'American Idol' San Antonio and Long Beach Auditions: The Two Singers to Watch
'American Idol' San Antonio and Long Beach Auditions: The Two Singers to Watch
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
American Idol is an unusual beast. Now in season 12, there is a fine line between the realism of the show and the artificial production. Sometimes contestants can break the mold and do their best to undercut the importance of everything and other times the show itself tries to manipulate viewers.

Watch the Best of the Baton Rouge Auditions>>
Watch the Best of the Charlotte  Auditions>>
Watch the Best of the Chicago Auditions>>
Watch the Best of the New York Auditions>>

The auditions in San Antonio and Long Beach highlighted several of these distinctly Idol features. Nowhere was it more apparent than with Stephanie Sanson, the purple-headed mad woman who screamed an Adele cover, fulfilling her YOLO lifestyle by giving a huge middle finger to the show, literally.

There was also the curious case of Matheus Fernandes, the heartwarming miniature powerhouse who ended the show. Some viewers may have been moved to tears because he was bullied, but for those of us who watched the first season of The Glee Project, where Matheus was one of the finalists who won two of the challenges, it seemed incredibly disingenuous. The show, and especially Matheus himself, acted as if this was the first time he's ever been given any positive feedback. His whole act when he first walked in, shocked by being in the presence of the judges, felt totally fake.

Another one of the episode's oddities was Papa Peachez, the overly theatrical guy who snuck into Hollywood thanks in large part to the fact that Nicki Minaj cares more about personality than singing ability. If I were a moderately talented singer who failed to make it to Hollywood because my voice was just OK, I'd be angry that this guy made it over me.

But for me, this was the first audition episode where the women outshined the men, so here are my two to watch, one from each city.

The Two to Watch:  Cristabel Clack and Shubha Vedula

Cristabel is a classic Idol story, a contestant at the high end of the eligibility window who has clearly been singing for a long time and is a total pro. She's amazingly talented and has a great look and there's always one or two singers like her in the Top 12, though they never win.

From Long Beach, Shubha has several things going for her. Her name is awesome and, despite what the judges say, quite memorable. She also has an incredibly mature voice for a 17-year-old, and that always plays well. Throw in her Xtina-style runs and she should easily get Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj on her side.

What did you think about the San Antonio and Long Beach auditions? Are you Pro-Peachez or Anti-Peachez? Did Matheus move you or were you wishing he was Cameron Mitchell instead?

(Image and videos courtesy of FOX)