The first few episodes of American Idol are typically an exercise in patience and predictions.
Viewers must sit through an endless stream of pathetic auditions - some amusing, most annoying - in order to hear that one voice and/or see that one face that could truly become the next American Idol.
Did we meet him or her on last night's season nine premiere? It's possible, although only 32 golden tickets to Hollywood were handed out.
In between the crying, screaming and mannequin-like presence of Victoria Beckham in Boston, the following contestants stood out. Keep these names in mind. One of them could be the next Adam Lambert...
Maddy Curtis: 16 years old, sung “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. The ninth of 12 (!!!) chldren, she has two brothers with Down Syndrome and seemed awfully mature for her age. Simon made us chuckle by saying she's actually not an annoying teenager.
Amadeo Diricco: 28 years old, a classic Italian from Providence. Outsized personality will make for entertaining TV if he sticks around. Sung “Hoochy Coochie Man” by Muddy Waters.
Tyler Grady: A 19-year old drummer stood out for thre reasons. First, he broke both wrists when he fell out of a tree. Second, he had a smooth voice. Third, Kara appeared to want to jump him right on the table.
Katie Stevens: The best voice? No. The best story? Yes, on this night. Just 16 years old, sung “At Last” by Etta James and is very close to her grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s and only speaks Portuguese. The phone call between these two caused Ryan's eyes to tear up after Katie received her ticket to Hollywood.
Justin Williams: Also a great personal story, but we heard it last season when he advanced to Hollywood (and was part of the “White Chocolate” group with Kris Allen and Matt Giraud). A cancer survivor that has undergone multiple surgeries.
Leah Laurenti: A 22-year old from Medford, New York with a powerful voice. Grew emotional as she talked about her upbringing, dreams and religious family's quasi ban on secular music.
WHO WAS YOUR FAVORITE CONTESTANT?