Sam Gershman, 21, a motivational dancer from Clarksville, MD, line dances with the other auditioners while waiting. Steven is really enamored with her look. She tells the judges her dad’s name is Ira. Great. She sings I’m a Woman, and has something unique in her delivery, despite not hitting the high notes. She belongs in theater actually. Randy refers to her as a one-act show, and Steven asks if she could have been any more perky. He thinks she’ll make a good Easter Bunny; she reminds him she’s Jewish. It’s a little too Broadway for Idol, he thinks. J-Lo agrees that she’s so bubbly she belongs on a stage, although she wants her to know they aren’t saying don’t do this. Sam gets three noes, with J-Lo advising her to work on a few things if she wants to do this.
David Weed, 22, of Mountain Home, ID, says he didn’t pick the name. Steven thinks he’s lucky no one gave him the first name of Smokey. David quips they weren’t thinking ahead. Hearing he works in fast food, Steven asks if he’s tired of asking people if they want fries with that. David admits every time he says it he dies a little inside. He sings Tom Sawyer, and it sounds theaterish like Sam did, and definitely in a way we’ve never heard Rush before.
Randy asks David if this is how Geddy Lee sounds to him. David is hoping to not sound exactly like him, as Randy tells him Geddy actually sounds pretty good. Randy asks if he any other dreams, and David pulls out standup comedy as another option. He tells a joke and falls even shorter with that. He gets three noes. After, he says it’s a little strange to hear he has a phenomenal voice, only to walk up to these three people to hear it’s not even close.
Ryan moves a potted tree outside, and Randy thinks he must just be bored. As he walks with his pot, several production members follow him to get the shot. Ryan thinks this is working to turn the day around.
Romeo Diahn, 22, a shipping clerk from Portland, OR, explains there was a Civil War in his home country of Liberia in 1990. His dad was an immigration commander and heard about the war, so sent the family to a refugee camp in Ghana with the hopes of them eventually getting to the U.S. for a better life. They waited so long and never though they’d make it, watching others perish, but finally got a shot to come to this country. His dad tells him there is no pot of gold in America, but if you have patience, you will make it.
Romeo sings some Bob Marley and has a natural talent. Maybe his patience will pay off today. Ryan talks to his family members with “Junior” asking who he is. Steven loves him singing form his heart. He asks about Romeo’s time in camp, which was from the age of 5 to 2001; quick math tells us that was about six years. He sang for his life there, and Steven hears it in his voice. J-Lo loves his vibe and flavor, but is worried where he’ll go in the competition with the songs he’ll be asked to sing. Regardless, she gives him a tiny yes, as do the other judges.
Naomi Gillies, 22, of Boston, asks Steven’s permission to sing Cryin’, and gets it. I don’t think he regrets it. She has a powerful voice with a lot of emotion. Steven mentions the way she belted it out, and says they have been missing that all morning. J-Lo likes her nice round tone. Randy says when you got it, you got it, you got it. She’s going to Hollywood.
Ben Harrison, 28, a shipping agent from Eugene, OR, knows he’s adorable, but I’m already saying annoying. It’s his time to shine, and he’s going to have a ball. He has an unnerving nervous laugh. Steven asks about the notes he was given that Ben played in a lot of rock bands with old dudes. The lead singer of Aerosmith wants to know what he means by that. Ben doesn’t think they dug the baby face. They keep him for two weeks and then ask for someone with more experience. It’s not his talent; they’re jealous. He auditions with Somebody to Love, and when he gets crickets, he adds in a kiss at the end. By no surprise, he doesn’t make it, although the jury is out on whether it was his voice or personality.
The last auditioner, Jessica Phillips, 25, a dental hygienist from Brooklyn, explains she and her boyfriend have been together five years, but last Easter Sunday he mad a massive stroke. She shook him, and he didn’t respond to her. He stayed in the hospital for a month and a half. When he woke up, he didn’t know who she was. She’s now a caretaker for him and feels a different type of love and responsibility for him. Speech therapy is an everyday thing. Every day is a struggle, but also a blessing.
Jessica sings Again and is raw, but definitely has some talent, yet needs help with phrasing. The judges send her to Hollywood, and her boyfriend is there to congratulate her. She has two blessings right there.
While there weren’t any performers that out-and-out knocked my socks off, there were some very memorable ones, both good and bad, so at least it’s a step in the right direction. Hopefully this means good things for the close of the auditions in St. Louis on Thursday night.