American Idol 2012 Premiere Live Recap

American Idol 2012 auditions

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.

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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.

Shaun Kraisman and Ryan Seacrest

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.

Mawuena Kodjo

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.

Phillip Phillips American Idol audition

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




  1. It’s been entertianing so far, although I kinda think some of the judging was a lil’ unfair

  2. P2, Jr. and Leesburg, GA will be in the finals! What tremendous natural and infectious talent!!

  3. Two hour show and one good audition at the end. I hope the talent gets better. If it doesn’t it will be a bad season for American Idol. Australia’s X Factor talent completely eclipsed The X Factor USA as well as the 2011 American Idol show. I will be hard to impress this season. You guys better bring it!!!

  4. Anyone know the song that was playing in the background of the sister brother pair that made it to Hollywood again tonight? Something with “speed of light” please help!

  5. Hey ya’ll!! Glad to be back for another year of AI!
    I really got spoiled after last year, (7 out of top 10 signed so far)  so, we’ll see what this year of singing hopefuls have to offer!! I saw 2 that look promising, but  still a very long way to go! 
    Trusting tomorrow looks better, 
    I’m Hooked!

  6. Philip Philips sounded good, as long as he doesn’t go too over the top, he
    could be one of the contenders.  He reminded me of Casey Abrams although they differ in style but has the same drive.  I just hope he doesn’t turn into
    a werewolf  like Casey did and starts grunting like a mad man. Oh, Casey is
    definitely a Jazz and Blues man.  Just finished watching his “Cant stop singing about his new album” clip sounded really good.
    There is a girl that sang in the middle of the pact but did not catch her name
    I really like her vocal tone, reminded me of Norah Jones, I’m sure we will see and hear her again because she made it thru to holywood as well. Other than that I really did not see anymore than the usual suspects, so hopefuly
    more good ones to come.

    • I agree with your comments on Philip Philips. Right now he is memorable (kind of a Stevie Ray/Jack Johnson thing going on there) but hope he does not go overboard. Anyway, it looks like a promising season, much better than X. 

      • Hi Cat, welcome back 🙂  I hope you are right,  so far no one yet has
        caught my attention.  But it is early still.  Good to see ya here!!

      • Hi Cat! Are you sure he isn’t memorable because he went last? I still didn’t see anything that really impressed me in the first auditions. We will have to keep our fingers crossed that someone shows up that can really get us excited about the new show. 

    • If anything, Philip sounds like Dave Matthews. He says that he’s his influence as well. 
      I HOPE we get to hear a Dave song soon!!

      • yes , he does have some similarities in style with Dave Matthews.  One
        thing that I question in Philip’s style is would he be able to handle the
        variety of musical genre that will be required for him to do thru out
        the competetion.  I believe he is a solo artitst and the way he sang both
        songs proves he is.  How will he adapt to group songs and or duets and
        or singing a song totally not in his comfort zone will dertermine his
        success or failure.  He has a nice style but I don’t think he has the vocals
        to back him up  all the way, time will tell.  Good observation Jeremy 🙂

      • I forgot to add that I do like Philip 🙂 and yes let’s hope he does a Dave
        Matthews tune, he will do well.

      • Hi Taymaro. I am trying something new, to me anyway. I am taping the show and then fast forwarding thru the commercials. They bog me down to the point I want to give up sometimes. I have read that other viewers do this so I want to try it. And yes, P Philips was last so perhaps more memorable but I just want someone to jump out and be interesting, not a sob story, etc. Looking forward to Sunday after the football game. 

  7. Idk, it might just be me, but, Phillip Phillips wasn’t that amazing imo?? He def should have gone to Hollywood but his performance was def over exaggerated..

  8. I am thrilled that AI is back.  As usual we only get to see a few of the Golden Ticket holders auditions.  I really enjoyed little David.  He had such a great voice.  I wasn’t that impressed with the Colton family.  Like I said before, we still haven’t seen all the winners.  I have faith that this season will be as successful as Season 10 was.

  9. David Leathers has way too much ego and turned me right off. Colton will appeal to the teen girls, and Phillip is more enthusiastic than talented vocally. In fact, Phillip could be put in the same category as Casey James. A better musician than singer.

  10. How come we cannot watch an already aired episode of it online like most shows for those of us who have missed it or not able to watch???

    • That choice is up to FOX and probably Freemantle since they own the rights to the show. If they don’t want to pay the costs to let it air/stream again then they don’t have to. It’s unfortunate for the rest of us, but they’re probably saving a few nickles.

  11. i think philip philips will go very far and maybe he could win i got 3 bets already including colton

  12. Elise Testone, she has the best voice. She is going to go far..They should have shown her whole audition..

  13. I am disgusted with the disqualification of Jermaine Jones. I am quite sure that his punishment and public humiliation far outweigh his crime. Shame on you American Idol, your lip service that if he would have provided disclosure you would have worked with him. I seriously doubt that, he would not have even made it to Hollywood. You are obviously not about the music and the spirit rebellion of American Music but another puppet of the established status quo.


4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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