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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

‘American Idol’ recap with auditions in Milwaukee: youth and tears prevail

American Idol hopefuls wa it in line outside the Bradley Center in Milwaukee on Monday July 19, 2010 to register for auditions for the show’s 10th season. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Mike De Sisti)

American Idol hopefuls wait in line outside the Bradley Center in Milwaukee on Monday July 19, 2010 to register for auditions for the show’s 10th season. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Mike De Sisti)

Chris Medina, this is your moment. He concluded the two hours with a captivating “Breakeven” that made me forget everything that went on before. The heart-rending storyline and Steven Tyler’s words to his girlfriend caused many a tear to shed across the nation tonight.

“Idol” judges and Nigel Lythgoe have been touting Milwaukee and the city was given two hours. (Most only get one.) Did the home known for “Happy Days” and cheese live up to expectations? We heard 12 singers make it to Hollywood. Most were pretty good. I especially liked the two babies, Scott McCreery and Thia Megia, and that teacher Scott Dangerfield. (Oddly, “Idol” sent a teaser of a gal who sang a Whitney Houston song I really liked but she did not appear tonight.)

SEMI SPOILER ALERT: Six of the 12 people we saw end up in the Top 40.

The show did not reveal how many made it through in Milwaukee. Why? It’s arbitrary given Ryan provided info for the previous two cities last week.

Here’ s my recap:

The first one up from Milwaukee is actually from the South:

Sixteen-year-old Scotty McCreery from Garner, N.C. has a deep Josh Turner voice and does a great Josh Turner imitation. Then he goes with Travis Tritt and pulls that off, too. He’s better than, say, Josh Gracin or virtually any male country singer “Idol” has ever attempted to harvest. Then Steven Tyler said the nuttiest thing I’ve ever heard: “Hell fire, save matches, **** a duck, see what hatches.” “You’re a throwback country guy,” Randy Jackson said, more cogently.

Joe Repka, a University of Toledo student, is clearly a joke. He wants to get in radio who has a DJ voice for sure. And a face for radio. His mom tell Ryan Seacrest she’s tone deaf. Apparently, Joe is, too. “Brutally honest,” Steven said. “Don’t lose your day job. Talk into the mike, not sing into it.”

Emma Henry, a 15 year old who just got her permit, drove 16 hours from Littleton, Col. She’s adorable. She starts poorly but she gets better. She has an interesting voice, not necessarily a clean one. And that’s not a bad thing. She is a bit too young. “You got a certain something I can’t put a finger on. It has a lot of character,” Steven said. “There’s something there to build on,” Jennifer Lopez said. “I don’t think you’re ready yet,” Randy said. J.Lo says no. Steven says yes. Randy has to decide. “This is just the beginning. You are just 15. You have a whole world ahead of you,” he said. “I really honestly believe you’ll get swallowed up in this whole thing. You need to work on it and develop it.”  Randy pauses and he folds. He says yes. There is no way she’s going to get very far. She really isn’t ready yet. That’s the downside of having these 15 year olds come on. So many 16 year olds on this show could have been so much better if they had waited.

Commercial break. Bad singer montage. Koday Zalewski from Colgate, WI. Juanita Borges from Milwaukee (29 and looks about 49); Kamil Anthony from Iowa City, IA. Kanisha Miller from Milwaukee (who mocks the lyrics of “everything is going to be alright.”) Koday wanted a hug from Randy, then had a creepy request: “Can I get a sip of your Coke?”

Sob story alert: Naima Adedapo, 25, does grounds clean up at Summerfest Amphitheatre. She does a Donny Hathaway song with some pizazz. She’s not bad. I’m not in love but she has a shot.  “I think you’re all that,” Steven said.

Another commercial break and we’re back to more crapola. Jovan Raymond has the gall to do “Jenny From the Block” worse than Jennifer Lopez! Yes, that is possible!  Dude with the toothbrush Chris Kammer is 54 and clearly sent in for comic mischief.

Then we get back to business: Jerome Bell is a wedding singer. He heats up the room with Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” He’s a little over the top and pitchy at points, but fun. “Hot crazy vocals, in tune, tender, nice dynamics,” Randy said.

Thia Megia, a 15-year-old Mountain House, Calif. student, does Adele’s “Chasing Pavement.”  Wow! She sounds smoooooth. “I love you. You’re the total package. You’re very comfortable there,” J. Lo said.  “You have  a lot of character, the smoke and heat,” Steven said. (She was on “America’s Got Talent” in 2009.)

Commercial break again. And we are back to comedy. Civil War re-enactor Nathaniel Johnson, 22, comes by with his dad. He has no discernible singing style. His actual vocals are okay but nothing to write home about. “I like the song,” Steven said. “It’s a no for me,” J. Lo said immediately with no actual critique. In this moment, I am wishing for Simon! Another loser: Mason Wilkinson. He’s stiff and terrible. The judges are speechless. Again, where’s Simon when we need him?

Seattle’s Molly  DeWolf Swensen is a Harvard grad who interns at the White House. She’s in love with the prez – in a platonic way. Randy accidentally punched her earlier. She has a very breathy vocal style, very impressive. “Who knew?” Randy said. “Who knew what was going on at the White House?” “You have attitude and you know where to put it,” Steven said.

Haley Reinhart, an 18-year-old Wheeling, Il. student, didn’t make it season 9 but is back. She is a bit too melisma-filled for my taste but Randy said she is greatly improved. She’s through.

Tiwan Strong, a 29 year old daycare teacher from Chicago, twists the night away with mad skills. But he seems almost too practiced. In this year of the still forming young’uns, will he make it very far in Hollywood?

After the commercial break, an accountant Steve Beghun looks like he’s going to be awful. But shocker: he  actually has lovely tone. “Surprising,” Jennifer Lopez said. “You are big. Your voice is high!” “I found you disturbingly great,” Steven said. He’s probably a wee bit too oddball to land in the top 40 but he earned a spot in Hollywood with that audition.

Vernika Patterson rips apart Minnie Riperton in the worst way possible. Fortunately, she doesn’t try the big note. Phew! “That’s such a beautiful song,” Jennifer Lopez said. “Thank you,” Vernika said, thinking that’s a compliment when it had nothing to do with her. Steven said she’s not that good. She gets a ‘tude. “I’m not even upset,” she said, sounding upset. Then she says they rejected her for her size and stomps out.

More commercials. Man, these two-hour episodes are long! Albert Rogers III from Oglethorpe, GA (our first representative on air this year). Unfortunately, he isn’t good -at all. He’s a vocal traffic mess. “It was like vanilla fudge and ‘Eleanor Rigby,’ ” he said. “I liked it but I don’t think it was ‘American Idol.’  ” “I thought it was terrible and a joke,” said Randy, being harsh. Go Randy!

Scott Dangerfield, a dorky looking teacher from Milwaukee, sings Amos Lee, one of my wife’s favorite singers. He is magically good. “Never judge a book by the cover,” Randy said.

Megan Frazier, a student from Green Bay and serious Packers fan, kills a few cats with her scary, operatic rendition of Justin Bieber’s “Baby.”

Alyson Jados from Chicago , who could be Steven Tyler’s daughter, gets a hug from Tyler. She has a bit of rocker edge doing “Come Together.” “Very pitchy,” Steven said. Randy says no. Jennifer said yes. Steven gives in though he his doubts. She’s good enough for Hollywood but not our future “American Idol.”

Home stretch!

Chris Medina, 26, from Oak Forest, Il., has the 2011 Danny Gokey story – almost. He was engaged to Julie.  She got into a bad car accident. Julie was badly injured in the brain and clearly is not anywhere near 100%.  It appears she can’t even speak. He does a slowed-down version of Script’s “Breakeven” that is arguably better than the original. He’s genuine and cool. I already know if he makes it to the top 40 and well, you take your guess.

326 comments Add your comment

JTesla

January 26th, 2011
7:41 pm

Woohoo Milwaukee!

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
7:55 pm

finishing Jeopardy, be here in a sec :-)

Exit Now

January 26th, 2011
8:00 pm

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:02 pm

Love me some Stevie. The guy is ugly but he is FUN!

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:02 pm

I’ll have to look up Wisconsin somewhere

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:03 pm

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:04 pm

Scotty – Alfred E. Neumann’s baby bro?

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:05 pm

How does a 16 year old have that voice?

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:06 pm

Why not go ahead and call the show American Country Idol?

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:06 pm

Scotty looks a lot like that guy in 500 Days of Summer and Inception.

Exit Now

January 26th, 2011
8:06 pm

Liked him but I love country music.

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:07 pm

New Country – that’s cute

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:08 pm

OMG!!!!! Did the guy on the floor survive!?

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:08 pm

hey D, Mercedes, EN, JT et al :-)

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:08 pm

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Heather Ledger look-alike, Deirdre

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:09 pm

Hey candlerboyz!!

LD

January 26th, 2011
8:09 pm

I am in live with Garner !

LD

January 26th, 2011
8:10 pm

OMG am so in live, lmaooooooo, I mean love

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:10 pm

OK, still catching up but gotta say Steven T is HILARIOUS

Rodney Ho

January 26th, 2011
8:11 pm

Love me some Josh Turner. Scotty did a great imitation. At age 16, can he truly be distinctive and find his own voice?

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:12 pm

Josh Turner’s Would you go with me is an AWESOME song

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:13 pm

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:15 pm

Who knew Wisconsin is so into country.

and yet he sings Billy Joel

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:15 pm

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:17 pm

We never planned to like ST as much as we are enjoying him…J-Lo….eh

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:18 pm

so RoHo…you still in our hood?

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:20 pm

I like this girl but she isn’t ready yet.

Harm

January 26th, 2011
8:20 pm

Get well Memory!
Congratulations Rickster, maybe you won’t have to wait much longer!

This girl reminds me of a Bratz doll.

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:20 pm

Maybe next year, two-haired girl…

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:21 pm

HARM!!! I laughed because the other half just said “Harm with the broke arm?” I said…uh yeah, a year ago!

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:22 pm

So they lower the age to 15, then tell the kids they’re too young??

Dwmor

January 26th, 2011
8:22 pm

I’m still struggling with the judging. Jennifer Lopez really brings it to this show and Tyler has this perv-Captain Jack Sparrow thing going, but it works. However, Randy Jackson – lost dawg.

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:22 pm

Men do hate tears

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:22 pm

we are live now!!! She has a Regina Spector tone

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:23 pm

I’m with JLo on this one. The girl is not ready.

Rodney Ho

January 26th, 2011
8:24 pm

I liked Emma but she is not ready by any stretch of the imagination. She has potential but J. Lo (the toughie!) was right: no way she’s going to get far in Hollywood. She needs more seasoning.

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:24 pm

D-we agree, prob not emotionally ready but her voice had that Regina Spector, Corine Bailey Ray thing we love

Harm

January 26th, 2011
8:24 pm

March 5th a year ago I broke my arm, and it is still stiff, but atleast it works!

Rodney Ho

January 26th, 2011
8:25 pm

candlerboyz? Yes! We should meet at San Francisco Coffee one day!

Exit Now

January 26th, 2011
8:25 pm

I didn’t like her.

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:25 pm

If she had waited another year or 2 she’s be golden.

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:26 pm

I cannot type today!

Rodney Ho

January 26th, 2011
8:26 pm

Good thing is if Emma doesn’t make it to the top 40, she can try out again next year.

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:27 pm

SFC is just a couple blocks away…Also we are at Tiajuanna Garage almost every Friday! Lets do it!

Harm, glad to hear it works and tee hee, you said stiff :-)

Rodney Ho

January 26th, 2011
8:27 pm

I just noticed that there is an Atlanta person in the top 40 spoiler list on Joe’s Place. In fact, he apparently tried out already in season 7 and made it to the top 50, which is why the name sounds so familiar. Good for me! :)

Harm

January 26th, 2011
8:28 pm

I cannot typr any day!

Harm

January 26th, 2011
8:29 pm

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:29 pm

I love your gap!!! OMG, he’s hilarious!

Harm

January 26th, 2011
8:31 pm

She is unique looking, can she sing?

[...] the rest here: ‘American Idol’ recap: auditions in Milwaukee, Nashville [...]

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:33 pm

Red earrings has a really nice clear voice.

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:33 pm

liked her a lot!

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:34 pm

pretty eyes!

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:34 pm

Deserving girl!

Harriett

January 26th, 2011
8:36 pm

Hey everyone! Got caught on a phone call just before the show started. Am now caught up. I loved this last one and her look, too.

Mo Schreibman

January 26th, 2011
8:36 pm

I think I saw Carmen Miranda but I am not sure because I am busy with some household chores. And now my wife is replaying the machine from the begining so I may be a little off.

Rodney Ho

January 26th, 2011
8:36 pm

Seems sweet. Naimi has an interesting look and clearly, the heart. Is that voice distinctive enough? We’ll see what other R&B stars we get. So far, she’s the best we’ve heard…

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:37 pm

Harriett!!!! all in the mustard and she finally catch up!

Harriett

January 26th, 2011
8:37 pm

Mo, Carmen Miranda is the look, but without the fruit on top. But, that gal can sing!

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:37 pm

and by mustard I meant Vodka ;-)

Andi

January 26th, 2011
8:38 pm

Liked this last girl the most so far.
But Steven T – love, love, love him! His facial expressions alone sometimes say more than any critique could. And he’s just funny as hell. Thoroughly enjoying him.

Harriett

January 26th, 2011
8:38 pm

Hey, Candlerz! Little lime vodka and I am catch up!

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:38 pm

Hi Andi….agreed

Harriett

January 26th, 2011
8:39 pm

Wow, did anyone notice how small Ryan looks standing next to JLo?

Harm

January 26th, 2011
8:40 pm

60 degrees Saturday! I can’t wait!

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:40 pm

The Heartless woman… like her!

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:41 pm

boyz…I have never heard of vodka referred to as mustard. Interesting! ;-)

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:41 pm

we did, he looked tiny! Big booty + short man = visual distortion

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:42 pm

ok…Jerome just froze to to my chair! wow!

Harriett

January 26th, 2011
8:42 pm

Love Jerome.

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:42 pm

Amazing how LITTLE I miss that Simon fella

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:43 pm

and he’s really cute, too!

Harriett

January 26th, 2011
8:43 pm

Yes, agree, D!

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:43 pm

Agreed Mercedes! we just said that!

Andi

January 26th, 2011
8:43 pm

Hi Candlerz, and rest of the gang!
Liking this guy too. Just wondering though, is anyone doing a word count on the judges? Have they said karaoke yet?

Rodney Ho

January 26th, 2011
8:44 pm

Wasn’t 100% sold on Jerome. Felt like he was pushing it a bit too hard, then went pitchy. But he seems like a nice guy with the toolbox to succeed.

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:45 pm

Isn’t she cute!

Rodney Ho

January 26th, 2011
8:45 pm

Nope. Karaoke was a favorite word of Simon’s. Nobody’s touched it yet.

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:46 pm

Good voice…not good enunciTION, BUT THAT DIDN’T STOP ALISON IRAHETA.

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:46 pm

Agreed on Jerome 100%

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:47 pm

Seriously, I cannot type today!

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:47 pm

Such cute kids!

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:47 pm

too much chest and throat voice!

Harriett

January 26th, 2011
8:48 pm

Shut up, now! That was good advice! LOL!

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:48 pm

The cameraman is taking a major beating tonight.

Rodney Ho

January 26th, 2011
8:48 pm

Really liked Thia. Sweet kid. Again, very young but she has a warm, full voice. She seems quite together. I already know whether she made the top 40 but I… won’t… say. ahem. Let you find out yourself … if you want!

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:48 pm

ST sings that way, I prefer gut singers like Kelly and Carrie…but Taylor Swift is very throat chest voice too and she is uh…doing pretty well

Harriett

January 26th, 2011
8:49 pm

Not you, Candlerz. I was talking about the parent of one of the rejects.

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:49 pm

This is a movie I’m looking forward to – The Adjustment Bureau

Andi

January 26th, 2011
8:50 pm

I guess there was something in the Wisconsin water in 1995.

Exit Now

January 26th, 2011
8:50 pm

I was surprised that Jerome got through.

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:51 pm

totally got that Harriett :-) We know you would only tell us “shut up” if you walked out in a DVF Wrap dress! ;-)

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:52 pm

Me too Mercedes…I love both Damon and Blunt

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:52 pm

and if you did Shut up would = UH YES I DID

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:52 pm

Those re-enactor are intense

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:52 pm

Wisconsin/Civil War???????

Deirdre

January 26th, 2011
8:53 pm

I must be a hippie!!!!!!!! ;-)

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:53 pm

Oh-oh… mom issues

candlerboyz

January 26th, 2011
8:54 pm

Ha! D…and agreed, Wisconsin and Civil War???…I don’t get it

Mercedes S.

January 26th, 2011
8:54 pm