‘American Idol’ Pittsburgh Auditions Recap: Hallie Day, Creighton Fraker + More Get Golden Tickets
Pittsburgh is the city of champions and the Steelers, but it has also spawned a few pop stars like Christina Aguilera and Wiz Khalifa. Additionally, it was the setting for 'American Idol' auditions on the second part of the Season 11 premiere. It's the first time the show has ever camped out in the 'Burgh in its history. It's never too late for black 'n' yellow, is it?
Here's your PopCrush recap of tonight's standouts and heartbreakers.
Heejun Han: Originally from Korea, he likes to sing soul and R&B. When he said he'd be tackling 'How Am I Supposed to Live Without You' by pop music treasure Michael Bolton, we were skeptical. Despite being a bundle of nerves, he sang nicely and moved forward.
Reed Grimm: This nanny and lifelong performer sang and scatted the theme song to 'Family Matters,' sounding and looking like a born performer. Grimm was rewarded with a golden ticket.
Samantha Novacek: She brought her sister Patty the Pittsburgh Planker, who reminded us that planking is a yoga position, with her. Patty Planked while Sam sang Faith Hill's 'Like We Never Loved at All.' She said her sister's planking presence enhances her performances. We know, we thought 'WTF?,' too. Sam was cute and hit great notes, so she got a pass.
Creighton Fraker: He's a scruffy street performer and during his audition, he rapped about being the next 'American Idol' and tried to scat, too -- think Justin Timberlake meets Jamiroquai. He then sang a Jackson 5 song with a beginning, middle and end. JT can stay on that break from music when dudes like Creighton are waiting in the wings to fill the void.
Travis Orlando: We met him last season, but he didn't get very far. He's tenacious in the face of rejection and sang Stevie Wonder's 'Isn't She Lovely.' The 17-year-old's voice is stronger and better, but we found out his mom left the family and broke his father's heart in the time since we last saw him. J. Lo noted that being scared can make you break out of your shell, so they sent him through.
Erika Van Pelt: She's a mobile DJ and a wedding singer from Rhode Island, but when she tackled Carole King's 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,' we thought, "Weddings, schmeddings" -- this girl is too good to be singing while drunk guests make a--es out of themselves. She needs to be on the radio, and the judges agree. She's moving forward.
Shane Bruce: He graduated high school and headed to the coal mines, since it's a family trade. He followed his "pap" into the field, since his dad has a stable paycheck. However, that wouldn't stop Shane's pursuit of his dream. The lanky West Virginian sang 'Hallelujah,' and while there was some soul there, he looked disappointed, saying, "I usually hit that better." He didn’t move forward, so why devote all this time to his story and making us feel so bad for him? Damn you, 'Idol' producers.
Hallie Day: She tried to be in a girl group called Plum Crazy in New York, became an addict, attempted suicide, returned home to Baltimore, got married and still wants to sing. She soared through a blue-eyed (and blond) soul version of Gloria Gaynor's 'I Will Survive.' She's special... really special.
The next episode of 'Idol' airs on Sunday, Jan. 22.