American Idol Review: Gateway to Hollywood

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Walter the Taxi Driver is quite unhappy with the number of people who showed up to St. Louis to audition for American Idol because of all the congestion they've caused on his streets. I'm guessing his crankiness has something to do with the fact that he didn't get to drive J.Lo around. Or maybe he's just bothered by the fact that he doesn't get to listen to all these talented people sing.

And y'all, there was some talent in St. Louis.

Johnny Keyser on American Idol

The first contestant up was Johnny Keyser (pictured). He's currently a server in an Italian restaurant, but J.Lo says he's going to be a star. And he is. After his performance, he's on my "One to Watch" list. It was an easy Golden Ticket for the golden boy from Pompano Beach, FL.

This seems like the season of don't let your (ex) husband hold you back. Rachelle Lamb said she gave up her dream of pursuing music for her the man she used to love. J.Lo said "We do things for love sometimes..." and fiddled nervously with the rings on her fingers. Rachelle's daughter Maddie came into the audition room to watch her mama chase her dreams. She sang "Find Somebody New" by Faith Hill while Maddie did a little boot scoot. Steven says she's got "moxie." Welcome to Hollywood, Rachelle.

Walter the Taxi Driver's still complaining about all the people who've turned up to audition. I think his "I wouldn't want to listen to that many people" is classic deflection. It's okay, Walter. It's okay.

Hometown boy, Reis Kloeckener, said he found his place when a chorus teacher overheard him singing in the hall at school one day and asked him to join the choir. Sounds like a certain someone from a fictional group of musically talented outcasts, doesn't it? He was so good he made Steven tear up. Easy Golden Ticket for Reis.

Ethan Jones dropped out of school to join his dad's band. He found himself at the helm of that band when his dad went to rehab. It's clear that this has been tough on Ethan, but he hasn't let it hold him down. He sang "I'll Be" and while I thought it was an unoriginal performance, his voice is solid and he's clearly talented. The judges loved it and effortlessly sent him on to Hollywood.

We got a sneak peek of Madonna's newest music video. My take? Glee did Madonna and now Madonna's doing Glee. I'm not impressed. And because we had to make room for Madonna, we only saw two of Day Two's hopefuls.

Mark Ingram didn't have to go very far to make it to his audition. He just had to go to work. And after that audition it's back to work for Mark. No Hollywood for him.

We closed the night with Lauren Gray, the daughter of a Southern rocker who also runs a one-stop wedding business. (Seriously! They can cover everything from flowers to food to entertainment at the reception! Convenient, right?) Lauren sang Adele's "One and Only" and blew the judges away. J.Lo got a little choked up. Lauren said "This is the biggest thing that's ever happened in my life" to which J.Lo replied "It won't be the biggest thing ever." Truth bomb, J.Lo. I'm putting Lauren on my list. Golden Ticket for her!

Overall, 46 hopefuls from St. Louis are going to Hollywood, bringing our total for Season 11 to 255 Golden Tickets handed out. We got to see clips of some of the contestants we've seen audition this year, plus some previews of the upcoming drama. Next week it gets real.

Which contestants do you want to make it through Hollywood and into the Top 24?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.