The Pittsburgh auditions of American Idol certainly started with a bang this week, with the usual mix of the talented, the not-so-talent, and the downright awful. Contestants handed a golden-ticket included Erika Van Pelt, Aaron Marcellus and Creighton Fraker - who proved he was more than just a novelty act, but there was more unsuccessful auditions lying in wait, reports Usa Today.
Lauren Mink underwhelmed with a rendition of Hearts' hit song 'Alone', during which he "accidently" changed key throughout. Elsewhere, Jeremy Rosado got the judges attention by telling them he worked as a receptionist at an 'infectious-diseases' doctor's office. If Rosado hadn't already put-off Randy Jackson, his poor attempt at 'Superstar' was the final nail in the coffin. However, the most shocking audition of the night came when 16-year-old Symone Zaire Black began a charming rendition of the Otis Redding track '(Sitting On) The Dock of the Bay', while her dad stood smiling in the wings. Early reaction from the judges was positive, though as Zaire edged closer to the edge of the stage to listen to the comments, she suddenly dropped out of sight and hit head on the floor. The producers were heard asking for a medic, though the credits rolled before fans were able to see how things turned out.
Though clearly unsettling for Black and the American Idol team, such unexpected incidents may help the reality singing show in its bid to fend off new competition from the likes of The Voice and Simon Cowell's X Factor Usa. Idol boss Nigel Lythgoe was quoted by E! Online this week as saying The Voice in particular was "very gimmicky", suggesting it needed "stronger talent" on-board.