Heidi Fairbanks: She looks like Jessica Simpson, and she sings opera! But she's awful on the pop, and they reject her.
"I've been singing since I was 2 years old," says Shawn Vasquez. Why do people think that means anything? Doesn't every little kid sing? Anyway, he's ear-splitting. And he has this season's male affliction: singing like a woman. "Dude, that was the loudest, weidest..." says Randy. "It is almost non-human," says Simon.
Jose "Sway" Penala: He's good. Simon: "Very soulful!" Lots of yesses follow.
Matthew Paulson: he sees himself as "Clay-like." He calls himself Wolfie because he loves wolves. He sings a horrible Clay Aiken song tunelessly. He's stunned to hear he's terrible. Simon adds the exclamation "Hideous!" Gratuitous!
John Williams -- fresh out of the military -- sings weirdly ("Why does he do me that way?") then rips off his shirt and dances weirdly. He gets through anyway.
Katharine McPhee has a voice teacher mom but she sings "God Bless the Child" really prettily. And she's very pretty too. Simon: "Absolutely fantastic." Randy: "Absolutely brilliant." Paula: "Absolutely beautiful." Simon: "Very, very, very what is happening today." Most positive response to an audition I've seen on this show.
Shalicia Carlisle sings badly then launches into a spoken word performance about a baby crying in the ghetto. She's asked to sing something more cheerful, which she does, picking at her hair and flipping it about. She hits on the unfortunate lyric "What did I do wrong?" which cues Simon to stop her. She says she quit her job for the show, and Simon telephones her boss and gets her the job back. Very cute.
16-year-old Shawna White is adorable, with braids. Simon doesn't like her, but she gets through anyway.
Marcus Phillips, an "all-terrain entertainer." But he's all falsetto, even when rapping.
Jayne Santayana seems to set off a fight. Randy to Simon: "Is there a different radio playing in your head?" This leads to an edited together fake-story of fighting among the judges, which culminates when a woman with very large hair auditions. Her name's Deborah Dawn Tilley, and she says she's 27 but she looks 50. The fight ends up being about something Simon said back in Season 2, which Paula reminds him about. He walks out. It looks fake, but Ryan tells us it's not. Randy and Paula carry on without him. I assume he had some other commitment and this was a way to try to make something cool out of losing him on the panel.
Manuel Viramontes drinks hot sauce to warm up and carries a picture of a Saint Manuel which he kisses to get ready. He sings "Riven [sic] in the Sky" in a bizarre voice.
In sum: Katharine McPhee!