American Idol S15 Top 24 Revealed

5 02 2016

Fifty-one contestants took the stage for a final performance in front of the judges and a live audience. Now they wait for their judgment.

My thoughts on their performances (the ones they showed):

The Ladies

Stephany Negrete looked and sounded great “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys.   Shelbie Z sang another Heart song for her final performance “Barracuda.” I think she needs to ditch country and embrace the rocker inside of her. I think she has been fortunate to have gotten a lot of tips and help on “The Voice” that definitely gives her an edge up over some of the more inexperienced Idol contestants when it comes to stage presence. Michelle Marie sang “Little Toy Guns” by Carrie Underwood. She had great stage presence but she sounded sharp and flat on many of the notes. With the stiff competition, I would say no, but the judges may say yes because she has charisma and stage presence in addition to previous positive performances. Colette Lush sang “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor. Her voice was cracking a lot. Jessica Cabral’s performance wasn’t shown, but I was SHOCKED that she is not in the top 24. She was one of the stronger female voices with such a unique voice. Wow. I don’t know what to say about that one. Jenna Renae sounded okay from the small clip they showed of her singing “Flat on the Floor” by Carrie Underwood. Jeneve Mitchell sang “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash.   She has the great ability to feel her song. She has a unique place in all of this. Would I buy her music? No—because I don’t like country music (but I don’t buy Carrie Underwood’s either even though I was rooting for her on the show but on the show she didn’t sing strictly country). Amelia Eisenhauer sang “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel.   Her vocal was mediocre and her stage presence was not developed quite as much as the others. Avalon Young sang “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)” by Chris Brown.   She has such a pretty voice. Sonika Vaid sang “Surrender” by Celine Dion. She gets swallowed up by the stage. She has a beautiful voice but she really needs to work on that. Malie Delgado sang “Little White Church” by Little Big Town. She has a great voice, but I didn’t like this song for her. Olivia Rox came down sick, but she had to rally to do her showcase round. She sang “Love Somebody” by Maroon 5. She did a fabulous job. That one gave me goosebumps!! Emily Brooke sang “So Small” by Carrie Underwood. She did better than I anticipated and some of that nasal twangy thing was gone. Gianna Isabella chose to sing her mom’s song and Gianna was talking to her mother in the audience during rehearsal and Rickey Minor set mom straight about needing to let them handle this. She sang “I Still Believe” by Brenda K. Starr (her mom’s hit song).  Jenn Blosil sang “The Hanging Tree” sung by Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games series.   She is so unique. I adore her. Tristan McIntosh sang “Stronger” by Faith Hill. She felt that it was the first time she has ever “performed.” She also is one of my favorites.

The last two ladies are La’Porsha Renae and Lindita. Is there ANY question who this is going to? Not for me. La’Porsha. Lindita performed “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj. La’Porsha Renae did “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals. That gave me goosebumps.

 The Guys

Mackenzie Bourg is the first one of the guys to receive his fate. He sang Elvis Presley’s hit “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” I really like his voice and he had the ladies in the audience singing along with him for the chorus. Trent Harmon sang “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John have a mixed feeling about. He has a great voice, but his performances are often internalized where he is not even making eye contact with the audience. He is performing but not connecting. CJ Johnson sang “Parachute” by Cheryl Cole. Okay, I admit. I loved it. I know it was country. I do have exceptions. Lee Jean sang “Make It Rain” by Ed Sheeran. It was adorable but I was put off by him telling the audience to be quiet not just once but twice. Daniel Rapattoni performed “It’s Gonna Be Me” by NSync. He is one of my favorites. He has star written all over him. He has the full package. Manny Torres sang “Master Blaster” by Stevie Wonder sounded great and frankly this competition could use his Latin flare. Thomas Stringfellow sang “Story of My Life” by One Direction. I like him but he was doing this weird thing that almost sounded like a hiccup-like noise at the end of every measure. It was annoying. The girls went crazy for him though.

Kacye Haynes and Jordan Sasser were the final two guys who were competing for that last spot. I think it is going to go to Jordan Sasser (even before I heard the performances). Jordan sang “Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic. I got goosebumps. Kacye tackled “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake. Rickey Minor complimented him that he was one of the few performances that actually felt what he was singing that day. Wow, he did bring a better performance than Jordan.

 Going Home

Not going through: Ameet Kanon, Anatalia Villaranda, Andrea Nazarbekian, Ariel Sprague, Christian Eason, Chynna Sherrod, Colette Lush, Isaac Cole, Jenna Renae, Jessica Cabral, Jessica Clark, John Clausen, Jordyn Simone, Kacye Haynes, Kassy Levels, Kayla Mickelsen, Kelsie Watts, Laurel Wright, Lindita, Malie Delgado, Mary Williams, Michelle Marie, Mionne Destiny, Sara Sturm, Shevonne Philidor, Terrian, Tiffany Lemay, and Zach Person.

Top 24 are:

Ladies: Amelia Eisenhauer, Avalon Young, Emily Rose, Gianna Isabella, Jeneve Rose Mitchell, Jenn Blosil, La’Porsha Renae, Olivia Rox, Shelbie Z, Sonika Vaid, Stephany Negrete, Tristan McIntosh

Guys: Adam Lasher, CJ Johnson, Daniel Rapattoni, James VIII, Jordan Sasser, Kory Wheeler, Lee Jean, Mackenzie Bourg, Manny Torres, Thomas Stringfellow, Trent Harmon

Next week: The top 24 sing solos and then duets with former American Idol contestants. Five will be going home.

 

 

 

 





American Idol S15 Hollywood Week Auditions No 3: Final Solos

4 02 2016

Seventy-five contestants remain. The difference between the first round of solos and now is that they have one night to pick out a song and work out an arrangement with the band. They will get no immediate feedback. At the end of the day they will be split into three rooms where they await the judges on who stays and who goes.

Stephany Negrete is up first and has no friends or family in the audience to support her unlike other Idol contestants. Other contestants are in the holding room. She chose Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain.” She sounded really good with the band. Harry and Jennifer quietly said they liked it as she walked out.

Thomas Stringfellow sang “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. He stumbled during his performance and you could see the worried look on his face that it might be what gets him cut. Jennifer and Harry quietly shared with each other they liked him while Keith said it was a terrible song choice.

Avalon Young sang “One Last Time” by Ariana Grande. She felt she could have done better. Jennifer and Keith again quietly commented that she is talented.

Olivia Rox went a different way and sang an original song for them. Keith and Harry were complimentary about your songwriting skills.

John Wayne Schulz ditched his hat (or perhaps the hat ditched him). He sang “John 3:16” by Keith Urban. Keith mouthed the words. It was okay. Keith liked him but asked Harry and Jennifer what is exactly missing.

Mackenzie Bourg is doing an original song called “Roses.” The first goosebumps of the evening for me. Keith asked whose song was that and when Jennifer and Harry shared it was Mackenzie’s, Keith gave him a thumbs up as he walked away from the stage. Jennifer and Harry liked it, too.

Shelbie Z sang “How Do I Get You Alone” by Heart. I liked that song for her. I like it better than the country songs she sings because her twang disappears when she sang this song.

Kory Wheeler chose “Fix You” by Coldplay.  He did well.

James VIII sang “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak. Second batch of goosebumps this evening.

Malie Delgado was kind enough to give up her song choice “What Hurts the Most” by Rascal Flatts to Tristan McIntosh for whom the song had a special emotional connection for her with her mother being a soldier and leaving to go overseas. Third goosebumps of the night. Keith softly said, “It’s a girl’s season.” I hope this choice doesn’t bite Malie in the butt.

Sonika Vaid sang “One Last Time” by Ariana Grande. She has a beautiful voice. No goosebumps here, but still I think will be in one of the groups going through and likely even the top 12 girls. They all loved her voice but agreed that she needed to get the performance better.

The new best buddies were performing next. Lee Jean sang “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes. He’s a cutie pie. He got the audience to clap for the end part of it. Harry said he is heartbreakingly cute. His friend Sara Sturm took the stage. She chose “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane. She is a little powerhouse. Lee hopes they get through together. Jennifer said, “I would put her…” and then “She better than that.” Keith said, “She’s much better than that.”

Jenn Blosil to no surprise chose “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper sounded great. She didn’t feel like her performance went well. Every season needs a contestant like her and I hope Jenn makes it.

Emily Rose sang “What Hurts the Most.” I liked her MUCH better on this song. My ears were pleased by this. Maybe she needs to sing more when her voice is hurting. When she got off stage, she mentioned the song not being in the key she wanted and it just sucked.

Malie was diagnosed with laryngitis. Mionne Destiny and Jessica Cabral are both suffering the effects of being ill. Malie Delgado is singing “Stitches.” What a brave, brave girl. Keith liked this version of the song better. She gets a great amount of supportive applause from the audience. Mionne sang “Chains” by Nick Jonas. I haven’t heard her sing before so I don’t know what her original voice sounded like. Jessica Cabral sangUp to the Mountain” by Kelly Clarkson. Keith was heard to say, “Good Lord.”

Joshua Wicker took the stage to sing “A Thousand Years” and I really liked him but this was a very bad song choice for him. It was so out of key. Keith said he wouldn’t mind seeing him again. Harry thinks there is something mournful and soulful about him.

CJ Johnson sings a breath-of-fresh-air upbeat song, “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac. It was great. Keith said he liked him and Harry said it was good.

Jeneve Rose Mitchell sang “Danny’s Song” by Kenny Loggins. She always sounds good, but I don’t see her being the winner of American Idol. Harry thought she has something else. Jennifer said she barely heard the song.

The final solo performance was Dalton Rapattoni. I really love him. I hope he goes through. He chose “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” He doesn’t look well. I don’t think this was a good song for him. Keith said he loves his song choices. He didn’t remember his performance. He said when he looked down at his guitar because it wasn’t working that was when everything went fuzzy.

Room 1 includes Jordan Sasser and Dalton Rapattoni, Shelbie Z, Jessica Cabral, Mackenzie Bourg, Stephany Negrete, Lee Jean, La’Porsha Renae, Tristan McIntosh, and a few others I don’t recognize. This has to be a room that is going through. Jennifer announces that they are going through.

In the next room, I recognize Joshua Wicker and John Wayne Schulz. Their group received a ‘no” from Keith Urban.

Room 3 includes Malie, Trent, Thomas Stringfellow, Jenn, Avalon, Sara Strum, Manny Torres, and Jeneve. I think this room gets a yes. Yep, this room goes through.

Next up: They perform in front of a live audience in the showcase and the last cuts ever for American Idol that are made by the judges.





American Idol S15 Hollywood Week No 2: Group Night

4 02 2016

Only 108 contestants remain after round 1 of solo performances.   It’s the dreaded group night that begins at 3:21 p.m. on the day before performance. They need to break up in groups of 3 to 4.

Scott Borchetta is going to be around for group to give them much needed feedback along with the vocal coaches of American Idol. He is telling it like it is; one group he told if they did what they did for him they are definitely going home tomorrow.

Shelbie Z, Marlena, and Tonie were struggling. Instead of trying to work it out, Shelbie walked off and left her group in search of another. Whether or not that was a wise move is yet to be determined. Shelbie sort of comes off as conceited a bit; I felt that way when she was on The Voice. Christian, who is in another group, overhears their dilemma, and he goes back to his group, who has four members, to see if someone would be willing to move to Marlena and Tonie’s group. Christian talks with La’Porsha, Malie and Manny. Malie doesn’t want to split up. And La’Porsha originally agreed, but then had a change of heart because she could not get them out of her head. Manny and Malie felt blindsided by that decision.

Dalton and Kassy were looking for their third member, Poh Scott. But the pressure was too much for this young lady and her father informs a crew member that she just can’t do this. They have to search for another group or a stray person who needs a group.

Team Blue Eyes consist of Jordan Sasser, Kory Wheeler, Kelsie Watts, and Jenna Renae. Their song is “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. The boys were stronger on this but the girls were close behind and Kelsie belted out this wonderful high note that would make Mariah Carey proud. They tell Jenna and Jordan to step forward and then do a fake-out and put all 4 of them through.

Milk & Cookies practiced in the toilet stall because the acoustics to them were better.   They chose “Drag Me Down” by One Direction. The ladies who make up the group are Jenn Blosil, Bri Ray, Lynnzee Faye and Sara Strum. Jenn reminds me too much of Joey Cook from last year. I thought they sounded nice together and no one forgot the lyrics. The choreography was bizarre. Keith tries to play them by saying “when I call your name please step forward” and follows with “who am I kidding, you’re all going through.”

The next group is “Ooh x 2” who choose “Need to Breathe” by Alex Clare. Amelia Eisenhauer, Tristan McIntosh, Lee Jean, and an unknown person. They are through to the next round.

Another group was composed of Avalon Young and a few others. They sang “DJ Got Us Falling in Love Again” by Usher and Harry complimented her that she could be in a video for that right now. They are through to the next round.

Jeneve Rose Mitchell was in another group. “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum. Harry told her that she made the lyric the most important thing. She and her two group mates are through to the next round.

Chynna Sherrod is in the next group which chose “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit to sing. Terrian is also in the group. It’s unclear if any made it through.

Trent Harmon was diagnosed with mono while he is there. He was cleared to continue in the competition, but he has to avoid spreading it, so no group rounds for him. His group name is called “Just Trent.”   He also sings “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit. He has a very unique voice and I give him kudos for staying because this is the last chance for Idol. Harry jokes and he says, “I know one thing about that song; it sounds better in mono.” People groan. But Trent is through to the next round.

Michelle Marie and Lindsey Carrier of “Singing Out Loud” (with Ashley Lusk). After 5 hours, they decide on a song and pick up the defector Shelbie Z. Michelle was off pitch at the beginning part of that song and I’m just going to frank at this point—I don’t know how she is still in this competition with all these other more talented female voices other than she has a personality that makes her likable. They were singing “Undo It” by Carrie Underwood. They didn’t blend well as a group. Shelbie Z has a good voice without a doubt. Jennifer thought it was a good group job. Shelbie Z also has resting bitchy face. LOL. Ashley, Michelle, and Shelbie Z are through and Lindsey is going home.

Elvie Shane, Zach Person, Jessica Cabral and another person I don’t remember formed a group and they sang “Too Close” by Alex Clare. They were admonished that they looked tired and it came through, but this is what it is really like and their job is not to let the audience see that. Elvie is going home.

Ashley Lilinoe looked exhausted and seemed to not know the lyrics of her group’s song “Renegades” by X Ambassadors. Mackenzie Bourg did well. Juno, MacKenzie and Kayla are going through; Ashley is going home.

Cameron Richard was part of a group singing “Too Close” by Alex Clare. It wasn’t good enough and the judges send him home.

Chicken Noodle Soup’s Dalton Rapattoni and Kassy Levels lost their group member Poh Scott. The group “NV” consisted of Sonika Vaid, Andrew Nazarbekian, Stephany Negrete and Anatalia Villaranda.   Anatalia’s mom takes matters into her own hands and tries to convince the group that her daughter is not the problem; it’s the song. According to Anatalia, her group left her so she is looking for another group. She joined Chicken Noodle Soup. But Dalton found out that that the other members said she was not kicked out; Anatalia left.  Chicken Noodle Soup sang “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. I thought Dalton and Kassy sounded great. I’m a little iffy on Anatalia. But their voices complimented each other. All three are going through.  NV chose “Problem” by Arianna Grande. Sonika Vaid sounded good. Stephany Negrete sounded great. Andrew Nazarbekian has a crazy voice. They sounded great as a group. Keith felt Stephany was the only one who looked like a performer. They are all going through as well.

Josiah Siska, Jaci Butler, and Brian Dale Brown were sent home because they didn’t have great dance moves.

The next group “Trick or Treat Tribe” consisted of Kylle Thomasson, Kacye Haynes, Jon Klaasen, and Marcio Donaldson. They chose “Uptown Funk” by Mark Bronson. I think Kylle maybe sounded the best out of the four, but I’m not feeling them as a group. Keith thought they did good. Jennifer thought the same. Harry thought it was a good to see people feel rhythm. They are through to the next round.

Smooth Soul chose “Domino” by Jessie J. Joy Dove, Daniel Farmer, and Lindita. Lindita was all over the place. Harry said he was surprised Joy let Lindita do that. It is a competition. Joy and Lindita are through and Daniel is going home.

Eliz Camacho, Gianna Isabella, and Dana Ordway had issues being a group because of the overbearing personality of Eliz. She decided what song they were going to sing and then went to bed for the night. Eliz said for herself that she considered them backup singers that are going to let her rock it. Michael said it was one of the worst they have seen so far. If she even makes it through, Eliz is not going to win over America’s hearts that that piss-poor attitude. You can want to do your best without belittling others. “Hit ‘Em Style (Oops)” by Blu Cantrell. Jennifer said there was obvious tension that could be felt in the performance. This was supposed to be about collaborating. Gianna and Dana go through and Eliz was dismissed. But she goes away with conceited words, not learning a thing–humility.

The Good Vibes consist of Alesana Tolai, Jessica Paige, Olivia Thai, and Joe Dahman. They were singing “Me and My Broken Heart” by Rixton.   They all have nice voices. Some forgot the lyrics. It sounded off though. Not exactly sure where. Harry said there was no joy in their performance. Jessica is the only one going through.

CJ Johnson, Jess Kellner, Jessica Baker, and Zach Joseph sang “Renegades” by X Ambassadors. They were lively and sounded great. Harry said it was a great group song but it didn’t show him which one of them were a superstar. CJ, Jess, and Jessica are through and Zach is going home.

Thomas Muglia, Joey Hendricks, Bryson Dunn, and Thomas Stringfellow also did “Renegades.” It sounded kind of depressing. Thomas Stringfellow was the one who stood out for me. Harry looked like he was falling asleep during the performance. Both Thomases were through to the next round.

Rebirth including Manny Torres, Malie Delgado, Christian Eason chose “Too Close” by Alex Clare.   Malie was suffering from pretty bad laryngitis. Keith gives them a standing ovation. The audience was clapping as the song was playing. All three of them go through and Jennifer said it was one of the best groups of the day.

Staying Alive” by The Bee Gees is the song. Soul Catz included Laurel Wright, Marshall Cunningham, Drew Angus, and John Arthur Greene. They forgot the lyrics. I would say when choosing a group song, you should go with the song that has the least amount of words to have to remember. There are a lot of words in that song. Keith felt none of them took charge. Harry says, “If you forget the lyrics and turn around to ask for help – bad move.” Marshall and Laurel are through.

The last group round number ever for American Idol was performed by The Sistas (Tonie Starr, Marlena Johnson and La’Porsha Renae) who also chose “Staying Alive” by The Bee Gees.   Even though Marlena messed up and substituted gibberish, they had stage presence and sounded like they blended well with each other). Harry said, “That is how you forget words.” The three are through to the next round.





American Idol S15 Hollywood Week Round 1

3 02 2016

At the end of the first round, half of the 190 contestants will be going home. For the next two days, they will come up in lines of 10 and give it their best shot. After every one is finished singing, they will send some home and some through. Jordan Sasser starts this off. Dalton Rapattoni and Jaci Butler are also in this first group of contestants. They have known each other since they were 11. Evan Cole and Cameron Ingham are going home and the rest of the line get through to the next round.

The second line includes Jenn Blosil, Thomas Stringfellow, and Olivia Rox who were among the people going through. I did see Zach Person from Houston in that group as well.

Highlighted people in the third line included Jessica Cabral along with Melanie Tierce (who didn’t sound as good as her audition—she was off key) and Sonika Vaid (the girl’s audition I missed because my Directv went out). Someone named Nikki and Melanie Tierce were going home from this line.

La’Porsha Renae is featured in the next segment doing Katy Perry’s “Roar.” She is going through as were many people in her line (faces I remember but the names to the faces I don’t).

In the next line are Harrison Cohen (not a fan of his song this time), Daniel Farmer (it wasn’t great), and Manny Torres (the best out of the three guys) all highlighted showing them making moves on the ladies. But do they have the moves to get to the next round? Harrison Cohen and Vinnie Hines along with two women did not make it through to the next round.

The final contestants of day one include Lee Jean (sounded great), Melany Huber (sounded great), and Shelbie Z (sounded great). For some reason, the judges did not think Melany Huber’s performance was strong enough and she is being sent home.

The first line includes fish-out-of-water Jeneve Rose Mitchell who is used to no people and no lights. Hollywood has been quite a shock for her (an enjoyable one, but nonetheless a shock). She is going through but I am unclear if the rest of her line was cut.

Next line is Gianna Isabella and Tristan McIntosh. Someone named Rachel did not make it through but the rest of the back line including Gianna and Tristan are through.

Kyrsti Jewel and Michelle Marie are in a competition on who is the biggest Idol fan. The Hollywood week round happens to be her 16th birthday. I didn’t like Michelle’s performance. The competition is too stiff this year. Kyrsti didn’t sound good at all. It sounded like she was screaming and she was off key during much of it. Cameron Richard, Maio, and Michelle are called to the front row and the front row goes through to the next round.

Kerry Courtney, Brook Sample, Usen Isong, Reanna Molinaro, Ethan Kuntz and Jason Dillon who did very well during auditions but didn’t do that great in Hollywood.

The final line of 10 ever for Idol ever Trent Harmon (who was diagnosed with mono and was told he had to go rest). I don’t think Trent understands how difficult getting over mono is. It really does require that you rest and it is contagious so he shouldn’t be there. Poh Scott was also in this line but I didn’t like her as much as I did at her audition. Emily Brooke is also in the line. She was cut in the top 48 in season 14. I really can’t listen to her. It’s just a personal sensitivity. Kyle, Luke Mann, Jocelyn all step forward and they are through to the next round. And then they surprise the contestants and tell them the back row is also going through.

Next up: Group rounds!





American Idol S15 Final Auditions Ever

1 02 2016

The clips from these auditions were taken from Atlanta, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. This will be the last montage of contestants auditioning for their spot in Hollywood.

Jessica Cabral sings “Brand New Me” by Alicia Keys. Her voice is like butter. It’s so smooth and easy to listen to. Jennifer thinks she has this beautiful lush, low-tone voice. Keith said it was so beautiful and her control was great. Harry said that she was beautiful but when she sang she became even more beautiful. It’s one of the best he’s heard. She has tremendous talent. He said he will be shocked if she doesn’t make it really far in the competition.

Cody Ostrenga is a three-time world champion Manchado horse rider and…a belly dancer. He demonstrates his talents. “Proud Mary” by Ike & Tina Turner. It sounded like it might be good, but then by the fourth note, you could tell this was a definite no. Keith said everything was good except the singing. It was a no from everyone.

Brian Dale Brown is ready to go. His girlfriend is 15 years older than he is (actually called her a cougar). He is a self-described golden god. He is going to sing “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers (Simon Cowell’s favorite song, so I’m glad he is not here judging). He was too effective and it started out okay, but there are a lot of sounds like he is trying to have a bowel movement. He hit the high note. That was impressive. He had moments when he wasn’t growling that sounded nice. Jennifer thought it was powerful but it was all over the place. Harry thought he has a good voice but he doesn’t have to do all that; it’s too over the top. Keith liked that he has a big voice, but how he uses it. He gets three yes votes.

Gina Naomi Baez brings along her dog Tinker Bell and they dress the same. She decides on “Lips Are Moving” by Meghan Trainor. She has one tone: Loud. She does have a good voice though. It doesn’t have any emotion in it. Harry said she has a strong voice but it doesn’t take him anymore. Keith said he doesn’t see an artist. She begs to sing another song. You can tell she was not expecting that response.

Stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma changed Melany Huber’s perspective on life at the tender age of 17. If she wants to do something, she is going to go for it. No fear. She chose “Talking to the Moon” by Bruno Mars. I love her voice and she had the emotion behind it. Jennifer said that some people, when they sing, just emote so naturally. Harry loves her. It was appealing and captivating. Keith said there is a good storytelling ability to her voice. She is going to Hollywood.

Rachel Karryn was one of many contestants who brought in a loved one to do musical accompaniment. She brought in by her grandfather. She chose “Why Haven’t I Heard From You” by Reba McIntire. Caroline Byrne brought her brother to sing “Unaware” by Allen Stone. Bianca Espinal brought her father who encouraged her when she momentarily forgot the lyrics to “Brave” by Sara Bareilles. I liked the first two; Bianca needs a little bit of work but she was nervous so it might have just been nerves. All of them are through to Hollywood.

Justin Sullivan is hoping to make it through all the way to some point where he can meet Kelly Clarkson. Harry and Keith moved the Kelly poster next to him. He chose a Kelly Clarkson song, of course, “Stronger.” He started off rough (his lower register needs some work).   The performance is average. He has a nice voice but I don’t think he is strong enough to make it through with all this talent. Harry said he sounded good, but is he the book-end to Kelly? No. Jennifer agreed. He receives three no’s.

Chynna Sherrod chose “One Last Time” by Ariana Grande. She has a beautiful voice. I had goosebumps by the time she got to the chorus. Jennifer said very beautiful. Keith said she sings how she is—laid back, talented. Harry said she was fantastic. Triple yes.

Lillian Glanton lives on a chicken farm and she sells cattle to pay for her recording time. She plays an original song, “Country Boyfriend.” Sometimes it was okay, but most of it was off-pitch. Harry says her voice isn’t quite on the level of what he is looking for today. Jennifer likes her and she likes her song. She felt like she should have known the melody and the notes so well. Keith likes her voice because it is legit and it is her. Keith says yes. Harry is a no. Jennifer liked her song that much and gives her the deciding vote.

There was a long montage of contestants where the judges disagreed.

Kacye Haynes is a musician from Talladega, Alabama who battled drug addiction and found the light. “Brother” by Need to Breathe. It was nice. His falsetto needed a little work. He has a lot of passion and I like him. Jennifer liked everything that was going on, that he has been singing from something that happened. Keith said he was just lacking the power from his voice. He could see it working as a band performance but not as a solo artist. Keith is a no. Jennifer says yes. Harry says he sometimes sounds a little bit like Jon Bon Jovi and sometimes he sounds a little bit like Bono. He loves his voice and he says yes. He gets his chance.

Zach Person from (WOO-HOO) Houston, Texas is up next. He is a full-time musician. He chooses “Next Door Neighbor Blues” by Gary Clark, Jr. He was terrific. I loved him scatting with the guitar. Keith said it’s good and he has his own style. Jennifer really liked it and it is super unique. Harry said it was refreshing that they can come out and do their own thing. He enjoyed it. He gets three yes votes to Hollywood.

Colette Lush decided on “Who’s Lovin’ You” by Jackson 5. I liked it. Harry thought it was terrific. Jennifer said there are people who are born to sing and they don’t have to even try. She compared her to Carrie Underwood. Keith said she doesn’t sound like anyone. She has a timeless quality about the way she sing. She is through.

Avalon Young is a self-described tomboy and sings “XO” by Beyonce. I got goosebumps. Harry thought she had a very different voice in a good way. Jennifer liked her a lot, too. She gets her ticket to Hollywood.

Usen Isong is a background actor but wants a spot in the forefront on American Idol. He is singing “Not the Only One” by Sam Smith. He has a nice voice, but I think he tries to do too many runs. Harry thinks he is trouble. Jennifer loves his voice. He also receives three yes votes.

Alternative rock band singer Jaci Butler tries out with “It Will Rain” by Bruno Mars. There were some moments in there that I liked, but there were more moments that I didn’t like. She sounds good for an alternative rock band, but not for Idol. Jennifer said it was good and she liked it. Harry thought she was very talented. Keith said she moved during the song from being a band performer to sounding like herself and he liked it. She gets three yeses for Hollywood.

Stephany Negrete sings “Who’s Lovin’ You” by Jackson 5 (this seems to be a popular choice this season). She has a beautiful voice but I wasn’t moved to goosebumps. Jennifer wondered how it would have sounded if she didn’t worry so much about all the notes she had to hit and concentrated on what she was singing. Harry said she is among an incredibly talented group of people this year, but she needs to find her confidence about who she is. Keith liked her as a sum total. Jennifer would like to see her one more time and Harry and Keith were both yes as well.

The last audition for American Idol ever. Manny Torres is from Puerto Rico. He is going to sing “This Love” by Maroon 5. I love his voice and his presentation. Jennifer is digging him. His whole performance energy is present and joyous. Harry knew within milliseconds what he was all about. Keith said he has so much energy but he kept it focused. All three say yes and Manny gets the very last ticket to Hollywood.





American Idol More Atlanta, Little Rock, Philadelphia and San Francisco

1 02 2016

You know that this back and forth between these cities and then going back again is wreaking havoc on my blog titles.

The first contestant is the sister of one of my favorites last year Shi Scott. Miranda “Poh” Scott doesn’t want to miss out on her last chance for Idol and chose “Fairy Tale” by Sara Bareilles.   She has a similar sound to her sister. It is gritty and is rough around the edges. Harry told her not to tell people what to think (as far as saying negative things about herself). He thought that many things she did were more of the refreshing things they had seen that day. He said there is an “I don’t care” about putting the notes out there. Jennifer thought it was good. Her singing was interesting. Keith loves the rasp in her voice. One of his favorites that day. She is through to Hollywood.

Amelia Eisenhauer brought a flat-edged katana to the audition but didn’t plan to bring it into the room, so I’m not sure why she thought it was necessary unless it is a comfort object. “Many Rivers” by Anne Lennox. I got goosebumps. She has a nice bluesy quality. Jennifer thought it was beautiful. Keith thought it was soulful. Harry said she has this mysterious quality about her. He gave her advice to really try to hit those notes squarely. She is on her way to Hollywood.

In Little Rock, Joy Dove is a big personality. But is her voice as big as her presentation. She is singing “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” by Hank Williams. Keith added some harmony in there. No goosebumps, but I love her. She has a great voice and she is so bubbly and makes me feel happy inside. Harry thinks her spirit is awesome and she sings loud and he loves that. She gets three yes votes.

Back to Atlanta, Mackenzie Bourg put a medley together of songs from each of the judges. He is from Harry’s hometown of Layfette. I like him just because his last name is “Bourg” (As in Star Trek The Borg). He used “Stupid Boy” from Keith Urban, “Come By Me” by Harry Connick Jr., and “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” by Jennifer Lopez. And just when I thought he was done, he adds “Making Memories of Us” by Keith Urban. This boy is TALENTED! And I love his hair. Harry thought he was smart. It was charming and sweet. He has this quiet thing about him that was interesting to watch. Jennifer liked the sound of his voice that was pleasant to her. Keith loved his voice, too. He gets a ticket to Hollywood.

The Birdwell brothers were trying to beat the odds of both people getting through to Hollywood. Andrew and Aaron chose “Automatonic Electronic Harmonics” By David Michael Bennett. They are a big no for me. Keith felt like it was like a Gregorian acid trip. Harry said, “Gregorian Can’t.” They are politely given a no.

Jenna Renae broke the door going in. Hopefully that a good luck sign. She sings “She Don’t Love You” by Eric Paslay. GOOSEBUMPS!!!! Harry thinks she is a very soulful young woman. Jennifer felt like she was a performer and the first on that day that did. Keith liked it. She goes to Hollywood.

Mario Bonds predicts he will be the winner. “Inseparable” by Natalie Cole. He has a nice voice. I was wondering if he was nervous. He was flat on the high note. He is flat on all the notes in fact. He has a beautiful spirit. He has a very effective type of voice. Jennifer was going back and forth. Harry said his spirit is huge, his talent is not what they were looking for in a performance. Keith loves him as a person and sees his love of wanting this, but then he has to think of him as an artist. All three judges are a “no” and it crushed him.

The second to last audition #5 contestant who previously got a ticket to Hollywood, Adam Lasher, with a totally new look (can I say he looks so much hotter with this new look? Rawr!). He does a samba version of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” by Guns N Roses. Harry thought it was a terrific rendition of the song. He gets the golden ticket.

Emily Brooke is back! She was eliminated after the House of Blues performance. She has taken all the lessons to heart and applied them. This time she is singing “Careless” by RaeLynn. I don’t like that thing (the twang?) she does with her voice. It makes me want to put my hands on my ears. Jennifer thought she got so much better. Harry said this was a training ground for her last year. She applied it and he thought it was the best audition of the day and he liked her better than last year. It makes him very proud to be on American Idol because it fosters talent like her. Keith said the audience knows that there is no substitute for the work. She is going back to Hollywood.

 





American Idol Little Rock and Denver Part 2

27 01 2016

Best friends Amber Lynn and James Gray Dawson (the 8th) came down from Utah to sing for the judges. Amber chose “Unaware” by Allen Stone. I finally got goosebumps. That’s all that I need. The Philadelphia auditions for me were lacking of goosebumps. Harry said she is talented. He gave a critique to James that he was rushing the song. He needs to give her the foundation. Jennifer thought she had a lot of soul. She likes her whole vibe. Keith said he liked that she was in her own world. James VIII was also singing.  He picked John Legend “Sun Comes Up.” You could tell he was nervous because his cheeks were getting all red. I didn’t get goosebumps, but I LOVE his voice. Harry said it was refreshing to see people who were born to do this. Keith likes his groove. They both receive tickets to Hollywood.

Can Emily Wears sing as well as she auctions (and whoa—can she do that well)? She takes it down a notch singing “Bring on the Rain” by Jo Dee Messina. Sometimes she was just under the note. It was a pretty tone, but I don’t think she has enough though to make it to Hollywood. Harry said her singing needs a bit of work. Jennifer thought the voice was sweet but it was missing things that would make it whole and complete. Keith said the pitch was drifting everywhere. She said she was really nervous (oh man my heart feels for her). She does not get to go to Hollywood.

CJ (stands for Chris Johnson) is a professional musician from Memphis. He decides on a Hall and Oates song “You Make My Dreams.” I really like him. He has a great look and a nice sound. No goosebumps, but I’m hopeful. The judges sing some background vocals for it. Keith and Jennifer thought he sounded good. Harry thought it was cool. He gets a ticket to Hollywood.

Ethan Kuntz is quite an accomplished young man for 15 years of age. He trains hunting dogs as part of his family hunting breeding kennel business. He also is lead guitarist and singer in a blues band. He chose “Stormy Monday” by the Allman Brothers. He is an interesting kid. I like what he was doing. I think he would get eaten alive during Hollywood Week, but I am not sure he is quite 100% ready yet. Keith did not expect that voice and has mixed reactions. Jennifer thought he was a natural. Harry has no doubt in his mind that he is supposed to do this, and advises him not to doing anything else with the rest. That being said, however, it would be very difficult for him to get around the wide range of repertoire that American Idol requires of him. Harry does not think he is ready. Jennifer thinks he is. Keith is in the middle. He doesn’t think he is ready, but he thinks his voice is so good and gives him the yes.

Horse trainer Mary Williams wanted to sing old-time country for the judges. She chose Tammy Wynette’s “Until I Can Make It on My Own.” She surprised me. I didn’t expect that she was going to do well based on how she was being presented in the packet. I hate country music, but I love her voice. No goosebumps, but close. Jennifer had goosies on her leg. Keith was missing the feeling so it was more of something being performed than something being confessed. Harry thought the performance was a little bit clinical, but she gets a yes from him and Jennifer. Keith didn’t say anything since it didn’t matter, but she did press him for a yes or a no, and he said he would have been a no.

Xavier Soller is the end-game host for the Denver Nuggets had a warm up for the judges and Jennifer was the only one who got the basketball. He sang Garth Brooks “Friends in Low Places.” The singing was not terrible, but it was more of a hobby kind of singing. Jennifer and Keith both said no so there is no ticket.

Terrian Bass would like to make a statement to the world that you can be surrounded by misery but still find the good. She chose appropriately “Happy” by Pharrell. I felt badly for her. She has a nice voice, went off pitch quite a bit, and the energy was dragging in the song. Harry and Jennifer like her. Three yes votes.

Her name is Leann “Blue” McIsaac and has the blue hair to match. She is a self-described singing nomad. She specializes in coming up with songs for people on the spot. She planned to do that for the judges. Harry thought it sounded like a Jewish prayer song. Harry doesn’t think singing is for her but that shouldn’t take the wind out of her sails. Jennifer does not think American Idol is the right lane for her. Keith said no to the suitability for Idol.

Thomas Stringfellow’s parents takes in foster children and he would like to be an example to them to follow their dream no matter where it takes you. He chose “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran. Wow I did not expect that voice to come out of that young man. He is so unique. I got goosebumps. Yes, yes, yes from me. Harry admired him changing it up. Keith likes his vibe and liked that he changed it up. Jennifer said it was pleasing to her ear and a lot that was saying artist. Yes votes all around. I hope he makes it to the top 10.

Tywan “Tank” Jackson was up to 400 pounds and decided to take charge of his health. He has lost 60 pounds doing Zumba and then developed his own exercise routines that he calls Tankercise. He entertained the judges with his dancing, but then refocused and sang his audition song “Superstar” by Luther Vandross. He should have ditched the dancing before the singing audition because he was out of breath for the music. He has a nice voice (except for a bit of improvisation in the middle). Jennifer said he was one of his favorites. Harry asked if he knew Rev James Moore. His ability to dance, sing and entertain are powerful weapons in this competition. All three judges say yes.

John Wayne Schulz auditioned in season 10. He is part of the Marine Corps and is a flight instructor. In season 10 it had come down to him and Scotty McCreery making it through and they picked Scotty who went on to win that year. He was glad it happened because his mother’s cancer had returned and he was able to spend those last months with her before she died. He sang “The Dance” by Garth Brooks and with the story of what happened with his mom made me cry. Keith said it was refreshing not to hear a cover of Garth. Jennifer was enjoying listening to him. Harry thought it was the perfect, succinct performance. He is through to Hollywood.

Leah Harbert taught herself to sing with Britney Spears. She decides to tackle “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin. Jennifer looked like she was bracing herself for a massacre of the song. Frankly so was I. And it lived up to my expectations. Her vibrato and her effective nature of her voice were annoying me greatly. Harry suggested that she work with a vocal coach. It was a definite no. In the post interview she blamed a cold and her voice cracking on the reason why she didn’t make it.

Jordyn Simone chose “Who’s Lovin’ You” by the Jackson 5 to audition. I WISH I could sing like that at 15. WOW! I got goosebumps at the end of the song. She was born to sing. Jennifer is speechless. Harry said she showed them a complete set of skills. Jennifer said there was something special there. Keith said she had something unique. She is through to the next round.

The next group is a montage of female singers which included Kassy Levels (who Keith said there are people who want to be a singer and who just are and she belongs to the latter group); Rhea Raj is a 15-year-old student in Princeton, NJ (Jennifer liked the breathy quality of her voice). Both are moving to the next round in Hollywood.

Jake Dillon is hoping to leave his plumber apprenticeship behind and open a path to a music-making dream. He chose “Danny’s Song” by Kenny Loggins (one of my favorites of all time). I like his voice a lot. Keith and Jennifer were mouthing the words along with him. Harry thought it was good but good isn’t going to cut it for them. They are looking for spectacular and he didn’t see it in that performance. Keith likes him as a guy. He is worried that he is going to get killed out there in Hollywood. He can see the fire in him and he sees that. Harry is a no, Jennifer is a yes, and Keith is a yes.

The next contestant’s full name is a mouthful: Ashley Lillinoemaineleipuananiokaloni Adams-Soderbegh. She chooses “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles. Oh yes. I love her. She is unique. Jennifer said there were a few things she liked but she wanted a little bit more of output from her soul. Harry said she is interesting but she doesn’t fit in anywhere. He likes that sort of mystery there. Keith said he liked it. Harry and Keith say yes; Jennifer says no.

The next contestant is either brave or stupid in choosing an Adele song, “Make You Feel My Love.” He was born in New York but grew up in Moscow. Andrew Nazarbekian started singing and captured my attention right away. Goosebumps!!!!   Oh my God. He is awesome. Harry said the best part of that is that he came in here and sang. He receives three yes votes.

Elvie Shane is the next contestant. He chose “House of the Rising Sun” by Animal. He is incredible. I had goosebumps throughout the song. Harry said he has this quality about him that he is about the music first. Jennifer thought he had a spectacular voice. It cuts through the whole entire room. Keith loves that he loves to do this and it is contagious. He gets the yes vote from all three.








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 62 other followers