January 16, 2008 08:50 PM by Joe Reality
For the second part of the American Idol 7 premiere, the show returned to Dallas, Texas, the audition city of season one winner Kelly Clarkson. The Dallas auditions kicked off with a new arrival. Antoria Gillon gave birth to the first Idol baby, as she went into labor while waiting to audition.
After the celebration of new life, the show focused on someone who had turned their life around. Twenty-four year old Jessica Brown from Longview, Texas talked about her struggles with meth while in college. She sang “I’ll Stand By You” by The Pretenders, and she was the first contestant to make it through to Hollywood.
There were several other memorable contestants who made it through to the next round in Dallas. Perhaps, the most unusual was twenty-one year old Brandon Green from Lucedale, Mississippi, who brought a collection of fingernails that he has saved for the last seven years to the audition.
Joining Jessica and Brandon with a golden ticket to Hollywood were sixteen year old Alaina Whitaker from Tulsa, Oklahoma; twenty-four year old Pia “Zpia” Easley from Chicago, Illinois; twenty-four year old Kayla Hatfield from Campbell, Texas; eighteen year old Kady Malloy from Houston, Texas; twenty-one year old Kyle Ensley from Valliant, Oklahoma; eighteen year old Colton Swon from Muskogee, Oklahoma; twenty-four year old Drew Poppelreiter from Saltillo, Mississippi; and twenty-four year old Nina Shaw from Burleson, Texas.
While the Philadelphia auditions featured several contestants ranting about the judges’ decisions, the contestants in Dallas seemed to take rejection much better. While the judges’ were spot on in most of their decisions, they might have made a mistake with Bruce Dickson. The nineteen year old from Bastrop, Texas, who professed to never having kissed a girl because he wanted to save everything for his wedding day, was actually a better singer and had a more memorable personality than several who made it through.
Joining Bruce in getting turned away by the judges were twenty-five year old Paul Stafford, eighteen year old Beth Maddocks, twenty year old Esteban Deanda, twenty-three year old Victoria Metz, sixteen year old Drucilla Wideman, eighteen and sixteen year old Gregory & Mia Tobias, twenty-one year old Erick Mauldin, twenty-one year old Charles Markham, eighteen year old Tristan Clements, twenty-seven year old Douglas Davidson, twenty-four year old Angela Reilly, twenty-four year old Tammy Tuzinski, and twenty year old Kyle Reinneck.
The Dallas auditions ended with season seven’s version of William Hung. Renaldo Lapuz showed up to audition wearing silver robes and a big fluffy white hat with the name “Simon” on it. Renaldo promised, “If I were an American Idol, then I would give hope to those who are in despairs.”
The forty-four year old from Reno, Nevada sang his original song “We Are Brothers Forever.” The main verse of Renaldo’s song was “I am your brother, your best friend forever.” Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest, and Paula Abdul joined Renaldo on stage. Paula Abdul did a wacky dance that might have been her funniest moment ever on Idol. After the performance, Simon Cowell said, “I’m going to make a prediction here. I have a horrible feeling that is going to be a hit record.” Cowell just might be right, as stranger things have happened on Idol. At the very least, Renaldo will likely be back to perform an encore on the finale.