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'American Idol' Pittsburgh Audition: Real-Life Survivors Steal Show With Sad Stories

January 20, 2012 (4:59 am) GMT
38 contestants from this city make it to Hollywood, including Heejun Han whose talent was never known by his family before, and Eben Franckewitz who draws comparison to Justin Bieber.
'American Idol' Pittsburgh Audition: Real-Life Survivors Steal Show With Sad Stories

"" season 11 auditions moved to Pittsburgh in the second episode. The judges once again found a good talent as soon as the show started when Heejun Han entered the audition room.

The 22-year-old's family and friends said they never heard him singing before, but he put people's doubt to an end when he delivered "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You". loved the tone in his voice, and the judges gave him the Golden Ticket.

Eben Franckewitz also blew the judges away with the naturalness of his sweet voice. The 15-year-old boy, who revealed people have been telling him that he looks like , made it through to Hollywood with his performance of "Ain't No Sunshine".

Mobile DJ and wedding singer Erika Van Pelt impressed the judges with her deep voice. "Pelt can belt," so gushed. J. Lo commented, "The voice matches her," while said, "This is how you do it." The 25-year-old got "yes" from the judges.

Coming with sad stories were Travis Orlando and Hallie Day. 17-year-old Travis had auditioned last year and came back with "stronger" voice. He revealed that he dropped out of high school and is now living with his father and brother in a shelter after his mother abandoned him. He is given a shot to Hollywood.

Hallie is now a newly married waitress, but she had gone through a rough path. She dropped out of school at 15 and became an addict. At one point in her life, she tried to kill herself. Her life was getting better after she survived her attempted suicide. Singing "I Will Survive" that matches her story, she got the Golden Ticket.

From the second stop in the audition round, 38 contestants were sent to Hollywood. In next episode, "American Idol" will scout talents in San Diego.











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