American Idol’ Recap: Savannah Georgia Auditions Spawn Promising Performers Phillip Philips, Brittany Kerr + More
Season 11 of 'American Idol' kicked off tonight (Jan. 18) with a new crop of hopefuls vying for the title that was handed to Scotty McCreery last May. There were lots of "Never stop believing in yourself" and "You're going to Hollywood" comments, and plenty of Jennifer Lopez's maternal declarations as she, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler traveled to the laid back, sleepy Southern city of Savannah, Ga. to both realize and crush dreams for 10,000 prospective Idols.
PopCrush is happy to provide a recap and rundown of some of the best (and not so best) hopefuls that hit the audition stage tonight:
David Leathers, Jr.: Friends call this 17-year-old "Mister Steal Your Girl." He was confident and looks 12. He is also from North Cackalacka and was once in a competition with Scotty McCreery. He sang 21s Century's 'Remember the Rain,' and his high voice matched the song perfectly. Then, J Lo requested he sing a Michael Jackson song and he whipped through 'Never Can Say Goodbye.'
Gabi Carrubba: This teen brunette is a champion tap dancer from Connecticut. She sang Maroon 5's 'Sunday Morning' in a beautiful, natural and simple voice. J Lo said she is like Luther Vandross. Um, yeah, we didn't hear that, but we appreciate the sentiment.
Jessica Whitely: She offered up Charice's 'In This Song' in a deep, out of tune baritone that even the super-friendly "dawwwg" Randy Jackson called "awful."
Shaun Kraisman: This Seacrest doppelganger tried his hand at 'Oh Girl' by the The Chi-Lites. He is good-looking but couldn't sing. Maybe he can be Ry's stand in?
Shannon Magrane: The 15-year-old daughter of former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joe Magrane brought her family in to stand behind her and snap their fingers while she sang Etta James! She offered up blue-eyed, white girl soul flawlessly.
Amy Brumfield: Amy is a 24-year-old, tent-dwelling Tennessean who lives in the woods out of necessity, since she has fallen on hard economic times. Since the show devoted so much time to her plight, we knew she'd have to be good; it'd have been cruel to let her share her story only to cast her off. She sang Alicia Keys' 'Superwoman' in a breathy, bluesy, coarse voice.
Joshua Chavis: He was frat boyish, grunted and growled, had a hissy fit (or two) and called himself "country pop rock" but sang Jason Mraz's 'I'm Yours.' Next!
Stephanie Renae: Renae, 15, is an avowed Carrie Underwood fan. The pretty blonde with two first names (like last season's Lauren Alaina) channeled Underwood's 'Inside Your Heaven' for her audition. She started out strong, went a wee bit nasally, but has a natural and beautiful vibrato.
Schyler Dixon: She auditioned with brother Colton last year. He wasn't auditioning tonight, but she was. Then the judges made them both sing again and upstreamed them both! Schyler did The Script's 'Breakeven' while Colton rocked David Cook's 'Permanent.' Second chances, eh?
Lauren Mink: The furrily-named singer, 25, sang 'Country Strong' and gave J Lo "goosies." That means she's good!
Mawuena Kidjo: The West African native sang Rascal Flatts. Or at least tried to. It just didn't work. Sorry.
Ashlee Altise: The singer showed off her dance move, called joy hop. She grooved on stage and sang the Beatles' 'Come Together' with husky, fiery panache.
Brittany Kerr: The fit and pretty blonde sang 'Spoiled' by Joss Stone. She resembled the British soul diva, too. The judges wanted it once more with feeling, but they still sent her to the next phase of auditions.
Phillip Phillips: Yes, that's his real name. He sang a Stevie Wonder song and then MJ's 'Thriller' with an acoustic guitar. We likey his blue-eyed soul!
The auditions continue tomorrow night (Jan. 19) at 8PM on FOX.