Season 7 Auditions – San Diego

American Idol lands in San Diego CA to the strains of the Ramone’s covering the surf classic “Warm California Sun.” AI so needs to have a Ramone’s night.

Like, Gabba gabba hey!

American Idol Auditions, San Diego style.   It’s short and sweet.   I like the kinder, gentler auditions.   This brand new audition paradigm means always starting the show with a talented singer…

Tetiana Ostapowych 24 – Venice, CA – “Someone to Watch Over Me” – Tetiana has that Paris Hilton look. She has her demeanor too–she acts vague, like she’s too cool for the room. My grandpa owns hotels, BITCH. Which is probably why Simon says that she’s not as good as she thinks she is. Despite her cool exterior, she’s able to warm up the room once she sings. Despite his reservations, Simon joins Paula and Randy as they send her off to Hollywood.

Perrie Cataldo 27, Phoenix AZ – “I’ll Make Love to You” by Boyz II Men – Perrie has a backstory that’s tailor made for the chicks. He’s a single dad, struggling to raise a kid on his own. His little girl boy (seriously, I had to look twice, the fem ponytail is a little confusing) was left mom-less when she died in January 05. Perrie is vague about the circumstances of her death. Apparently, Mom was hanging out with the wrong crowd. Dad is articulate, and the little boy is Tee Vee adorable. Unfortunately, Perrie’s   audition is a big bunch of boy band blandness, complete with corny hand gestures. But I suppose it’s cool for those who dig that sort of thing. (I don’t.) All the judges like him, especially Paula who gets all googly-eyed while he sings. That little boy sure is cute. “My Poppy is going to Hollywood.”

Michael Johns 28, Los Angeles, CA – “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” by Otis Reading. Micheal is from Australia, but has been in America since he was 18. He’s definitely rocking the blue-eyed soul thingy. Plus, he’s cute. BONUS! I like this one. So do the judges. Simon says, “I thought that was a very good audition.” Randy says, “100 percent YES.” His audition is over in a flash, without much backstory to speak of. However, internet peeps have dug up plenty on Michael, including a failed record deal and some sour grapes with his former band members. Will that ever be mentioned on the show? Doubtful.

Now for some suck:

Marat Hayrapetyan 22, Sherman Oaks CA – What the hell?

Christopher Mitchell 19, Citrus Heights CA – As if the goat boy vibrato isn’t bad enough, at moments Christopher sounds like his balls are suddenly caught in a vise. Not pleasant!

Tehilla Lauder 28, Studio City, CA – Melisma gone terribly, terribly wrong…

Valerie Reyes 20, Riverside CA – “Against All Odds”, Mariah Carey version – Long time Idol watchers know by now, an Idol contestant who says that her friends tell her she sings just like Mariah Carey, is advance warning that her singing is going to make your cat howl. Valerie is set up to think she’s awesome, but of course we know the big smackdown is coming. Especially when she says she thinks the bad auditions are hilarious.   Valerie sings like she suffering from some weird respiratory disorder, and when she goes for the Mariah dog-whistle notes, it’s beyond description. At first, she doesn’t seem to understand that the judges hated it.   Simon says, “The only resemblance to Mariah Carey is if Mariah Carey’s CD was left out in the sun for a year.” I’m calling shenanigans, though, because the scene looked highly edited. I’d be curious to know what really went down. After the judges reject her, Valerie is horrified. She tells the camera, “OMG Now I’m going to be one of the rejects…this is sooo not cool.”

Joseph and Juanita Mejia 21 & 17, Menifee, CA – “Get Here” by Oleta Adams – OMG. A brother-sister act? He’s dressed in a huge Mexican hat and matching poncho. He sings. She’s dressed in black, and mimes the lyrics. So random, so bizarre. I love it. LOLZ as the kids say.

Monique Gibson and Christopher Baker – They come in as a pair. Their interviews are dead serious as they talk about their excellent chances to make it to Hollywood. Chris says he thinks they are both Hollywood material and have the look. For reals? After 6 seasons, could there possibly be auditioners who are still this clueless? We’ll probably find out that they are acting students from Cal State San Diego, or something. That would actually make me feel better if it were true.

Monique Gibson 24, San Diego, CA – “I Believe in Miracles” by Whitney Houston – Simon says, “You look like 3 different people dressed you.” Why do these horrible singers pick such big songs? Monique keeps trying different tunes. She’s so desperate, it’s sad. Simon says, “I think this is going to be pointless.” Monique bursts into tears, and swears she’ll be back.

Christopher Baker 22, San Diego, CA – “The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston – After Christopher’s tone deaf and deer-in-the-headlights performance, Simon says, “No children will be laughing after that.” Indeed. Christopher keeps singing, until he’s escorted out by security.

Samantha Musa 20, Baldwin Park, CA – “Until You Come Back to Me” by Aretha Franklin – Samantha thinks Simon is really really hot. So does her sister. As Samantha walks into the audition room, a paper airplane sails into the room ahead of her. It’s a love note for Simon from her sister! Natch.   It says, “Simon, please let me in!”   Ok, this chick is cool. Simon invites sister to help judge, and she sits on his lap. And then it turns out that Samantha is a really good singer–soulful and confident, even as she squeaks a little on a high note. Her singing is the icing on the cake of a really cute segment. Everyone says yes, even Sis.

Swish! Day two…

Blake Boshnack 22, Long Beach, NY – “Stand By Me” – Blake auditioned in 10 cities since Season 3. He’s the dude who dressed like the Statue of Liberty in Season 5. Back then, Simon only let him get a few words out. This year, he gets more camera time and a backstory. Mom is obsessed with Blake becoming the next American Idol. Mom is a little pathetic. Or maybe they cooked up a lame backstory to get camera time. After 10 tries, I would not be surprised. Dressed normally now, Blake performs and he’s not a bad singer. If this was his first try, the judges might have let him through. All the loser baggage he’s carrying works against him, however, and the judges all say no.

Montage of loser peeps–my favorite is Sarah Long, whose tuneless and unintelligible warblings garner her a comparison to that master of bad auditions, William Hung. She should be flattered! Ha.

Alberto Hurtado 28 – Chula Vista, CA – Alberto muses about spending too much time in his imagination. He’s crafty! He’s brought a Barbie doll stuck on a stick that he twirls around. Psychedelic! And he’s made a huge fan that says, “American Idol Fan” and a smaller fan for Paula. Weird! He throws around a bunch of self-help buzzwords. Alberto is like a New Age nightmare. So, it’s not surprising when he chooses to sing an original composition–a self-indulgent dirge called “Live”.   OMG, when he sings “standing here with my heart upon my sleeve” he holds out his arm and there is a little pink heart on his cuff. Simon rolls his eyes. He totally creeps out the judges. Maybe it’s the three inch long Lee press on nails he’s sporting. But its probably the really bad singing. “Well, Alberto, ” Simon says, “That cheered us up.”

Aaron Garrett 28, Stockton CA – “Leave Me Alone Now” – Or something like that. He keeps singing the same line over and over again. Not quite as catchy as “I Am Your Brother.” Ok, not catchy at all. But the tunelessness coupled with the spastic finger snaps crack me up.

David Archuletta 16 – “Waiting On the World to Change” – David’s big backstory is that he won Star Search when he was 13 years old had vocal paralysis a few years ago, but is better now. Yeah, Google the name peeps. That’s all I’m sayin’. David already has a ton of buzz on the internet, because of his TV past. He’s a decent singer, but in my opinion he does not live up to the hype. But, he’s awfully cute in that Jonas Brothers/Disney sort of way, so I expect he could do real well with the ‘tweens. The judges are wicked impressed, and David moves on. Simon likes David’s song choice. I’ll give him that. So far, however, I’m not blown away.

Carly Smithson – Sorry Carly Hennessy, using your married name is not gonna fool peeps at this point. This audition is billed as her second chance but actually, it’s her third. The first was when she was signed to MCA at age 18. The second was her Season 5 audition.   She was Simon’s chosen one, but had to drop out due to visa problems. This is her third, and it comes amid a storm of controversy. These days, her husband runs a tattoo shop. She’s covered in them herself. She sings, and it’s underwhelming. She sounds like a poor gal’s Kelly Clarkson. We’ve got one of those, already. Thanks. When she breaks down in her after-interview and says, “Everything’s been right in front of me, but I have not been able to grab it, ” I feel sorry for her. I actually don’t think a failed major label debut should keep a contestant out of this competition. I don’t begrudge an artist trying to get a break any way they can. Even if a prior break doesn’t pan out. With all the negative press, Carly now has an uphill battle to climb, before she’s even begun. It doesn’t help that her audition was average…

The show ends with a long montage of Golden Ticket winners. Thirty people make it to Hollywood from San Diego.   Tonight:   American Idol heads to Charleston, SC.

About mj santilli 35006 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!