American Idol
Auditions #1

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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Mimi vs. Nicki

After a montage of people from all over the world, it's time to meet Shira Gavrielov. She claims to have charted a number one single in her home country of Israel and given her shaky performance of "Valerie," she probably should have stayed there. But they let her through, possibly more because of her cutoffs than her singing.

Day one closes with a 24-year-old guy named Frankie Ford, who tells the story of his adoption while sitting in an empty theater, which is a bit of a spoiler telling us that he's probably going to Hollywood. Currently he's a subway busker from Flatbush. He launches into a powerful version of "Sweet Dreams" by the Eurythmics, but stumbles not far in. There's a suspenseful pause before he starts over in a different key and gets through it this time. They like him and he promises to work hard, and although Nicki doesn't think he has the best voice, he's in. "Frankie, you're going to Hollywood," Keith tells him while "Relax" is appropriately spinning up on the soundtrack. Get it? Frankie goes to Hollywood! There are going to be so many people claiming to be named Frankie at next season's auditions.

Day two kicks off with Nicki and Mariah starting right in on each other. We begin the day with a pudgy guy in a Jheri curl wig and a plastic Michael Jackson Halloween costume that he can no longer sip up. This fellow, Benjamin Gaisey, sings a version of "I'll Make Love To You" that is almost drowned out by the creaking of his costume, but not enough. Inadvisably, he sings it directly to Mariah and also to Nicki, throwing in a pelvic thrust at the latter that seems to genuinely shock her. They all laugh in his face, and Nicki even encourages him while Keith hides under the table. Randy asks about the wig and Benjamin explains how it's all for his idol. "You obviously love Tom Jones," Keith cracks. They tell him no as though he's serious about this and he creaks on out of the room. The wig stays on, though.

Another Staten Islander is up, name of Rozanna Shindelman. Apparently she subjects her parents to all of her practicing. While she's in the audition room, her mom holds forth to Ryan at length about Rozanna's "sinkink" in a heavy Russian accent. An accent which, alas, Rozanna preserves in her singing voice. Unfortunately, she makes up for her diction by being a terrible singer in general. That's four nyets for Rozanna, which leads into a montage of rejection, including of one guy who farts while singing. And, of course, it's all really emotionally draining and upsetting and disappointing... for the judges.

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American Idol

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