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

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


Adrienne Beasley, 22, of Wickliffe, KY, lives on a farm and calls it a lot of hard work. She was adopted by white parents at 2, which led to many questions from others. When she left for Nashville, her dad told her wherever God takes her is going to be fine with him. They’ve given her so much, she wants to return that. Her audition is very spiritual and beautiful. Steven closes his eyes and just listens.

Steven tells Adrienne he hears something so special in her voice that he can’t put his finger on. Nothing was put on, she nailed the chorus, and almost made him cry. J-Lo agrees she was also surprised, and Randy liked the way Adrienne filled the auditorium. She gets three yeses. She cries, and it seems like it’s making Steven start to tear up too. The first thing she does is call her dad who asks who’s going to pay her way to Hollywood, then tells her he’s tickled.

It’s day two of the auditions, and Kameela Merricks, 28, in the military in Oak Grove, KY, is up first. Singing is something she’s always done since she was small, having even been the junior regional soloist for her hometown. She believes she has a huge voice for someone 5’2”. She sings Sweet Thing.

It’s hard to believe Kameela was the junior regional soloist, as it sounds more like screaming than anything else. Steven tells her to go back home and practice to get good, but Randy tells her to just not do it at all, as it was horrible. She gets three noes. Steven gets mad at Randy again for telling people they’re not good.

It’s the bad audition montage with a male/female dressed in an all over body glove so that we can’t even see the face, Polina Kozhikova, 21, from Boston, MA, singing I Will Survive, and Patrick Counts, 21, a Pharmacy Tech from Antioch, TN. All get noes, with Randy thinking they are once again all jokes. Patrick cries on Ryan’s shoulder.

Jackie Wilson, 28, a bar manager and singer from Nashville, has jitters, but tries to psych herself into auditioning. She sounds not bad until she hit a high note, or rather didn’t hit it. Steven says she blew it out and gives her a yes, as do the others. She’s through. Ryan is thrown when he sees her kissing an older man passionately. It turns out it’s her boyfriend, and not her mom’s.

Latoya “Younique” Moore, 26, from Nashville, is a recording artist. She doesn’t look even close to 26. J-Lo eyes her in her evening gown and jokes somebody’s ready for her closeup. Latoya brings a CD with her, which she tells the judges is her album. She wants the three of them to share, as she already gave it out generously to other people.

With Latoya singing When I Close My Eyes, Steven says, it’s definitely “younique.” She offers to choose another song, as the audition has been her dream for a long time, but Randy tells her the tone isn’t good and is almost annoying. As her number falls off, Randy says he was just trying to keep it real. She sings on the way out, and Randy tells her it’s still no.

Paul McDonald, 25, a musician from Nashville, sings Maggie May, and needs a lot of polish, but sounds okay. Jimmie Allen, 25, a waiter from Franklin, TN, does just as well, and Danny Pate, 23, a citrus farmer from Auburndale, FL, sings Papa Was a Rolling Stone, and gets everyone singing and clapping along with him. All three get through.

The unemployed Matt Dillard, 27, of Cheatham County, TN, whispers that he’s ready to win. When he was growing up, his family decided to take in foster children, including special needs children. His family has had 700 foster children in twenty-three years. It inspires him to get in there to do his best.

Matt has a purity that is hard to ignore when he sings. Randy likes that he’s the country boy, but is singing a Josh Groban. Matt admits it’s hard to sing in front of J-Lo. She’s his favorite singer, and she’s with his favorite judge and favorite rocker. Steven admits he’s on the fence, and Randy gives a small yes, while J-Lo says no. Steven puts him through.

Last up is Lauren Alaina, 15, of Rossville, GA. She likes living there, as it’s simple and laid back. She thinks she’s the typical 15-year-old girl. She started singing for her cousin, Holly, as she looked up to her and wanted to be like her when she was growing up, but three years ago Holly was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She did a fundraiser and gave all the money to Holly.

Lauren is a fantastic singer, knowing exactly when to belt it out and when to hold it in. The judges tell her she’s the best in Nashville. J-Lo tells her not to cry, as it will make her cry. Steven thinks she should cry, as she’s going to make forty-million people cry. Randy repeats what he always has, “If you’ve got it, you’ve got it,” and she’s definitely got it. She’s in. Lauren brings her family in, and they ask her to sing to them, as she sings one of their favorites, Aerosmith’s I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing.

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