Feb. 3 2010, Published 5:51 a.m. ET

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We’re getting down to the wire here on American Idol. Tonight’s auditions from Denver are the second to last until the Hollywood rounds (with Ellen Degeneres) begin! Victoria Beckam returned for another go around at the judge’s table and she picked a great city as there seemed to be a lot more sent through to Hollywood in the Mile High City instead of being sent home.

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The first audition of the day was Jack Black’s doppelganger Mark Labriola. He had a weird, convoluted story about going on the run with his mom when he was four years old and living in places like Alaska and Hawaii. But, despite his eccentricity, he had some nice pipes. All the judges—especially Victoria—were shocked he wasn’t a joke and it was off to Hollywood for him!

Of course, not everyone has talent—this is American Idol after all. Next we meet Mario, a bad singer with a nervous laugh followed by a montage of all the angry rejects cursing up a storm on their way out.

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Then there’s Kimberly Kerbow, a single mom who sneaks in lyrics about Simon losing his hair one day and buying him Rogaine when it happens. She makes the judges laugh and makes it through as does the edgy Danelle Hayes. She’s also a mom and doing everything she can to make her music career work—even playing depressing corporate gigs. Simon hears the passion in her voice and feels that they’re rescuing her just in time by sending her to Hollywood.

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Up next is Casey James, a 21-year-old hottie who plays the guitar. A motorcycle accident should have left him without the use of his arms—but he beat the odds. He has no personality or charisma (which Simon points out right away) but with his long, blonde hair and nice abs (Victoria makes him undress and remove his shirt), Kara and Victoria beg to let him through. Everyone but Simon says yes—though it’s doubtful he’ll go beyond Hollywood.

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Sixteen-year-old Tori Kelly is up next. She has an entire entourage of friends—many that are children—there to cheer her on. In fact, her little friend Hope is such an American Idol fan that she tags along into the audition room to present the judges with portraits she drew of each of them. Tori can sing—Victoria thinks she’s gorgeous—but Simon finds her annoying. Once again, all but Simon gives their blessing and she’s off to Hollywood.

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Day 2

After all the great talent that went on to Hollywood on day one, it was inevitable that the duds would emerge on day two. And, nothing is worse than being egotistical and a bad singer. Case in point?  Austin Paul. He’s a University of Colorado singer, songwriter and football player. He’s awful and arrogant and gets a resounding “no” from the panel.  Then there’s the even more conceited Kenny Everett who has declared himself the “world’s best singer” and is pretty sure he could be the male Mary J. Blige . . . but of course the judges shoot that dream down without hesitation.

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Thankfully the next to audition is Nicci Nix. She currently lives in Florence, Italy and flew fourteen hours to make the audition. She has a high, baby like voice when she talks—but a deep, beautiful singing voice. The judges love her and her travels were worth it as she’s sent on to Hollywood.

Then there’s Haeley Vaughn. She was born a preemie and was just two pounds and couldn’t breathe on own. She survived but then had to deal with the sudden death of her father when she was ten-years-old. Her dream is to be the first black, pop/country singer. So, with her mom and sister by her side—the judges send her through to Hollywood. Simon even calls her voice “infectious!”

That would have been a great way to end the show. There were some truly great talent and really serious singers in this round. But this is American Idol after all and last year “Bikini Girl” caused quite the stir when she auditioned. So, not to be outdone, “Bikini Boy” showed up to end things on a high note (but no, he did not make it to Hollywood!)

Last contestant – bikini man – BRC – achy breaky heart – ty hemmerling – all just walk out


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