'American Idol' Auditions: Milwaukee Recap

by Hilary Rothing, posted Jan 26th 2011 11:30PM
American Idol, Scott McCreeryHeading into the second week of its tenth season, the 'American Idol' train made a stop in the city that claims bragging rights to a life-size bronze statue of Arthur Fonzarelli, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A stop that Ryan Seacrest told press 'Idol' would not miss, after the emergence of season eight third-placer and local hero, Danny Gokey.

Did Milwaukee deliver the next 'American Idol' or at least the next Danny Gokey? Perhaps.

Barista Chris Medina, whose take on The Script's "Break Even" blew the panel away, came the closest. Medina's story parallels that of fellow Milwaukian Gokey, as both suffered personal tragedies -- in Gokey's case the loss of his wife, and in Medina's a fiancee living with a severe brain injury from a car accident. The devoted husband-to-be's vocals were among the best so far and his story is undeniably touching.



The Milwaukee auditions started out fairly strong, with twangy, 16-year-old country singer Scott McCreery channeling Travis Tritt for a ticket to Hollywood. While his vocals were legit, I suspect McCreery will find more luck in Nashville than Hollywood.

Twenty-five-year-old "Summerfest" janitor Naima Adedapo also did Milwaukee proud with her rendition of Donny Hathaway's "For All We Know." Her sweet vocals coupled with a striking beauty could take her deep into the competition.

Other standouts included Bar Mitzvah crooner Jerome Bell, who wowed the panel with a little Marvin Gaye, and 15-year-old Thia Megia (whose also appeared on 'America's Got Talent'), whose "smoke and heat" Steven felt through her performance of Adele's "Chasing Pavements."

In fact, every 15-year-old who went before the J.Lo/Tyler/Jackson trio received a golden ticket. But while their vocal chords may have matured, I'm concerned we'll get a repeat run of contestants like last years youngins' Katie Stevens and Aaron Kelly. The pair often picked songs more suited for the cruise ship crowed than Top 40 and struggled to find themselves throughout the competition.

On the older end of the spectrum, 29-year-old Chicagoan Tiwan Strong made it through with Sam Cooke's "Twistin' the Night Away," although one of his family members apparently suffered a severe Charlie horse in her celebration of Strong's golden ticket.

The night's best were easily Scott Dangerfield, a 22-year-old student who J.Lo claimed was the best she'd seen so far, and the aforementioned barista, Medina.

American IdolAs for comic relief, there's always plenty of that in the early rounds and tonight was no different. Among Milwaukee's comedic offerings were a Civil War reenactor who took on "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" with the kind of vocals that could take down a small army, and a rabid Green Bay Packers fan who applied an operatic approach to Justin Bieber's "Baby." You don't need to hear it to imagine.

But surprisingly, it was once again Randy who brought the most laughs in Milwaukee, when a rushed high-five turned into a slap in the face for Harvard grad, White House intern and Hollywood-bound contestant Molly DeWolf Swensen. She made sure to let Randy know about the assault before diving into "(Sittin') on the Dock of the Bay." Randy apologized but we say she had it comin.'

'American Idol' Season 10 auditions continue in Nashville, TN tomorrow night at 8PM ET.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

204 Comments

Filter by:
MARY JO

It is incredible to me that family and friends let loved ones, who not only have no talent but sound
horrible, get up and sing on national TV. Of course, I don't understand how the contestant thinks
they can sing.

January 28 2011 at 3:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Peggy

I agree, I don't like the thought of pity votes, but this guy can not only sing, he wrote the song he sang for her. He is indeed talented. I commend him for sticking by her side and helping her as much as he can.

January 28 2011 at 1:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
snwflk2265

Im sry I said the wrong person its Chris Medina!! You are a wonderful guy and I hope some way this message gets to you!! Your voice is wonderful and I believe you will get far; but also your story wuth the love of your life ... to stand beside your girl like you said when she needs you the most is the greatest thing I have ever heard from a person in your position!!. The position you are in really shows how much you love her and how much of a REAL man you are. I will pray for you and your girl and I wish you the best of luck in AMerican Idol!!!

Tracey - Crestwood IL.

January 27 2011 at 9:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
snwflk2265

To the man Gokey I believe his name is!! You are a wonderful guy and I hope some way this message gets to you!! Your voice is wonderful but to stand beside your girl like you said when she needs you the most is the greatest thing I have ever heard someone say. The position you are in really shows how much you love her and how much of a REAL man you are. I will pray for you and your girl and I wish you the best of luck in AMerican Idol!!!

Tracey

January 27 2011 at 9:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hannah

Does anybody knows the name of that tall black dude who got throught? I mean this guy could really sing. After he got through his family was outside and saying praise God and stuff. Anybody know his name

January 27 2011 at 8:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dorinda Hennings

this is the guy CHRIS MODINA I ws just talking about on american idol

January 27 2011 at 7:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nikkolsitkowsk

SHE IS PRETTY

January 27 2011 at 6:57 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
chrooom

Chris Medina can sing. His story is compelling, but so is his voice...

January 27 2011 at 6:52 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
damididude

Before auditioning for Idol, be sure to have a tragic story. Singing won't matter. This seems to be a successful formula.

January 27 2011 at 6:38 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to damididude's comment
Hannah

But damididude normally I would agree with you except for the fact CHRIS CAN ACTUALLY SING.

January 27 2011 at 8:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Mom

When did you write this?

January 27 2011 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners