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‘American Idol’ Recap: I Love You, New York!

American Idol Judges
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Welcome to the thousandth season of ‘American Idol‘ everyone! Okay we kid, it’s only the 12th season, but let’s do some math: we’re 25, show’s been on 12 years = it started when we were just mere 13-year-olds arguing with our friends over who the hottest member of the Backstreet Boys was.

If you catch our drift, the show’s old. But with fresh new faces in the form of Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban, and Mariah Carey, we couldn’t be more excited!

Tonight’s episode takes us to New York (holla!), where Carey and Minaj immediately went at it due to the latter’s fluffy drum hat. “I could’ve brought my dog if I knew we’d be allowed to have accessories,” said Carey, who played with her hair for the first of many times.

Don’t worry Mariah, we don’t actually think you consider dogs as accessories.

NYC started off on a sour note; a contestant (whose name we can’t remember) attempted to sing in different style of music — from Queen to Sean Paul — and he obviously failed, because we were too busy staring at Minaj’s eyeshadow and faux lashes to care about anything else.

Then the greatest thing ever happened: “I really wanna lose three pounds,” said Carey, making a reference to ‘Mean Girls,’ which she had to explain to Minaj. We literally doubled over in laughter and sheer disbelief.

Tenna Torres: Read about her audition here.

James Bae: Wants to be Justin Bieber 2.0, but is actually William Hung 2.0. His audition of Biebs’ ‘One Less Lonely Girl’ was hard on the ears, but he did offer this gem: “I sing in my room, thinking it’s a concert, so I can get ready for the real one,” said Bae to the panel. We do too, James, we do too.

Christina “Isabelle”: A delightful and pretty blonde who has struggled with her weight her entire life, naturally something Minaj wanted to bring up. She lost the weight to become a singer, and blew the judges away with her audition, earning four “yes”‘. Through to Hollywood.

Evan Ruggiero: The first major sob story of the night featured Ruggiero, who has been a dancer all his life. Diagnosed with cancer, he left dancing and had to have his right leg amputated in order to save his life. His first song, Jason Mraz’s ‘I’m Yours’ was borderline awful, but his voice sounded a million times better on Bon Jovi’s ‘Wanted Dead or Alive.’ Still, he didn’t get through.

Jessica Kartalis: She was nominated by her mother Janice to audition for the show. She sang an acoustic song with her guitar, but… she started on the wrong key thanks to nerves and didn’t make it through.

Shira Gavrielov: She moved to New York from Israel to be a part of the American dream. Her rendition of Amy Winehouse‘s ‘Valerie’ was good, but Minaj seemed overly excited for her. Through to Hollywood.

Frankie Ford: He had a sweet story about being adopted and having a special bond with his adopted mother, and having to sing on subways to make extra money, so thankfully his audition was great. He had a big voice, great tone, and awesome dynamics, and was more than willing to work in order to succeed. Through to Hollywood.

Benjamin Gazie: His face looks like Cee Lo Green, his outfit is straight up Michael Jackson from ‘Thriller,’ and his audition of ‘I’ll Make Love to You’ by Boyz II Men was awful.

Rozanna Shindelman: She’s never sung in front of anyone before, so why not sing in front of the ‘Idol’ judges? Sadly, she was better off not singing… at all.

Sarah Restuccio: Read about her audition here.

Albert Chang: He tried singing a song from ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and, well… it wasn’t pretty.

Angela Miller: A singer who has 40% hearing loss in her left ear and 20% in her right, she wowed the judges with her rendition of ‘Mama Knows Best’ by Jessie J. “I haven’t felt that the whole day… that thing that makes me feel it inside my soul,” said Minaj. All four agreed they needed her tone and soul in the competition. Through to Hollywood.

Brett Holt: The show pre-empted his audition by saying “this guy has the greatest voice in the room.” The 27-year-old claims to be the biggest ‘Idol’ fan out there and auditioned for the show seven times before, only to get a “no” yet again. Awful trick, ‘Idol.’

Gurpreet Singh Sarin: He nicknamed himself “The Turbanator” which was awesome. The judges thought he had a pretty voice, but felt it wasn’t strong enough. Still, they decided to give him another chance. Through to Hollywood.

Ashlee Feliciano: Why not end the episode on a heartwarming note? Her family fosters medically complex children and her back story was enough to get the tears flowing. Thankfully, her audition of Corinne Bailey Rae’s ‘Put Your Record On’ was wonderful. “I think it was really nice, it was nice and clear, the potential is really great,” said Carey. “You should be really proud of yourself. Through to Hollywood.

And so not only is the ending of episode one heartwarming, but happy as well. Still, this is only Day 1 of auditions, and we’re pumped for all there is to come!

Until tomorrow!

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