Even though the Pittsburgh auditions were only a one-hour show on Thursday night, there was plenty of talented folks that seemed to pleasantly surprise the Idol judges. In all, 38 Golden tickets were handed out, but again, we only had the opportunity to see 11 of them on the screen, some for a brief 10-15 seconds of TV time. Of those that are headed to Hollywood, the following stood out for me from the Steel City auditions:
- Reed Grimm, 26, Ellsworth, WI.....guy who’s been on stage since 2 years old, touring with his family band.....sings theme song from 'Family Matters'......very 'casey Abrams' like and a bit odd, but comfortable on stage. Will be interested to see what else he can do in Hollywood.
- Samantha Novacek, 19, Sutersville, PA....sister is 'Patty The Planker'.....never heard of planking, a yoga position, but Patty planks while Samantha sings, very odd. But Samantha can sing, has a strong voice. Watch her in Hollywood!
- Creighton Fraker, 28, Queens, NY....starving artist from NY who wrote a song on the 9-hour bus ride from New York to Pittsburgh.....Steven is in love with this guy and calls him beautiful at least 6 times....odd and quirky, just odd enough to make it into the TOP 24.
- Eben Franckowitz, 15, Milford, OH....OK...so, the BAD thing is the kid looks like a little Justin Beiber.....the GOOD thing is he LOVES WVU and WVU football, wore the hat and shirts on camera....not sure the family connection, but the mom had a WVU backpack too. How can I not pull for this kid? Not sure he has the pipes to go very far, but he's got my support! :-)
- Erika Van Pelt, 25, South Kingston, RI......a wedding singer and mobile DJ....very impressive voice, Pelt can sure belt out some great lyrics! I'd say she's a lock for the TOP 24.
- Hallie Day, 24, Baltimore, MD....love the name....tough life for this girl who dropped out of HS at 15....was part of a girl band called Plum Crazy, became a drug addict, tried to do herself in with pills.....but she's got some serious talent. J-Lo comments that 'she could win it all'....not sure she's that good, but she's TOP 24 material for sure.
This week’s return of America’s favorite singing competition will bring a new and unusual twist: A special prime-time episode will air after Sunday’s NFC Championship game (San Francisco 49ers vs. the New York Giants) on Fox-TV. The 'special' episode, featuring auditions from the Navy's USS Midway air-craft carrier in San Diego,is expected to air from 10-11 p.m. According to media reports, an estimated 9,000 hopefuls auditioned at Petco Park last July in San Diego, then some were invited back to sing in front of “Idol” judges in October on the USS Midway, so set those DVR's for 10PM tonight, and maybe longer than an hour, and enjoy the show from San Diego Bay.