'American Idol' Recap: Portland Rains Talent
'American Idol' Recap: Portland Rains Talent
First there was Portland, then Portland was cool, then there was Portlandia, and now I'll eat my hat if we don't hear "put a bird on it" or see it on someone's sign at these auditions. Historically, the Northwest has not been a great reality TV audition city, but maybe some talent will come out of the Portland woodwork for American Idol's first time.

How do you feel about these "auditioners record themselves" segments? I kind of like them. It seems less forced, predictable, and set up than the packages the producers put together with a camera crew. They also seem less forced than Ryan's "my sweater's stuck in the door!" bit.

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The Good

The very cute and hipster-y Brittany "Tripster the Hipster" Zika was not only adorable, but has a voice I would love to hear over and over again. I really like her, with and without the glasses. And I love that she dreamed that she got to sing Gravity with Sara Bareilles and then made it so!

hipsterzika.jpgWe knew that Jermaine Jones was going to be good because of the package that preceded his audition, but is he too tall for American Idol? Will Ryan Seacrest allow all six feet and eight and a half inches of Jermaine to move forward to the point where they might be standing next to one another? Anyway, Jermaine is a natural and seems as kind as he is tall. Also, we HAVE to see more of Jermaine's mom!

Mom of two, Britnee Kellogg. OK, I know I've criticized single parents for auditioning before, but her story made me like her and made sense to me. Not everyone should pursue their dreams of singing, but Britnee absolutely should. Good for her; she's great!

BritneeKellogg.jpgNaomi Gilles sang "Cryin" and that hair was cryin' for some volume! Aside from that, she had a great voice. Can she stand out enough from the pack of girls with great voices? It was a great performance. "That's how you do it!" Randy proclaimed. And right after this audition, was a great montage in which a girl threatened to "go Naomi Campbell" and another girl did a cartwheel and Randy immediately said, "NO."

Jessica Phillips, who is living the real-life, less glamorous version of The Vow. Her boyfriend had a stroke and he didn't remember who she was, and now she's basically his caretaker. It's so sad! She is such a good person! She's got a great voice, with a really nice R&B flavor, and I'm glad she didn't sing something that was like, "oh my boyfriend had a stroke and things are different now." Good for you, Jessica. And I cried when she hugged her boyfriend with the ticket. What, am I without a soul? Whatever. Shut up.

hugthatmademecry.jpgThe Bad

Sam Gershman, whose dad is named Ira. I don't know about this energy. It's too much, too Broadway. And her sweater was too tight. It was just crazy.

Ryan walking by with a plant. We don't have time for your tired plant antics (plantics!), Ryan, there's too much talent in Portland!

plantics.jpg
The WHAAA?

Ben Purdom, that guy with all the mucus and the excuses (excusus?). His voice was not "right for Idol" but I love the reactions he solicited from Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson. Would I watch this audition again? Yes. "Still terrible, but better," Randy said. Ben knew it was a no, but Randy made them vote one by one anyway? That was a little unnecessarily cruel.

boombadoomboom.jpgHe got that boom ba doom boom boom ba doom boom bass.

David Weed! Do you love David Weed from Idaho? I love him! I don't know about the decision to sing Rush. He wants to do Idol or stand-up comedy and I want him to do ... something else on my TV screen? Maybe a show on HGTV, or Wipeout. Yes. Do Wipeout, David Weed!

Are you kidding me with the Liberian Refugee? Come on, Idol, you can't do that to us. Romeo Diahn had a really great voice, though. I would have loved him even more without the story of absolute tragedy. "Dude, refugee camp? I don't know, man," Randy said. Indeed. He's too good to be known just for being the refugee on the show.

I DID love that giant dude named Junior who looked at Ryan and went, "so who are you?"

bigjunior.jpg
Ben Harrison with that little boy face! You can't not smile watching him, though. He was delightful until he started singing. "We're gonna have some pizza," Ben proclaimed, and that made me want to hang out with him.

babyface.jpgWould you eat pizza with this man?


The auditions are almost over, was your favorite in Portland? I think mine might have been!

(images courtesy of FOX)

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