Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


'American Idol' recap: 'Little Rock and San Francisco Auditions'

As auditions continue, some contestants struggle to remember the words when it matters most

Posted on

Michael Becker/Fox

American Idol

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

Welcome back you crazy kids — it’s the second night of the final Idol premiere ever. You can’t cry, though, because there are too many opportunities as we recap all these emotional bombshells that Ryan Seacrest & Co. dropped on us tonight. We open up with that old American Idol sound — the one that kind of sounds like you’re saying “wow wow wow” while holding your nose. But as the title splits, there’s a super attractive Josh Turner look-alike, and wait… yes, it is. This is our new, super-dramatic, diverse, and inspirational opening! What a time to be alive. And where are we alive? Little Rock.

RELATED: American Idol: Who REALLY Won Each Season?

Little Rock

Kris Allen is joining us to help judge the contestants. It makes sense because Kris Allen is a Little Rock local, and it’s way more exciting than it sounds at face value. The city is bluesy and wholesome, but also edgy as evidenced by the girl purposefully wearing tights with runs in them.

First up tonight is Cameron Richard, 15. He’s a little nugget with a Justin Beiber haircut circa 2011. I’m obsessed with him. He has braces, but he’s definitely going to be popular in college as long as he stops saying “homeboy.” Like Harry, he’s from Louisiana, so they hit it off. He tells the judges that he was born with a cleft palate — count it, y’all: inspirational roadblock, fun accent, sweet haircut. If he can sing, he’s a four for four in my book. He chooses “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran.

If I’m shooting you straight, he’s definitely not going to win. If I’m speaking from my heart, I’d buy every single he released during the course of the show because I need him to win. Harry says that he looks like a young Paul McCartney. That’s a little strong, but whatever. He gets all three yeses, and just like that, I’m crying Diet Coke tears.

Daniel Farmer, 24, is from Memphis. He came to audition and seduce Jennifer Lopez, apparently.  He talks about looking deep into her eyes and grinding. There’s people who you’re in on the joke with and then there’s people you aren’t, and his approach just feels uncomfortable. He chooses D’Angelo’s “(Untitled) How Does It Feel.” The struggle is: He’s stupid good.

He does grind, and his social cues are a bit unique, but that voice is just out of this world. And guess what? Jennifer leans over and says, “Funny and sexy go together.” Y’all. Daniel did what he came to do. He gets three yeses and the most important one of all: J. Lo’s approval.

Dalton Rapattoni, 19, shows up as the modern day reincarnation of Billie Joe Armstrong. He has a strong personality and a fun guitar and chooses “The Phantom of the Opera,” which is way out of left field. But as he begins, it all starts to make sense The performance feels a little Moulin Rouge!, and that’s nothing but a compliment. Mark my words: Dalton Rapattoni will get super close to the top 24, if not in it.

NEXT: The biggest breasts in Arkansas