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

American Idol 12, Jan. 16 – Hooking Me Again

Rozanna, Shindelman, 21, medical billing/student, Staten Island, lives at home with her parents who are really supportive of her. She always performs for her parents first to get their feedback. She wants to show the judges her personality, yet walks in wearing a very tight, short dress, prompting growling from Nicki. She admits she's never sang in front of anyone but her parents. Her mom tells Ryan Rozanna's voice gives her chills.

It's not horrible, but it's far from great. Her mom is out saying how she sings everywhere and loves it, as Rozanna sings the lyric “how blind can he be.” Perfect editing. The judges are clearly uncomfortable. Once Rozanna finishes, they don't know what to say. She says she sang that song to show her range. She offers to sing another, but Randy tells her no, as it was bad. Nicki admits this job isn't as easy as she thought it would be. Of course, a barrage of bad auditions follow.

Sarah Restuccio, 17, Hammonton, NJ, knows when people think of New Jersey. They think of cities, but Hammonton is the blueberry capital of the world with farmland everywhere. She enjoys going out there, having fun, and getting all dirty. No one in her family sings, but she's been told a great aunt is an opera singer, yet her heart is in country. She sings Mama's Song and could be good with the right instruction. She seems to have something to work with.

Nicki likes it and thinks she has a beautiful tone. Mariah really enjoyed it and feels like she would make a great album. Randy wants to hear one more song, so Sarah launches into Super Bass for Nicki. Randy is confused going from Carrie Underwood to Super Bass. Keith suggests it's like an iPod Shuffle where you never know what's happening. Nicki feels it was two perfected moments, but Keith wasn't feeling it until she sang Nicki's song. Nicki thinks there are probably a lot of girls out there who live on a farm and sing Super Bass, and boys will identify because she's pretty. Mariah and Nicki argue about her direction, yet Sarah gets four yeses after all that.

Albert Chang, 25, Queens, has no idea who these new judges even are. He works as a receptionist in a medical clinic. I'm not feeling good about this one so far. He decides to sing Phantom of the Opera, basically telling us we're headed for a bad audition. The high-pitched screaming just sells it. Nicki tells him his range is better than Mariah's. Randy tells him that it was honestly terrible. Nicki doesn't feel star power. And this is followed by more bad auditions.

Angela Miller, 18, food services, of Beverly MA, walks in and admits to having 40% hearing loss in her left ear and 20% in her right. It makes singing more difficult, leading her to place the monitors really close just to hear. She sings Momma Knows Best and can honestly hit the notes and stay on key better than others. Randy calls it impressive, and Nicki hasn't felt from anyone else that day that feelings in her soul. Keith likes her moves, and Mariah appreciates her tone and wants more of it in their industry. Randy thinks she's definitely one of the best this day. She gets an easy four yeses.

The judges are all very impressed by one contestant. Well, jump back a minute. This was just Brett Holt's dream he was having while he waits for his turn. 28 and a liquor store clerk from Willow Grove, PA, he challenges anyone in the country to American Idol trivia. Ryan tries him out and stumps him with what season William Hung auditioned in and what season this is. I know there are Idol trivia experts reading this who could put him to shame.

Brett walks in for his audition and sings When I Fall in Love for the judges. It's not bad, but it's definitely not matching up with his dream. He dissolves back into his dream, then wakes up again for the judges to all say no. And as Ryan points out, Brett just became a part of Idol history himself, and it will be a very small part.

Gupreet Singh Sarin, 22, of North Potomac, MD, is wearing a lavender-colored turban. He admits to changing his turban for everyone outfit. He goes by the nickname of the Turbanator. He has forty to fifty turbans. He believes he has the vocal talent with Indian classical music and is excited to get his golden ticket. He sings Sunday Morning and shows a lot of promise. Randy asks him if he also sings the Indian classical, and he does a bit of that as well.

Nicki loves his look and thinks he has a pretty voice, but doesn't believe it's standout. Keith thinks he has a beautiful light voice, but feels it's too light for the competition. Mariah likes light singing and gives him a yes, as does Randy, who thinks Turbanator deserves another shot. Keith didn't feel it, although he notes the Turbanator's beautiful heart. It rests with Nicki, and he begs her, saying he has a marigold turban just like her hair. She tells “Turb” he's going to Hollywood.

Ashlee Feliciano, 20, East Hartford, CT, is at the auditions with her huge family that has grown through fostering and adoption. In 2002, her mom announced she wanted to start adopting and fostering medically complex children to join her three biological children. Ashlee loves her parents for making sure her dreams come true. She sings Put Your Records On for the judges, and with just the first few notes, is definitely the best of the day.

Nicki tells Ashlee she has a pretty voice and she'd want to come to her show. She doesn't think she understands what she just did, saying she's so inspired by Ashlee, and she thinks many other girls will be as well. Mariah thought it was nice and clear and she has great potential. Keith thinks her low register has the most beautiful nasal tones. Randy invites the family in. Randy calls them truly good people and says it definitely shines in Ashlee. Mariah says even more than how pretty she is, it comes from within. She gets four yeses and celebrates with her family and Ryan, then shakes everyone's hands.

As they like to do, although it's a new season with new judges, American Idol still closed with a tear-inducing moment. Alright, they hooked me again. I'll admit that Nicki didn't annoy me nearly as much as I was fearing. She showed she has some heart beneath all that. However, the previews show we're headed for more catfights.

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