Well, well, well. Here we are in the city of Birmingham that gave us the likes of Ruben Studdard, Bo Bice and Taylor Hicks, who all have made their mark on Idol as well as the music industry. However, of the 11,000 who turned out, only a mere 20 get their tickets. What a shame, as Simon would say. However, all the judges were pleased they received such a nice welcome from the southern folks.
First up…Erica Scott who, although not bad-looking, failed to impress with her rendition of "Unchained Melody". It was totally awful and she continued to sing song after song when the answer was a definite no from all the judges. Once they were finally able to convince her she leaves by brushing them off from her shoulder. Next were the tears from several.
On to the next with newlywed Katie Bernard who sounds like a baby Paris Bennett when talking but the sound is totally different when she sings "A House Is Not A Home". Although she does not have the power of Paris's voice, she does interest Randy. Paula became the deciding factor after Katie's hubby appears, sending her through to the next round.
17 yr old Tatiana McConnico does an Aretha Franklin song well enough to impress the judges. Her attire needs work but she does have a shot.
In walks big girl Diana Walker who chooses to sing Whitney Houston. Never have I heard such a comedic rendition of "Saving All My Love for You". While she did not cut the mustard, she should become a comedian.
Bernard Williams II gives us "Rock with You" by Michael Jackson. Not a bad looking guy and the voice is pleasant but not enough to impress Paula. However, both Randy and Simon put him through.
Oh Margaret, what is that yellow chick outfit you are wearing? Miss Fowler does get her few minutes of fame because she can not wait to impress Simon. Let's see…she is 26 yrs old, no 33 yrs old, wait finally the truth comes out and she is 50. Although I did not recognize the song she sang it was not bad.
3 more girls get their ticket before we see the blond bombshell named Jamie Lynn Ward who cares for her father since he is paralyzed. After singing "Reflections" in a somewhat nasal voice she does get to go through to the next round. One thing I did like about this girl is she seems real down to earth. Can she cut it in Hollywood? Time will tell.
Our final contender of the first day is Chris Sligh who has chops to hopefully make David Hasselhoff cry. He sings "Kiss from a Rose" in such a way that Paula claps. He’s not your typical looking idol but his dimples are cute and, with a great sense of humor, he receives his golden ticket.
Our second day finds us without Paula as she had family obligations. Oh well, we still have Simon and Randy, judging and breaking many hearts. Victoria Watson is one of the first interesting people we see, with hair almost to the floor. I was actually sorry not to see this girl go through, as I thought she did a very nice job singing "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban. The judges liked the fact that she was a nice girl but broke her heart anyway.
Lakia Hill was the beginning of many bad singers but they do have a plus since they were all polite and thanked the judges. Once again southern folks know how to be courteous.
Nicole Gatzman was not ready for this contest, as stated by the judges, with her rendition of "Something to Talk About.” I liked it but then again who am I…not a judge, I guess.
Brandy Patterson ended our second day by giving us Madonna's "Like a Virgin". She was off-key and blamed the floor for her sounding so bad. The judges gave her a chance to sing on the carpet which was worse and she had plenty to say about it. I must admit this is the first time I have ever seen Simon laugh that much. He actually left happy for a change.
Well, tomorrow we go to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena for the L.A. tryouts. Hollywoodland or Hollyweirdland, we shall see!