Auditions #1: New York City - Recap

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Another season of American Idol is underway and last year’s winner, Phillip Phillips plays his single “Home”. The audition rounds begin in New York. This season there is a change in the judging panel. Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carrey are joining Randy Jackson. The judges make their way to Lincoln Center and take their seats to welcome the contestants.

The first contestant comes in and Mariah and Nicky are already arguing. Michael Buonopane, 27, from Saugus, MA comes in stomping and clapping. He starts to try comedy to make his point, but it doesn’t come off right. It confuses the judges and they don’t like what they hear. They vote and it is a no across the panel. As Michael leaves, he tells Mariah that “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is the best modern day Christmas song. The drama starts with Mariah telling Nicki to back off a bit.

The drama between Nicky and Mariah continues as the auditions continue. Next is Teena Torres, 28, from Queens, NY. She says that she went to Camp Mariah when she was younger. She sings and the judges like what they hear. Mariah tells her that she will be proud if they can a girl like her. Keith says that it had a lot of patience and a great pace. They vote and she is through to Hollywood.

After a group of contestants showing that they have enough to get the golden ticket to Hollywood, next up is James Bae, 15, from Long Island, NY. He wants to make it to the top and have fun. He gets in and tells the judges that he knows what people want. However, when he sings, it is not good. Randy ignores him. Nicki says that she liked him. Mariah suggests that he could be a DJ. Keith says that it wasn’t quite there. Randy says that the vocals are not good. Nicki brings him close and tells him that he is special and hugs him.

Next up is Christina “Isabelle”, 21, from Duluth, GA. She comes out and says that she struggled with her weight and Randy says that kids could be mean. He brings up “Mean Girls” and Nicki and Mariah tell him to stop. Christina sings and impresses the judges. Nicki says that she is going to do great in this competition. Keith says that she is a natural singer and says that he loved the vulnerability. Nicki says that there was no confusion. Mariah says that she sang great and says that she can do more with her voice. Randy says that it was great. They vote and she is through to Hollywood.

Up next is Evan Ruggiero, 21, from Old Bridge, NJ. He says that he has been dancing all his life and says that he was shooting for Broadway. However, he was diagnosed with a type of Cancer. After multiple surgeries, he had to have his leg amputated. He comes up to the judges and says that he is going to college and living life. He sings and afterward, they have him play on the guitar. Keith says that he likes the voice, but doesn’t know if the star power is there. Mariah says that he needs to decide if he wants to be in a band. Nicki says that this competition isn’t for him, but he is great to be there. Randy says that he is inspiring despite this. They vote and it is a no.

This year they allowed viewers to nominate someone to be on the show and Randy goes to get the next contestant. He goes up to Janice Kartalis, 19, from Staten Island, NY. She comes to New York and sings an original song. Her nerves get her a little and she messes up a bit. Nicki says that she isn’t ready yet. Mariah says that she felt for her and says that it could be next year. Keith says that it is so close to a yes, but it has to be a no. The rest of the judges also say that it is a no.

Next up is Shira Gavrielov, 23, from Israel/ Brooklyn, NY. She says that her dad, Miki Gavrielov is a singer/songwriter. She says that she started writing songs and she had an album in Israel. Mariah welcomes her in Arabic. She sings and the judges are shocked. Nicki says that she loved it and says that it was amazing. She says that is what they are looking for. The judges all vote and it is a yes.

The last contestant of the day, Frankie Ford, 24, from Brooklyn, NY is up. He says that he was adopted when he was 2 and has been singing on the subways. He says that he has been doing that for a while. He sings and his nerves get the best of him at first. He manages to make it through. Keith says that he has a lot of dynamics and says that he is good. Randy says that he believes in him. Mariah says that he has an inner glow. Nicki says that there is something about him. They vote and it is a yes from all of the judges. He gets his ticket to Hollywood and that concludes the first round of auditions!

The second day begins with Benjamin Gaisey, 27, from Sinking Springs, PA. He is dressed in a plastic outfit and a wig. He says that he is singing a love song. He sings and it is not good at all. The judges laugh and Keith hides under the table. Mariah says that she doesn’t want to squash a dream, but says that it is over the top. Keith says that this is not good. Nicki says that this is not for him. Randy says that the voice is horrible and that the show is all about the voice. They vote and it is a no.

Next up is Rozanna Shindelman, 21, from Staten Island, NY. She says that she doesn’t sing in front of people besides her parents. She begins and it is not good. Mariah asks if she is nervous. Nicki says that they don’t need to hear more. Randy says that was bad and they vote. It is a no from all of the judges. Thr bad news continues to be given as the contestants continue to be bad. One of them actually farts when he is singing. The contestants show their violent streak with language.

Up next to hopefully change the outcome is Sarah Restuccio, 17, from Hammonton, NJ. She says that she is a country girl and says that her heart is in Country. She comes up to the judges and says that she works at a blueberry farm. She sings and afterward, Nicki says that she has a beautiful tone. Mariah says that she sees a complete package. After singing a country song, Randy has her sing another one. She chooses to sing “Superbass”. Keith and the other judges are shocked from the drastic difference. Nicki tells her that she is special and that she doesn’t have to choose one style of music. Keith, after some arguing with Nicki says that he loved it. They vote her through to the next round of the competition.

Albert Change, 25, from Queens, NY is up next. He says that he started singing in the school chorus. He sings and it is horrible. Nicki says that his range is better than Mariah’s. Randy says that it was terrible. Nicki gives her British accent and says that she does it when she gets nervous and

Next up is Angela Miller, 18, from Beverly, MA. She says that she has had hearing problems all her life and she is 40% deaf in the left ear and 20% deaf in the right. She sings and the judges are impressed. Nicki says that she hasn’t felt the music all day. Keith says that it was great. Mariah says that she has real soul and tone. Randy says that she is one of the best today and they vote. It is an easy yes from all the judges.

Up next is Brett Holt, 28, from Willow Grove, PA. He says that he is a fan of American Idol. He takes a quiz from Ryan for fun. He goes up to the judges and sings. The judges don’t like it and it is a no despite what he wanted.

Next up is Gurpreet Singh Sarin, 22, from North Potomac, MD. He says that he is nicknamed ‘The Turbanator’ and they show a video of him as they spoof “The Terminator”. He sings and afterward, the judges feel that it is a good voice, but not a great voice. Mariah and Randy say yes, but Keith says that it is a no. Nicki says that he is going to go to Hollywood.

Last of the night is Ashlee Feliciano, 20, from East Hartford, CT. She has a big family and says that they foster and adopt medically complex babies. She comes up to the judges and sings. Nicki says that she wants to come to her show and says that she is inspired by her. Mariah says that it was nice and clear and there is potential. Keith says that she has a natural tone. Randy has her bring the family in. They tell them that Ashlee is amazing and they vote. It is a yes. That is it for New York as they wrap it up. In total, 41 contestants got the golden ticket to Hollywood. Next stop is Chicago!