him, though it was not a good thing. The judges asked him if he had anything current, and he said he would learn some new songs during the show. Paula asked if he wanted some water, and he drank half her cup through the straw, then murdered Love Me Tender. Wow. Best of luck to him. The Chinese thing was kind of cool.
There was a short montage of 10 people who got through on Day 1, and we only got to see a couple of them. See, I thought they were going to show more of the good people. I guess we'll get to know more of them during Hollywood.
Alexis Grace (20, Memphis, TN) She's got an adorable little girl, and a fiance at military school. Alexis is cute as a button. Her voice is HUGE, and she is a tiny little thing. She sang Aretha and did Aretha proud. I love her. Paula loves her, and wants more stage presence. Simon said that she has a very marketable face. She is so through. Hope we get to see more of that little girl. Kara told her to not wear pink (good advice), and then told her to go home and make love to her fiance, to which Alexis replied "Is that going to be on tv?" Yup, I think I love her.
Montage of boring bad people. The judges looked about ready to take a nap.
For energy, they get...
Aaron Williamson (27, Louisville) He said he was there to be America's Next Top Idol. He belted out some CCR, and got Kara singing backup for him. He could be really good if he just toned it down a few (hundred) notches. He had a good voice in there, but, as Randy called it, the Primal Scream audition was a bit much. Kara broke her ring in her enthusiasm. Simon said he needed to do something having to do with shouting in his life. Unfortunately for him, it's a no.
Rebecca Garcia (24, Nashville) She had lyrics written on her arm, and she was terrible singing (?) Carrie Underwood. Kara noticed that she was voted Most Humorous in high school, and asked if this was a joke, because it was funny. Umm. Oops. It wasn't a joke. Kara was mortified at being the mean one.
Kris Allen, Felicia Barton, Ryan Johnson, and Shera Lawrence were in a short montage of very good people. Wish we had seen more of them, please. Show us more in Hollywood, please. I liked all of them a lot.
Leneshe Young (18, Cincinatti) She has a sob story, because her mom was a single mom of many kids (I didn't get a count), and they were in and out of homeless shelters. It was sad to see her story. She has a saunter to her, that's for sure. She sang an original song, and for a change, it was actually very good. Simon loves her, and her song. She is through easily. Paula almost gave her a heart attack when she said "No," as a joke. But, it was an absolute yes. She was wonderful.
Next week, Florida