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American Idol 9, Jan. 20 – Orlando's Got Talent


At the beginning of the second day, we have no guest judge, as Kristen was called away. Jay Stone, 25, a music business grad student, Miami, sings Come Together, and he does the best sound effects, but I’m not sure if it’s right for the show. Yet once he starts mixing in the singing, it’s so unique. It’s cool, and Kara calls it like a crazy roller coaster ride. Simon says he’s soaking wet after that and needs a shower. Kara votes yes and Randy asks if he actually sings, as he does a little Ain’t Not Sunshine without beatboxing, but Kara and Randy add in the noises for him. Jay can’t help but join in. Simon votes no, so it’s up to Randy. With comparisons to Blake Lewis, he’s in.

Janell Wheeler, 24, a sales representative, of Tampa, is wearing sunny yellow, Brittany Starr James, 23, an entertainer/student, Coral Springs, FL, has great musicality, and Kasi Bedford, 19, a student, Seminole, FL, has some fun soul. Simon thinks she’s cute and like the rasp in her voice. All three girls make it through.

Cornelius Edwards, 24, a security guard, Boynton Beach, FL, is quite flexible, and tells Randy he learned to dance because he has friends who are adult entertainers. He confirms for Simon that they shed their clothes for money. He sings Rollin’, but it’s actually Proud Mary. He jumps down in to the splits, then announces he split his pants. Simon has to say yes after that, saying it was a sacrifice. Cornelius wants to do another move, but Simon won’t let him. With no one wanting to look at him, he gets three yeses. Ryan lifts up a young boy who is with Cornelius outside in celebration, and the kid has the best look on his face.

Bernadette Desimone, 27, a waitress, and Amanda Desimone, 23, a sales associate, both of Cherry Hill, NJ, are sisters who live with their mom still. There is a salon inside the house where they perform. Bernadette thinks Amanda can go all the way with her talent, and Amanda jokes she can’t say the same thing about another. It’s an interesting turn of events for what happens next.

Bernadette sings Hit the Road Jack and is pretty good. Amanda sings some Whitney Houston and is okay, but doesn’t have quite as much talent as her sister. Randy thinks Bernadette picked the better song, and Kara likes something about them. They promise they’re ready to work. Simon was a little bothered by Bernadette’s nodding along to Amanda’s singing. Randy says yes to both, and Kara doesn’t want to break them up either. Simon would have only let Bernadette through, but after being outvoted, both go through.

Jarrod Norrell, 28, a graphic designer, Marietta, GA, warms up outside, laying on the ground, and does noises, saying he’s warming up his car. He believes he’s a great singer and sings Amazing Grace, saying he has to give it up to God. To say he sings a little nasally is an understatement. He believes in the whole thing so much, though, which makes me feel sorry for him.

Kara can only say, “Good Lord,” fitting I suppose, since he was giving it up to God. She asks if he thinks he’s a good singer, saying he sounded like a lawnmower. Perhaps it was all that warming up of his car. Simon thanks him, but he asks for two seconds more. He begs, but Randy tells him he just can’t sing. He tries it again, and Randy keeps saying no. Now I don’t feel sorry for him, as it’s just annoying. Security comes to get him, and he says he can’t leave. They have to basically push and carry him out, then handcuff him. Simon deadpans, “Yes or no?”

The last contestant of the day, Matthew Lawrence, 28, a manager of a trucking company, Starke, FL, is here for redemption. When he was in high school, he had everything going for him, but also had a desire for adventure. His mom said he left her a note saying he was going on an adventure, and that trip ended up being robbing a bank with a BB gun. He spent four birthdays behind bars, and it was the hardest thing he ever did, as it hurt his family. He’d never seen his father cry before that. He wants to audition to make his family proud, and put a smile on their faces ten times more than he made them cry.

Matthew sings Trouble. Good choice. He has a lot of character in his voice. It tells a story with every word he sings. Simon thinks it was brilliant and that he could really sing. He says Matthew almost could have written that song as it was that believable, and he isn’t making reference to him being an ex-con. It felt authentic, and he was impressed. High priase coming from Simon. Kara completely agrees and loves that he hit the high notes, and she didn’t feel like she was going to fly through the window. Randy notes Matthew is so genuine and has vocals. Simon gives him the easiest yes of the day, Kara calls him one of the best, and Randy agrees. He’s in. Kara thinks he’ll in the top 12.

I’m preferring to forget Chicago and remember Pants On the Ground and Orlando. To me, that’s what the auditions have boiled down to so far.

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