Live Blogging – Memphis Auditions

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We're in Memphis and hanging out in the home of the blues and the always popular Beale Street.

The first contestant is a male cheerleader and coach at Southern Arkansas University. His nickname is Frank & Beans. His real name is Frank Byers, Jr. and sings “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”. Simon doesn't like it all, but Frank keeps singing new songs. Three no votes and that ends his chances.

— Commercial Break — (can someone please tell me what commercials are worth on this show? It's full of them)]

Contestant #60146 is pretty quiet. Not too expressive. Her real name is Timika Sims and she sings an Ashanti song. I would tell you the title, but I couldn't understand what she said or what she was singing. Simon agreed.

All the judges are seemingly much more rude this year. Is that a planned strategy, or is it just getting old for them. You've got to wonder how old it gets after hearing literally

Christopher Rivera sings “Superstitious” by Stevie Wonder and he's definitely unique. Another interesting tidbit of information was I couldn't understand him either.

Alexis Partee sang something too, but couldn't understand her either. What is it with Memphis?

Next up is someone that's supposed to save us from all the previous bad and unintelligible auditions. His name is Sundance and his dad is Roy Head. Roy had a hit called “Treat Her Right” that was knocked off the charts by the Beatle's “Yesterday”. What immediately popped into my head though was that this guy's name was Sundance Head? He's got a goatee that also disappears into his open shirt and meshes with his chest hair. Oops, his real full-name is Jason “Sundance” Head. Look at that! He shares my name and this cat can sing! Congratulations to him: he's recently married, is expecting their first child on Christmas Day, and made it to American Idol auditions, and he's heading to HOLLYWOOD! 100,000,000% yes. Simon will be amazed if he doesn't make it to the finals. Simon also said he just blew Taylor out of the water. I'm not sure about that yet, we need to hear him sing some more.

— Commercial Break —

Wandera Hitchye starts us off. I think she sounds pretty good, but given the clips to lead into the segment she's not making it. She begs to get another try and she leaves the room devastated.

Lots of “No's” running from the judges. Lots of “love flowing now” and that leads us into Travis McKinney. The way he was talking I was really expecting something, but he did some kind of rap, poetry, dance move thing that was just horrible. Randy said it was “crazy” and “wild”. Paula says “No, no, no” and Simon says “Bye, bye, bye”.

Danielle McCulloch sings a song by Aretha Franklin. I think she's got the look for moving on to Hollywood, but I think she can sing. Randy wasn't really impressed and votes no. Paula likes her and says yes, and Simon says yes too. She's heading to Hollywood.

— Commercial Break —

It's the start of the second day of auditions in Memphis.

The first guy up is a recent divorcee who's wife was cheating on him. He also seems to be infatuated with Paula Abdul. Christopher McCain sings Kenny Loggins “Footloose”. He actually doesn't sound bad compared to the others, but it's not enough to make it and his movements are very distracting. Simon compares Christopher to the drunk guy at the wedding. Now Chris says he's going to follow Simon's advice by getting drunk, singing karoake and fall of the stage.

Janita Burks is letting it all hang-out on this audition, and I mean that literally. She's singing “Disco Inferno”. Simon says she's a “handful”, hopefully you catch that reference. She tries to sing something else and can't get past the first word without cracking. She's out of here.

Up next is Osama, Fidel Castro or Jesus…actually his real name is Sean Michel and he's singing a Johnny Cash song “Jesus Is Going to Cut You Down”. Paula likes him. Simon likes him. Randy says 100% yes. He's heading to Hollywood. I wonder if they end up shaving him up. He cracks me up by doing Molly Shannon and said “Superstar!!!” with his golden ticket.

— Commercial Break —

We've got a professional back-up singer auditioning first after the commercial break. Melinda Doolittle sings “For Once In My Life” by Stevie Wonder and she nails it. She's good and she can hold her own, she needs to step forward and out of the background vocals. She's got pipes! Paula says she's really good. Simon says she has no confidence and no attitude but is a “brilliant” singer. Randy said he's not sure about her stepping forward, but she's sensational!

Ryan Seacrest is cracking me up this year with his candid interviews with artists. Robert Lee Holmes is up next and he's singing “Burning Love” by Elvis. What's funny about him though is when he talks and you close your eyes you probably will start to see Eddie Murphy doing Buckwheat on Saturday Night Live. Wookin' pa nub in all da wrong places….. Sadly Robert was torn up as well. He did crack me up though when Simon asked him how his current story ended and he answered “with a period.”

— Commercial Break —

Philip Stacy has given up one of life's great memories, the birth of his second child. He sings “My Girl” by the Temptations as a dedication to his two daughters and wife. Some of his high notes and lead in notes come across a little too strong, but when he settles in he's good. Randy says he's got a good voice. Paula wants to hear something else and Philip indulges them. Simon says he can't start off his songs well. Randy and Paula think the second song was much better and vote him through to Hollywood. Simon says “No”. He rushes off to see his newborn baby and we get to see video footage as well. Congratulations Philip!

Tomorrow night wehead off to New York City. Trying to figure out who the guest judge is going to be and can't tell. Anyone able to see clearly who it was and identify them? Let us know in the comments.

That's a wrap! Catch us again tomorrow night.