There's a montage of three decent-sounding and decent-looking, but nameless singers getting their golden tickets. We'll never see them again. Then we meet a 15-year-old named James Bae who wants to follow in Justin Bieber's footprints, although I'm sure Randy's first thought when he sees the bespectacled, blank-faced nerd is of Heejun. Alas, James's rendition of a Bieber tune is rather more William Hung. Nicki unwisely asks if he has a girlfriend, possibly hoping to soften the upcoming blow and finds herself being asked out. Mariah suggest he try DJing instead, an idea she probably got from the giant headphones around James's neck. Randy agrees that he once wanted to be a NASCAR driver. Nicki hops a bus to follow that tangent, and after they give James a unanimous no, Nicki gives him a lot more encouragement than he probably deserves complete with some PDA. Ultimately he takes it pretty well, "because in the end, Nicki Minaj kissed me."
After some ads, we return to Day 1 in New York. A starstruck girl named Christina comes in and accepts the judges' invitation to talk about her weight loss, which Randy oh-so-respectfully segues into a callback to Mean Girls. Then Christina belts out a version of "Summertime" that sounds like she never lost an ounce. The judges are really impressed with her and her voice and her confidence, so they're happy to let her through. And they don't even make her promise to keep the weight off like the X Factor judges would have.
Ryan introduces us to a guy named Evan who has seventeen years of dance experience and also bone cancer. Not such a great combo, that. After a long backstory about his fight for life, we finally learn -- via the first shot of him that shows anything below his waist -- that Evan lost a leg. Yep, there's the prosthetic. He wears shorts out into the audition room with his guitar strapped on his back so everyone can see his whole deal at a glance. There's no time to waste in that room, you know. He sings "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz, not spectacularly and without unslinging his guitar. Randy invites him to play them something as well, so he accompanies himself on "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi. The judges like him, but not for the competition, and do their best in front of the cameras to make an inspirational thing out of shooting him down. He's only too happy to play along, too.
From somewhere in Central Park, Ryan tells us that this year the competition is allowing people to "nominate" more reluctant contestants, apparently via webcam. One of these is a 19-year-old named Jessica Kartalis, a poor man's Taylor Swift who's just putting on a little show for the locals in a dinky little Staten Island bar when Randy takes the ferry out to invite her to auditions the next day, much to her surprise and excitement. She shows up with a guitar and sings an original song. And it's a little awkward, because it doesn't go all that great as she makes several mistakes in her guitar playing. So now what do you do when you've brought someone in to audition and they're not that good? Nicki says she's not quite ready and Jessica offers to try something else, but they're good until next year. Hey, you went to her, jerks. Yeah, that didn't work. So now she comes out in tears to accept the support of her family. Nice job ruining someone's week unsolicited, Idol.