Confession: Wednesday's last-audition sob story on "American Idol" actually made me cry.
In the final moments of the show, we met 25-year-old Jessica Phillips, whose boyfriend had a stroke last year. She's become both his girlfriend and caretaker, helping him with things like speech therapy. My eyes started watering when Jessica's boyfriend told the "Idol" camera he'd be nowhere without Jessica.
Fortunately, Jessica's audition ended well. She unanimously advanced to Hollywood.
Wednesday's episode of "Idol" featured auditions in Portland. Overall, it was a pretty pleasant hour. In addition to Jessica, I liked Britnee Kellogg, a mom who was once married to a basketball player -- until he decided to "pursue other women instead of basketball."
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Ledger-Enquirer
Britnee sailed through to Hollywood with a performance of "You're No Good." Sweet revenge. Here's a full recap of Wednesday's show.
Brittany Zika, 21: She's a hipster who had a dream about singing "Gravity" with Sara Bareilles. Believe it or not, she went to a Sara Bareilles concert, made a poster and her dream became reality. So...audition time. She trips when she walks into the room. Minor obstacle. She delivers a pretty nice rendition of "The Story" by Brandi Carlile. The judges love it. Three-way "yes" for Hollywood.
Ben Purdom, 18, immediately seems like a joke audition. He's a little nerdy and complains about being sick. Illness is the least of his problems. He pulls out a shaky performance of "Born This Way," but I kind of like his geeky take on "Super Bass." He's unanimously rejected.
Jermaine Jones, 24, has been singing for pretty much his entire life, mainly at church. He's also just over 6-foot-8. He sings a super-deep version of "Superstar" and I'm a little divided. He seems like a nice enough guy, but he's incredibly nervous and I don't see his voice having much pop market appeal. But maybe I'm wrong. Three-way "yes" for Hollywood.
Britnee Kellogg, 27, has two kids. She used to be married to a basketball player but he decided to "pursue other women instead of basketball." Ouch. Luckily, she pulls out a great rendition of "You're No Good" and unanimously sails through to Hollywood. I'm a fan.
Sam Gershman, 21, hypnotizes Steven Tyler with her, um, upper body assets. Unfortunately, her rendition of "I'm a Woman" isn't as mesmerizing. Three-way "no" for Hollywood.
David Weed, 22, works in the fast-food industry. He pulls out a humorous rendition of "Tom Sawyer" by Rush. Um, no. The judges agree and he's unanimously rejected.
Romeo Diahn, 22, is originally from Liberia. He lived in a Ghana refugee camp during a civil war and was ultimately able to come to the U.S. He offers a unique take on "Is This Love." Hmm...interesting. He deserves a chance. J. Lo has concerns about where he fits in the competition, but he still unanimously advances to Hollywood.
Naomi Gillies, 22, takes a risk and sings one of Steven Tyler's songs: "Cryin." I like it. She gets a three-way "yes" for Hollywood.
Ben Harrison, 28, has a babyface. That's pretty much the only interesting thing about his audition. He botches his rendition of Queen's "Somebody to Love" and is unanimously rejected.
Jessica Phillips, 25, has a boyfriend of five years. He had a stroke last year. When he woke up, he didn't recognize Jessica. Now, she's his caretaker as well as his girlfriend. She helps him with things like speech therapy. "I would be nowhere without her," the boyfriend says on camera. OK, I'm already crying. Jessica performs "Again" by Faith Evans. Some parts are a little rough, but I'd like to see more from her. Luckily, she gets three votes for Hollywood.
And...we're done! What did you think?