American Idol Blog: Local performer, Shelby Dressel, makes it to Hollywood

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Shelby Dressel, on the left, celebrates with her golden ticket to Hollywood. Picture from Dressel's Facebook page

Shelby Dressel, on the left, celebrates with her golden ticket to Hollywood. Picture from Dressel's Facebook page

The Orlando American Idol auditions will be memorable. From a rehabilitated bank robber to a man splitting his pants, the home of Mickey and Goofy provided both talent and laughs.

The fourth episode of the new season was the most entertaining and most fruitful as 31 contestants received golden tickets. But there were some crazy moments including one contestant being handcuffed by police.

Here’s a recap of the night:


GUEST JUDGE: Kristin Chenoweth: She only judged for one day and didn’t add much to the show. (see below).


■ Shelby Dressel, 19, Avon Park, Fl.: Well Naples and Fort Myers didn’t have anyone that appeared on the show so we will have to adopt Shelby who has performed in Estero. Dressel’s back-story showed her courage as she has overcome a birth defect that left her face partially paralyzed. She didn’t initially impress the judges but when she forgot the lyrics to the Norah Jones’ song Dressel cussed showing her human side. “I like you but I wasn’t blown away with your voice,” Simon said.


■ Jermaine Purifoy, Cleveland, Tenn.: The 24-year-old was my personal favorite in a night that had a plethora of talent. His rendition of “Smile” caused Randy Jackson to call him the best of the season. Chenoweth called his voice smooth and seamless.


■ Matt Lawrence, 28, Starke: This may be the greatest back-story in the history of Idol. When Lawrence was 15 he robbed a bank with a BB gun. He spent four years in jail. He wants to make his family proud after all of the heartache. He ironically sang “Trouble” and he killed it, which doesn’t mean he is going back to the pen. Instead he is going to Hollywood. “It felt authentic,” Simon said.


■ Cornelius Edwards 24, Boyton Beach: Ripped his pants after doing the splits but didn’t ruin his chances of being the next American Idol. The judges were laughing so hard they had to give him a free trip to Hollywood.


■ Jay Stone, 25, Miami: His beat-box version of The Beatles “Come Together” was as Kara said like a wild rollercoaster. Simon said he was soakin’ wet. But don’t worry. Stone shouldn’t go far. He’s no Blake Lewis.


■ Janell Wheeler, 24 Tampa (Sales Rep)

■ Brittany Starr James, 23 Coral Springs (student)

■ Kasi Beford, 29 Seminole

■ Seth Rollins, 28, Lakeland

■ Sisters Bernadette and Amanda Desimone, 27 and 23, both of Cherry Hill, N.J.



■ Theo Glinton, 22, Fort Pierce: The cosmetologist, who thought he was a super hero, sounded like a Star Trek character.

■ Jared Norrell, 28 Marietta, Ga: The graphic designer sang Amazing Grace but nothing could save him from the judge’s criticism. Kara said it sounded like a lawnmower. Then he needed a police escort, handcuffs included, when he wouldn’t leave the audition.

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