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The 10th season of American Idol kicked off Wednesday. Read below to see how the first episode went down with new judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and returning judge Randy Jackson:
8:13 p.m.: Auditions kick off in New Jersey. First Up? Rachel, 22, who auditioned in season 6 and made it to Hollywood (but got cut her first day). “I remember you,” Lopez tells her. “You can sing.” But after she belts out “Hallelujah,” Lopez says, “This wasn’t the best audition you can give … but I know you can sing.” Tyler’s critique: He says he thinks she can “grow.” They all send her through to Hollywood. Rachel is delighted. American Idol Season 10 Premiere Review: A Star Is Re-Born in Steven Tyler
8:18 p.m.: Caleb, 25, auditions next. Tyler is psyched as the contestant sings and even starts to sing along and clap along. “Yes!” he exclaims after Caleb finishes. “That was so good!” Lopez tells him she thinks he’s cute. They all give him the go-ahead to Hollywood.
8:21 p.m.: Kenzie, 15, enters the room, and she doesn’t wow all three. Tyler and Jackson aren’t wild about her, but Lopez disagrees. They end up sending her through. “You guys are crazy .. she’s only 15 … she’s giving us some energy, and you guys are saying you’re not feeling it!?” she says.
8:24 p.m.: Next up: Achille, 25, who hails from the Ivory Coast, tries to sing Madonna‘s “Dress You Up.” Jackson starts laughing because her accent is so strong; Lopez looks shocked by Achille’s vocals; Tyler tells her, “You’re not hitting the notes.” Lopez says it’s not about her accent, “it’s about your singing.” They all shoot her down. Lopez hated turning her away: “Oh, my God, I hate this!'” she cries. “Why did I sign up for this?!”
8:33 p.m.: Tiffany (who declares she has a nice “front” and “back”) is up next. She tells Lopez she’s inspired by her and starts tearing up. “Don’t cry!” Lopez tells her and gives her a hug. “Don’t cry, sweetie. I want you to do great, so you gotta pull it together.” Oh, and Tiffany’s also performing in a bikini top (with stars on them). “You’re trying to blind me with your reflection,” Tyler tells her. They all send her through. “She’s out of her mind,” Lopez says, “but I love it.”
8:39 p.m.: Singer Melkia, 27, bombs. “You’re very sweet, but this is not for you,” Lopez tells her.
8:40 p.m.: Robbie, 16, who says he has watched every season of the show, sings “Yesterday” by the Beatles. He blows all the judges away. “I like you … I think you’re cute,” Lopez tells him and claps. “Should we vote?” Jackson asks. Lopez shoots back, “No! Hollywood – bye!” Robbie is thrilled.
8:49 p.m.: Some female contestants tell Tyler they like him; one even says that his mouth is sexy. Tyler also is wowed by some of the female singers. “Where is your pitchfork, you little devil?” he says to one. He calls another one “sexy.”
8:50 p.m.: Idol wannabe Chris, 18, shows up in duds that look like he’s going camping. “Nice outfit,” Lopez teases. “Fishing?” He sings Sinatra’s “My Way.” But Tyler cuts him off midway, telling him his singing “scared everybody in the room.” Lopez is baffled and asks Jackson, “How did you do this for 10 years?” Chris doesn’t advance.
8:59 p.m.: Idol wannabe, Michael, 19, confesses he always burps when he’s nervous. He sings “Proud Mary.” “Make him stop,” Lopez says. Tyler asks, “Did you eat a lot of paint chips when you were a child?” Michael tries to sing another song to show his range, but he flops. “God, stop!” Jackson says. Lopez says it sounds like he’s singing in a voice that is not his, “like a woman’s voice.” Michael is sent home. “Ouch! Randy said some things that were pretty painful,” he laments. “He pretty much just told me stop.”
9:02 pm.: Ashley, 25, is up next — and she’s very nervous. She aggressively belts out a tune from Thoroughly Modern Millie. Lopez says, “The way you act … the way you’re animated is not American Idol. You belong on Broadway.” Ashley begs them to send her on – and starts singing and dancing more to coax the judges. She starts tearing up and pleas, “I really would love to go to Hollywood.” Jackson tells her no, but Lopez and Tyler are swayed by her tears, so they give her a yes. Jackson changes his mind – Ashley is going to Hollywood. “I am so overwhelmed!” she cries. Says Tyler, “You won’t find many people like that. That was unbridled enthusiasm.”
9:12 p.m.: Victoria, 16, enters the room – she’s been waiting since season 2 to audition. She charms the judges, and they send her through. Jackson says she has “the most personality ever on Idol.”
9:16 p.m.: Melinda, a 16-year-old Kosovo refugee, auditions next with “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys. “I like that you’re very pretty and beautiful and you play it down,” Tyler says. Lopez tells Melinda, “Now you can live the American Dream. Welcome to Hollywood.” The first day of New Jersey auditions end on a high note.
9:24 p.m.: Day two kicks off with Devyn, 20, a singing waitress in NYC’s Times Square. She is dressed in a T-shirt and jeans. “Your voice is a star, so you need to start believing that … dressing that way, fixing yourself up that way,” Lopez tells her. “This business is about image as well. ” Even though they send her through, Tyler says, “Someone’s gotta take her clothes shopping.”
9:34 p.m.: Yoji “Pop” Asano, 25, hails from Japan and is truly the night’s wackiest performer. He has the judges in stitches singing “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus. Move over, Will Hung. (In case you didn’t guess, he didn’t advance.)
9:43 p.m.: Brielle, 16, dedicates her audition to her father, who had been battling throat cancer. Her performance is “Endless Love.” They send her along – and invite her father in the audition room to tell her the happy news. “You really have potential,” Jackson tells her. Brielle excitedly hugs her dad.
9:55 p.m.: Travis, 16, is the last hopeful to audition. He grew up in a shelter in the Bronx, N.Y. The judges all like him and send him to Hollywood. His family run in the audition room, hugging him and beaming with joy. He starts to cry. The first stop of the season is a success – 51 hopefuls are off to Hollywood. “That’s a wrap,” Lopez says.
Tomorrow night: New Orleans auditions!
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