Reviewcap: American Idol - Auditions #2: Atlanta

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jan 14th 2010 4:22AM
American Idol, Atlanta Auditions, Lamar RoyalThe American Idol crew stopped in Atlanta to look for their next standout star. Did they find him or her there? It's hard to say, but there were definitely a few contenders among the 9,000 hopefuls who crowded into the Georgia Dome.

R&B star Mary J. Blige sat in as a guest judge, and she seemed to get along really well with the other judges. And of course, she definitely knows her music, not to mention what it's like to stand on a stage and sing for thousands of fans.

Ryan Seacrest also reminded us that not only was he born in Atlanta (they showed a picture that can't possibly be him, because it looks like someone's aunt), but three Idols came out of previous auditions there: Fantasia, Clay Aiken and Jennifer Hudson. On with the show!

Dewone Robinson seems like he's got all the right stuff to make it, starting with relatives who played in Motown and Gladys Knight and the Pips. Dewone sang an original song that was just, oy, not good. Still, Simon didn't have to keep interrupting him. It threw Dewone off track, for goodness sake! But I do have to agree with Simon, who said, "That was one of the worst original songs I've ever heard." There must have been a lot more to the audition, because Kara threw her papers up in the air without too much provocation. Needless to say, Dewone is not going to Hollywood (though he sounded a little better on his elevator ride down from the auditions).

Keia Johnson won the Miss Congeniality award in the Miss American competition, and she really does seem sweet. Not only that, she has a great voice, as evidenced when she sang the theme song from Titanic, "My Heart Will Go On." Kara said her nice personality comes across when singing, and Mary thought she made the song her own. It's unanimous. Keia is headed to Hollywood. Once again, the humble singers who don't expect it are awarded a golden ticket.

Miriam Lemnouni, Noel Reese, and Tisha Holland didn't get a lot of screen time, but they were all sang great and got tickets to Hollywood.

Self-professed church singer Jermaine Sellers sang "What If God Was One of Us." He's been taking care of his mother, who has spina bifuda, since he was 17. Kara loved his interpretation of the song, and Randy said out of all the cities so far, this is the best vocal he's heard. Mary called him "anointed." Jermaine is going to Hollywood.

Christy Marie Agronow is an Atlanta TV show host, and while she clearly has lots of energy, her rendition of "Love is a Battlefield" didn't wow the judges. In fact, they sent her packing.

Vanessa Wolfe loves to jump off bridges -- but for fun, not because of any suicidal impulses. She hails from a tiny town in Tennessee and says she feels "stuck' there. She's really nervous in the audition, but does a great job as her mom waits nervously with "frogs" in her stomach. Kara said the song was "really authentic." Simon said she's "incredibly ill-prepared," but she stands out in the crowd. The judges award her with a golden ticket, and Vanessa can't even believe it. It'll be her first ride on an airplane!

Day Two and Ryan notes that Simon is far less cranky than the previous day. Good to know.

Jesse Hamilton almost died three times and feels that God spared him for a reason. Is he a good singer? Sadly, no. In fact, he can't even remember the song he was going to sing, "The River" by Garth Brooks. Mary nearly dies with laughter, but Kara covers for her, saying that Mary is "really upset" that Jesse can't remember the lyrics.

Holly Harden, "the human guitar," sounds just like Kellie Pickler, but is even wackier than Kellie. But her rendition of Loretta Lynn's "You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man" wasn't half bad. Kara said she'd ordinarily write off someone who showed up in a guitar outfit, but she wants to give her another shot. After Holly called Simon "gorgeous," he put her through to Hollywood.

Lathan Davenport sounded like a "barking cat" and Hansel Enriquez didn't fare well either. Blake Smith showed up in a t-shirt that said, "Britney Spears Changed My Life," which was a big strike against him right off the bat. None of these guys made it.

Mallorie Haley was a powerhouse with her version of "Piece of My Heart.' The judges had nothing but good things to say about her and put her through to the next round.

Antonio "Skii Bo Ski" Wheele
r was pretty full of himself and really sure he's going to be the next American Idol. He sang "Heard it Through the Grapevine" and did a pretty good job with it. Simon hated the whole thing, but Kara said he "really had a good voice." Mary thought his image needs a little work, but they put him through.

Lauren Sanders and Carmen Turner are BFFs hoping to go to Hollywood together. Even though Carmen has the better voice, Simon thinks they should both get golden tickets because they're so much fun together. Sadly, though, Carmen is going through and Lauren is not. "This sucks!" noted Kara. It's all really awkward and you wonder if the friends broke up after that.

Bryan Walker is a police officer who actually looks like a typical police officer or maybe a high school science teacher. That's why it was so shocking when he came in with a gorgeous voice. He's like the Susan Boyle of American Idol so far. "This is what I love about this job," said Kara. Randy said he loved the "fake-out." Simon had stepped out for a bit, but the remaining three judges put the singing cop through to Hollywood.

Lamar Royal (pictured at the beginning of this review) said he'll respect whatever the judges say, but his manic singing brought out the worst in the judges. Randy called it 'torturous," and Kara called him "sweetie," which is always the kiss of death. Lamar is just devastated by all of this and continues to sing as the judges give him criticism. Security ended up escorting a swearing Lamar out of the room. So not good, dude.

General Larry Platt sang the soon-to-be smash hit "Pants on the Ground." The judges completely cracked up, and Simon declared the song a new hit. Unfortunately, at 62 years old, the General is a little over the 28-year-old age limit. What a hoot.

Twenty-five golden tickets were given out in Atlanta. Will one of them be the next American Idol? Who were your favorites tonight?

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Cherrie

Hey, Jennifer Hudson didn't come from Atlanta, she came from Chicago!

January 14 2010 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Cherrie's comment
Ben

She was born in Chicago. I think she auditioned in Atlanta, but, yeah, I agree that that was a little misleading!

January 14 2010 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
xtinemichele

Holly Harden was on "America's Got Talent" - she made it pretty far, as I recall. Not that I think she'll go far here, but it's interesting no one brought up the fact that she was on the other show.

January 14 2010 at 10:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristi

The only one I felt bad for was 'Nine Lifes' guy (Jesse Hamilton) they were unnecessarily mean to him. I liked 'Ms. Confidence' (Mallorie Haley) the best, I think she's got that 'it' factor and a decent voice. I think 'Church Boy' (Jermaine Sellers) was a little overhyped last night (too many riffs, but good song choice and voice) and I'll be pulling for 'Jumps Off Bridges' (Vanessa Wolfe) in her quest for Hollywood. And 'Mr. Po Po' (Bryan Walker) surprised me, but might get lost in the shuffle come Hollywood.
http://www.orble.com/teevee-american-idol-atlanta-auditions/

January 14 2010 at 9:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben

I don't mean any disrespect, but I feel like Kona did a much better job with this. There was a little review, but also some speculation as well little funny asides. I was hoping for more of the same when I read this. I wanted more than just a brief summary of each audition. I guess that's what this was for. I just liked the speculation from the Boston review more. Sorry!

January 14 2010 at 6:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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