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‘American Idol’ Auditions: Best Of The Rest

Blondzilla ‘American Idol’ Auditions: Best Of The RestThe long and winding road of Season 9 auditions has now come to an end. But that didn’t stop American Idol producers from reheating some leftovers and dishing out a best (and worst) of the rest episode. Overall, we saw the judges visit seven cities during the past three weeks, where 100,000 hopefuls auditioned and only 181 made it through to Hollywood. Hop below to meet a few more of the contestants you’ll be seeing again—along with some wannabe crooners you thankfully won’t.

Amanda Shectman auditioned in Boston and announced, “I can talk with my mouth closed!” She also tells Ryan that she does “voices,” and demonstrates by singing Britney Spears’ “Baby…One More Time.” But the judges tell Amanda she needs to gimme, gimme more, because she’s not really connecting with the songs as she sings them. She doesn’t have too bad of a voice, though, so she makes it through… barely.

Next we meet Stephanie Fisher, who hit up the auditions in Denver—for a seventh time! Stephanie, who admits that she worships guest judge Victoria Beckham, looks like a cross between Ke$ha and Paris Hilton, with just a dash of two-dollar hooker thrown in for good measure. Alas, after belting out “Fever,” Simon breaks it to her gently: “With the greatest respect, you have a horrible voice.” Things don’t turn out too badly, though—Posh gets up from the judges table and gives the persistent 23-year-old a big hug. Well, ’til next year, Stephanie…

Later we’re treated to Katy Perry knockoff Kimberly Bishop, who auditioned in Orlando. (Why, oh, why didn’t she indulge us viewers by flying to Los Angeles, where Perry herself was a guest judge?) Perhaps overcome by a bout of nerves—or just plain weirdness—Kimberly points and Randy and says, “You lost weight. I’ve seen you on TV.” What? No. TV? Couldn’t be. Predictably, she sings “I Kissed A Girl,” and predictably, it’s awful. Kara tells her, “I think you’re naughty,” before Kimberly then asks to be excused…for good.

The two biggest stories of the night—literally—are devoted to Michael “Big Mike” Lynche and 17-year-old giant Adrian “Blondzilla” Chandtchi. Big Mike, who loves hitting up the gym, has big guns and a baby girl on the way. He belts out a respectable rendition of “Unchained Melody,” which prompts Kara and guest judge Kristen Chenoweth to whisper to each other and begin giggling. Whatever the joke was, it wasn’t on Mike, though—he earns a golden ticket.

Adrian, on the other hand is quite another story. “I am a beautiful man-flower, and it will blossom,” the 6′8″ teen informs viewers. Another eyebrow-raiser comes with this admission: “I have a lot of nicknames, and it always has to do with something big.” As for the gentle giant’s audition, well, why don’t you just watch for yourself:

Sixteen-year-old Aaron Kelly turned out to be a blond of a different caliber, as well as one of the more memorable faces of the night. At the Orlando auditions, Aaron vaguely alludes to things “not going too well” with his biological parents when he was young, hence the fact that he now lives with his Aunt Kelly, who he calls “Mom.” He knocks Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” out of the park, leaving the judges duly impressed. Randy and Simon say they love that such a big voice comes out a shy kid. And, hey, Aaron Kelly fans—he’s already got his own fansite!

Aaron Kelly ‘American Idol’ Auditions: Best Of The RestThe final audition we’re treated to is that of 19-year-old Texas native Hope Johnson, who comes prepackaged with a sob story. “I had to overcome a lot of poverty,” the brunette teen says. “I didn’t know we were poor when I was little, but a lot of kids didn’t eat dinner.” Hope wows the judges with her heartfelt take on Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance.” “There’s something very interesting about your tone and voice,” Kara says, while Joe Jonas—the biggest bump-on-a-log guest judge of the season—offers up one syllable: “Yeah.” Multiply that times four, and Hope is on her way to Hollywood.

And so the audition process comes to and end for Season 9 of American Idol. Next week: kiss the guest judges goodbye, because Paula Abdul’s permanent replacement, Ellen DeGeneres, finally takes her spot at the table in Hollywood.


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