Auditions – Memphis

Memphis Rocks…

UPDATE:   Added screen caps, click on the jump.

Theatre Under the Stars presents ME...
Theatre Under the Stars presents MEMPHIS

Tonight’s audition episode is only  an hour long.   I’m glad.   These two hour audition shows are murder.    Thankfully, after watching,  I don’t feel like I need a shower.   The singers are either deluded or talented, or funny.   There are no pathetic cases that make me want to look away.   I even chuckle a few times.   However, for the most part, I’m not blown away by the talent.

Frank Byers Jr.  21, Waldo AK –  Frank is a cheerleader at Southern Arkansas University.   He brings the  entire cheersquad and band with him.   It’s a great gimmick.   He tells the judges that his nickname is “Frank n’ Beans”   Wow, that’s corny.   Then he  launches into a tepid rendition of “I  Heard it  Through the Grapevine”.   Simon says, “I hated it, I thought it was over the top, cabaret.”   Frank keeps singing.   Simon stops him, “That is not going to change my mind.”    It’s thumbs down from all the judges.   Frank leaves and all the cheerleaders are waiting for him.    At this point,  the most obviously scripted shtick unfolds.     The band starts playing and the cheerleaders cheer (the hot cheerleaders definitely helped  Frank’s mediocre butt get passed through to the judges).   Simon shouts,  “Can somebody tell him he didn’t get through?”   The band keeps playing.   Simon stomps out to tell them to “Shut UP!”   All that was missing was the laugh track.  

Tamika Simms 16 Memphis TN.  – She’s kinda the female version of Matthew Volna, the cowboy dude from Minneapolis last Tuesday.   She mumbles and has absolutely no affect.   She tells Simon she could be a “Maya” and Simon doesn’t understand and keeps repeating “Mayor? Mayor?” And Tamika keeps mumbling “Maya”.    It’s actually funny.   Tamika sings Ashanti’s “Rock With You”  in an extremely flat, nasal voice. I mean, her head tone is totally up her nasal passages. Simon tells her he can’t understand a word she’s singing.   The judges tell her she’s terrible, but she looks at them like they have three heads.   She keeps asking if she can sing another song.   Simon says it’s completely pointless.   Sorry Tamika.

Christopher Rivera  18, Black Mountain NC  – Chris sings “Superstition”–it’s very weird and very speeded up.   He’s dancing.   Sorta.   He finishes with a little  “Yeah WOAH”, which cracks me up.   Thumbs down from the judges.   “Pretty Depressing”, Chris says as he leaves the room.

Alexis    Partee 20, Southhaven, MS –  Alexis has this…well, major overbite, with braces.   I’ll give her credit–her song choice  is pretty awesome.   She sings  “Square Biz” by the incomparable  Teena Marie.   Unfortunately,  she sings in this really  weird breathless  falsetto.   Randy says, “That was just   a little strange for me.” Indeed.



Sundance Head 27, Porter TX –  Sundance explains  how he got his name,  “My folks were hippies.”   Ha.   His dad is Roy Head who had a number #1 hit for a few minutes in 1965 called “Treat Her Right”.   It was knocked off the charts by the Beatles “Yesterday.”  Sundance is a big guy.   He says his Dad was a dancing fool, but “I have no moves.”   Sundance explains that this  year was big for him–he got married and his wife had a baby.   And now Idol.    He sings Bobby “Blue” Bland’s  “Stormy Monday”.  He’s very confident–maybe a little over-confident.   He’s a blues singer with a very powerful voice, but in my opinion-not a lot of color.   I’m not quite feelin’ it, dawg.  Paula – “Powerful voice.” Randy – “You blew it out.”   Simon – “One of the best we’ve heard…in every way”   And then,  “I’m going to be amazed if you don’t make the finals.”   Then the first Taylor-diss of the season from Simon, “He just blew Taylor apart.”   And then Randy adds, “He sang circles around him.”   Well, peeps, we knew THAT was coming.  It didn’t take long. Note: Simon has a tradition of  dissing the contestants from the year before  during the current season.   Remember when he told Kellie Pickler that he liked her better than “that other one”?   It’s totally part of his shtick.   Don’t sweat it, peeps.  Watch this one, sez I.

Wandera Hitchye  23, Memphis TN  –   Wandera is another blues singer.    Simon says,  “there are so many singers like you trying to get deals right now.”   They all say no and she begs for a second chance.    She falls apart when she leaves the room. Wandera is actually  good, better than some of the singers they let though.   But  alas, she appears to have no backstory.   I feel bad.



Travis McKinney 22, Memphis TN –  He describes breaking up with his girlfriend.  He uses the word “emotional” about 10 times. Then he does this speak-sing thing with  some crazy dancing.  I can’t believe this dude is for real.   These “bad” auditions are still boring the crap out of me. “That was crazy man, ” says Randy.

Danielle McCulloch 18, Collierville, TN – Danielle is blonde, pretty and pouty.   She sings Aretha Franklin’s “Baby I Love You”.   She’s got a bluesy, soulful voice that’s mature beyond her years.    Paula says, “You are like an old soul.” But, for some reason, Randy is not impressed at all.  Randy says,  “I wasn’t blown out.”   Simon says “I like the blues part of her voice.”   Randy says no, and completely dismisses her.   Paula says yes.   Note:  Unlike prior years, there seems to be very little dissension between the judges so far.


Day One ends.   The judges  are very glad.

There’s a montage of Paula hugging a bunch of guys.  Yeah, Paula likes the guys.

Next, is a contestant who claims to be her biggest fan.

Topher McCain 28, Kennesaw GA –  Topher is very excited about meeting Paula Abdul.   He explains that his wife  left him recently because she was cheating on him. Then he says (Gah, I hope not seriously)  “When I become the next AI, she’s going to want me back.”   Uh, yeah.   Topher also believes that,  the “American Idol auditions are a new beginning for  me.”  He  looks at the camera and tells Paula “I’m available.”   A joke, yes this must be a joke. Or,  this guy is pathetically delusional.   Simon asks him why his wife left him, and he calls her a BLEEP I couldn’t make out. He sings  “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins.   Of course, he sucks and has terrible moves.  Simon says, “I’m tempted to ask if you sang that the night before your wife left.”   Good one, Simon.   Then he pulls out the old tried and true, “You’re like the drunk guy at a wedding” shtick.   As  Topher leaves he says, “I’m going to go drink, do some karaoke and fall off the damn stage…” Then he adds, “like everybody’s favorite drunken uncle.”   Hee.   He definitely watches the show.

Janita Burks 20, Memphis TN –  Janita explains that she thinks the judges will find her “very sexy”.   She’s got a low-cut halter dress on, and when she performs  “Disco Inferno”, completely out of tune–she definitely shakes her groove thang, even  grabbing her boobs at one point.   It’s a very odd audition.   Simon says,  “Janita, you are a handful.”   To say the least.  Just for fun, they let  her sing another song, and she can’t even get out the first note.   It’s a no for Janita.


Sean Michel 27, Bryant AR –  This dude’s thing is a really long beard and even longer hair.   Not sure what’s up with that, and he really doesn’t explain it.   He wears a green shirt and cap and does resemble some sort of South American revolutionary.   He sings Johnny Cash’s  “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”  which is  a very harsh song about God’s retribution.  “Well, that cheered us up, ” says Simon.  Paula thinks he has a nice tone.   The judges put him through.   I think he’s just  ai’ght, and that the judges put him through on  his unusual looks.  There must be a backstory  here somewhere, we just haven’t heard it yet.   Hilariously when he leaves, he does the “Owww, Supahstar” Molly Shannon bit.  I laugh.

Melinda Doolittle  28, Brentwood TN – Yes, YES YES.   That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout baby.   Melinda is a professional background singer.   Background singers are usually good singers, so this peaks my interest.   She doesn’t have a lot of confidence but she seems very cool, very laid back.   She explains that she’s trying out for Idol because she wants to get over the fear of singing out in front of people. She  sings Stevie Wonder’s “For  Once in My Life, ”  and she’s unbelievable.   In my opinion, the best so far.   Simon says, “You walk in with no confidence, no attitude…you are a brilliant singer.”   She looks completely shocked and disbelieving as Simon compliments her.   She truly seems to have no idea how good she is.   The judges enthusiastically put her through.   Melinda  has the potential to  be this year’s “diamond in the rough.”

Robert Lee Holmes 21 Memphis TN – Claims to sound “just like Elvis”.   He sings  “Burning Love” and he doesn’t   totally suck, like one would expect.   But he is very odd, and  the judges take a pass.  Well, there has to be some Elvis shtick somewhere tonight…

Phil Stacey 28, Jacksonville, FL – Here we go–the mother of all backstories is next.   While Phil waits in Memphis to audition, his wife has a baby. Originally, he  is going to sing Al Green’s “Let’s Get it On”, but switches up to the Temptations “My Girl” so he can dedicate it to his wife and daughters. The judges aren’t totally convinced, so he does a little snippet of “Let’s Get it On.”   Really, he’s not bad.  But after missing the birth of his child  in order to  audition, how can they say no?   And it is a hell of a story.   In fact, the episode ends sweet, with Phil meeting his new daughter for the first time.  Singing, schminging. It’s all about good  Tee Vee. Watch this one.

The stats:   Burning Love is the “City Song”.   22 contestants make it to Hollywood.

Tomorrow:   New York City, and we’re back to 2-hour shows. Bleah.

About mj santilli 33705 Articles
Founder and editor of, 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!


  1. What’d you guys think of the guy who sang Johnny Cash?? The one who said people think he looked like a mix between Jesus, Castro, and a bum. lol. Let me know what you think.

  2. I liked Sundance Head and the woman who was a background singer who lacked confidence.

    What was the deal with the guy pulling his drawers out of his fly during the Elvis montage? I also cracked up at the woman with th multi-colored hair who needed her meds.

  3. In Minneapolis, we saw good auditions.

    In Seattle, we saw great auditions.

    And in Memphis, we saw STAR-MAKING auditions.

    I think it’s a safe bet that we’ll see both Sundance Head and Melinda Doolittle in the top 12. As for “Jesusosama,” (Sean, I think?), I think he’s unique, talented, and I’m definitely already a fan, but I’m not sure we’ll see him in the finals, unfortunately.

  4. Werwanderflugen you were absolutely correct He was great…don’t know how far he’ll go but great audition. I lovvvved Sundance head one of my favorites so far but I was surprised at how quickly randy and simon dissed taylor…agreed??

  5. What do you guys and girls think of Phil Stacey? the very last contestant? Honesty

  6. I loved Sundance Head – but did you guys not hear what Simon said? “I think he just blew Taylor out of the park! Was that necessary?

  7. hi everyone!! I’m glad you enjoyed Sundance!! I hope to see him go really far!

  8. Randy followed it with, “yeah, circles” (as in ‘singing circles around him’). Perhaps not necessary, but definitely interesting.

    Replying to jl, I didn’t really like Phil Stacey. I thought he had a great voice, but he begins his songs horribly, just like Simon said. He doesn’t sound like he’s using his voice correctly at all, and it’s hurting his quality.

  9. That should read “Always gotta slam Taylor.” My grammar comes apart after 9 p.m.

  10. Yeah Phil did not perform his best by any means. Trust me I have heard him sing many times and tonight was not even close to his best. I am sure once he got some sleep and got to go see McKaily his new girl, a lot of stress was removed. I am confident that once he got to California he loosened up and let it rip. I was just wondering, because Phil is a friend of mine.

  11. I liked Phil too. But I have to agree with werwanderflugen – his starts were rough.

    Oh yeah and Melinda Doolittle has quite a bit of promise but has to work on that “tude”. What a fab voice. I think that as the competition rolls on, she’ll get stronger.

  12. I actually loved sundance head, I just realized I rewound his audition 4 times on my tivo and with the guy who sang johnny cash and looked like everybody lol I only did it 2 or 3 times. weird I know. He actually reminded me of jason mraz(sp??). Anybody agree on that?

  13. I know that Phil is rumored to go far, so I guess we’ll see improvement in Hollywood.

    BTW, did anyone see the shot of Gina Glocksen running down the hall with her golden ticket at the end of the show? I look forward to seeing her in Hollywood again.

  14. Simon and company can’t help but insult and put down previous winner’s and/or good contestants on Idol, with the exception of Carrie, Kelly, and Fantasia. The insult everyone else and their talent. But look who got the last freaking laugh on them just this morning. Yep a #7 Contestant is nominated for an Oscar. Hope they are all choking on that one.

  15. Uh oh. Memphis was a big ball of meh to me. I’ll take Thomas Daniels and Sunjaya over Sundance and the backup singer any day. I was actually surprised that they put the backup singer through. Talk about sounding like everyone else.

    Sundance was good, but there is a singer exactly like him every year. And I’m not talking about Taylor (still don’t get that comparison.)

    I would much rather have seen Gina Glockson than this ball of meh. I actually thought Phil Stacey had a much better tone to his voice than the other people who made it through.


  16. Loved Sundance, loved Castro, loved the little blond with the weird haircut, loved the shy backup singer. The new daddy was only so so to me. I thought the cheerleader was better.

    Simon has managed to find a way to diss Taylor during every show so far. I’m beginning to think he doesn’t like Taylor. :thumbdown_tb:

  17. “Ià ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ll take Thomas Daniels and Sunjaya over Sundance and the backup singer any day. I was actually surprised that they put the backup singer through. Talk about sounding like everyone else.”

    Are you actually serious? The backup singer is, without a doubt, one of the best voices to ever grace the show. Utterly amazing.

    I’m not denying that Thomas and Sanjaya have talent; in fact, they were my favorites from Seattle. Melinda Doolittle, however, is one lady I’m confident we’ll still be seeing through at least April.

  18. Oh, well, in that case, youà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢re wrong. :P

    Won’t be the first or last time. I guess the judges were all just harping on being different and she (Melinda?) is good, but sounds like a lot of other good people.

  19. Pretty boring show. A few good ones.

    Simon hates Taylor and wants to be sure to remind everyone each and every week how much he does hate him.

    Sundance is the son of Roy Head of Roy Head and the Traits. Music runs in the family.

    AI 6. So far. Meh.

  20. Simon has a real deep dislike for Taylor. He wanted *** to win and he didn’t get his way and the nasty comments are his way of trying to put Taylor down and still influence the public against Taylor.His goal is to dis the real winner so the second place will sell more cd’s and then Simon can say , “See I told you so ! ” Season 5 is still going on in Simons world. He should cut the crap and move on to season 6.What a jerk. :furious_tb:

  21. Season 5 is still going on in Simons world. He should cut the crap and move on to season 6.What a jerk.

    Heh, if he still hasn’t let Season 2 go, what makes you think he can let Season 5 go so quickly…

  22. I LOVED Melinda Doolittle! I can see her making the top 10, possibly the top 5. Ooooh. And… She is a friend of Mandisa!

  23. Jovi,
    I remember one time he told Kellie Pickler he thought she was better than Carrie, so that is a little bit of a put down but let’s be for real here. Kellie better than Carrie, um i don’t think so.

  24. I thought the guy (cheerleader) who auditioned first was a heck of a lot better than a lot of people they passed thru to the next round. I’ll have to watch it again but i thought he sounded decent.

  25. JOvi,

    How can you bring up Jennifer Hudson? They are the ones who put her in the Top 12. It was the public who voted her out seventh (which I personally agreed with although you obviously did not).

    It may be that Simon is using reverse psychology here. He creates controversy, which in turn may actually help Taylor.

  26. Cricket,

    Not true. He wanted Chris to win and actually said that Taylor should win on finale night as between Taylor and Kat.

  27. Simon hasn’t let go of Clay Aiken yet. What makes you think he is going let go of Taylor? When he has to eat crow, then he continues to blast the person who caused him to eat it. Sundance wasn’t a standout as far as I’m concerned. Heck, Scott Savol from season 4 sang circles around him at his audition. The Fidel guy should be interesting to watch. He needs a barber pronto!! I’d like to see what he looks like cleaned up, and, clean shaven. So far this season, it has been meh for me too. And, yes, Simon dissed Carrie last year too. Never mind she is 5x platinum. He also made some rude remarks about Kelly Clarkson. It’s just Simon, and, he is a spoiled, rich, verbally abusive individual who doesn’t care what he says, his ego needs to deflate.

  28. The fidel guy didn’t do anything for me. gonna watch him again but i wasn’t feeling any love for him.

  29. what i really want to know is how simon doesn’t make mr blakewell’s worst dress list. the man has no taste in clothes at all.

  30. Maybe the skin tight tee shirts explain Simons prickly attitude. Those things have to be uncomfortable.

  31. I thought last night’s show was entertaining and definitely gentler than last week’s shows. Truth be told, Sundance sounded a lot more like Elliott than Taylor to me and my son (who “suffers” thru the shows with me now, lol).

  32. The fidel guy didnà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t do anything for me. gonna watch him again but i wasnà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t feeling any love for him.

    He’s going to clean up really well, I think. He almost seems like a plant to me.

  33. No one really stood out for me still. Maybe in New York there will be someone.

  34. Psst…mj….do I get a prize or sumthin’ for getting a backstory?

    The music around us became meaningless and empty, a wasteland of triviality where Gospel has been relegated as a footnote at music awards, a relic of where it all began. But things are destined to come full circle, and the time is coming for music to find its soul again. It is in this tradition that Seanmichel finds itself, a band longing for meaning in a culture struggling to do the same.

    vid clip

  35. Then the first Taylor-diss of the season from Simon, à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“He just blew Taylor apart.à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ 

    Last week, Simon got one in, although not dissing his talent. He suggested to one of the contestants to get rid of her gum by plastering it on Taylor’s image.

  36. I swore I wouldn’t watch this season, but last week I realized that Phil Stacey is the son of an old college friend. I haven’t seen his dad in years, but he was a good friend when I was in school.

    Phil also went to college with 2 of my nephews. It’s a fairly small private college so it’s very common for kids to go to the same college as their parents and to all know each other.

    Another contestant, Justin Davis is my nephew’s youth pastor in Greenville, SC. He was shown holding a golden ticket, but they didn’t show much of him. He has an incredible back story, so I was surprised that didn’t show more of him last night.

  37. I don’t pay any attention to Simon. He clearly plays mind games. He acknowledged last year that he was very aware that the more he criticized Taylor, the more people voted for him. He also knows that his constant praise of Chris ended up costing him votes because the casual voters believed they didn’t need to vote. He also said that he intentionally didn’t criticize Kevin Covais very harshly because he knew that criticism would create a back lash of sympathy votes.

  38. I completely disagree with you who think that Sundance wasn’t that good. I think he’s the best so far this season and I also think he’d have given them a run for the money last season. He doesn’t have the looks and he’s overweight but his voice makes up for it. I’m guessing that he’s the guy Simon was talking about on Oprah – sounds great but doesn’t look like an AI. I also liked the back-up singer and wonder if she’s one of the women he said was very good but lacked confidence. I have a feeling that she and Sundance will go far in the competition.

  39. It’s interesting to me that knowing that there were more women than men who were sent to Hollywood, that so far, there aren’t many women being shown who are that great. THere have been more guys featured on the 1st 3 shows. It always annoys me that they don’t show most of the ones who make it thru in these early rounds. I am glad Melinda Dolittle was shown and I hope she goes far and we get to see her bloom as a performer.

    Sean Michel (Castro) interesting but I don’t think he sings that well. Sundance definitely a good singer. Philip Joel Stacy has a good voice and will probably show more of his talent in Hollywood. How lucky for him that his new baby was born same day and that his wife was so understanding.

  40. I am also surprised less than 60 men are being sent to Hollywood! Frank, the cheerleader was good as far as I was concerned. I also liked Melinda. Looking at her and Sundance, I am imagining the “make-ove” AI will do with these two if they make Top Twelve! I do think 90 minutes would be a fine time frame for these shows.

    I am taping what I think are the good auditions. I did not tape Sean Michel as I truly didn’t think he’d get through.

  41. Does anybody think fans will not check the facts? This might be minor, but Sundance claimed his dad had a number one song REPLACED by The Beatles. The truth is “Treat Her Right” by Roy Head & The Traits peaked at #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for two weeks in October 1965, unable to overtake “Yesterday” at #1.

    I still liked his audition, but I think Melinda Doolittle showed the most promise from Memphis.

  42. “Philip Joel Stacy has a good voice and will probably show more of his talent in Hollywood. How lucky for him that his new baby was born same day and that his wife was so understanding.”

    The funniest thing is that Phil also missed the birth of there first baby (Chloe)as well, so he’s 0 for 2. lol I can’t remember becuase that was a few years ago, but I think he missed it because at that point he was on duty with the Navy and couldn’t get there in time when it happened.


  43. Jlcamp7 – that is ironic isn’t it? Well, my appreciation for his wife has gone up quite a few notches with that info. Of course, if he was in the Navy and at their beck and call, that would have been a good excuse. This time, it was her choice as to whether to make it troublesome or not. I truly respect her for allowing him to be at the audition instead. Perhaps she prefers childbirth w/o him!

    In any case, I will be watching for him to go far and this backstory is at least a worthy one and not sad or sorry.

  44. My fav was Janita Burks who thought that her style was very important because you can only make one first impression, and dressing sexy “boosts’s” her “confidentiality” because her confidence was so important to her. LOL!!!

  45. for some reason, i didn’t hear the anti-taylor slurs or whatever it was, but i wasn’t blown away by sundance head. i know he has a really strong voice but for some reason he just didn’t connect with me all that much. i really, really liked melinda doolittle and will be watching for her! and i’m eager to hear all the people that got thru that we haven’t got to hear year.

    as for the castro guy, i usually like sensitive artists filled with angst (my bad) but i wasn’t really into him either for some reason.

    and out of the people from before, i still like the young guy with the indian name and also the navy guy. i remember they had distinctive voices, and i guess that’s what i go for. but for me, so far, melinda is the best and no matter what happens, this exposure is going to get her very far and deservedly so! (but i can definitely see her going all the way.)

    i have no idea why anybody would dis taylor. he may not have the chops of some people, but chops are not all it takes to be a great vocalist. his voice has tremendous beauty and power and heart and soul. to me, it’s golden. i hope he goes back and makes a straight blues/soul album next, though, because that will shut them all up (plus, it will make me happy).

  46. so guess who my radio station featured this morning ( they like to either feature the worst or best– today it was the best)…they played Castro!!! and get this…he sounded really good on the radio. I was kind of amazed, so were the Djs….but they liked him.

  47. hey RSF….good find about the castro myspace.

    no clue how the christian music thing is going to play on AI. this could be a whole new take…interesting.

  48. Phil and his wife ‘s cute. I like them. Phil ‘s like a cute bald I’ve ever seen. :P
    And Melinda ‘s really good. Hope she ‘ll make it far.

    Don’t get Sundance either.

    PS. Anybody remember the Dentist Assistant ,Gina Glockson (I’m sure the name ‘s wrong,sorry), from the last season. I thought I see her at the end make it to Hollywood again. Did you see?

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