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American Idol 10, Jan. 26 and 27 – Milwaukee and Nashville


It’s more bad auditions, this time with Jovan Raymond, 23, a Restaurant Cashier, from Milwaukee, with J-Lo saying that’s going to be her, a “heartless woman.” Chris Kammer, 54, a dentist from Madison, comes in carrying a giant toothbrush and wearing a silver lamé suit. Randy advises him to sing in the car only … with the windows up.

Jerome Bell, 27, a Bar Mitzvah Singer, from NYC, is up next. J-LO likes his sneakers, what he calls his Space Boots. The woman he’s with explains she only sings for little people, with Ryan claiming to be one. Jerome sings Let’s Get It On, and definitely has something. With a little bit of work he could be awesome. Randy calls it hot crazy vocals, in tune, tender, in control, the right moments, nice dynamics. J-Lo calls it loud, soft, sweet, powerful, cute. Steven proclaims he has none of the was-ms, and it was just beautiful. They vote right away, and Jerome is on his way to Hollywood.

With the new age requirements, Valerie, 5, a Kindergartner, from Milwaukee, sings Put Your Records On, and gets lots of applause from the judges.

Thia Megia, 15, of Mountain House, CA, is closer to the right age. She was originally going to audition next year, but immediately booked a flight and hotel to fly to Wisconsin after finding out about the age change. She didn’t have the patience to wait until Idol came to California. J-Lo thinks Thia has a movie star name. She tells Randy she’s been watching him on TV since before she even started reading, and that’s not how to win over a judge.

Singing Chasing Pavements, Thia is too affected, but the judges seem to like it. J-Lo loves her and thinks she’s the total package. Steven loves her voice and finds it to have a lot of character with a lot of smoke and heat. She’s in.

Nathaniel Jones, 22, of Mount Zion, WI, is a civil war reenacter. He explains the process, and points a gun at Ryan while doing so. He’s with his father, saying people always ask him if his dad is a hippie and if he smokes pot. He explains no, because hippies believe in sex. Honestly, there is no comment I could make to better that intro. He walks in, saluting, and J-Lo can only say, “Oh no.”

Singing The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Nathaniel sings the beginning part much better than the regular part of the song, as Randy hides his laughter behind his Coke cup. Steven tells him it’s outstanding. He doesn’t know if it was right for American Idol, but he liked the song a lot. It’s a no for J-Lo, and she and Randy salute Nathaniel as he leaves.

Mason Wilkinson, 23, a construction worker, from West Allis, WI, has to compose himself with his back turned, then starts singing in a monotone while staring at the ceiling. Randy now hides behind his papers. J-Lo asks for a vote. He doesn’t make it.

Molly DeWolf Swensen, 22, of Seattle, WA, recently graduated from Harvard, and applied randomly for a White House internship, and now works for the Obama administration. She’s in love with him, but claims it’s not in a Monica Lewinsky way. Molly calls Randy out, saying when he was high-fiving the contestants coming in that morning, they missed hands, and he kind of punched her in the mouth. She hopes he doesn’t now add real insult to injury.

Singing Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay, Molly has a great smokey voice. Randy asks who knew what was going on at the White House? Steven thinks it was great. She has attitude and doesn’t know where to put it. He knew she would go somewhere with that low pitch, and J-Lo agrees, saying it sounded very rich. Randy is puzzled, asking where Molly has been all this time, and he’s reminded she was at Harvard. She gets three yeses and a ticket to Hollywood.

Starting out day two, Haley Reinhart, 18, of Wheeling, IL, enters into a mutual admiration society with Steven. She admits she tried out in Chicago last season, with the judges telling her to come back. She was crushed, but Steven points out he wasn’t there. She sings Oh Darlin’, and has some great blues going on. Steven tells her it was some beautiful notes, and emulates hitting a carnival bell. Randy admits she got “so much better,” liking the runs. After a vote, this time she’s in.

Tiwan Strong, 29, a daycare teacher from Chicago, promises to not leave any doubt, and show the world who he is. He sings Twistin’ the Night Away, and does really well, probably just needing some work with phrasing. Steven sees the sparkle in his eyes and likes his voice. Randy thinks he sounded great, and J-Lo agrees he did a good job with it. He’s through. One of the people with him gets a charley horse celebrating.


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