Tonight, American Idol travels to San Antonio to find out just how much bigger the potential stars are in Texas. The judges also travels to Long Beach, California for auditions aboard the Queen Mary.
The last time auditions were held near a boat the judges discovered Jessica Sanchez! Will they strike gold again? And will Mariah and Nicki survive sitting next to one another on the judges panel? Read on to find out now...
Vincent Powell is a returning contestant. He, like so many others, is in love with Mariah Carey. Like so many others, he's talented. He's churchy and gets a "Thank you, Jesus" from Randy. The judges love him and he's going back to Hollywood.
(Not) Dynamic duo Derek and David Bacerott get "the whole thing was terrible" and "I'm trying to save your lives, here" from Randy. They get "we're trying to save our futures." They have no future in singing and argue with the judges about their "style." Clearly, this was Idol giving them their 5 minutes in the spotlight. And it was 5 minutes too long.
Single mom Savannah Votion shows up in a midriff-baring ensemble that catches the judges' eyes. But she catches their ears with her voice singing a soulful, somewhat Bluesy version of Etta James' "At Last." She gets a golden ticket.
Cristabel Clack is worship leader in San Antonio. Since she's 29, this is her last chance to audition for a chance to be on Idol. She tackles Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You" and rocks it. Nicki says she might have enjoyed Cristabel's version of the song better than the original. It's four yes votes for her. We'll see her in Hollywood.
Ann Defani's husband nominated her for a chance to audition this season. She chooses Faith Hill's "Stronger" for her audition number. She aspires to be a country singer and Mariah thinks it's great that she's got a place to start from in what she wants to be. They send her on to the next round.
Along the river walk, Idol finds mariachi singer Victoria Acosta. She chooses Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" and it's kind of lackluster. Randy asks her to sing a bit of a mariachi song and the connection to that song is instant. She's interesting and receives four yes votes.
Papa Peachez is a self-proclaimed "big black woman in a white man's body." He sings an original number, which shouldn't be allowed in audition rounds. It's weird, but he doesn't enunciate. Nicki calls him a "superstar." Keith calls it "theatrical." Mariah says he's a "quirky kind of artist." Keith and Randy give him no votes. Nicki gives him a yes. Mariah gives him a yes. Randy's the tie-breaker and he changes his vote to yes. Peachez is going to Hollywood.
Sanni M'Mairura is an aspiring singer and dancer. His mother is from Tanzania and his father is from Kenya. He hopes that in addition to being a performer, he can be a good role model some day. I love him already and he hasn't even begun singing yet. Hearing him sing makes me love him more. He's energetic and upbeat and his voice is fantastic. I give him a yes!! So do the judges. He's going to Hollywood!
The final contestant from San Antonio is Adam Sanders. He chooses an Etta James number and says that if he were to make a record like that, he'd want to bring that style back. His audition is amazing and Randy says "wow" seven times. He gets an easy 4 yes votes and goes to Hollywood.
Shubha Vedula starts day one in Long Beach with a Christina Aguilera number. She's very enthusiastic and gets a quick yes from Randy and Keith, the only two judges who were able to make it to auditions on time.
Veteran Matt Farmer was injured in Iraq and told he likely would not have children because of the medication used to treat his traumatic brain injury. But his daughter is 3 and here and beautiful. He sings Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" and reminds me of Sunshine from several seasons back. Mariah loved it, and Keith said he made some safe choices. He gets a golden ticket.
Jesaiah Baer's audition is interrupted by the Queen Mary's fire alarms, which is unfortunate because it was a really nice change from the purple-haired screamer she followed. After the alarm situation is sorted out, Jesaiah gets a second chance to impress. And she does. She gets her golden ticket.
After the night's third montage of bad auditions, Micah Johnston takes his place in front of the judges. He's been singing for as long as he could talk and recently underwent a tonsillectomy where the surgeon hit a nerve that left him with a speech impediment. He chooses to sing "Chicken Fried" by the Zac Brown Band and it's awesome! He's awesome. His golden ticket is deserved and I hope he does well.
Rachel Hale from southwest Arkansas has a thick accent and a bubbly personality. Her voice isn't bad either. Keith loves it. Nicki says she already sounds established. She lights up the room and gets a ticket to Hollywood.
Briana Oakley was bullied after appearing on Maury in 2009 as one of America's most talented kids. She eventually decided that it didn't matter to her what others said, she knew she needed to sing. Her audition was fantastic. Nicki says that "this, today, is [her] moment." And it is. Her ticket to Hollywood is no shock.
The final contestant of the night is Matheus Fernandes is a former contender from The Glee Project season 1. Except no one mentions that at any point. He's talented, that's true. But it feels disingenuous somehow to leave that out. The judges love him, which is unsurprising. They give him a golden ticket to Hollywood.
And that's a wrap on the San Antonio and Long Beach auditions. There were certainly some talented voices in tonight's mix, that's for sure. Tomorrow night, auditions will conclude in Oklahoma and next week we'll travel to Hollywood where the best and brightest will further emerge.
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.