'American Idol' recap: Portland auditions

Portland contestant Britnee Kellogg brings her own entourage.
Portland contestant Britnee Kellogg brings her own entourage. (Fox)

As we head into the sixth audition city, one wonders, "When is the freakin' Hollywood round?"

Sorry to start on a negative note -- the auditions just seem never ending. What with the good ones just OK (I miss being blown away, i.e. Paris Bennett), and the bad ones not as funny anymore … actually it stopped being funny in Season 4.

Can we get to Hollywood now? Nope. Not yet, said the "Idol" producers. Patience is key as we milk ... err, head to Portland, Ore.

And because I was inspired by last Sunday's Screen Actors Guild Awards (Yay "The Help!" Yay "Modern Family!"), I'll be handing out awards this time.

Best Backstory: Jessica Phillips. Her boyfriend had a stroke, and after a month and a half in the hospital, he woke up not knowing who she was. But she stuck by him, taking care of him as he got better. Now that's love. Her audition was OK (maybe nerves got the best of her). But she has a good R&B voice. (Verdict: Hollywood!)

Best Backstory, runner-up: Liberian Romeo Diahn. Because he lived in a refugee camp. His audition was adorable. I wasn't wowed. I do find him endearing as he showed heart when he sang. (Verdict: Hollywood!)

Best Mom: Britnee Kellog. At first glance I thought she was Britney Spears, but it was just the hair. Though like Ms. Spears she is a mother of two boys. The dad cheated on her, so that was messed up. But Britnee got the seal of approval from the judges to go to Hollywood, and she asked J.Lo how she could have a singing career with kids. "When you have dreams, you make it happen." said J.Lo. And you have to afford to pay two nannies. (Verdict: Hollywood!)

Best Mama's Boy: Jermaine Jones. Began singing in church and his family is all about the music. Just music all around. Isn't that awesome? Like a mini Von Trapp family, without the Nazis. Jermaine is 6 feet, 8 and a half inches tall, and don't you take away that half! He might stomp on you. When he sang the first line of "Superstar" I thought of the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk singing "Fee fi fo fum." But he showed that he's a gentle giant who has an incredible lower register. Through to Hollywood! Mama's freaking out! (Verdict: Hollywood!)

Best Surprise: Brittany Zika. She had a dream that she was singing with Sara Bareilles, and on her birthday it actually came through as Bareilles called her on stage to sing "Gravity" with her. According to Brittany, that encouraged her to audition. As I waved her off as one of those delusional auditioners, especially after she tripped to her spot to audition, and after seeing her wear that curious outfit with the big glasses and fedora, Brittany surprised me with her beautiful, beautiful tone. Oh, you're getting the golden ticket girl! (Verdict: Hollywood!)

Best Ryan Moment: When J.Lo was going around looking for her pair of black tights, Ryan said, "I'm sorry, I meant to give them back."

Worst Ryan Moment: When Ryan picked a plant and walked behind the panel of judges, apparently to be funny. Nope.

Worst Excuse of Not Going Through: Ben Purdom. Burped in his pre-audition interview. Complained about some clogging in the throat. Explained that he had been sick since Tuesday. Butchered Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" and Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" (I wonder what goes through these artists' minds when they witness things like this?). He said he went to work one day and sang, and somebody said that that was talent and he needed to go audition for Idol. That co-worker needs to be punched in the face. (Verdict: Go home)

Worst Act: Ben Harrison. Who proclaimedm "I'm adorable!" then went on to curse in front of national television. Also, he's 28 years old but looks 12. Seriously. And he massacred Queen's "Somebody to Love." Just, just go home. (Verdict: Go home)

Forty-five singers move on to Hollywood and tomorrow Idol visits St. Louis on the last episode of the audition round! Yay!

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