Watch All the Heartwarming & Hilarious ‘American Idol’ Auditions from Portland [VIDEO]

February 1, 2012 11:50 pm
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The health-conscious members of Portland, Oregon are nice but extremely zany. Among the crowd were more than a few glitter jumpsuits, tiaras, and rainbow tutus. Luckily, Ryan and the “American Idol” judges were able to pluck quite a few talented singers from the crazy pot and fly them off to Hollywood.

Brittany Zika followed her literal dream of singing with Sara Bareilles and made it a reality, so she wasn’t shy about performing for the judges. Brittany didn’t seem to know how good her cover of Brandi Carlile’sThe Story” was, though, because after the got 3 easy yes’s, she asked “For real? This isn’t like play a joke on the girl who tripped?” If she continues to sing as well as she did in Portland, Brittany will easily overcome her “Tripster the Hipster” reputation. (Skip to 1:20 to hear her sing)

Ben Purdom, who sells cable on the street, wasn’t feeling too great the week of his audition. He knew his rendition of “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga didn’t cut it, so he swung right into Nicki Minaj’sSuper Bass.” Unfortunately, even the encore couldn’t earn him a ticket to Hollywood, but he did get a super awkward “you’re cute” from JLo. If only he hadn’t been sick… (Skip to 1:26 to hear him sing)

If there was any doubt that mama’s boy Jermaine Jones was born to sing, it was banished the moment he hit the first two words of Luther Vandross’Super Star.” His unique and soulful voice was a touch shaky, but if he can overcome the nerves in Hollywood, the gentle giant could easily become  a fan favorite. (Skip to 1:28 to hear him sing)

Once J Lo got her all-important black tights the next morning (don’t we all wish we had someone to fetch us accessories?) the judges settled in to enjoy more of Portland’s talent. First up was mother and scorned woman Britnee Kellogg. She may have sung Linda Ronstadt’s “You’re No Good” but she definitely was good. Britnee went home with her kids, a golden ticket, and mommy advice from new fan JLo: “You have to be happy so they can be happy.” (Skip to 1:39 to hear her sing)

Sam Gershman is a motivational dancer, and a bit too perky. Her version of “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy was well-sung but not quite in the right vein for “Idol”. Her rejection sobered her up right away, but I think it might have just been nerves that ruined her chances. (Skip to 0:40 to hear her sing)

Singing “Tom Sawyer” by Rush, David Weed (yup, you read that right) wasn’t bad so much as unusual. The same can’t be said for the “joke” he told after that. Looks like neither dream will be coming true any time soon.

I can’t decide which footage is better: Refugee Romeo Diahn singing Bob Marley’s “Is This Love?” like it’s his job, or the interaction outside between his friend Junior and Ryan Seacrest. “So who are you?” asked Junior. Meanwhile, despite Jennifer being worried about his range, Romeo got three thumbs up and a ticket to LA. (Skip to 1:12 to hear him sing)

Naomi Gillies politely asked Steven Tyler if she could sing “Crying” and luckily proceeded to utterly rock the song. The only thing I’m missing from Naomi is a personality, but hopefully we’ll see more of that in Hollywood. (Skip to 0:12 to hear him sing)

My first impression of Ben Harrison was that one of those little yappy dogs had magically become human for a day. Between his awkward solo of “Somebody to Love” by Prince and the uncomfortable kiss he sent towards JLo, it was no surprise when he went home empty-handed. (Skip to 1:25 to hear him sing)

Right as the judges were finally tiring of Portland, Jessica Phillips stepped up to the plate. Her rendition of “Again” by Faith Evans was soulful and deep, perhaps because she’s been through a lot since her boyfriend had a stroke. (Skip to 2:20 to hear him sing)

Despite a few unfortunate auditions, a whopping 45 singers will be heading from Portland to Hollywood. Who was your favorite? How hard did you cry when Jessica and her boyfriend hugged outside the audition room? And does anyone know where Randy got his sweet red glasses frames?

See you back here soon with the recap of the St. Louis auditions, Thursday at 8 PM on Fox!


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