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'American Idol' Portland Auditions Feature a 'Gentle Giant' and Another Sob Story

February 2, 2012, 3:53 am GMT

Jermaine Jones, who is 6-foot-8-and-a-half inches tall, and Jessica Phillips, who has been taking care of her ill boyfriend, are among the 45 contestants who get the Golden Tickets.



"American Idol" visited Portland, Oregon in the Wednesday, February 1 episode and found a great talent in a big guy. Jermaine Jones, who is 6-foot-8-and-a-half inches tall, was dubbed the "gentle giant" by the judges who admired his voice.

Soft-hearted Jones sang Luther Vandross' "Superstar". Jennifer Lopez praised him, "It's a natural gift you have," while Steven Tyler gushed, "You have a really spiritual voice. It took me away." The three judges agreed to give him the ticket to Hollywood.

Another good performer scouted in the city, Jessica Phillips came with a sad story. The 25 year-old dental hygienist from Brooklyn has been taking care of her boyfriend after he got a stroke last Easter. He didn't remember her when he was awaken.

Phillips delivered a cover of Faith Evans' "Again". Though J.Lo criticized her breath control in the song's closing moments, she got through to the next round. Outside the audition room, her boyfriend was waiting and they hugged as she came out with the good news, presenting a touching moment.

Also getting the highlight in the episode was Brittany Zika, whose clumsiness has earned her the nickname "Tripster the Hipster". J.Lo noticed she has "one of the prettiest voices we've heard" after she performed "The Story" by Brandi Carlile.

Single mother Britnee Kellogg, who separated from her basketball player husband after he cheated on her, poured her heart out in "You're No Good". Randy Jackson liked the attitude in her voice, and she was given "yes" answers.

The Portland auditions gave away 45 Golden Tickets in total. Among other contestants sent to Hollywood were 22-year-old Naomi Gillies who impressed Tyler with the rendition of Aerosmith's "Cryin' ", and 22-year-old Romeo Diahn, who got a "little tiny yes" from J.Lo.











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