Season 7 Auditions – Charleston, SC

Ryan tells us that Charleston was recently named friendliest city in America. “But will it be generous with fresh, untapped talent?” He asks. Well, it seems out of 10, 000 auditioners, the producers could only find 23 contestants to advance to the Hollywood round. And I thought all the talent was down South?

“We sure are glad y’all could join us, as the Idol auditions march into Charleston…”

Eep. That sounds vaguely unfortunate. Sherman’s march anyone? Not so ominous are tonight’s auditions–chock full of the goofy and just plain bad, with a little bit of talent sprinkled throughout. The episode keeps the gentle tone set with the Season 7 premier–the auditioners are presented as misguided–rather than pathetic, as Simon continues to take Paula’s happy pills.

The episode begins with Oliver Highman, who is frantic because his pregnant wife’s water just broke. They are off to the hospital. I am sure we’ll see them later.


Raysharde Henderson 27, Atlanta GA, – “I Can’t Make You Love Me” By Bonnie Raitt – Raysharde looks like someone straight out of a 70’s sitcom. Like, he could have been Rerun’s even goofier sidekick. Or something. He tells the judges that he’s “The black Clay Aiken” which makes me laugh out loud. He’s very theatrical, punctuating his vocals with sweeping hand gestures and nasally vocal tics. He even gets down on his knees for extra dramatic effect. Well, I always found Clay’s phrasing a bit over the top. But, Clay can sing. Says that quickly before the Claymob attacks… Anyway! The judges are cracking up. “God, it did remind me of Clay Aiken” says Simon. Claymob changes direction to attack Simon. “A little over the top, ” says Randy. And its three nos from the judges.

DeAnna Prevatte 26, Albermarle NC – “Fancy” by Reba McEntire – DeAnna’s thang is that she comes from the same small town in North Carolina as Kellie Pickler. But while Kellie has down to earth country charm, DeAnna is a bit, uhm, aggressive? She seems to have permanent stink eye as she regales the judges with stories about the piggy customers she has to wait on at the all you can eat pig trough restaurant where she works in Albermarle. She shouts her way angrily though the song, and when Simon mispronounces her name when she’s finished, she shoots him killer death rays with her eyes. I mean, if looks could kill, Simon would be dead, dead dead. This chick is fierce. And a little demented. The judges all say no. Time to beef up security!

Crystal Ortiz, 26 Raleigh, NC Randy Stark, 27 Abilene, TX – Holy crap. Crystal and Randy are a couple who met on the message boards, otherwise known around the internets as “the scary boards.” Spend a little time reading there and you’ll get the nickname. Randy is apparently known as one of the head scaries–giving out advice to would-be auditioners. Eep. Crystal and Randy audition together. And, yes they suck. Simon says, “That was complete torture.” And, it was. But then Simon says he thinks it’s nice they that they’ve found each other. Simon, I’ll have what you’re having

Michelle Lampkin 26, Fort Mill SC Jeffery Lampkin 24, Newberry SC – “I’m Your Angel” by R. Kelly and Celine Dion – Ok, what’s with the couples in Charleston? Michelle and Jeffery are brother and sister. They are both big and LOUD. Especially Jeffery, who wears a necktie around his head and is totally wack. Their inappropriate (brother and sister singing a love song to each other? Ew.) duet is not all that bad. But it’s not all that good, either. Sure, Jeffrey and Michelle are an ebullient, fun loving pair–but their singing is pitchy and earsplitting. Simon thinks Jeffrey is better than his sister, but in the end, the judges can’t bear to pass one without the other. I guess Michelle and Jeffery will be on hand to provide some yucks to the Hollywood rounds.

Back to the Oliver Highman story – He and his wife are on the way to the hospital. As they drive, his wife explains that they are having a little girl, their first baby.

Next, a whole bunch of crappy singers warble “Before He Cheats.” The last singer totally makes up all the words. She is pretty funny. BTW, these montages are usually filmed during the producer rounds. Totally unrelated reaction shots from the judges are cut in later…

Amy Katherine Flynn 16, Knoxville, TN – “Reflections” by Christina Aguilera – Amy is the captain of her high school dance team. OMG!11!! Don’t you hate her already? She lectures fellow students on purity and abstinence. I think I do hate her. When she explains her various nicknames she ends with Whatevs. Yep, I totally hate her. She has a pleasant voice, but it lacks dynamics. Simon says the song is “too big” for her, and that she sounds like the “annoying girl singing in the bedroom.” Since she’s a hottie, everyone says yes, regardless. About her abstinence, Simon says, “One week in LA, it will all change.” Heh.

The Idol cameras follow Oliver and his wife into their hospital room. The wife looks pretty calm for someone who is supposedly going to pop at any moment.

London Weidberg 24, Sullivan’s Island, SC – “Good Morning Heartache” by Billie Holliday – London had a fairy-tale upbringing– growing up in a house on a beautiful beach in Charleston. Then Dad got sick and she put her singing career on hold to take care of him. He died 3 years ago. Her dad has inspired her to pursue her dreams. Too bad her vocals aren’t as compelling as her backstory. She has a nice voice, but its nothing special. Simon says, “I don’t hear anything unique.” They advance her to Hollywood. Might as well, since the pickings appear to be slim in Charleston. There are quite a few people we don’t get to hear. Who knows what the real Charleston story is, however, sans the manufactured story arc.

Speaking of peeps who get through whom we never get to see…a quick montage of golden ticket holders goes by in a flash. Fifteen people are sent to Hollywood on the first day.

Day Two

Lindsey Goodman – “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles – Lindsey flies giant C17 transport planes for the Air Force. Pretty cool. Lindsey says she grew up wanting to do two things–fly and sing. When Simon says he never would have guessed in a million years that she flies big planes, Lindsey thanks him. (??!!?!). She has a big voice, but all three judges say no. Ok, she was pretty good, why don’t they pass her? Maybe the military wasn’t going to allow her to advance anyway. BTW, why do so many contestants chose to sing the horrid horrid “Black Velvet”? Ugh.

Aretha Codner 22, Buffalo, NY – “I Who Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston – Typical Idol formula: Whitney song + delusional attitude (I’m as good as Fantasia) = Total Suckage. Despite the fact that her performance is flat and she changes key at the wrong spot, she doesn’t believe the judges when they tell her she can’t sing. She continues to argue with the judges (I’m guessing the producers instructed her NOT to take no for an answer) until Simon tells her that she murdered the song. Bonus: Simon makes fun of her outfit.

Joshua Boson 20, Beaufort, SC – “And I Am Telling You” by Jennifer Hudson. OMG. Joshua sounds like someone is squeezing his neck as he sings. How many different keys can he fit into one song? Hilarious. This can’t be for real. Joshua suggests singing something else, but when the judges reject him, he starts ranting that the show is “fake and rigged.” Simon tells Joshua he is rude and deluded. “I’m not looking to be the next American Idol, ” says Joshua, “I’m looking to be the next World Idol.” Someone should tell Joshua that they canceled that show 4 years ago. My spidey sense tells me someone just wants to get himself on Tee Vee!

There’s a parade of more bad stuff. Hey, it’s “No!” by They Might Be Giants on the soundtrack! Awesome.

Finally, it’s time for the payoff with Oliver and his expectant wife. This guy is gonna sing like an angel. I mean, they wouldn’t spend so much time on him otherwise, right?


Oliver Highman 27, Cornelius, NC – “Get Here” by Oleta Adams – First of all, I’m questioning the timing of this entire story arc. That baby was born pretty fast, and looked more than a few hours old when Oliver’s wife brought him into the judges room. Second, when Oliver opens his mouth to sing, he’s got a horrible goat boy vibrato. He’s terrible. They can’t possibly let this guy through. And they don’t. Subsequently there’s no feel-good payoff to end the show. It’s anti-climatic to say the least.

So that’s Charleston. Talent free. Oh, but they let 23 contestants through to Hollywood, so what’s the deal? Hmm…

Next Tuesday, Omaha, Nebraska.

About mj santilli 34550 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!