February 01, 2012 08:06 PM by Shayla Perry
Hellllooooo Portland! Tonight on American Idol, for the first time in the history of the FOX reality show, the crew heads to the state of Oregon to find the next group of hopefuls who are Hollywood bound. Catch all of the highs (and lows) of tonight’s show after the jump.
First up for Portland is 21-year-old Brittany Zika, who once dreamed of singing with Sara Bareilles on stage, and sure enough, had that dream one day come true. Will her dream of Idol stardom come true too?
The judges were shocked by Brittany’s beautiful voice, which they felt didn’t match her “look” at all (that’s another show, folks!). And after having her ditch the glasses and hat, Brittany is the first Idol hopeful from Portland who’s on her way to Hollywood!
But they can’t all be this good, right? Right.
Cue Ben Purdom from Philadelphia, PA. Yikes!
So things were off to a slow start, but after lunch, the re-energized judges return to hear all 6′ 8 1/2″ of Jermaine Jones; a young man from a musical family who believes it’s his time to shine.
Nervously making his way through “Superstar” by Luther Vandross, Jermaine is literally sweating bullets; but the judges all agree that nervous or not, he’s a natural, and Jermaine gets his “golden ticket” to Hollywood.
On to Day 2….
Next up is 27-year-old Britnee Kellogg.
Britnee, a mom-of-two, always wanted to be a singer, but gave up her dream to care for her family, while her baby-daddy went on to pursue his dream of being a basketball player, and as Britnee puts it to “pursue other women.” Now, it’s Britnee’s turn to start living the life she always wanted, and she’s going to get there with the support of her family.
Singing “You’re No Good,” (great choice!) Kellogg wows the judges, especially Jennifer Lopez who can’t help but sing along as Britnee belts out the tune.
It’s unanimous, Britnee Kellogg is going to Hollywood, but before she leaves, she stops to ask Lopez what it’s like managing her career with motherhood.
“It takes a village,” Jennifer tells Britnee, before predicting that we might be looking at the next American Idol (oooh, wouldn’t that be some sweet revenge!).
After some pretty dodgy auditions from Sam Gershman (not Gershwin) and David Weed, 22-year-old Romeo Diahn stands before the judges. Diahn’s story is heart-wrenching, but even after spending years living in a Liberian refugee camp, his spirit hasn’t been broken, and it’s clear from the uniquely optimistic sound of his voice.
The judges worry about how he’ll fit in the competition, singing songs of varying genres, but his talent is undeniable. Romeo Diahn is going to Hollywood.
Keeping the momentum going, Naomi Gillies lands in front of the judges, and with Steven Tyler‘s blessing belts out “Crying.” The verdict? She done good! Naomi Gillies is also Hollywood bound.
After a host of “no’s,” the auditions have almost come to an end.
Last, but certainly not least is Jessica Phillips from Brooklyn, New York.
A year ago, Jessica’s boyfriend suffered from a massive stroke and was hospitalized for over a month, only to wake up not even knowing who she was. Now, the young woman is a caretaker to her beau, which she certainly didn’t expect at the young age of 25. But Jessica still recognizes every day as a “blessing.”
A nervous Phillips sings Faith Evans‘ “Again,” worried that her breathlessness may have cost her her ticket to Hollywood. Luckily, it didn’t, and Jessica, along with 44 other hopefuls from Portland, receives a “golden ticket.”
See you all in Hollywood!
Visit our sister site SheKnows for more breaking news about celebrities and entertainment!
Photos courtesy: FOX