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'American Idol' recap: San Francisco Auditions

For its final stop on this season’s audition tour, Idol heads to San Francisco.

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Michael Becker/Fox

American Idol

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest
Reality TV

I can hardly believe it, but this is our last week of auditions! How time flies. For the last stop on its quest to find superstars, Idol’s set up camp in San Francisco, a city that is just weird and wonderful enough to give us some really excellent (and entertaining) auditions. Shall we?

Individuality is the theme for tonight’s episode, Ryan tells us, and so does the first contestant’s wildly patterned faux (I’m assuming) fur coat. This girl claims to have a psychic cat, so she obviously has a great audition or the cat wouldn’t have allowed her to bother showing up at all. This girl also apparently partied with David Bowie in the ’70s, which is a factual impossibility considering she’s 15 years old. Unless, in addition to a psychic cat, she also has a time machine. But who knows.

Anyhow, time-traveling Katherine Skinner sings Florence + the Machine’s “Shake It Out.” And you know what? It is not a mess. It’s far from perfect and a little shaky, but there’s a unique quality about her voice that is incredibly intriguing. Frankly, I don’t necessarily want to hear more of it every week for the next couple of months, but J.Lo tells Ms. Skinner, “you’re talented, but you’re cray.” And with that, she’s off to Hollywood.

Next up we get a look at three contestants, 25-year-old Erika David (good voice, don’t love the audition, but would like to hear more), 20-year-old Chandler Leighton (she’s perfected her cool L.A.-chick look and also her audition, which is pretty flawless), and Ryan Pinkston, 27, (his audition is ACTUALLY perfect, as confirmed by Harry). They all get through. These are three good yeses. I hate these packaged segments that make it seem like these contestants are less important than the others, but I’m excited to hear more from all of these kids.

Tim Tebow lookalike Andrew Bloom sings Alex Clare’s “Too Close,” and I thought he was going to be bad because he was so painfully awkward when he was in the holding room, but he’s pretty great. Sure, he’s another young white guy with a guitar, but all his awkwardness melted away when he started singing and playing the guitar and I’d like to hear more from him. He’ll be in Hollywood, so my wish is granted. But first, Harry asks if Andrew’s friend, Olympic silver medalist Ryan Bailey, can come say hi. That’s nice! Harry asks to race Ryan, who is a sprinter. An Olympic sprinter. So they run about 20 feet and Harry is of course left in the dust. (I actually think it took Ryan two steps total to cross the room.) This sounds dumb, but they replayed the clip in slow motion and it was VERY entertaining. If you missed the episode, it’s worth looking up. So many high jinks tonight, guys!

We’re back to the judges’ favorite joke of the season: That contestants can’t find the exit. #IdolExitFail. It is baffling that these people, who are told “go through the door with the sticker,” can’t find the door with the sticker, which is RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. I guess if I had just auditioned for J.Lo, Keith Urban, and Harry, I might be flustered too, but for real, open your eyes. #IdolExitFail, indeed.

NEXT: J.Lo calls the winner.