The American Idol 2012 train has left the station and tonight we’ll be taking a look at it live while the season premiere plays out. When you see a standout during tonight’s auditions share your thoughts down below in the comments. Also feel free to join other readers in our Idol chat room during the show.
The show opens with a montage of past Idol winner voiceovers making way to side by sides of Idol Hopefuls who have been watching Idol since they were small children. Now we’re on to the returning judges who are ready to find the biggest and best talent! Let’s see what they found for us.
This year’s auditions start off in Savannah, Georgia with nearly 10,000 turnouts. The first contestant, David Leathers Jr., has a good backstory. A few years ago David faced off against a then unknown young country singer in a local competition and beat him. That other singer was Scotty McCreery. No pressure, Seacrest tells him. No worries either as David is the first golden ticket winner of the night. Now after one good performance we’re promised a flood of awfuls.
After a few more great performances we get our first “ouch” moment of the night with Jessica Whitely. Apparently no one has ever told Ms. Whitely that singing is definitely not her thing. Despite a resounding “no!” from all judges she’s determined to travel to the Texas auditions for another shot at disaster. Ugh.
We get a crowd pleaser segment with Shaun Kraisman who does a pretty convincing impersonation of host Ryan Seacrest. He walks the floor talking to Hopefuls, does his best “dim the lights!”, and then heads in to meet the judges. They love it, well his acting skills at least. There’s no Golden Ticket for Shaun but he does manage to make quite the impression on production.
Ahh, here we go. Time for American Idol 2012’s first sob story: tent girl. Due to tough times, Amy Brumfield and her boyfriend live in a tent. In the woods. I won’t poke at this particular story with questions like, “whose land are they living on?” and “if her boyfriend’s mom is close enough to make her clothes, then why can’t they live safely indoors with her?” Hopefully a Golden Ticket is what it takes to get her out of the woods as Amy is our first non-teen tonight to go to Hollywood.
After a few more auditions we get a pair of returning Hopefuls: the Dixons. Well, Schyler Dixon is there to audition but her brother Colton, who nearly made it through to the finalists last season, is just there for support. That plan is sunk by the judges when they demand he follow his sister’s audition and give it another chance. Sure enough, both Schyler and Colton make it on through to Hollywood.
Time for some silliness again as Mawuena Kodjo comes out for his audition. Mawuena hails from West Africa (slash Nashville, says Idol) and he loves Rascal Flatts. The judges, however, don’t love him. Mawuena isn’t one to take no for an answer though and so the judges challenge him to come back with an audience that approves of his singing. Sure enough, Ryan Seacrest helps him find a group, mostly comprised of children, who are willing to endorse Mawuena’s bid for Hollywood. Alas, it doesn’t work and the judges stand by their initial, and very correct, assessment. No Golden Ticket.
Ah, the return of the “no ticket, but really got a ticket” fakeout combo’d with the “I’m unemployed but have a kid on the way” segment. W.T. Thompson grabs a Golden Ticket to Hollywood after wowing the judges and sharing some back home scenes with W.T. and his six-month pregnant wife who supported his decision to quit his job for a chance at Idol. Let’s hope this gets it out of their system.
After a reminder that the judges’ table is a man’s world when the guys overrule JLo and send the very beautiful Brittany Kerr on to Hollywood we get our final singer: Phillip Phillips. He assures us that yes, that is his real name. After several songs, including a pretty cool acoustic guitar rendition of “Thriller,” we get the judges’ no-brainer decision. Phillip gets a Golden Ticket and is moving on to Hollywood. It was a good way to end the show. Good stuff.
Overall there were 42 Golden Tickets handed out in Savannah, Georgia by the American Idol judges. Tonight’s show only featured about a dozen of those, so there will be plenty of surprises coming our way. What did you think of the talent?
Confirmed Golden Ticket Holders:
- David Leathers Jr.
- Gabi Carrubba
- Shannon Magrane
- Amy Brumfield
- Stephanie Renae
- Schyler Dixon
- Colton Dixon
- Ashlee Altise
- W.T. Thompson
- Brittany Kerr
- Phillip Phillips