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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

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


The last contestant of the day is Chris Medina, 26, a barista and caretaker from Oak Forest, IL. He’s asked if he’s married, and replies he’s engaged. They have been engaged for two years. She suffered a traumatic brain injury in October ’09, and it changed everything. He helps her mother care for her. He asks what kind of a guy would he be if he walked out on her when she needed him the most? If he makes it to Hollywood, it’ll be for her, and he’ll feel like he’s already won something.

Chris sings Break Even with a lot of natural soul in his performance. J -Lo quietly applauds when he hits the high note. Steven and J-Lo ask him to bring his girlfriend in to meet them. She gives a little wave to the judges, as they come over to shake her hand in her wheelchair. Steven tells her he just heard her fiance sing, and he was so good, which he figures she knows because he sings to her all the time. He gives her the most tender kiss. Chris gets three yeses, and he’s through.

For Thursday’s show, we’re off to Nashville, Tennessee and the Grand Ole Opry. As way of introducing the episode, we see the audition of Darius Thomas, 18, of Birmingham, AL. He goes into a long high note, prompting a “Wow,” from Steven, and it’s not in a good way.

Christina McCaffrey, 27, a dental assistant from West Palm Beach, FL is up first. She enjoys her job as it makes people have a happy smile. She thinks she’ll make the universe a better place, as she has the gift that will make everyone respond. Christina walks in singing, which probably isn’t a good idea. She does some notes that sound more like animal calls. The judges are already suggesting she do cartoons instead of singing, yet she proceeds into her audition anyway, doing I Hope You Dance.

Randy finds it hard to stifle his laughter and can only say “Really?” after. J-Lo and Steven vote no, and Randy asks if Christina is serious. She claims she is very serious, as she has the ability to write and sing lyrics. He asks if she has the ability to read minds. She believes she does and that he’s saying yes. Wrong. J-Lo tells Randy he was being mean, and that he should just say no and leave it at that. Christina goes out and tells her mom Steven Tyler said yes and that she had a good voice for American Idol. Apparently she was listening to someone else’s audition.

Chelsee Oaks, a waitress, and Rob Bolin, a restaurant worker, both 23 and from Nashville, are exes, and both auditioning. They had been singing together since the day they met and clicked. He notes not only did they still sing together after they broke up, but they still lived together as well. For a while they were talking and on good terms, but now it’s gone sour.

J-Lo, a self-professed helpless romantic, asks if there’s any way to fix this thing. Chelsee explains they love each other very much and always will, but it just didn’t work out. Steven thinks Rob is still in love with her. At Randy’s insistence, Chelsee and Rob sing a duet together, singing To Love Somebody. J-Lo looks like she’s going to cry, and Steven tells them it’s like they have one voice. He also believes the deepest passion comes from friction.

Rob auditions singly first, singing a very soulful What’s Going On. Chelsee does a good job with her single audition, but not nearly as good as Rob. Randy notes they both sang well despite everything going on, and as beautiful as they both sing separately, they’re even better together. They both get yeses from all judges and are through and even hug each other. J-Lo whispers that they’re going to get back together. Chelsee’s current boyfriend shakes Rob’s hand, showing he’s a cool guy too.

Allen Lewis, 26, of Franklin Furnace, OH, is a tattoo artist and “many other things at the same time.” His whole life he’s been told his head was in the clouds, and that he’s good, but is never going to do anything with it, but he keeps trying. He oddly chases women around the building while waiting his turn to audition. He tells the judges he thought Idol might be too pop for him, but everyone has their own flavor of ice cream, and his is vanilla, then pointing at Randy, notes his is probably chocolate. That doesn’t seem incidental the way he noted and worded that.

Singing Simple Man, Allen seems to have irritated J-Lo with his ice cream comment. She tells him he has one of the best laughs she’s ever seen. Randy sees him as more of a band guy, and Allen thinks that’s just his opinion. He adds this will make him practice more, and he figures even the greatest artists have failed auditions once or twice. J-Lo notes he came in the toughest guy in the world, then left philosophizing. Randy thinks they took an untamed tiger and turned it into a baby.

Stormi Henley, 19, from Crossville, TN, was Miss Teen USA 2009. After knowing she could win that, it gave her confidence to audition for American Idol. She wants to see how far she can make it on her talent. Steven tells her she looks like she could be “Miss Somebody,” and she knows he’s reading that.

Singing Father Can You Hear Me, Stormi has something, but could stand some improvement. Steven mentions her tight, squeaky little voice, and asks if she ever lets it out, but she doesn’t. She tells Randy there was no talent competition in her beauty pageant. She gets a yes from Steven, a no from J-Lo, and it’s up to Randy. Of course he puts her through.


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