On last night’s episode of American Idol, 12,000 hopefuls auditioned in Chicago and only 13 went through to Hollywood. (Boston had 9,000 auditions and 31 golden tickets. How ’bout that?)
You can read the play-by-play of last night’s Chicago auditions, with guest judge Shania Twain, but for those of you with short attention spans, here’s quick recap of some of the contestants who went through:

Katelyn Epperly – 19 year old whose family has had a tough year after her dad left her mom; way to air your family’s dirty laundry on national TV. Simon asked her which parent she sided with.
Charity Vance – 16 year old from Little Rock, Arkansas whose parents are both hairdressers; she’s a sweet young girl with a sweet little voice. You’ve got to love these wide eyed, optimistic kids with nothing but hope and talent.
Angela Martin – You might remember Angela from Seasons 7 & 8. Angela has a disabled daughter; just before Hollywood week of Season 7, Angela’s dad died. Angela didn’t make it past Hollywood. In Season 8, she made the top 50 but had to withdraw from the competition due to a warrant for traffic violations that required a court appearance. This is Angela’s last try; she’s 28.
John Park – 20 year old student who wanted to study voice after high school, but his parents were against it, because “they wanted me to have a job when I graduated.” Shania told him he had “a beautiful bottom end and nice lips”, musically speaking, of course.

Paige Dechausse – 21 year old with a back story that includes an asthma attack, anaphylactic shock and near death. Simon called her rendition of Sam Cooke’s “Change Is Gonna Come” indulgent and said no, but Shania and Kara stood up for her and convinved Randy to say yes.
We only got a quick glimpse of these contestants at the end of the show:
Keith Semple – If I’ve got the right guy, and from the pics I do, he’s a 27 year old seasoned musician originally from Northern Ireland, now residing in Hanover Park, Ill.; he won the 2002 British show “Pop Stars: The Rivals” to become part of the band One True Voice and has a gold album with the group; has released 8 albums; currently part of the band 7th Heaven.
Justin Ray – 20 year old from Marysville, IN
Marcus Jones – 18 year old from … I don’t catch it.
And while she didn’t make it through, it’s worth taking a minute to mention 26 year old Amy Lang, who starts off with a fake faint and then “boob boxes” with her musical flexing boobs. Amy was fun and funny, and quite possibly talented, but the judges didn’t take her seriously. She left wishing she’d not been so goofy.
On the guest judge front, Shania Twain is a pistol. They should kick Kara off and put Shania in her place. I had no idea she was so funny. While I liked Victoria and Mary, Shania jumped right in and had herself some fun.
Tonight we head to Orlando for more kooks, costumes and hopefully, talented singers.
American Idol contestant Justin Williams was also a Season 8 contestant
Boston Auditions – blogging live play-by-play
Boston Auditions – recap
Atlanta audtions – Blogging live play-by-play
Auditions Recap – Vanessa Wolf, Jermaine Sellers, Holly Harden, Miriam Lemnouni, Noel Reese, and Pants on the Ground
Chicago auditions – Blogging live
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