1. Erika Van Pelt, age 25
Erika Van Pelt owns a DJ business and is a wedding singer. However, she insisted that she breaks the mode of the typical image of a wedding singer. It turns out she is right. While delivering the Shirelles classic "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" she injected a soulful smokiness that sounded very very beautiful. The judges very easily gave Erika Van Pelt three yes votes for Hollywood. "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," released in 1960, was the first song by a girl group to hit #1 in the US.
2. Samantha Novacek, age 19
Samantha Novacek brought along a gimmick to her Pittsburgh audition, her "planking" older sister Patty. However, when Samantha opened her mouth to sing it was clear she didn't need any gimmicky assistance. She sang Faith Hill's "Like We Never Loved At All" with palpable emotion. The song was a top 5 country hit single in 2005. Faith Hill and her husband Tim McGraw won a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for the song.
3. Creighton Fraker, age 28
28 year old Creighton Fraker scraped together money for a bus ride from New York City to Pittsburgh to audition. Along the way he wrote his own original song. His own material was good, but then when he followed it up with Smokey Robinson's "Who's Lovin' You," his real talent came out. Creighton Fraker has emotional stage mannerisms that particularly interested Steven Tyler. "Who's Lovin' You" has been recorded by a wide range of Motown artists, but the best known version is probably by the Jackson 5 and was included as the B side to their first #1 hit single "I Want You Back."
4. Hallie Day, age 24
We got a long story of personal pain and redemption in the introduction of Hallie Day. She joined a girl group as a teenager and then had a long slide down before making it back to a positive life with her husband of six months. Hallie Day sang Gloria Gaynor's classic "I Will Survive" with a bit of a jazzy swing. She has a big, strong voice that commands attention. "I Will Survive" was one of the biggest hits of the disco era reaching #1 in early 1979.
5. Reed Grimm, age 26
Reed Grimm has been performing on stage with his family's act since age 2, and it shows. His choice of song to sing was the theme song for the 1990s hit TV series Family Matters. As Jennifer Lopez pointed out, that is probably a first. Reed Grimm demonstrated a truly engaging personality while keeping eyes riveted on him while he delivered his idiosyncratic, jazzy performance.