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Friday January 28, 2011 11:50 am

American Idol 10: Nashville Auditions



Nearly 20,000 turned up for American Idol's Nashville auditions. The city is home to the Grand Ole Opry, and it's acknowledged as the undisputed capital of country music. The episode started quickly, launching viewers immediately into auditions.

Here’s the best part: they started with a bad one. Christine McCaffrey treated the new panel to one of the oddest Idol auditions on record. Randy Jackson repeated “really?” several times, clearly annoyed. “That’s not serious,” he told the other two. It was a good start to an episode that moved along fairly quickly, unlike the one that came the day before. How does the new panel stack up against the old? Have some singers already started to shine? Maybe Nashville provided the answers.



Chelsee Oaks, 23, and Rob Bolin, 23, are exes, but musically they make a pair. J-Lo immediately tried to reconcile the two, but “we tried and we tried and we tried, and it just didn’t work out.” When they began to sing "To Love Somebody" together, the former couple sounded fantastic. “You guys are killing me right now,” Jennifer Lopez cried. Rob Bolin then delivered a few bars of “What's Goin' On” on his own. His vocals are smoky and full of feeling. Chelsee belted a few lyrics of “The Story” for her short solo. All three judges gave both contestants "Yes" votes, and happily the two embraced joyfully. “They’re going to get back together,” J-Lo predicted.

Oh, the drama of Nashville.


Stormi Henley, 19, is Miss Teen USA 2009 and a pretty little southern belle. An actual pageant winner, and no Simon Cowell to make acerbic comments. She sang with a lovely country twang, but not much strength. Steven Tyler said yes, Jennifer Lopez said no and Randy Jackson pretended to waffle … but in the end, how could he say no to such a pretty girl? Stormi got her ticket to Hollywood and J-Lo turned to each, aggressively demanding “really?”


Adrianne Beasley, 22, is from Kentucky. She lives on a farm with her adopted parents and has a beautiful, powerful singing voice. Adrianne’s unusual twist is that she is of African-American descent, while her parents are Caucasian. Steven Tyler loved her audition, telling her “you almost made me cry.” “I really felt that,” J-Lo agreed. Randy Jackson loved the way her singing sounded inside the audition room, the famed Ryman auditorium. Beasley easily won a golden ticket.


Jackie Wilson, 28, is a Nashville resident with a strong, melodious voice. Her audition inspired the judges to a round of applause. “Crazy vocals!” Randy Jackson told her. “Absolutely yes,” Jennifer Lopez added. Tyler agreed, and Jackie will join all the other hopefuls in Hollywood. The only pill in all the jam is Jackie’s extremely-way-too-old-for-her boyfriend. What the heck was that about?


Latoya Moore, 26, is already a recording artist. She wore a prom-type dress to her audition and already considers herself a star. She brought a copy of her album with her. “Only one? For the three of us?” Randy Jackson asked. But Latoya’s a little delusional about the sound of her own voice. The judges grimaced their way through her song, “When I Close My Eyes.” “Definitely unique,” Steven Tyler remained diplomatic. “It’s like, annoying,” Randy Jackson explained. “We tryin’ to keep it real,” he explained. Moore walked out of the room singing in a last-ditch effort…but, it just wasn’t working. “Still a no,” Jackson maintained.

Paul McDonald, 25, has a truly beautiful singing voice. He crooned “Maggie May” softly to the judges, who loved his singing. Jimmie Allen, 25, also has a smooth sound the panel enjoyed. Danny Pate, 23, got the judges singing along during his audition. “So good,” Steven Tyler told him. All three scored golden tickets in a quick montage.


Matt Dillard, 27, wore overalls and a cowboy hat to his audition. His family adopts orphans. Over 23 years, they’ve had 700 children in their home. Dillard has a pretty, passionate voice that’s completely at odds with his tough look. Randy Jackson was surprised to hear Josh Grobin from the country boy. “I can pretty up if you want me to,” he offered. He described the panel as “My favorite actress, my favorite judge and my favorite rocker,” and though J-Lo coldly gave him a “No,” Dillard won a ticket to Hollywood. I didn’t buy the line about her being his favorite actress, either. You can only watch so many romantic comedies.


The last contestant of the day was Lauren Alaina, 15, a Georgia peach with blonde hair. Lauren’s inspiration is her cousin Holly, who nearly died from a brain tumor. She sang gorgeously, a predictable outcome for the last contestant of the day, and got a ton of screen time for her audition. “Best we’ve seen all day,” Randy Jackson told her. “You’ve got real, natural…talent,” he added. The panel screamed “yes,” and Alaina will be moving on to Hollywood. She brought her family into the room, and sang “I Don't Want to Miss a Thing” with Steven Tyler.

Next week, American Idol will go to Texas to search for talent. In the meantime, stay up-to-date with the spoilers and gossip -- read all our American Idol 10 posts.



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