Round 1: New Orleans, part two

(Read part one here.)

I got the words right
Sundeep Achreja, dressed in a business suit, felt confident going into the audition. He looked pretty good, but then he sang a monotone rendition of “The Eye of the Tiger.” Paula asked him if he watched American Idol. He said he did, and Simon quizzed, “Did you have the volume up?” Simon asked him how he felt he did. “I got the words right.” A quick no for this accountant.

Strong family heritage
Before Michael Liuzza performed, Ryan introduced us to his parents – his dad was a piano player at a New Orleans night club and his mother sang at another club across the street. One night she got mad and quit and walked across the street to ask for a job. She met the piano player and married him. Now they are encouraging their son to try out as the next American Idol. He sang a Louis Armstrong song. Randy said “beautiful.” Paula said “excellent.” Gene Simmons said it’s a “great kind of music,” but gave Michael a no vote. Simon said, “I’m with Gene Simmons, but I’m going to give you one more chance.” Michael ran screaming across New Orleans with his ticket to Hollywood clutched in his hand.

The Incomprehensibles
The next portion featured three singers who were hard, if not impossible, to understand during their tryout. The one who got the most air time was Leroy Wells, who seemed to win at least some of the judge’s hearts – Randy, for one. At one point, he took out a plate of false teeth and had the judge’s in stitches. Randy said, “you’re not right for this, but we love ya.” Simon said “I did not understand a word you said,” to which Leroy had the funniest response of all, “Am I in or not?”

Praying for a ticket to Hollywood Before the audition, the show airs a clip of minister Jeff Johnson praying with a group of other people, asking for a chance to go to Hollywood. He has a good voice when he sings “In the Still of the Night.” Gene Simmons told him he thinks he should be a country artist because the prevalent sexual themes in pop and rock might not mix with his ministry. Simon says “People will love him,” and he gets a quick nod to the next round.

Twin fever
Lamar and Jamar Jefferson look alike and sound alike – they wowed the judges with their voices. Then Simon said “They’re very good these guys. I say take both of them.” So the brothers are traveling together.

Not so lucky
Twins Rich and J.P. Molfetta weren’t as lucky as the Jefferson duo. They sounded great, although they picked a Boyz to Men tune which Gene Simmons said they were “too old to sing this kind of material.” Randy and Paula liked them. Simon didn’t. The judges started arguing and then they discussed taking only one. They voted on them individually. J.P. only got a yes from Randy. Rich got yeses from Randy and Paula and Simon stayed firm on his no. Paula got enraged saying Simon was just playing a game on having them vote on them separately. She and Randy walked off the set to cool off.

The next stop – Las Vegas with guest judge Kenny Loggins. Plus, a Molfetta brother returns with a vengeance.


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