Bernard Williams II, 26, of Pleasant Grove, Alabama, thinks he’s the next to carry the torch for Birmingham in American Idol. He heard Simon say the next Idol is not going to be from there, and he’s hoping to prove him wrong. He’s not wearing one glove, but nonetheless sings Rock With You by Michael Jackson, and Simon calls him very good. Paula is shocked to hear Simon say that, as she was going to say he has a great tone, but is completely offkey. It’s a no for her. Simon still thinks he has potential, leaving it up to Randy. Bernard pleads to Randy, calling him “Dawg,” and Randy now feels he has no choice, since he “said the words of endearment” to him. He votes yes, and Bernard tells Simon they said they’d be coming. I think he means something about Birmingham having a big showing again on the show.
Margaret Fowler, from Atlanta, Georgia, says she’s 26, and the person providing the graphics on the screen questions this, displaying it as “26??” She says she’s a Southern homestyle cooker and will “put meat on ya.” She’s into clothing for plus size girls like her. She refers to what she’s wearing as frilly and little, and I hate to say it, but it’s another thing large people shouldn’t wear, and certainly isn’t little. She looks like Big Bird, but says it’s to match her Golden Ticket. She hopes to overwhelm the judges, especially Simon. She does, but in a different way than she probably wanted. Simon tells her if she’s 26, he’s 11, Paula is 9, and Randy is 10. She’s asked where her audition number is, and she raises her shirt, showing it’s taped to the front of her pants. Randy has to ask what is going on with the show.
I’m not even able to tell what it is Margaret is singing. Simon says he has no idea what the show is anymore, saying she’s standing there looking like some Easter Bunny nightmare experiment, she’s not even 26, and her singing is atrocious. She’s obviously not going through, so he asks for some honesty with her age. She says 33, and he asks again, how old she is. 50. Paula tells her she is amazing, and thanks her for coming. I understand Simon’s point. At some point this needs to become about the singing again, and not the outrageousness.
Jamie Lynn Ward, 17, of Reidsville, North Carolina, is wearing a light blue t-shirt that says, “Blue-Eyed Bombshell” on it. Her daddy is paralyzed, and she and her grandma take care of him. If she won the money she’d buy her grandma a house where she doesn’t have to go up and down the stairs anymore. Today is really important for Jamie Lynn, and she’s nervous and freaking out a lot. She walks into the audition saying, “Hey, how you?” in a cute Southern drawl. Simon asks to hear something interesting about her, and I don’t think he was banking on this. Jamie Lynn says her daddy is paralyzed because he shot himself in the neck, and when everyone is rightfully shocked she explains his wife, her stepmother, was cheating on him, so he shot her, them shot himself, and now she and her grandma take care of him. That’s why she’s there, to tell people not to give up. If that doesn’t put a lump in your throat (honestly no pun intended), I don’t know what will.
Singing Reflections, Jamie Lyn has a pretty voice, but there are a few cracks. However, she has the most emotion I’ve perhaps ever seen, and listening to her absolutely makes me cry. Paula tells her she has a pretty voice when she’s not powering through it, and she has a tendency to be a little nasally. Simon is shocked with himself, but agrees with Paula, calling it a first, and says she was spot on. Randy says yes, as he thinks she has a good voice, but needs to work on the whole nasal thing. Paula says yes, as she believes Jamie Lynn will work hard on that. Simon says he would have said no, but with a smile, he says she made it to Hollywood. As she walks out, Ryan says he likes Alabama.
The next guy is the different one we’ve been waiting for. Chris Sligh, 28, of Greenville, South Carolina, says some people tell him he looks like Jack Osbourne, and some others Jack Black, but he doesn’t see it. Looking in the mirror he sees Christina Aguilera, as he thinks his body is most like hers. He thinks he’s different than everyone else, but that worries him, as usually when people say that they sound like crap. Catching first glance at him, Simon refers to him as Justin Guarini, for no other reason than his big hair. He tells them he is there as he really wants to make David Hasselhoff cry. Randy and Paula get it right away, but Simon is confused. Chris explains last year when Taylor won, Hasselhoff was caught onscreen crying, and says it was classic and touched him, and Paula calls him funny.
Singing Kiss From a Rose, Chris isn’t the best singer, but is still good, and he has that sense of humor going for him. Paula says “Hallelujah,” and says she likes Chris, as she gives him a standing ovation, saying he’s different and has a good sense of humor. Randy likes him too, and Simon tells Chris he’s going to Hollywood. Simon likes his dry sense of humor, and as Chris leaves, we see a clip of Hasselhoff crying from last year. Chris says he went in and let his personality show, and Paula crumbled in his chubby little hands.
At the start of day two, after sixteen people got through on the first day, Ryan explains Paula’s not there, as she has to return to California for a family obligation. Right there I know it’s going to start. She was in a good mood on day one, and is now not there, so everyone will be talking again abut her drug and alcohol use, although no one said that at all when Simon was several hours late last week. It gets old, People.