January 29, 2008 08:33 PM by Joe Reality
For the fifth audition episode, American Idol 7 traveled to the heartland of America. Omaha, Nebraska welcomed American Idol by cutting the American Idol logo into the middle of a corn field. Paula Abdul’s plane was running late to Omaha, so only Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell judged the first couple of contestants.
Twenty-five year old Chris Burnheisel came bearing gifts for the judges and showed off the pictures he had taken with American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. Chris sang “Since You’ve Been Gone” and did a handstand. Simon Cowell said he loved the bribes but the singing wasn’t good enough. Chris also offered up an audition for working the red carpet, and Simon Cowell said to tell the local FOX affiliate to send him to cover the American Idol 7 finale.
Twenty-one year old Jason Rich tried to sing “When You Say Nothing At All,” but he kept forgetting the words. Jason finally got through the song, and Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell decided that he had a good voice if not a good memory. The judges put Jason through to Hollywood, but Simon Cowell warned him not to forget the words again.
Paula Abdul made it to Omaha just in time for the lady wrestlers. Arm wrestling champ Rachael Wicker sang “Don’t Tell Me To Stop Loving You.” Simon Cowell said no to arm wrestling Rachael and no to Rachael going to Hollywood. However, the twenty-three year old singer/arm wrestler received her golden ticket thanks to yes votes from Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul.
Professional wrestler Lady Morgue demonstrated her wicked laugh, but unfortunately her singing paled in comparison. All three judges said no to sending Sarah Whitaker to Hollywood. However, Ryan Seacrest went and asked the judges why they didn’t put Sarah through, which led to Seacrest switching places with Paula Abdul.
Twenty-two year old Samantha Sidley from Los Angeles, California sang “I Don’t Know Why.” After Ryan Seacrest criticized parts of Samantha’s performance, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell decided that Seacrest couldn’t cut it as a judge and brought Paula Abdul back. Samantha made it through to Hollywood by a unanimous decision from the judges.
Also, joining Samantha in Hollywood were nineteen year old Elizabeth Erkert from Springfield, Illinois; seventeen year old Denise Jackson from Madison, Wisconsin; nineteen year old Michael Sanfilippo from South Barrington, Illinois; seventeen year old Angelica Puente from Kenosha, Wisconsin; and twenty-four year old David Cook from Tulsa, Oklahoma. David sang “Living On A Prayer,” and became one of the first rockers shown making it through in the auditions.
Johnny Escamilla wore a golden jacket to the auditions and described himself as one of the weirdest guys you’d ever meet. Even weirder, Paula Abdul hiccupped while Johnny Escamilla was introducing himself to the judges. Johnny sang “Shout,” and Simon Cowell said, “In every single way that was just everything I hated.”
The Omaha auditions ended on a high note. Twenty-three year old Leo Marlowe from Charlotte, IA sang “A Song For You.” Instead of hiccupping, Paula Abdul stood up and screamed “Touchdown.” Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson agreed and put Leo through to Hollywood.
Photo Credit: Reality TVMagazine