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'American Idol' Recap: Wide Awake in San Francisco (Video)

A psychic cat and several strong contestants kicked off night one of auditions in San Francisco.

Rayvon Owens American Idol Audition - H 2015
Michael Becker/FOX

From the moment American Idol showcased Mustafa, the psychic cat of contestant Katharine Skinner, in a preview package, the immediate premonition was that the San Francisco auditions would be magical.

And they were.

From Skinner’s fabulously wacky audition in a fur coat the 15-year old insisted was given to her by one Mr. David Bowie (that story alone must have gotten her that golden ticket), to another hilarious montage of contestants failing to exit the room and a close up of judge Harry Connick Jr.’s  impressive “guns” after he raced Olympian Ryan Bailey, Wednesday night’s episodes was incredibly fun, and felt way too short.

Plus, how can the show go wrong when the race between Connick and Bailey featured Season 10 alum Haley Reinhart’s song, “Hit the Ground Runnin'” as its background soundtrack?

Another highlight: former soap actor Samuel Prince mistakenly calls Connick “Henry” and involves all three judges in a sketch, prompting one heck of a slap from Jennifer Lopez.  He didn’t get a ticket, but he provided some entertainment. Tim Tebow lookalike Andrew Bloom also prompted a judge sing along with an acoustic version of Alex Clare’s “Too Close,” something that Keith Urban said was a good sign.

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Lopez was exceptionally incisive in San Francisco, voting no on several contestants while doling out advice to hopefuls before awarding them their tickets. Lopez also foretold the fate of at least two hopefuls with her famed “goosies,” and looked like she was having a ball.

 Connick once again zeroed in on things that mattered: particularly cutting down a pair of twins for not tuning a guitar before an ill fated audition.

San Francisco churned out impressive candidates, including vocal teacher KellyAnne Rodgers, jazzy vocalist Chandler Leighton (who gave off a major Elise Testone vibe while doing a Billy Joel song performed by Erika Van Pelt in that same season), and raspy voiced singer Erika David, who impressed with Alicia Keys’ “No One.”

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Before the hour was over, three potentially major vocals stood out:

Reno Anoa’i: The 16-year old Samoan is one of six siblings, and had an impressive audition of “I Don’t Want to Talk About It”  by Rod Stewart. Anoa’I took the ballad and reinterpreted it with a ukele. Anoa’I does have work to do-Lopez told him to tone down the runs, and Urban instructed him to be in the moment when he sings.

Rayvon Owen: From the moment he walked in, the ghost of Paula Abdul could be heard talking about the “light” that shone when he sang “Wide Awake” by Katy Perry.  His voice is like buttah, and he gave Lopez “gooooosies!” Owen has star quality and a beautiful tone. There is lots to root for with Rayvon.

Maddie Hudson: She’s 16, and was bullied in middle school. The question is: why? This girl is beautiful, and Connick rightly told her she has every “Ingredient” to be a superstar.  She’s bluesy, with a fun and quirky personality and almost resembles Lorde. That's a winning combo!


Twitter: @MicheleAmabile, @Idol_Worship