American Idol Season 8 – New York City/San Juan Auditions – Recap

UPDATE: Recap and thumbnails added

  • Adeola Adegoke – Age 19 – Bronx, NY – Bank Teller – “And I Am Telling You” by Jennifer Hudson – NO – VIDEO
  • Jorge Nunez – Age 20 – Carolina, Puerto Rico – Student – “My Way” (in Spanish) “What a Wonderful World” (English) – YES – VIDEO
  • Jessika Baier – Age 20 – Jackson, MK (PR) – Waitress – “I Surrender” By Celine Dion – NO – VIDEO
  • Melinda Camile – Age 21 –   Stratford, CT – Unemployed – “Feeling Good” – YES – VIDEO
  • Jackie Tohn – Age 27 – Silver Lake, CA – “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz – YES – VIDEO
  • Joel Contreras – Age 23 – San Juan, Puerto Rico – Street Performer – NO – VIDEO
  • Nick “Norman Gentle” Mitchell   – Age 27 – Brookfield, CT   – “And I Am Telling You” by Jennifer Hudson – YES – VIDEO
  • Ashley Hollister – Age 21 – Hasbrouk Heights, NJ – Receptionist – “Baby It’s You” – YES –
  • Kenny Hoffpauer –   Age 16 – Havertown, PA – Student – “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz – YES
  • Kendall Beard –   Age 23 – Austin, TX – Student – “The Ashes” by Martina McBride – YES – VIDEO (with Ashley and Kenny)
  • Monique Garcia Torres – Age 16 – San Juan, Puerto Rico – Student – “You Can’t Hurry Love” by the Supremes, “I Turn to You” – YES – VIDEO
  • Alexis Cohen – Age 24 – Philadelphia, PA – Student – “Like a Prayer” by Madonna – NO – VIDEO
  • Patricia Lewis Roman – Age 20 – Caguas, Puerto Rico – Singer – “I Want to Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Huston – YES – VIDEO

Advanced to Hollywood: Nine from Puerto Rico, 26 from New York City

“For the first time ever, ” says Ryan “We bring you two cities in one show.” Uh Ryan, back in the days when the audition rounds were only a couple of weeks long, y’all doubled up on audition cities all the time.

Those were the days. Sigh.

At any rate, the producers use West Side Story as a reference for welding New York City and San Juan together, but it’s tenuous at best. Really, these two cities are lumped together because the PR auditions were so lame (300 people showed up to audition, by accounts) it didn’t deserve it’s own episode.

And I suppose, in order to distract from the lameness that is the Puerto Rico auditions, the producers choose to cut back and forth between the two cities. It’s awkward, at best, and a bit hard to keep straight. Palm trees behind the judges? We must be in Puerto Rico right now!

The last night of auditions were not the “best night!” as promised. Still, more of the same listless fare, except for Nick Mitchell, a “joke” audition that was actually hilarious for once.

Adeola Adegoke – Age 19 – Bronx, NY – Bank Teller – “And I Am Telling You” by Jennifer Hudson – So, we’re so out of frickin’ ideas, we’re going back to the ole “Simon calls my boss to get my job back” well.   I swear there’s been several variations on this theme done before.   Adeola quits her job, she’s so confident she’s going to Hollywood.   Of course, when it turns out she’s sucktastic, Simon intervenes to save the day. Yawn. –   NO –   VIDEO

Jorge Nunez – Age 20 – Carolina, Puerto Rico – Student – “My Way” (in Spanish) “What a Wonderful World” (English) – I have to agree with Kara that Jorge’s singing sounds more heartfelt in Spanish.   His English singing is just so-so.   But who cares!   There’s no way Mr. Dreamy Eyes isn’t going to Hollywood. –   YES – VIDEO

Jessika Baier – Age 20 – Jackson, MK (PR) – Waitress – “I Surrender” By Celine Dion –   Oh dear.   Are there really singing contests that reward this sort of caterwauling?   Jessika swears she’s won money, swag and trips all due to her glorious singing.   She’s not bad, but she does that overkill thing that Von Smith does.   Oh, , except he advances and she doesn’t.   I suspect if she was hot, she might have walked out the door with a golden ticket – NO – VIDEO

Melinda Camile – Age 21 – Stratford, CT – Unemployed – “Feeling Good” –   I half-way expect Melinda’s singing to be as ridiculous as her hippy-dippy new age philosophy, but it turns out she has an easy, soulful vibe that’s engaging.   Melinda tells the panel that she loves to dance naked in her room.   Simon tells her to imagine Randy naked while she’s singing.   Obviously she didn’t do that, ’cause she sounds great. – YES – VIDEO

Jackie Tohn – Age 27 – Silver Lake, CA – “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz – YES – Ms. Tohn needed to a: calm down and b. suck on a lozenge or two.   Her jittery audition feature raspy vocals that border on the unpleasant. I have a feeling she sings better than that, and of course, the judges know that too.   But it’s funny to watch someone advance after a bad audition.   Makes it hard to believe that these outcomes aren’t already a foregone conclusion.   The window comes crashing down during Jackie’s audition–and it doesn’t appear staged. – VIDEO

Joel Contreras – Age 23 – San Juan, Puerto Rico – Street Performer – NO – Joel, a super annoying street performer judging by the clips of him working–actually brings a couple of lolz to his audition.   The big giant cut-out iPod he brings with him is pretty lame, but when he whips out a Lion King hand puppet, I burst into a spontaneous giggle. Of course, these types of contestants are meant to play off of Simon.   “It’s everything I hate, ” he says.   VIDEO

Nick “Norman Gentle” Mitchell – Age 27 – Brookfield, CT – “And I Am Telling You” by Jennifer Hudson – YES – Another comedy routine, and although the banter between Nick and Simon sounds scripted, it still has me laughing in spots.   Even the gay Seacrest joke has me lolz.   Nick’s shtick isn’t original, there’s just something really likable about this guy.   He plays serious for a minute, singing “Amazing Grace” and he isn’t half bad.   Simon, arms crossed, votes no, but the rest of the gang put Nick through –   VIDEO

A triplet of talented singers whiz by – Ashley Hollister – Age 21 – Hasbrouk Heights, NJ singing “Baby It’s You”,   Kenny Hoffpauer – Age 16 – Havertown, PA – Singing “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz and Kendall Beard – Age 23 – Austin, TX singing   “The Ashes” by Martina McBride   – Kenny and Kendall are the standouts, here. VIDEO (with Ashley and Kenny)

Monique Garcia Torres – Age 16 – San Juan, Puerto Rico – Student – “You Can’t Hurry Love” by the Supremes, “I Turn to You” – Cute little brother got her camera time, but Monique’s singing is just ai’ght.   The judges decide to give her a second change and advance her to Hollywood, despite the fact it’s obvious her lack of confidence and inexperience will most likely get her cut on the first day – YES – VIDEO

Alexis Cohen – Age 24 – Philadelphia, PA – Student – “Like a Prayer” by Madonna – NO – She’s baaack–Alexis Cohen, the “Take it” girl from last season.   She’s   attempted to clean up–gone is the crazy eye makeup and she’s wearing a nice dress. But curiously, her singing is worse than it was last year.   I remember thinking, “crazy lady, but vocals not half-bad, ”   last year.   At the end of the audition, she goes back to her old ways, flipping off the judges as she leaves – VIDEO

Patricia Lewis Roman – Age 20 – Caguas, Puerto Rico – Singer – “I Want to Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Huston –     She makes the rookie mistake of singing Whitney, and proceeds to underwhelm the judges. She sings in Spanish and is a tiny bit better.   Nice girl.   Completely unmemorable. The judges put her through anyway.   Probably so they could get a shot of her huge family celebrating. -YES – VIDEO

About mj santilli 30194 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!