American Idol’s trip to Portland ended up being one of the better audition episodes this season with a decent mixture of good, bad and clueless singers.

It’s still pretty strange to go 11 seasons prominently featuring the really ridiculous singers then suddenly stop doing that. I always thought I’d prefer audition rounds with all the bad singers. I realize now I was wrong. At least with the bad singers, there was some entertainment. I think we’re all ready for American Idol 2012 Hollywood week.

The Standouts

Brittany Zika. She looked and acted annoying, but she didn’t sound too bad. She had a gentle and sweet tone to her voice, but probably still too annoying to get very far in the contest. We’ll see how she does in Hollywood.

Ben Purdom. Ben, I think, is one of those contestants who actually think he can sing well. Those kinds aren’t that fun to make fun of because I end just feeling sorry for them. I mean, his version of “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga was so bad he stopped himself.

Jermaine Jones. The church singer-types always get the judges going bad always leave me wondering why. I just don’t get it. I realize he’s not a bad singer, but he seemed rough around the edges to me. I would’ve said no if I were a judge. But they said yes.

Britnee Kellogg. This mother of two put her dreams on hold for her husband and all he did to thank her was cheat on her. I think she’s probably already got the song to that story written in her head. She delivered a great audition with “You’re No Good.” She’s got the story, the look, the sound and the passion. Welcome to Hollywood.

Sam Gershaman. She didn’t have a bad voice but she’s a little bit crazy. I don’t think she’s necessarily heading in the wrong direction with singing, but she certainly isn’t going to be a pop star. She should definitely try musical theater.

David Weed. I seriously didn’t think this guy was that bad. I think like Sam, he could actually have a career (or nice pasttime) doing musical theater. He’s pretty animated and funny to watch. He could be a good character actor perhaps.

Romeo Diahn. A Liberian civil war, refugee, this guy kind of caught my attention. His story was interesting and so was his voice. There wasn’t a lot of power to it, but I’ve never heard a voice quite like that. I’m glad they put him through to Hollywood. I’d like to hear more of him.

Naomi Gillies. She took on Aerosmith’s “Crying” and delivered some soul. She had a nice Christina Aguilera vibe going.

Jessica Phillips. What a sad story she told. She’s had a lot of heartache in her life and it comes out in her singing. There was a passion there that few possess. She’s a great singer and I hope we get to hear more during Hollywood Week.

In the end, 45 golden tickets were handed out in Portland. We’ll find out next week how many of those make it past Hollywood Week.


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