Round 1: New Orleans, part one

The American Idol crew rolled into New Orleans looking for possible stars as they endured voices they couldn’t even understand.

Along for the ride – guest judge Gene Simmons from the rock band KISS. Without his trademark makeup and wagging tongue, Simmons seemed a little bland – especially when they aired some of the contestants. Only 16 contestants made it through the New Orleans round. Here’s a look at some of the good and the bad.

A rare unanimous yes vote
The show began with a bang. 19-year-old David Brown’s voice brought kudos from all the judges. Randy called it the “best I’ve heard in all four seasons. You’ve got a natural talent.” Gene and Paula also gave a thumbs up, and when asked, Simon said “100-percent yeah!” Later in the show, Ryan Seacrest joined Brown at his church, the New Testament Baptist Bible Center where he shared with his congregation that he’s headed to Hollywood. Tears streamed down his cheeks as the people there cheered.

Sing behind a screen
After Bobby Barfoot sang, both Paula and Randy gave him favorable comments. “He has a good voice,” said Paula. “Where?” Simon quickly countered. Paula said she thought he was reacting to Bobby’s image and not his voice. To prove his point, Simon told Barfoot to go behind the audition stage and sing again. He picked a Stevie Wonder tune, but fell flat. Paula said it was the “wrong song you picked. It was very nasal.” And Randy said, “The truth is you sing okay.” Gene and Simon repeated their votes of no.

Red panties and lipstick?
Daron Beck had a peculiar look – one that might even rival Gene Simmons when he wears his KISS makeup. He sang “Delilah” by Tom Jones. Gene Simmons stopped him and said “You’re killing me,” and sarcastically added, “Do you have another one?” Daron didn’t miss a beat belting out another weird rendition. Simon said he sounded like a Caberet singer and told him, “You need to be in red panties and lipstick.”

Simon loves pretty girls
19-year-old Lindsey Cardinale captured Simon’s attention from the moment she walked in the door, and then held it with her voice. “Without question, one of the best we’ve had in today,” said Simon. Gene Simmons said, “I like her a lot,” and Paula said she has a “very interesting voice. It’s hypnotic – very pure.” Lindsey’s already packing for her road trip to Hollywood.

A lot of time alone
Robert Solomon works as a projectionist at a movie theater and told the judges he spends a lot of time alone and uses that time to work on his singing. Simon told him he looked like a gymnast with his white t-shirt. His performance didn’t even rate the usual group comments. They just pointed him to the door.(Continued…)

Read more now — about this episode of American Idol by clicking here.


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