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Hopefuls in Minneapolis have turned out for the American Idol Season 14 judges anxious to score a golden ticket and a trip to Hollywood. For some, however, the dream ends here.

Let’s recap the night and find out who’s going on and who’s going home.

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The first contender of the night has never sung in front of an audience, but she’s pumped to be auditioning for the judges. Shannon Berthiaume is 17 years old and she loves to sing soul. She picks "House of the Rising Sun" for her audition piece and while she has a great tone to her voice, she picked one she couldn’t enunciate. Harry and Jennifer still loved the way that she laid it all out there. Keith called her "raw talent." She kicks the night off with a golden ticket.

Hollywood week might eat her alive.


The judges humor Kamil Casey and his golden microphone as he sings "Human Nature" with a piano accompaniment that makes it sound like a lounge song. And by humor I mean they try not to laugh at him. He’s not going to Hollywood.

Morgan Ovens is a professional organizer who auditions with "One Hand In My Pocket," and Gabrielle Noe’l is a leasing manager who only wants to sing. Courtney Gunns nearly stands on top of the judges’ table while she sings. They all get golden tickets.

Keith makes poor Vanessa Andrea cry by asking her to talk about her husband before she sings. She’s so excited to be there that just saying she loves him and their children makes her burst into tears. Her version of "Some Kind of Wonderful" was rhythmic and great. Jennifer loves her style and her sound and found her confident. They let her call her husband and they tell him that she’s going to Hollywood. 

Then she hugs Keith and says he smells great and admits to being the person out in the hall screaming that she loved someone’s butt and she was talking to Keith but Jen accepted the compliment. 

Exactly 18 minutes into the hour and we’ve seen 6 auditions.

Zach Johnson, from Fargo, North Dakota, picks up a Keith Whitley number for his audition and that voice is not one I expected to come out of that mouth. He comes in as this happy-go-lucky dude who might have smoked some weed before he walked in the room and then jumps into this deeply affected country accent when he sings. Harry tells him not to sing with the accent since he doesn’t talk with one. Jennifer asks him to sing without the accent. Before he can finish, Harry hands him a ticket.

Two weeks later this guy got to stand up on stage with Keith Urban and sing at one of his concerts. Basically he won the contest even without winning.

Aaron Bissell from Cedar Rapids is a very quiet singer. So quiet Harry kind of jokes about it and then hands him a golden ticket.

American Idol has added a Harry Connick Jr laugh track to this year’s auditions and it’s weird. He’s funny, but the canned laugh makes him less funny. Don’t tell us when to laugh. Just let us laugh.

Country girl Cindy Jo Scholer loves to bow hunt. Basically when she’s not singing and dancing, she could be Katniss Everdeen. If Katniss were blonde and not afraid to sing in front of people. Harry doesn’t know if she’s really as country as she appears, but she asserts she is. She sings "Crazy" by Patsy Cline but sort of screws it up a little. Jennifer says she carried out the melody too much. Keith tells her to lose all the extra stuff and stop trying so hard. Harry felt like she was shouting but wants to hear her one more time. She gets a ticket to Hollywood.

Jacob Tolliver is currently in Las Vegas in Million Dollar Quartet playing an understudy for Jerry Lee Lewis so naturally he auditions with "Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On" and slams around on the piano, complete with standing on the piano stand. Harry asks him if he sees that on the radio and Jacob says no. Keith wants to know what he wants to be and tells him that he should’ve come in with his own sense of who he is as an artist then asks him to sit and play again. He chooses "Stay" by Sam Smith and it’s interesting. Not Sam Smith, but still interesting. He doesn’t have much range. They still send him on and let him take a selfie before he leaves the room.

Hannah Mrozak chooses "Something’s Got a Hold On Me" by Etta James and for a 16 year old she can certainly sing. She’s got a little musical theater sense about her that she’s going to have to shake, but her voice is spectacular. She gets an easy yes and then tells Harry she loved Independence Day. Preeeeety sure she just got him confused with Jeff Goldblum because HCJ lasted about 20 minutes into that movie.

Kristi Kroker starts winding down the night with "Demons" and Jennifer calls it "risky" and says it’s a high school performance and not American Idol. 

Oh. We have reached the soul-crushing cryfest portion of the evening. All to pave the way for Mark Andrew, a first time dad at the top end of the age limit for Idol. He decides to audition with "Soulshine" and it couldn’t be a more perfect song choice for him, but Keith wants to hear him do something else so he can hear Mark’s tone in another song. He chooses "Be Like You" from The Jungle Book. His tone is the same and it’s authentic and original. Harry wants to hear him on a record. 

Mark’s going to Hollywood. And with that, we’re going to Night Two of this week’s auditions.

They’ll head to New Orleans to see if Harry’s hometown can bring the talent and we’ll be here to recap it all.