American Idol in Chicago: Best of the Rest

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He may have stolen the headlines, but Lazaro Arbos was not the only strong performer to take the American Idol stage in Chicago last night.

Among other hopefuls who received well-deserved tickets to Hollywood:

  • Mackenzie Wasner, whose father played piano with Vince Gill for many years. She impressed with a rendition of "Whenever You Come Around," as you can hear below.
  • Kiara Lanier, who has sang for President Obama and who does not lack confidence. Watch her make Celine Dion proud in the following video.

Two others who made sterling impressions:

  • Isabelle Parell, only 15, who briefly dueled with Keith Urban on a Christmas classic, "Baby It's Cold Outside."
  • Brandy Neelly, who went with "Your Cheatin’ Heart" and made it sound as if it were written just for her. Solid emotion and vocal control here.
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American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]
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