By People Staff
January 29, 2009 12:00 AM

On Wednesday, season 8’s audition rounds reached Salt Lake City, home of fan favorite David Archuleta. It’s also home base of the large and melodious Osmond show-biz clan — which delivered the show its most famous unknown yet.

David Osmond is the 29-year-old son — one of eight — of Alan Osmond, the oldest brother in the original singing act that gave us Donny and Marie. Both father and son suffer from multiple sclerosis — David seems to be in a period of remission, but admits he can’t know when the disease might worsen again. A performer since the age of 4, he has sung with the family and understudied his uncle Donny in a national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. His singing and videos can be streamed on his website.

Is he too accomplished? He has a great, touching story, and a good voice — although Simon didn’t think he was terribly contemporary. He got his ticket to Hollywood anyway — “so genuine,” said Kara — along with several other voices who seemed to have the judges genuinely excited. “Salt Lake was on fire,” Randy told Ryan. Here are some other standout auditions:

Taylor Vaifanua, 16. Randy compared her to Jordin Sparks, who was also 16 when she won. “Really good potential … one of the best vocals.”

Megan Corkrey, 23. An on-the-cusp single mother (she’s getting divorced from the father of her son, not yet 2). She had maybe the most distinctive voice yet from this season’s auditions — wiry, jazzy. Paula: “I think I’m loving you.” Simon: “You are one of the few I’m going to remember.”

Rose Flack, 17. She lost both parents by the time she was 15. An excellent voice — and the stylists in L.A. will be thrilled to get her out of that tie-dye dress. Simon: “You’ve got something special about you, and I don’t know what it is … but you’re one of the few I’m going to remember.”

So we know he’ll recognize at least Megan and Rose next week in Hollywood.

Thursday, the auditions wrap in Puerto Rico and New York City. — Tom Gliatto

Tell us: Does David Osmond have what it takes to win? Who else will you be looking out for in Hollywood?James Atoa/Everett Collection