Get Goosebumps From ‘American Idol’s’ Phenomenal St. Louis Auditions! [VIDEO]

February 3, 2012 7:00 am
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Ryan Seacrest opened up the hour by reminding us that St. Louis was first place America laid eyes and ears on former “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood. The big arch soared over the city as thousands of hopefuls screamed in excited (that can’t be great for their voices, though.)


Little did I know that the first person we heard would have the same star potential and mega-talent that Carrie did. The judges couldn’t get enough of Johnny Keyser’s cover of Sam Cooke’s “Change Is Gonna Come.” Jennifer summed it up nicely when she said “you know you’re gonna be a star, right?” (Skip to 1:12 to hear him sing.)

In case you didn’t catch it, here’s JLo in the best reaction shot of the night. She’s so excited!

JLO so excited

Screenshot: YouTube

But the judges heard quite a few unfortunate singers as well. Thanks to a little inspiration from Oscar-nominated silent film “The Artist,” we got to see a bad audition rather than listen to it. I especially enjoyed reading Randy’s catchword “dawg” written in old-timey font.


Rachelle Lamb traded in her man for a dream, and had no problem belting Faith Hill’sDearly Beloved” after being a professional singer years earlier. Steven told her she had “moxie,” and her great country tone earned her—and daughter Madison— a golden ticket. (Skip to 2:14 to hear her sing.)


After a round of particularly bad “singers,” JLo sent some positive energy into the universe in the hopes of getting a superstar in return. It worked, because Reis Kloeckener’s version of “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers was so understated and beautiful that it made Steven cry and “all crazy inside.” The 20-year-old, who used to be bullied before he discovered choir, gave me a serious case of the “goosies,” too. (Skip to 1:25 to hear him sing.)


Ethan Jones started bleeding in front of the judges… Is that a first? The 22-year-old plays music with his father, although the older Jones is currently in rehab trying to turn his life around. Ethan sang “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain, which might be an overcooked song on “Idol” but at least he sang it well. I’m interested to see the blonde again in Hollywood, sans blood. (Skip to 1:59 to hear him sing.)


Arkansas cutie Lauren Gray spends her weekends putting together weddings with her parents. She sang Adele’s “One and Only,” and although she sounded a bit high, it blew the judges away. I think she’ll do really well in Hollywood, and as JLo said, this isn’t the biggest thing that will happen to her now that the world has heard her sing. (Skip to 1:49 to hear her sing.)

Mark Ingram is a hotel auditor at the very hotel where auditions were being held. His co-workers reassured the judges that the 28-year-old’s voice was going to be good, and his version of Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed” proved that he had pipes, but not necessarily the vocal control to handle them. Despite an encore, Mark got three kind no’s and was sent back to the lobby.

46 singers from St. Louis made it through to Hollywood. Do you think any of the ones we saw tonight can follow in Carrie Underwood’s impressive footsteps? Check back in next Wednesday night to get our outlook on the most intense Hollywood round in “Idol” history!


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