'American Idol' Recap: Auditions Conclude in St. Louis
'American Idol' Recap: Auditions Conclude in St. Louis
Meet me in St. Louis for the last stop on the American Idol audition tour! If you have trouble finding me, keep looking! Stay there FOREVER. Also, never give up on your dreams. Carrie Underwood didn't, and now she doesn't have to drive a tractor and smell like farm animals anymore. Let that be a lesson to all you animal-smell folk out there.

Ryan Seacrest lifted up the tape for those people like it was Wal-Mart on Black Friday. Thankfully (maybe not), no one was trampled or pepper sprayed. Look how beautiful Jennifer Lopez looks for Day 1! And please don't forget that Carrie Underwood auditioned here. Don't ever forget it! And stop driving that tractor already, it gives people the idea that you've given up on your dreams.

The Good

Johnny Keyser got the day off to a good start with some Sam Cooke. He has a good voice, and kind of bad hair. The judges did a bit where they had him keep singing and singing so they could keep enjoying it. Very cute, judges. We get it, you like him. Hopefully Johnny won't have to work in an Italian restaurant ever again. Do you think it was The Olive Garden?

Rachelle Lamb auditioned with her adorable daughter. She reminds me a lot of one of the moms on Toddlers & Tiaras. She has what is becoming a popular story--my ex held me back from my dreams but now I am free to dream again. I liked it the first time, but tonight I am in no mood for dream chasing! But I AM in the mood for BABY GLASSES! Real baby glasses, not the Clint June Gamboa kind. I wonder if the judges were distracted by the cute kid dancing and didn't pay much attention to her voice, though.

I like that old guy driving the car and complaining, too. What's not to like about that? At the very end he said, "I hope they all find success. It ain't gonna HAPPEN, but ..." I LOVE THIS MAN. He keeps it real.

Reis Kloeckener was bullied in school but he's not in high school anymore and he's fine, right? Like, high school sucks for everyone. Anyway, he is basically a living Kurt from Glee, because he joined choir and made it through! Now he's taking that smooth, breathy voice to Hollywood. He looks like High School Musical-era Zac Efron. I do not wish to continue having to spell his last name.

Alright, the much-touted audition of Lauren Gray, who sings with her father, is the last audition we will see before the Hollywood rounds (my favorite part of the entire season!). This girl's got a big voice! It's very bluesy. The judges went nuts for it. I don't know that it was my favorite audition from Season 11, but it was the last one. And how cool is her dad?!

laurengray.jpgThe Bad

Capitalizing on The Artist's popularity, Idol did a silent movie bit. But, based on Jennifer's outfit, we know this audition was actually in Portland. Don't lie to me, Idol!

Oliver McCrary. He tried to sing "Kiss From a Rose" and it fizzled like the once-eternal love between Seal and Heidi Klum. This was the intro to a series of bad auditions that I enjoyed very much, thank you.

The Perplexing

Steven Tyler gave a pep talk, and it made Ethan Jones feel better and ready to sing. But he was too nervous not to pick at his scabs. Hey, man, we all pick at our scabs, you're just like us! Oh, and he overcame his dad going to rehab just in time to sing "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain. This guy is just OK to me, but he's going to Hollywood for us all to judge him further.

Madonna's music video preview. I don't know, I like Madonna, but I don't feel like thinking about her right now. Was it a good idea for her to suround herself with images of youth and vitality?

The "busiest man in the world," Mark Ingram, the hotel auditor who works at the hotel where the auditions were being held. I don't love that Ryan made him go around and gather a group of staff members to support him, but I loved seeing him walk into the room with the entourage. I wish he had been a better singer so that he didn't have to fail in front of all his subordinates. Then they had to watch him desperately keep singing at them. Way to go, Ryan, way to humiliate a complete stranger.

Finally, next week is the start of the Hollywood round! I LOVE the Hollywood round, so let's forget any initial impressions we have (and who lived in a tent or was born without ears), and judge them for how they treat one another on very few hours of sleep.

(images courtesy of FOX)