American Idol 7: Philadelphia Auditions Recap
American Idol returned tonight with the premiere of its seventh season.  We all know how it goes at this point.  There's almost an entire month of audition episodes and, well, there's a reason for this: America loves them and they routinely receive some of the best ratings of the season.  If you were to view this cynically, you might come to the conclusion that America likes laughing at the buffoons and half-wits who show up and think they can sing, only to be torn down from the pedestal of their misguided confidence by a cranky Englishman.  Tonight's two hour premiere event showed us the Philadelphia auditions, which took place over two days. and, as always, viewers got their fair share of characters, fools and, of course, undiscovered talent.

The Good (all going to Hollywood):

Joey Catalano:

Joey lost over 200 pounds in the past few years.  You've got to hand it to the man.  It can be done.  Joey sang some Maroon 5 and showed off an unexpectedly good voice, lots of potential. 

Melanie Nyema:

Melanie is a former back-up singer for former American Idol champion Taylor Hicks and she was looking to pull a Melinda Doolittle on everyone.  She's not quite that good, but her voice is nice, in tune, but not that powerful.  She was pretty vanilla in the audition, and Simon gives her a no.  Thankfully for her, Paula and Randy give the thumbs up.

Angela Martin:

A very attractive single mother, Angela had the best voice of the night.  Her child (who she had her senior year of high school) suffers from a rare cerebral palsy-type disease and she wants to be able to give her child the best care available.  There were some interviews with her family and friends (there are a ton of them) that were quite touching – Angela appears to be an awesome person.  I think we'll be seeing a lot more of Angela this season. 

Kristy Lee Cook:

From Oregon, hot, trains horses, trains for cage fighting and has a great voice.  Interesting lady, to be sure.  The judges all love her, But she does the tune-jumping, old Mariah Carey warbly thing that bothers the hell out of me.  If she can reign that in, Kristy could be really good.

Chris Watson:

Chris has a nice, modern R&B voice, wears dreadlocks, and is suave.  The judges like him and think the ladies will love him. 

Brooke White:

A lanky blonde probably had the second best voice of the night.  But, I can't get over this fact: Brooke's never seen a rated R movie.  She's been married for three years, and she claims her husband doesn't watch rated R movies either.  Why? 

The Bad:


Yuka is basically a kind-hearted, Egyptian version of Borat.  He humorously misuses the English language, and he's infectious.  Too bad his rendition of a Bee Gees (whom he calls “Mr. Bee Gees”) song is downright awful.  He takes his defeat well. 

Temptress Brown:

I don't know what to make of Temptress.  Her mom is at least 500 pounds and, thus, is having health problems.  Not surprising, right?  Temptress is 16 and pushing 250 herself, though she says she plays football as a middle linebacker.  I'd like to challenge the validity of this claim.  Does she play in the park or on her high school team?  Anyway, she comes in and sings, horribly, and when the judges give her the bad news, she stays and cries.


Let's just say Udi has a very skewed view of his talents.  He thinks he can dance.  He can't.  He thinks he can sing.  He can't.  When the judges explain exactly why he can't sing and why he never will, in great detail, Udi asks if they can give him some constructive criticism.  He was legitimately puzzled by the judge's reaction.  I don't understand human brains at all. 

Alexis Cohen:

Alexis is almost certainly bi-polar.  A rocker chick whose Joplin-esque vocals aren't the worst thing in the world, she took her rejection well while with the judges, but the moment she left the room the wheels came off.  She swore up a storm, talked smack about Simon and acted like an idiot. 

Ben Haar:

The award for TV Whore of the Night goes to Ben, who showed up at the audition wearing only the gold bikini from Return of the Jedi.  There was a whole big hullabaloo about his chest hair, so he had it shaved and came back.  Do people really want to be on TV this bad, even it means total and utter humiliation?

The Baffling:

James Lewis:

For the life of me, I can't explain this guy's voice.  He couldn't annunciate his vowels correctly and had little use for consonants.  Plus, it sounded like he was singing underwater.  It was like an idiot teenager doing an offensive impression of what they thought a mentally disabled person might sound like.  Plain weird. 

Milo Turk:

The 39 year old Milo came to the auditions and plead with everyone to let him spread his message on national television.  They obliged (because what's funnier than creepy/sad, balding, mustachioed middle aged men with horrendously misguided world views).  He sang a song called “No Sex Allowed”.  He was only allowed to sing one of the verses, but that was plenty enough to get the gist.  He doesn't want you (yes, you!) to have sex.  Especially with your mother (he name-checked Oedipus Rex).  I have a feeling this guy has a basement with shag carpeting, multiple editions of Stratego, and a water bed.

Paul Marturano – Stalker song

OK, here's the thing: this was clearly a set-up.  Paul sang a song that was entirely about stalking Paula.  But, after the opening couple lyrics, he would have been escorted out, given the subject matter.  But, he wasn't, and we have to assume that Paul had told the producers that he had a funny, satirical song and that Paula should not fear for her life and security will not be needed.  That being said, it was really funny.  Sample lyrics: “If you were a blackboard, I would chalk you” and “If you were a bath tub, I would caulk you.”

Christina Tolisano:

Nerd of the night, and a fairly mean-spirited one at that.  She's a Star Wars fanatic and, also, bad at singing.  But, she's really hung up on Idol needing someone different, someone like her, who's goofy and nerdy and different.  Afterwards, She swears up a storm and complains about Idol's lack of diversity.  Smartly, FOX made her diatribe a voice over as they showed the extreme diversity of the contestants who made it Hollywood.

Final Count: 29 singers moving on to Hollywood.  We'll be back tomorrow with live thoughts and a recap of the second audition episode.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)

Check out EWÂ’s recap of this episode