American Idol New Orleans Auditions: Who Was Your Favorite?

Talent, 2; Trainwrecks, 0. That’s how the score is shaping up now that the first two episodes of American Idol‘s tenth season are in the books. Tonight’s one-hour telecast featured seven wannabes whose auditions resulted in a variation on the coveted message: “You’re goin’ to Hollywood!” And collectively, I’d say the septet is a slightly stronger bunch than the 11 Golden Ticket recipients from Wednesday night’s two-hour premiere from New Jersey.

Oh sure, the show’s producers used every cheap trick in their arsenal tonight to tug at my heartstrings — here’s the kid who got bullied! here’s the lovely young mom who looks like Courteney Cox and has a special-needs child! here’s a smooshy-faced little 15-year-old that only a montster could root against! — but I’m okay with a little shameless manipulation as long as there’s talent to back up the sob story backstory. And Brett Loewenstern, Paris Tassin, and Jacee Badeaux all displayed a combination of vocal firepower and merciful restraint that I’m looking forward to their “journeys” — hopefully sans maudlin music or shots of single tears rolling down faces — come Hollywood week. Better still, none of that trio qualified as my absolute favorite of the night!

What did you think of the New Orleans auditions? Who was your favorite hopeful? How did the new judges’ panel fare compared to last night. While I hunker down to write my full episode recap — look for it to include my No. 1 New Orleans wannabe and to post overnight right here at TVLine.com — I’m hoping you’ll head down to the comments section and sound off. What’s more, if you have some strong thoughts or opinions on anything you saw this week on Idol — pertaining to judges, contestants, trends or conspiracy theories — and you’d like to share them on the premiere episode of TVLine’s new Idol-related Web series, Idoloonies, email a paragraph or two to Idoloonies@TVLine.com (and be sure to include a contact phone number). We’ll be selecting a handful of readers each week to join me in cohosting the Webcast via Skype or video chat on Fridays at 3/2 c. We’ll also be choosing a Twitter Question of the Week, so don’t hesitate to fire your best shots to me @MichaelSlezakTV. Be sure to tag it #Idoloonies!