Marrialle Sellers: “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. The judges liked it. Oops. Keith “loved it.” I’m a no. It was pitchy dawg. I like her look though.
Troy Durden, a 29-year-old club singer, from Boston, MA, doing “Over The Rainbow.” I thought the performance was going to be a disaster but it wasn’t. He has a good sense of humor. He gets 3 yeses. I would say yes as well. Keith asked him to do the song while twerking and Troy happily obliges. They all say, “It’s a long shot, but it just might twerk.”
Sam Woolf, a 17-year-old student from Bradenton, Florida. He has had a tough life. He sang “Lego House” by Ed Sheeran. I got goosebumps. If you are a first-time reader to my blogs about singing and dancing shows, my goosebumps never lie. The young ladies are going to like him; he has a good vibe. He got 3 yeses.
There is a collage of singers who all received a yes. Kevin Cassidy, Ethan Thompson, Lindsay Pedicone. I liked all three especially Ethan. Lindsey might struggle with theme nights though. All three made it through.
And then, TA-DA Jillian Jensen. This woman has problems. I didn’t like her AT ALL. (SARCASM METER HEAVY TILT). I ADORE HER. Glad she made it. I would have stopped watching had she not. Her face was priceless when Harry Connick Jr. jokingly said “no.” She sounds as brilliant as ever.
Taylor Hildack (aka The Winker) is a jazz vocalist at a community college. She tried singing, “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood. I didn’t think she was good enough. It was sharp and flat and all over the place. Jennifer said yes, but Harry and Keith said no.
A collage of clips with contestants getting “no” responses was next along with the fallout from the responses.
Stephanie Hanvey, a 16-year-old lifeguard, from Howell, New Jersey was up next singing Jessie J’s “Price Tag.” I did not like her gaspy breath at the end of all the lines of lyrics. The judges, however, gave her three yeses.
Morgan Deplitch, a 15-year-old student from Somerset, MA. “My mother loves you.” Poor Harry. She tried singing “Ooh La La” by Grace Potter. It was too breathy for me. Harry did not like that she was a 15-year-old singing that song with those lyrics. Jennifer said he was being such a dad. But Morgan is through with three yeses.
James Earl made me laugh. He did not even know what a Walkman was and reminded Harry that he is “old” because he wasn’t even born then. He sounded weird, like he was imitating three different singers while he was singing an original composition and add helium to that mix. He did not get to advance.
Jacqueline Verna, age 18, a student from West Chester, PA. Harry is not impressed with her pentatonics (i.e. the vocal gymnastics). As soon as Jennifer said, “come back next year,” she started walking out before Harry even got a chance to say “no.” And Keith had said yes so Harry could have changed his mind.
Austin Percario, a 17-year-old student from Warren, New Jersey. He comes with a stage mom. And he looks like Justin Bieber. Two strikes already for me. But WAIT! He makes a point to say that mom will NOT be with him if he makes it through to Hollywood week. He sings, “Titanium” by Sia. I’d like his voice if he got rid of that breath issue. He makes it through to the next round.
Kaitlyn Jackson, a 15-year-old student from Norwich, New York. She sings an original song that she wrote for her grandfather after he suffered a heart attack, but before he passed away the next day. She has a beautiful voice, and yes, I got goosebumps. Wow! At 15 she could keep her composure for her tender age in a song that is emotionally charged for her. I am thoroughly impressed. Three yeses. And in keeping with the Austin/Boston rhyme night, Jennifer says, “She’s smart and has heart.”
It is now day two in Boston. Keith London, a 21-year-old, who does odd jobs, from Hazelton, Pennsylvania. He sang, “Roar” by Katy Perry. If someone can improve this song in any way, they have my vote. I loved this acoustic version. Keith thought it was fantastic. Harry said okay. Jennifer loved it. Keith thought he was unique. Keith and Jennifer put him through to Hollywood week.
From Tauton, Massachusetts, Sam Atherton, age 23 and unemployed, boldly states, “I don’t practice anymore” because he thinks he is that good. This is going to be a complete disaster. A true artist never stops learning and practicing. Keith tells him to do the worst of the three songs he wants to sing for them. He croons part of his original “….love doesn’t last forever…” and I’m hoping neither does the rest of the song. Harry chimes in the same sentiment. This guy creeps me out. He claims that he is a better musician than JLo, Keith and “Tony Connick Jr” combined.
In a new segment called #IdolHollywood or #IdolHome, Christine singing “House of the Rising Sun is presented. Fifty-six percent says Hollywood and 44% say “IdolHome.” She is through.
Shanon Wilson, age 24, is a student from Houston (where I live) in the house! I was not sure about him until he went into the falsetto. The falsetto sold me. He is through to the next round.
I think Stephanie Petronelli, age 22, should stick to cheerleading. She said “Ooh La La” by Grace Potter and while it was better than the version heard by Morgan, it wasn’t great. Harry was a “no.” Jennifer said yes, and Keith was on the fence, but ultimately said yes. However, Harry said he changes his vote if it meant all four cheerleaders. (Such a funny guy).
The focus changes to the Austin auditions. Keith was wearing a “Keep Austin Weird” t-shirt. It’s unclear if Jacob Fortis, from Heartsprings, Arkansas is through or not (maybe we find out on Thursday’s episode).
Durann Cree, age 17, a student from Austin tried to sing “Cupid’s Got a Shotgun” by Carrie Underwood, but she was not ready yet. Jennifer said “yes” but she had a lot of work to do. Keith and Harry, however, said no.
Micheal (not a typo) Gonzales from Waco, Texas, age 18, builds trailers. He is a “hell no” for me. Lyden McCown, age 28, a store manager from Jacksonville, Texas, and Nikki Pool, a 19-year-old student, from Sherwood, Arkansas, journeys also end there. This was followed by another collage of “yes” responses of unknown contestants. Isabell Gallegos, a 17-year-old student from Cedar Hill, Texas is through to the next round as well.
Savion Wright, from Jasper, Texas, suffered from ADHD with a lot of behavior issues until he found music. Music was his medicine (I love that). He sang an original song and I am now a fan!! Goosebumps! Harry jokes that he is going to have to learn how to be nice to people. They played with him telling him “no.” He says his mom is JLo’s biggest fan, but I think he is wrong because, Savion, all she sees is you in this moment.
The next group of three all received yeses from the judges. I liked the little bit I heard from Terrica Curry, a 20-year-old recreation center staff member, from North Little Rock, Arkansas. Out of the three, I liked Justin Fira, a 24-year-old valet attendant, the best. I fear that Shelby Comey, a 15-year-old student from Mason, Texas, is going to be eaten alive in Hollywood. She sang “Delta Dawn” and I did not like it at all.
“Up To the Mountain” was the song choice for Madelyn Patterson, a 22-year-old hairdresser from Jackson, Georgia. She was a surprise to me and I loved it. Goosebumps! She got two yeses. Harry wanted to give her some advice, but he said he would save it for Hollywood.
The next three contestants also made it through to Hollywood. I liked Viviana Villalon‘s Maroon 5 song on the ukulele. I also liked Savannah Young, a 17-year-old lifeguard from Odessa, Texas. But Ben Boone is the one that I liked the most. He is a 22-year-old student from Pineville, Louisiana and has a very unique voice. I also liked his eyes. Jennifer said it was her first goosebumps for the season.
I thought Malcolm Allen, a 21-year-old grocer from Wrightsville, Arkansas, but I was very surprised. He does not need an air guitar in order to compete. If he could marry music, he totally would. I like his sense of humor, but it was the thing that made me first think his performance would suck. He received a triple yes from Jennifer so the boys’ opinion did not matter.
Rolando Guerrero, a 21-year-old server from Bastrop, Texas, was overcome with emotion at seeing his idol, Jennifer Lopez. She said she wanted “to crush his face.” He planned to sing, “Hold It, Don’t Drop It.” I wanted to love it, but it was not good. He receive three no’s, but I don’t think he left feeling like he lost anything. He got to meet and hug JLo.
Poor Harry Connick Jr. He gets no love. No one seems to know him, and Idol catches all the contestants who freely admit to it. They should get an immediate “no” for not doing their homework.
Then the best part of the night walks in. In walks Sugar Land, Texas resident, Munfarid Zaidi. I think he believes there is a film called, “Something About Harry” because he goes to sleep reading Harry’s Wikipedia entry. Harry goes over and picks him up, showcasing the fact that Harry indeed works out. Thank goodness Munfarid is pretty thin. Harry tells him to blow them away on the first song and he will “pick him up and hold him like a baby” for the second song. Munfarid sings “Crazy For You” by Adele. He surprised me because I figured it would suck, but it didn’t. I love him! Harry holds him for song number two, which he decides to sing, “I Just Want You Close.” Jennifer and Keith are beside themselves in hysterics. What an awesome way to end the premiere episode.
That made it 20 tickets from Austin, 25 from Boston, and 1 from Michigan (the first audition they showed at the top of the show) for a grand total of 46.
Next up: More from Austin and San Francisco.