IDOL WATCH: Auditions Come to Portland!


The AMERICAN IDOL crew headed to Portland this week for the sixth round of this season's auditions, hoping to uncover the country's next big singing sensation.

The first to try her hand is Brittany Zika, a 21-year-old who's there to follow a dream - literally. She recounts a dream that she had where she sang with Sara Bareilles, and says that weeks later her dream came true. Her dream to be on AMERICAN IDOL comes true, too, with three yeses from judges Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez.

18-year-old Ben Purdom may not be so lucky, as he very audibly has a cold (yuck) and, well, he can't sing. He makes his way through two songs (Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" and Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass") while singing only one note, before getting the inevitable news that he won't be headed through to the next round.

"It's my turn, it's my time," says Jermaine Jones, 24, who's 6 foot 8 - and a half - and impresses the judges with his rendition of Luther Vandross' "Superstar" and is unanimously sent through to the next round.

Portland resident and Liberian refugee Romeo Diahn, also 22, has a unique sound that the judges love. While Jennifer worries that his vibe might get lost when he has to choose songs for IDOL's themed nights, she gives him a "little yes" along with a resounding yes from both Steven and Randy, and Romeo is headed to Hollywood.

After a myriad of bad performances (and the obligatory montage of contestants punching the camera), we hear from 28-year-old Ben Harrison, who just might be a tone deaf porcelain doll. Unsuprisingly, after missing most of the notes in Queen's "Somebody to Love" he doesn't go through, but Ben sees the silver lining: "We got pizza," he tells the camera crew happily as he makes his way out.

The final contestant of the day is Jessica Phillips, whose boyfriend suffered a stroke last year. She stuck with him and helps him on his journey to recover to this day; the judges are touched by her story as well as her voice. "Nice ending," J-Lo says, and Jessica receives the last golden ticket of the day.

Tune in tomorrow for when the seventh round of auditions!

Emmy Award-winning AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive produced by Simon Fuller, Founder, 19 Entertainment, a division of CKX, Inc.; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; and Nigel Lythgoe, President, Big Red 2 Entertainment.


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