More than 10,000 hopefuls turned up in the city voted friendliest in America to audition for American Idol. But even that title couldn’t help Charleston send more than 23 contestants on to Hollywood.
Emma’s daddy Oliver Highman was set to be first up on Day 1 when he got a call that his wife was in labor. One beautiful little girl and a day later, Highman finally got to audition. But the extra time wasn’t enough to buy him a ticket to Hollywood. However, I don’t think this proud papa even realize he got rejected he was so busy showing off his new bundle to Paula, Randy and Simon.
It used to be that when a sitcom was in trouble, they’d give the couple a baby. So what do you think it says about American Idol, or at the very least the contestants in Charleston, that the show spent all night following the Highmans around. We even got to see them get lost on the way to the hospital.
There weren’t even really any good rejects. We were treated to Raysharde Henderson, who called himself “the black Clay Aiken,” a very angry version of Reba McEntire’s “Fancy” by DeAnna Prevatte and a montage of hopefuls singing Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” that included an Elvis impersonator, a guy in the kilt that looked like he should be throwing a caber and a guy who couldn’t remember any of the words.
We were treated to the romance of Randy Stark and Crystal Ortiz who met on the AmericanIdol.com forum. Let’s hope their love turns out to be stronger than their audition.
New Yorker Aretha Codner argued with the judges about whether or not she could sing and 20-year-old Joshua Boson accused the show of being “fake and rigged.”
In all we were treated to the auditions of four of the 23 Hollywood bound.
Brother and sister team Michelle and Jeffrey Lampkin provided the judges with a duet of “I’m Your Angel.” Jeffrey’s excitement and vocal skills instantly won over all three judges. Michelle didn’t win over Randy, but Simon put her through because he couldn’t bear to split up the duo.
Amy Flynn, a spunky dance captain from Knoxville, gave Simon a speech on abstinence before attempting Christina Aguilera’s “Reflections.” Simon told the 16-year-old the song was too big for her and called her annoying. Randy said she had “mad potential.”
Lastly, Randy found a nice tone in Charleston-native London Weidberg’s rendition of “Good Morning Heartache” by Billie Holiday. Paula thought she had a bluesy quality although Simon didn’t hear anything unique.
My picks for the evening would be Jeffrey Lampkin and one who didn’t make the cut – Lyndsey Goodman. A C-17 pilot in the US Air Force, Goodman did what I thought was a pretty good version of “Black Velvet.” Unfortunately, the judges didn’t agree with me.
Overall, a pretty boring night. Let’s hope that Omaha next week is a little more exciting.