"American Idol" premiered season twelve of auditions which aired January 16, 2013 on FOX. Returning judge Randy Jackson was joined by newcomers Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj who completed the panel. New York "Idol" hopefuls by the thousands lined up for their one shot with the judges hoping to score a golden ticket to Hollywood.
Normally "American Idol" auditions are filled to overflowing with awe inspiring stories of those who have their heart set on a career in the music business but for various reasons life has stood between them and the dream. New York auditions however seemed to take on a new direction. Two hours of tone deaf, ear splitting and yes, even comical "Idol" auditions were featured with only a few sprinklings of actual talent dispersed throughout to keep the attention.
On top of mind numbing auditions, the viewer was bombarded with a palpable wall of tension between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. Rude comments, insults and even name calling flowed freely between the two female judges making "American Idol" difficult to watch and almost impossible to enjoy. Was this the best that "Idol" editors could do under the circumstances? New York deserved better representation of their talent and less pettiness from the judges.
Despite all of the disappointments "American Idol" New York auditions produced 41 stand out performances worthy of the golden ticket to Hollywood.
Tenna Torres, 28 from New York wowed the judges with "You've Got A Friend". Torres is a life long Mariah Carey fan who actually attended "Camp Mariah" as a child and even performed for her during her stay. Tenna brought photos to prove it! Mariah was impressed telling Torres she would like copies of the pictures.
Christina Isabelle, 21 from Duluth, Georgia also received a golden ticket for her rendition of "Summertime". Isabelle had always felt a connection with Carey because she too had struggled with a weight issue through her lifetime but lost over 50 pounds before entering college. She still struggles today but wants to prove to others that no matter your size you can still fulfill your dreams.
Frankie Ford, 24 from Brooklyn, New York left school to pursue his music career. While waiting on his big break Ford performs on trains to supplement his income. That big break may have been fulfilled in the form of "American Idol". Frankie received his golden ticket to Hollywood for his audition of "Sweet Dreams".
Sarah Restuccio, 17 from Hammonton, New Jersey lives on a blueberry farm and loves having fun and getting dirty. This down-home country girl likes hunting, 4-wheeling, horses, chickens and gardens. Her version of Carrie Underwood's "Mama's Song" impressed the judges but Sarah really blew them away when she followed it up with Manaj's "Superbass". This girl is the real deal.
Angela Miller, 18 from Beverly, Massachusetts gave a beautiful rendition of "Mama Knows Best" despite a 40% hearing loss in her left ear and a 20% loss in her right. This lady is an inspiration proving that obstacles can be overcome and dreams can be fulfilled. One of the best auditions thus far.
And as always "American Idol" saves the best for last.
Ashlee Feliciano, 20 from East Hartford, Connecticut won the hearts of the "Idol" judges with the amazing story about how her family had been fostering children with complex medical disorders for over ten years. Her audition of "Put Your Records On" sealed the deal earning her a place in Hollywood.
That does it for "American Idol" New York auditions. Next stop Chicago. Let's hope the judges are on better behavior and more talent is showcased.
Who were your favorite "Idol" New York auditions? Leave comments below.