Take Molly DeWolf Swensen (pictured, bottom right, on page 1), a White House intern who showed off her Harvard University graduation photos, and Naima Adedapo (pictured, top right, on page 1), who let us watch her clean toilets at the music festival venue where she dreams about performing.
Talk about two roads diverging in an Idol audition episode: Here’s hoping we get to take ’em both! I’m certain Molly will have her detractors, folks who will hold her Ivy League background (*$@# smart, ambitious people and their “achievements”!) and her unabashed enthusiasm for President Obama against her. To which I ask: Did you not hear her awesome rendition of “The Dock of the Bay”? As J.Lo pointed out, it was no small accomplishment for Molly to kick off a number in that rumbling lower range, nor to maintain control of her husky alto in spite of her obvious nerves. And when she opened up her voice and belted the chorus — yowza! — it was like a jalapeño to the tongue of the competition. Just because Molly has seen her opportunities and took ’em doesn’t make her undeserving of the Idol crown. Heck, Randy’s already punched her in the face; the woman has done her penance for overachieving!
Naima, meanwhile, cut a striking image with her dramatic dreadlocks, bright green eyes, and red hoop earrings, and cemented that positive first impression with a searing but restrained version of Donnie Hathaway’s “For All We Know.” Bonus points for a jaunty high kick when the judges voted her through to Hollywood.
Shockingly, Idol managed to suppress its Bieber fever long enough last night to show us a third twentysomething woman scoring a Golden Ticket. And while 26-year-old bartender/waitress Alyson Jados (pictured, bottom left, on page 1) proved decidedly less polished than Molly or Naima, she was quite possibly more fun than both of those ladies put together. Alyson shed tears of joy the moment she saw Steven Tyler, managed to score a hug from her idol, and bashfully joined him for a duet of “Dream On.” (Yes, Danny Gokey, that is how those notes are hit!) Best of all, Alyson threw a little extra funk into her rendition of “Come Together,” proving J.Lo’s point that she’s a born performer.
Now, here’s hoping Uncle Nigel and the judges don’t forget some of these more “mature” hopefuls when they cast the semifinals. As for the rest of the night’s successful auditions, let’s break ’em down Twitter-style, in 140 characters or less:
NEXT: One contestant earns an all-caps critique!