I can't believe how rude those football players were, making us wait for American Idol like that. During a special post-Sunday Night Football broadcast, Top Gun enthusiast Ryan Seacrest herded his fellow naval/volleyball superstars Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson onto the deck of the historic U.S.S. Midway in San Diego. He sold this unlikely television event as "AN AUDITION UNLIKE ANY OTHER," which was another way of letting us know, "We're on an aircraft carrier!"
What genius thought it would be a good idea to film outside? All anyone does in San Diego is fly around. And Steven Tyler's San Diegan farts sound like boat horns! Just not a great move in general. Oh well! Let's get to the good stuff.
There were 53 golden ticket winners in all; we saw.....
A patriot in a bikini. No.
Account manager and DJ Ashley Robles, 26, is a keeper. She has an adorable 5-year-old daughter who loves when her mom sings "On the Floor" by Jennifer Lopez. ("Floor!" shouted Randy Jackson in vague recognition.) It's my favorite lullaby too; I find her pronunciation of Af-REEK-ah very soothing. Ashley's cover of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" was so clear and powerful and unexpected that it caused Steven and Jennifer's hair to flutter slightly. Randy sat still. Everyone loved her. Where had she been? At home, pretty much. "Gotta pay the bill, gotta work," Ashley explained, and I think most of all she meant the CVS bill for her high-octane blush.
Jayrah Gibson, 26, who auditioned with "Just Friends" by Musiq Soulchild, tired me out just a bit with his inability to complete a train of thought and his even less scientific than you'd think reasoning for why you should never have more than one goal. (???????) His long-winded but ultimately meaningless explanation of why a song he'd written for J. Lo featured the word "moneymaker" in the title was particularly painful. Sometimes you don't need to say anything! I've aged three years since then. I didn't think Jayrah showed us that he had a great voice. But he brings good energy and plenty of wackiness to Hollywood, and the editors love that.
Aubree Dieckmeyer, 20, was such an idiot during her on-deck interview that she had to be a joke. Wrong! America's next top model for how to act like you have no idea what show you're on informed the judges she'd be singing "Feeling Good" by Michael Buble. That sound you just heard was Nina Simone rolling over and making Tim Allen's "Ahhhhohhhugh?" noise from the Home Improvement opening credits. Or a cruise ship passing gas. Anyway, Aubree got the runs -- in a good way. J. Lo loved "all the sweet parts" of her voice, and I did too, as long as I was able to forget the sickly sweet speaking voice she'd used to make smalltalk with the judges. I never want to hear that voice again, and I believe Steven Tyler (who mimicked how dumb she sounded) is on the same page. But if she can just go around singing, no problem! Randy offered some good advice: Aubree should work on the power in her upper range so that all of her runs can connect.
NEXT: Do you do a 'ghetto dance'?