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Dramatic American Idol Auditions In San Francisco

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American Idol San Francisco Auditions

(L-R) Musicians Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and producer Randy Jackson (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBSSF) - The San Francisco auditions proved that the Bay Area has an abundance of raw musical talent. It was the last stop before heading to Hollywood for the new American Idol judges, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. In true American Idol style, some would-be hopefuls had a little drama to their lives, making this episode of ‘Idol’ an emotional rollercoaster. Reason some are saying this season has been better than the last with Ellen Degeneres and Kara Dioguardi.

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Two dramatizations stand out. 26 year old barista, Emily Anne Reed, originally from Arlington, Virginia moved to San Francisco, whose (through misfortune) house burned down a week before her American Idol audition. “I lost a lot of stuff, but what I really lost was the first home I was really excited to live in,” Reed says. “American Idol could change my life by giving me what I always wanted, a music career.” She was able to rise up from the flames by singing “You’re Getting to Be a Habit With Me”. During her audition, Jennifer Lopez described Reed’s voice as “…probably the most interesting voice we’ve heard in any of the cities”. Tyler describes her performance as “…a lot to be desired” which basically means, “no”. But it was a ‘yes for Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez gave the second and final vote for Hollywood. Emily is on her way.

VIDEO: Emily Anne Reed

But Reed’s story was not the only tear-jerker of the night. 21 year old, James Durbin from Santa Cruz was the final audition featured on the show. He describes himself as “lost” due to being an unemployed father with Tourette and Asperger’s syndromes, having a socially abusive childhood and having a father passing away from a drug overdose when James was just 9 years old. This was all but adversity to James, compared to his love of music. At the audition, he performed Muddy Waters’ “You Shook Me” and then asked Steven Tyler ‘s permission to perform his rendition of “Dream On” to an amazed result. Tyler calls the performance “over the top” and Jackson reacts “…my God, what a range!” Durbin ends with “I believe in my music,” “I believe in my gift,” and now carries with him a golden ticket to make his dreams come true in Hollywood.

VIDEO: James Durbin

Somewhere in the over 9,000 participants, a new American Idol, may emerge. After a so-so Season 10 launch, Tuesday’s episode seemed to give hope to a glimpse of a San Francisco discovered American Idol winner. In the past, Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta were discovered in San Francisco. We’ll soon find out as ‘Idol’ and their golden ticket finalists head to Hollywood.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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