American Idol Season 9 held auditions in Chicago last June, and you’ll get to see them tonight, when we’re back for another round of America’s favorite singing competition! Tonight’s guest judge is Shania Twain.
Join me here tonight at 8 PM; I’ll be blogging live and giving you a play-by-play!
8:00 PM – We open with a montage of contestants cursing out the judges. Err, this may not bode well for Chicago, eh?
Our guest judge tonight is Shania Twain. Kara says Shania has penned some of the most succesful pop songs – wait, isn’t Shania a country singer?

Up first is Katelyn Epperly from Des Moines, IA with a story of a broken home, dad left mom, boo hoo. Simon asks her who she’s sided with. Nice, Simon. (For the record, Katelyn says she feels like she’s had to side with her mom but she still talks to her dad. Katelyn sings “Syrup and Honey” by Duffy. I think she sounds great; everyone likes her but say it’s a little lackng. Simon says “It’s a little like the lights are off,” but Shania says “But somebody’s home!” Katelyn’s through with four yeses. There wasn’t a doubt; she’s cute, got the look, and can sing.
OK, first break. Phew. I need a cup of tea. I literally just walked in the door as the show was starting. Had to go to Buffalo this afternoon and was later getting back than I planned. Plus, when I got home, one of my dogs, Bandit (aka the Devil Dog), was so excited to see me he jumped up and snagged his paw on my lip. Ouch! (Bandit has his own blog, if you’re really bored.
And back to the show with 26 year old Amy Lang, who starts off with a fake faint and then “boob boxes” with her musical flexing boobs. They pass on her, and she offers to sing something more serious and they said, No thanks. She rues her decision to be funny instead of serious.

Up next is 15 year old Charity Vance from Little Rock, AK. She’s a sweet little thing with a sweet little voice. Simon thought is was great; four yeses and she’s through.
We’re back from the break with a montage of costumed kooks and more cursing and crying contestants.
Final contestant of the day is Angela Martin. She’s auditioning for the third time. Wait, I remember her. She has a disabled daughter; the Shriners Hospital has offered to care for her daughter, but then just before Hollywood Week Angela’s dad died. She went to Hollywood but was cut. Then she was back in Season 8 and made the top 50, but had an outstanding warrant for traffic violations and had to miss a show and drop out of the show to attend court. (Lesson: take care of those traffic tickets in a timely manner!) Third time is hopefully a charm for Angela. At 28, this is the last year she can compete. Of course she makes it through to Hollywood again, with compliments and strong support from all four judges.
Day two in Chicago opens with 26 year old Curley Newburn, who lists his occupation as parent. I hope he parents better than he sings. Simon wants to know if when he sings a lot of animals turn out. Oh, ha ha, Simon. Very funny. Or as Ryan says, not the start they expected on Day Two.
Nineteen year old Alannah Halbert is having trouble singing so Kara and Shania try and cue the note to take it down an octave, but Simon finally pulls the plug because, as Alannah admits, she has no idea what they mean or what she’s doing
Brian Krause from Pittsburgh, PA sings Tiny Tim’s “Tiptoe Through The Tulips”, complete with tiptoeing, and he to Simon swears on his mother’s grave that his performance was not a joke. He calls the judges Mr. and Mrs, probably due to his army background, and says he was once told not to sing in uniform, bu the did anyway and got in trouble. “Screw you, Sgt. Hart,” Brian says. When he gets the boot from the judges, Brian says he’s going to take a warm bubble bath and relax his thoughts. Joke or not? You be the judge.
By noon, there haven’t been any tickets handed out when we meet Harold Davis, singing Usher. Harold thinks he’s the champ, the best and his problem are his allergies. When the judges say no, Harold cries and shuffles around the stage hoping for some pity.
Finally, after a montage of more kooks, comes the first golden ticket of Day Two, 20 year old John Park, with a wonderful voice – or as Shania says as she spins the ties on her blouse, a beautiful bottom end and nice lips; that Shania is a pistol!! Everyone was surprised by John’s voice and he’s through. John tells us that after high school he went to vocal school and says his parents were against it because “they wanted him to have a job when he graduated.” Looks like he may have that sewn up; with that voice he’ll find something.
While we’re on the break: David thinks John will have Anoop-syndrome. Nice voice, great personality, but doesn’t really have that “x factor” that’ll make him a star. We’ll see. I thought John was a cutie.
Twenty one year old college student Paige Dechausse comes to Idol with a backstory that’s pretty interesting. She suffers from asthma. When she was 15, she was at a singing lesson, had an asthma attack and went into anaphalactic shock. They rushed her to emergency, where the doctors gave her a 30% chance of survival. Survive she did, and her entire family was there to support her. In fact, her grandmother had rented a limo for the whole crew to ride in comfort. Paige sang Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come”; I thought she was great, but what do I know. Simon called her indulgent, Randy said it was a bit pitchy, and Shania said she wasn’t entirely convinced. But Shania and Kara were all for giving her a chance, despite Simon’s no, and it fell to Randy. When he wavered, Shania went to bat with a laundry list of reasons why Paige needed another chance. Really, one of the greatest pop/country stars is rooting for you, who’s gonna say no? Not Randy; Paige is through to Hollywood.
Last up, a quick montage of three more contestants who made it through: Twenty year old Justin Ray from Indiana; Keith Semple, a 27 year old musician from Hanover Park; and 18 year old Marcus Jones.
In all, only 13 contestants out of the 12,000 who auditioned got a golden ticket, which really isn’t so great. Boston had 9,000 audition and they gave out 31 tickets.
So what did you think of tonight’s auditions? Did you recognize Angela Martin? What do you think of John Park? How about Paige Dechausse; did she deserve to have Shania Twain stand up for her? Who was your favoarite tonight?
Join me tomorrow for the auditions in Orlando, FL!
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
American Idol Season 9 Chicago auditions recap – Angela Martin, Charity Vance, Katelyn Epperly, John Park and boob boxing
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