All aboard the U.S.S. Sunday Night Football! The ladies impress during the post-game San Diego auditions

By Annie Barrett
Updated January 23, 2012 at 06:27 AM EST
Fox

I can’t believe how rude those football players were, making us wait for American Idol like that. During a special post-Sunday Night Football broadcast, Top Gun enthusiast Ryan Seacrest herded his fellow naval/volleyball superstars Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson onto the deck of the historic U.S.S. Midway in San Diego. He sold this unlikely television event as “AN AUDITION UNLIKE ANY OTHER,” which was another way of letting us know, “We’re on an aircraft carrier!”

What genius thought it would be a good idea to film outside? All anyone does in San Diego is fly around. And Steven Tyler’s San Diegan farts sound like boat horns! Just not a great move in general. Oh well! Let’s get to the good stuff.

There were 53 golden ticket winners in all; we saw…..

A patriot in a bikini. No.

Account manager and DJ Ashley Robles, 26, is a keeper. She has an adorable 5-year-old daughter who loves when her mom sings “On the Floor” by Jennifer Lopez. (“Floor!” shouted Randy Jackson in vague recognition.) It’s my favorite lullaby too; I find her pronunciation of Af-REEK-ah very soothing. Ashley’s cover of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” was so clear and powerful and unexpected that it caused Steven and Jennifer’s hair to flutter slightly. Randy sat still. Everyone loved her. Where had she been? At home, pretty much. “Gotta pay the bill, gotta work,” Ashley explained, and I think most of all she meant the CVS bill for her high-octane blush.

Jayrah Gibson, 26, who auditioned with “Just Friends” by Musiq Soulchild, tired me out just a bit with his inability to complete a train of thought and his even less scientific than you’d think reasoning for why you should never have more than one goal. (???????) His long-winded but ultimately meaningless explanation of why a song he’d written for J. Lo featured the word “moneymaker” in the title was particularly painful. Sometimes you don’t need to say anything! I’ve aged three years since then. I didn’t think Jayrah showed us that he had a great voice. But he brings good energy and plenty of wackiness to Hollywood, and the editors love that.

Aubree Dieckmeyer, 20, was such an idiot during her on-deck interview that she had to be a joke. Wrong! America’s next top model for how to act like you have no idea what show you’re on informed the judges she’d be singing “Feeling Good” by Michael Buble. That sound you just heard was Nina Simone rolling over and making Tim Allen’s “Ahhhhohhhugh?” noise from the Home Improvement opening credits. Or a cruise ship passing gas. Anyway, Aubree got the runs — in a good way. J. Lo loved “all the sweet parts” of her voice, and I did too, as long as I was able to forget the sickly sweet speaking voice she’d used to make smalltalk with the judges. I never want to hear that voice again, and I believe Steven Tyler (who mimicked how dumb she sounded) is on the same page. But if she can just go around singing, no problem! Randy offered some good advice: Aubree should work on the power in her upper range so that all of her runs can connect.

NEXT: Do you do a ‘ghetto dance’? Former The Ellen DeGeneres Show correspondent Ali Shields,19, started rapping. Oh good God. NEXT. She then obliged Randy with a demonstration of her best “ghetto dance.” NO. MAKE IT STOP. SKIRT WITH SNEAKERS. SAME OUTFIT. But eventually Ali had humored everyone for so long that she was asked to actually sing a song, so she did Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Like a Star” and — J. Lo and behold! — did not suck. “You can sing…a little,” said Jennifer, who also called Ali “hilarious.” She’s fun for the cameras for sure, and I can see why Ellen would like her. But THIS! is American Idol. Kind of a different thing.

Kyle Crews (whom I will probably have to call Kyle J. Crew) is not just any college student. He’s in a fraternity! So yo. Yo. Yo. Yo. Yo. Listen up. I didn’t love Kyle before he started singing. That package made him look like a tool, as if Michael Cera had woken up 50 pounds heavier in a sports bar (during a nightmare — probably during a FOOTBALL GAME) and started aping everyone around him. I did not like this. But after Kyle’s thoughtful vocal and excellent song choice in Monica’s “Angel of Mine,” I warmed up to him because he showed true humility upon being complimented. “I struggle with it, but I try to be confident, yes,” Kyle stammered after Steven said he had the best male voice they’d heard yet. It was just a complete opposite persona than the one he’d walked in with. “Work on the star. Work on the look,” suggested Randy, advice which boiled down to “Lose the ‘tude and figure out your hair.”

JIM CARREY’S DAUGHTER ALERT: Jane Carrey, 24, seems to have nurtured a refreshingly good-natured “yep, that’s my dad” approach to life. That’s gotta be so weird. “He’s not the most extravagant celebrity, so it’s been fairly normal,” she said, but added it’d been difficult to “find your place in the world underneath this huge shadow.” I’m kind of excited that Jim Carrey’s daughter was a waitress just like the rest of us. I have a hunch that if her job title had read “Mansion Layabout” she just might not be as likable. Anyway, Jane did not remember being on the In Living Color set with Fly Girl J. Lo and her dad at the age of 2, so she was at a bit of a disadvantage heading into Bonnie Raitt’s “Something to Talk About.” It wasn’t the strongest vocal we’ve heard by far, but it was pretty, and were the judges seriously going to turn away Jim Carrey’s friendly and surprisingly normal daughter? Janey’s going to Hollywood!

Uh oh. A wolf. Jason “Wolf” Hamlin, 24, works as a golf course mechanic — a skill set which came in handy once his ferocious energy had busted the seams of the American Idol confessional’s backdrop. I didn’t think much of Wolf’s a cappella “Midnight Special” (though how cute is it when someone chooses a classic rock tune instead of the same Adele song over and over and Steven Tyler murmurs in delight?) but Wolf definitely picked up steam once he’d picked up his late father’s “Git-Fiddle” to play “Folsom Prison Blues.” Steven actually didn’t seem to have a ton of conviction in his “yes” vote — he kept squinting and straining as if in deep thought. I think he does this when someone is really quite decent but not necessarily mind-blowing, talent-wise. Steven Tyler wants his mind blown, constantly. Don’t we all?

I’m into Wolf, for now. I was pretty fascinated by his well-manicured beard, bandana choices, and the pride he took in his job.

Was this an audition unlike any other? No. But when is it ever?

See you Wednesday!

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Read more:

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‘American Idol’: What we want to see from the judges

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