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

American Idol, Feb. 17 – Drama Not Over, Beatles Next for Hopefuls


Carson Higgins, 22, an actor from Malibu, CA, is singing the same song. They were in the same group, Four Non-Blondes and That Guy. Chris has the vocals, but Carson has a real entertaining personality. Chris is surprised to hear that “That Guy” is singing the song too. Carson figures if he leaves the competition today, he’s doing it singing this song.

Carson takes the stage and has that personality out in full. Chris does it with less personality, but with a guitar in place of it. Everyone’s jamming to Carson, and the judges are smiling.

Julie Zorrilla, 20, of Los Angeles, CA, sings Love Song at the keyboard, as Steven nods along. Caleb Hawley, 25, a musician from NYC, sings and plays the guitar to some Sir Duke; Colton Dixon, 19, of Murfreesboro, TN, sings What About Now; Brett Loewenstern, 16, of Boca Raton, FL, sings The Story with his guitar; and Robbie Rosen, 16, of Merrick, NY sings and plays keyboard to Gravity. The judges really seemed to enjoy it, with Steven telling him at the end it was nice playing.

Casey Abrams, 19, a film camp worker from Idyllwild, CA, played the melodica at his audition, and today he has a bass with him. Not a bass guitar, but a bass as in the huge string instrument. When Ryan Seacrest tells him he’s the first to do so, Casey wonders if he’s like Neil Armstrong. He sings and plays to Georgia on My Mind, successfully being the only other version to stand out beside Clint. The judges are loving it, and Steven can’t help but sing along to it. At the end, he asks Randy if he wants to come play, and he promises to a little later.

As Casey leaves the stage, he runs into Chelsee Oaks, 23, a waitress from Nashville, TN, who is quite upset after saying goodbye to her ex, Rob Bolin, yesterday. It turns out it got worse for her as her friend from Hollywood and other groupmate Jacqueline Dunford, 21, a receptionist from Scottsdale, AZ, got terribly sick earlier in the day and left for the hospital, having to bow out of the competition. They were a foursome, and Jacqueline’s boyfriend, Nick Fink left, then Rob left, and now Jacqueline. Onstage, Chelsee sings Because of You, and struggles in a few places.

Lauren Alaina, 15, of Rossville, GA, has been a positive presence since the beginning. Once again she’s singing I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing, like she did in her audition, when she sang it with Steven. Once again she seems much older than 15. The judges are completely loving it. Randy tells her it was well done, Steven says wow, and J-Lo says “fifteen years old. fi-if-if-teen.”

A surprise from the group rounds, Jacob Lusk, 23, a spa concierge from Compton, CA, is next. He sings God Bless the Children and shows amazing range again. Steven nods along, then screams with him. J-Lo bangs on her cup with her pen. Randy gets in on it, hooting along at the end as well. Jacob gets a standing ovation from the judges. J-Lo knows he’s a hard act to follow. He breaks down in tears with family members after. It’s obvious he laid it all out there.

John Wayne Schultz, 23, a cowboy from Karnes City, TX, is prepared to show the judges what he has to offer, with his mom out there in the audience. He brings his guitar to the stage and sings Landslide, something I’ve never heard from a guy before. J-Lo sings along at the judges’ table. Steven tells him at the end that they always look forward to him.

Ashley Sullivan, 25, of Springfield, MA, was reading “Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul” earlier in the day, and feels she has chosen the perfect song, singing Everything a cappella. It’s her song for her boyfriend who was stationed in Iraq at one point. She messes up the lyrics and apologizes, and the judges encourage her to go on. She messes up again, and Randy encourages her to go to the chorus. She apologizes again. J-Lo mentions that usually Ashley is comfortable up there. Ashley thinks she should have chosen something she could have fun with, instead of something that makes her emotional. J-Lo tells her it’s about control. Since this thing began, has she ever displayed control of emotions? Her boyfriend tells her she did good, and she calls him a liar.


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