Round 1: Auditions in San Francisco, part one
Grammy winning singer Brandy hooked up for a guest stint during the seventh and final stop for American Idol auditions. This time, more than 12,000 people turned out in San Francisco's Cow Palace -- a legendary music venue.
Albert Minero Jr. tells the judges he's a quadruple threat because he can sing, dance, act and has personality. He sings Gotta Be Startin' Something, and the judges quickly show him the door.
When Mathew Miller sings a rendition of Kelly Clarkson's I Never Lived Before Your Love, Simon Cowell looked as if his eyes would pop out. Miller's high-pitched voice sounded like a woman. When he finished, Randy said Does anyone ever say you sound like a woman? Miller said a woman at his church says he sings like a skinny black woman. Simon said We're not sure if you're Mathew or Martha. He's given an Absolutely not on the vote.
Battle of the Crooners
Two auditions were overlapped during the editing of the show. Viewers see Jamie Koehler singing I Left My Heart in San Francisco, and Ross Williams singing Moody's Mood for Love. It's hard to keep track as they flip back and forth between the singers and the reactions from the judges. In the end, both made it through to Hollywood.
Breaking the rules?
Elizabeth Pha showed up in a fishnet outfit that Simon called hideous. She sang Whitney Houston's I Have Nothing. Randy and Brandy both gave her a no. Paula said yes, and Simon said We're going to give you one more chance, and advanced her to Hollywood. In other auditions, when it has been two votes no and two votes yes, there hasn't always been the same resolution. In fact, some have been sent home (like the Molfetta brother) on a split vote. So why is Simon's vote more powerful?
A mother's love
The next clip shows a look at some of the moms who turned out with their kids to cheer them on. They focused on one -- Debbie, the mother of 17-year-old Justin Clark from Atlanta. He sings My Cherie Amore. Simon gave him a yes, and Paula said I think you do have a good voice. Meanwhile, mama is screaming in the hall. When Justin comes out with his yellow paper, she drops to her knees and acts as if she can't breathe. Mama, you're on camera! Justin said as he tugged her to her feet.
Michael Garcia told the judges he had a total makeover since his audition last year and that he was now in touch with my true essence. But apparently he didn't make over his voice. He sang a horrible rendition of If I'm Not Made for You, and then sang Lean on Me. Randy advises him to let the singing go.
28-year-old Christopher Noll performed an original rap with lyrics about the judges. This, after telling them that he is a nanny for two girls, but that he would leave that behind in a heartbeat if chosen to compete in American Idol. Randy and Brandy said no. Paula said Yes. This is the most original we've seen today. Simon however burst his bubble by saying The girls kept their nanny. It's a no.