'American Idol' Jacksonville: Don't stop believin'!

Ryanseacrest_americanidol_240_002 We're joining our American Idol team in Jacksonville tonight. Seacrest gets to ride to the auditions in Simon's limo and they bicker like a married couple. Love it. Plus we actually get to see some GOOD singers tonight. What a novel idea!

We are treated to some FANTASTIC footage of Randy Jackson playing with Journey. There needs to be MORE of that on this show. That might be the most fabulous thing I've ever seen on Idol. The judges take their seats.

We start with Joshua Ulloa, who looks like a more butch version of Justin Guarini (currently starring on CMT's Gone Country, by the way). He sings "Let's Get it On" and it sounds like Justin Timberlake does Marvin Gaye. I don't like it. It's nasally and weak. Paula is looking at him like she wants to spoon him over ice cream. He gets put through unanimously, which surprises me.

Sharon Wilbur is next, with her shit-zu named Sasha. She's adorable (both the girl and the dog). She sings "Superstar" by Karen Carpenter (I LOVE Karen Carpenter, just for the record). I like Sharon's voice but she pronounces some of her vowels funny. If she straightens that out she'll be really good. Kara is on the same page as me, she thinks Sharon says the word "baby" like how Britney says "baby." That is spot on. Suddenly, Paula tries to make out with Kara. It's effing weird but the judges put her through unanimously. Woo hoo.

Ryan Seacrest driving a golf cart off-road. Awesome. Dana Moreno shrieks some Chaka Khan while sausaged into a fuschia dress. Less awesome.

We are now treated to 16 year-old Kaneswa Finnie singing "Caught Up in the Rapture of Love" and it's off-tune and ridiculous. Unfortunately they drag her mother into the audition room to berate the daughter more in front of the mom. Simon is very complimentary of her smile, though, so I guess that's something.

Next is Miss Florida Latina USA Julissa Veloz singing "I Have Nothing." It's rough around the edges but it's pretty good. Simon says it was better than he expected and then they take a minute to make fun of her mouth-breather laugh. Paula then gets mad they didn't ask for her opinion and she runs off. Paula is drunk today. They vote her through unanimously.

Darren Darnell is our resident boisterous dancer guy, but he then totally melts down in front of the judges because his new Idol BFF doesn't make it to Hollywood. LAME. He tries to sing "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" but he can't even get started. Weak sauce. When he does get started... it's horrendous. He can't keep the tune and he's singing through his nose. GET THE HOOK!

Crying Montage. Lots of weepy southern girls who make bad cry-faces.

Last contestant of the day is Naomi Sykes, a soft-spoken long-haired blonde cutie-pie whose friend Samantha really wants to meet Randy Jackson and when invited inside the room gives him a giant hug. It's cute. Right up until Simon tells her to sit on Randy's lap. Then Paula sits on Simon's lap. Then Kara gets Ryan to sit on HER lap and I'm crawling under the coffee table with fear.. Naomi FINALLY sings "Loving You" by Minnie Riperton and it's terrible. She's one of the people who is in on the joke that she's terrible and I'm just bored. UNTIL everybody joins in on the song and it goes from horrible to awesome. She's not through, though.

Day One is over. Only 9 Golden Tickets were given out and I wish we would've seen more than Julissa, Sharon and Joshua. Maybe Day Two will be better.

We kick off Day Two with 16 year-old Jasmine Murray, a very cute girl with 3 beautiful sisters and a gorgeous mom. Love her already. She sings "Big Girls Don't Cry" but the Fergie version, not the Frankie Valli version. She has a nice voice, but puts on pop affectations that really bug me. However, this is a pop competition, so I'm sure that was good stuff. Simon likes her commercial-ness (read: cha-ching!) and she is voted through unanimously. Yay Jasmine!

George Ramirez is our requisite nerdy, borderline-Unabomber guy. When asked about his wildest dreams he says something about a simple house with nice floors. He then sings "Walking on Sunshine" and I wonder why we waste our time with people like this. If I wasn't watching this live, I'd bleep-bleep-bleep this on my TIVO.

Our next cutie-patootie is Anne Marie, who comes in all star-struck about Kara. Simon advises her to come back as the "star" and be herself and whatnot. Kinda weird. She gets some heavier makeup and takes off her jacket and it's all very slutty Sandy from Grease.

In the meantime, TK Hash sings "Imagine" and he's so cute and smiley, plus a decent singer. He puts in too many runs for my taste, but he can obviously sing. Randy wins me over by pointing out how much TK changed the song with the runs and whatnot and says that he doesn't need to do that, he can just sing. TK is through 3-1, with Simon as the dissenting vote.

Michael Perrelli is up now, he's a floppy-haired little street performer-type guy who gives us a few bars of "Hey There, Delilah" and it's nice. But he's freaking out about not being able to play with his guitar in the audition room. Hmm. If they let them use instruments once they are in Hollywood, why not in the initial audition? Michael has a little meltdown pre-audition. He then sings "Jumper" and he's trying too hard to sound JUST like Third Eye Blind. He can obviously sing but he's trying too hard. I am torn on this one. Michael keeps insisting that he's so nervous and whatnot. Simon asks him to stop pleading and they take a vote. Michael is not through to Hollywood, unanimously. Aww, I feel bad for this guy but he needs to stop crying like a little b*tch with a skinned knee and crap.

Anne Marie Boskovich comes back and she's got tousled hair, different shoes, no jacket and more makeup. It's totally the end of Grease. She sings "Bubbly" and it's good. All the judges are grinning from ear-to-ear at her. She's through unanimously, though they advise her to work on her star persona.

Ending Montage. We find out there were 16 Golden Tickets. WOW. 9 the first day, 7 the second day? That's not very many. Also, we only saw, what, 6  of the 16? We could've seen almost all of them. I really wish we had seen all that we could. Blargh.

"Walking on Sunshine" Montage takes us to the credits. See you guys tomorrow for our final night of the intial auditions, Salt Lake City! Bring on the LDSes!

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