Sandie Chavez, 21, of Houston, calls her voice very bluesy and soulful, and says she’s been singing since she was 6 at parties and talent shows. Two years ago she sang for the mayor of Houston. She walks into the audition and sings Black Velvet by Allanah Myles, and holds her ear when she’s singing. She does some weird un-enunciated thing at the end of every words she sings. Randy and Simon again hold in their laughter, while Paula bears a weird blank smile, and I think this last audition city is getting to them. Simon tells Sandie he didn’t understand a word of the song, like it was in a language he’s never heard in his life. He asks if it was serious, and when Sandie starts crying, he apologizes. She tries to explain, but I still can’t understand her.
Paula tells Sandy not to apologize, and Simon says she should apologize, and Paula launches into hitting him. Simon tells her they don’t need a second song, as it just didn’t work, and Randy asks if she wants honesty. Hearing she does, he says it just wasn’t good. Paula talks about Sandie being a teacher, and says she should concentrate on that and be grateful to do something like that. They’re looking for people who can really sing, and Sandie tells her she can. She sang for the mayor of Houston. Simon makes a crack that they went to Houston one year, obviously trying to say they apparently don’t know what talent is there. After hearing her nos, she leaves, out the wrong door, and I don’t know what she is talking about. Simon says the worst thing is he has just read she is a music teacher.
The next person in to audition, Ashlyn Carr, 18, of Sugar Land, Texas, says she was beaten up in high school because she had a good voice. Her head was knocked into the floor, and getting a concussion, she blacked out. She sings the Michael Buble version of the Nina Simone song, Feeling Good. She has an interesting tone, but looks scared to death. Simon says she definitely has a unique voice, but it was her facial expressions and phrasing that threw him off. Randy thinks it was the Michael Buble version, but still as Ninah Simone that threw him. Paula advises Ashlyn to look at herself in the mirror when she performs to see the weird faces, as that’s all they see, instead of being able to concentrate on her voice.
Randy votes no, believing she’s not quite ready, and Paula says it bums her out, as she believes Ashlyn is a very rare talent, but she, too, passes. As she leaves, Simon says he actually would have said yes, and Ashlyn thanks him. Walking out, she falls into someone’s arms, crying, and it’s assumably her father. Simon tells the other two judges he thinks they made a mistake with Ashlyn, and this prompts Randy and Paula to ask whoever it is off-camera to bring her back in, as sometimes they make mistakes. Already on her way out, Ryan tracks her down, and tells her she is being given another chance.
Back in the audition room, Simon asks Ashlyn if she understood what they were saying, and she says she can very much understand how her expressions take away from her singing. Simon adds they have never done this before, but he asks her to sing a song that they would all know very well, like a Gladys Knight tune or something. Ashlyn chooses Inseparable by Natalie Cole, and Simon tells her she has some very bad habits that are much worse than she knows, and he’s not sure they’ll be able to get them out of her. However, they are looking for someone unique, and there is something about her that is so old school, like Dionne Warwick. Ray votes yes, saying he likes Ashlyn because she is different, and Paula says she needs to break those habits, but she believes she can if she really works on it. She’s going to Hollywood. Ashlyn dances out of the room this time, and Ryan notes it’s much different than the way she came out the time previous.
Jacob “Jake the Snake” Tutor, 21, of San Antonio, says his family was in the entertainment business, especially his grandmother, so it runs in his blood, and he’d like to keep the legend up. Just a few of his musical influences are Kurt Cobain and Axl Rose of Guns ‘n Roses. Ryan asks if Celine Dion makes that list, but he says no. Singing a song with lyrics about being alone in a basement, Simon says it’s a perfect song for the competition, but he needs to be in a dark bedroom when he sings it. Jake is rejected by all three judges, and when he leaves, he says he’s apparently not what the judges are looking for, and says “whatever floats their boats.” He then launches into a bleeped out tirade against all the judges, and Ryan asks him if he likes him, and he says yes, because Ryan is awesome. Which is great, but Ryan isn’t one of the judges.
It seems like through a lot of these audition cities this year, they end on a bad audition, but since this is the last one, it would be nice if they ended on a good note. Last up for the day is Jimmy McNeal, 23, of Waxahachie, Texas. He sings Cupid, which has Paula jamming along with him, then giving him two thumbs up at the end. Simon thinks he’s great, like a little fun Ruben, then says that was when Ruben used to smile. If Ruben is the Velvet Teddy Bear, does this make Jimmy the Velour Beanie Baby? Simon also sees Jimmy as good, authentic, and very likable. Ryan votes definitely, as does Paula, and he’s off to Hollywood. Celebrating with Jimmy’s family outside is a young girl, and Ryan tells him to explain it to her, as he doesn’t think she understands. He says he’s going to Hollywood, and she says, “So?
Some would agree with this young girl for most of the people going to Hollywood, including the twenty-two from San Antonio, but I think it’s too early to judge. We’re usually not that excited yet, but know there’s several we have our eye on. Tomorrow night is “Best of the Rest,” which means an hour of people that didn’t make the cut to be on the seven audition shows already aired, both good and bad. As Simon would say, “Whoopee.” Can we please get to Hollywood?
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