American Idol Season 14 New Orleans Auditions

25 01 2015

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nThe tour stopped in Harry’s hometown of New Orleans but things didn’t start out in a good way.

The only reason Drew Plaisance age 23, got through to the judges was because his second cousin used to babysit Harry. He brought pictures to prove it. He said Harry would run around playing piano and would never shut up. He tries to sing “P.Y.T.” by Michael Jackson but that has to be one of the worst auditions they have shown in recent years. This is followed by a string of terrible.

In walks New Orleans’ salvation, Angelica Joseph but she is called Jelly. She tackles Adele and does really wonderfully. I love her hair too. Three yeses.

Tiffany Stringer from Southlake, Texas is a bundle of energy. She won’t make it to the top 12. She has a decent voice but there was less singing and too much pop. Harry said it felt really “drill team” to him. Vocally it was not strong enough. Keith said it was entertaining and he says yes. Harry is a no. Jennifer Lopez loves her and says yes.

What does the next contestant say in the box before the judges? That he needs to go to the bathroom. Too funny. Grayson Turner, at age 15, from Spartanburg, SC sings an original composition. I like him. I think the young girls will go crazy. Jennifer says he has a passion that he was born with. Harry thinks his sound is original (but I immediately thought Rob Thomas. He is going to Hollywood.

Yoga instructor Sarah Quintana, a 28-year-old from New Orleans sings jazz while Harry plays the piano. She sounded awesome. Harry likes her but doesn’t think Idol is the way she should be going. She appreciates his honesty but she still wants to go to Los Angeles. The judges all laugh. She looks like a young Susan Sarandon the more I look at her. Harry says no. Jennifer said that although she sounded good on the song, she doesn’t think she could win Idol so it is a no from her. Keith would have said yes, but the two no responses invalidates his vote.

Harry took us on a tour of thru Ninth Ward that was devastated from Hurricane Katrina. He partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build 80 new homes there. Harry is an amazing human being. Quentin Alexander comes from the Ninth Ward but works as a retail associate. He sings ‘Royals” by Lorde. I would say yes. I liked most of it. Harry says he has a great voice and great style. He can push further and take risks. Jennifer agrees. Three yeses!

Mikey Duran went to the same Jesuit High School and is now at LSU. He sings an original composition “My Demise.”  I really like his voice. Keith loves the song. Jennifer said he surprised her with his voice. It was unique and really beautiful. Absolutely yes from all three judges.

The next three ladies think they have what it takes to be the next new artist on the radio. Returning to audition is Nalani Quintello, a 19-year-old student from Orange Park, Florida. Nalani went to the final judgment but was cut before the top 10 were announced. Tori Martin, a 20-year-old, Azle, Texas musician belts out a country song. I like her singing but not her headband (I am not on the headband bandwagon). Twenty-four-year-old teller Hope Windle from Hot Springs, AR hopes her country crooning will get her a ticket. Hope got two yeses from Keith and Jennifer but Harry says no. Tori gets a ticket. Nalani gets another try for Hollywood.

Alexa Chapa makes it through on her blues song.

Ricky Dale Hendricks has the perfect country name according to Harry. He sings “The Thunder Rolls.”  It is average. I don’t see Idol in his future this year. He is only 17 so he has many years to get better. Keith thinks he has natural talent but it is flying all over the place right now. It’s like getting a phenomenal car but you don’t know how to drive it yet. Jennifer liked the way he moved his body , the way he smiled within his song, and the way every lyric made him feel something. Now he needs to get his voice to feel all that. Harry says he still sounds like a young man. Only time or putting him in an arena where the big dogs are help that? He gets three yeses. Harry wants to see him in a ring with Mike Tyson. I think his ear is going to be bit off by the other contestants frankly.

Dakota Suarez is drag queen called Bianca Jade. He hails from Falfurrias, Texas. I was rooting for him but his voice was not there for Idol. Harry says he has a nice voice but not an incredible voice. Jennifer says yes. Keith is the deciding yes vote.

Adam Lasher, age 27, is Carlos Santana’s nephew. He sings an original song. I like it a lot—bordering on goosebumps. Keith loves his voice and artistry. Harry loved everything. Jennifer does too. It is a YES!

Erika Washington is from Mobile, Alabama tackles Beyoncé’s “Halo.”  I love her voice. Goosebumps! Harry thinks she has a gift. An easy yes to Hollywood.

And that wraps up New Orleans. San Francisco is their final stop next week on their road to Hollywood.





American Idol Season 14 Minneapolis Auditions

25 01 2015

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nIt was a funny start to the Minneapolis, MN auditions with the judges getting locked in their escort vehicle.

Shannon Berthiaume has never sung in front of people before. She is a 17-year-old from St. Paul, MN and chooses “House of the Rising Sun” I love her overall tone but there were some parts that bordered on shouting. Jennifer thought she is a crazy artist in a best and most beautiful way. Keith thinks it is the best raw talent they have seen. Three yeses.

Kemil Casey, a 19-year-old nanny from Buffalo, MN, sang the first notes of “Human Nature” by Michael Jackson and I disliked it. Harry felt it was oddly entertaining. Jennifer felt that he probably has a career in show business just not that one (singing). Keith felt he had a great heart but the vocals aren’t there.

Apparently Harry was so tired he ate a whole bag of kettle corn in his sleep the prior night and doesn’t remember eating it.

Morgan Ovens, age 24, a professional organizer from Venice, CA sang “Hand in My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette. She sounds lovely but nothing stand-out interesting about it. Gabrielle Noe’l is a 23-year-old leasing sales manager from Minneapolis sounded lovely too, but there have been so many unique voices in the competition she would have to do something really stand out in order to make it. Twenty-three-year-old Courtney Guns is a bartender from Bemidji, MN and is a little too nasal for my liking. Yeses for all the ladies.

The next contestant is a hoot. She cried at Keith Urban concerts, saw “Selena” with Jennifer Lopez, and “Hope Floats” with Harry Connick Jr. Keith likes that Vanessa Andrea came well prepared. I love this young lady’s personality. Her husband is active-duty Air Force currently stationed in Minit, North Dakota. Can she sing? SHE CAN!!! She calls her husband (?) on the phone and the judges tell him each their yes vote. And she thinks Keith smells AMAZING.

Zach Johnson, age 20, is a student from Fargo, North Dakota and is one of those people whose talking voice does not match his singing voice. He sings, “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Keith Whitley. I thought with his silly energy it was going to be a disastrous audition. It was anything but. Keith mentioned if he liked Garth Brooks and he exuberantly said Garth was coming to Minneapolis and he said, “Tickets! Now!” Harry likes him a lot and loves his energy and spirit. Harry gives he some advice–if you don’t talk with a country accent, don’t sing with a country accent because that is not who you are. I don’t know about that. Opera singers don’t necessarily sing in their native tongue. Also how many artists from other countries sound American? Keith says yes because he has a good voice. Jennifer said she would have liked to have heard him sing without the accent. Zach gets a ticket. Keith says that if he comes to his Sioux Falls concert he will let Zach sing with him. True to his word two weeks later he does. Keith is such a generous person.

Aaron Bissell, age 17, from Cedar City. Iowa provided me with me first goosebumps from Minneapolis. Harry jokes around about his coffeehouse experiences where people would tell him to shut up. He goes to Hollywood.

Cindy Jo Scholer is a sportswoman who has killed a bear and also a pre-K teacher from North Branch, MN. This 26-year-old sings “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. Jennifer felt she kept losing the melody of the song in an attempt to show off her singing voice. Keith says lose all this stuff (and he motions to her face and body) and get rid of the theatrics because she has a really good voice. She has talent in the center of her voice. Harry felt like she was yelling. Jennifer is a no. Keith is a yes. Harry says yes.

Just when they were talking about Harry wasn’t going to say no to that girl because she killed a bear last week, in walks the next audition who looks like–a bear. Harry screams, “He’s alive!” The unnamed contestant starts singing but the outcome of his audition is undetermined.

Matt with an unknown last name makes it through to Hollywood.

Jacob Tolliver, age 20, from Portsmouth, Ohio is currently in Vegas as the Jerry Lee Lewis understudy in a show called “Million Dollar Quartet.” He has mad piano skills! His voice was so-so. Harry says Jerry Lee Lewis was already done. Keith adds who are you? Keith wants him to play something else. He tries to sing “Stay with Me” but I don’t like it. Three yeses.

Hannah Mrozak, age 16, Richfield, Wisconsin sings “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” by Etta James. She has a lovely voice. Going to Hollywood!

Kristi Kroker, age 21, a student from La Crosse, WI had a few pretty notes but it went sideways in other places. Jennifer felt like it is more like a high school audition versus an American Idol audition. She leads off a string of “no” responses.

They leave the best for last or at least one with a profound story. Mark Andrew, age 29, is a landscape foreman who just had a baby with his wife. He is a hometown boy and feels this is his last opportunity to get a break in the industry. Goosebumps! He has a Cat Stevens vibe. Keith asks him to sing something else. He oddly chooses “The Monkey Song” from Jungle Book. He gets a ticket to Hollywood.





American Idol Season 14 New York Auditions

22 01 2015

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nKeith Urban could not be part of the judges’ panel so Adam Lambert was his substitute. He was a great mentor so I look forward to hearing him judge.

Bethpage’s Sal Valentinetti has a huge personality. He sings Sinatra. It’s decent. Harry thinks he is talented but not for Idol. Adam thinks the Idol viewing audience would love him. Jennifer and Adam are yes votes; Harry is a no.

J. None brought Mr. Crispy (an old stuffed bear) into his audition to give him comfort and he turned into G-rated Ted with Jennifer Lopez courtesy of Harry. J. None is a 24-year-old amusement park performer from Orlando (I am betting you it is Disney). He does a good job with “My Prerogative” by Bobby Brown. Harry channels his critique through Mr. Crispy that he liked him the minute he saw him and thought he sang very well. Jennifer agreed with Mr. Crispy. Mr. Crispy flirted with Adam saying he was so friggin’ handsome and Adam had a great comeback–“I’m really not into bears.” Adam thought he had a good pocket and groove. All three vote yes.

Jax came with a touching story about her father who was a first responder on 9/11. I expected the audition to suck and was so happy to be proven wrong. She is a true artist with a lovely rendition of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles. She has one of those awesome unique voices. I was completely captivated. She said, “Not to kiss butt,” but she voted for Adam. Harry thought it sounded strong and lovely. Jennifer said she was shy and confident at the same time and Harry shouted “Shonfident!” Adam was drawn in immediately. He felt her energy was warm, grounded, and earthy. She is through to Hollywood with three confident yeses. Her mom planted a kiss on Ryan right on the lips.

Street performer Johnny Arco was arrested for playing violin in the subway system and giving attitude to the cops. He hails from Bushwick, NY. He decides to sing a Radiohead song. He is interesting. Harry thinks he is super talented but that Idol is not the right venue. Jennifer and Adam agree. It is a no for him but at least he got some exposure.

A self-described glamorous subway performer, (and I saw a Bedford Ave stop (I lived on Bedford Ave after I was born), Najah Lewis can make 300 in about 3 hours. She did “Payphone” by Maroon 5 (which is my ringtone). Her voice was very affective but if I closed my eyes I did liked it better. Harry was captivated. Adam felt she did things that were inventive and interesting. She goes through.

In a collage of blonde ambition, Maddie Walker returns to Idol having auditioned last year. She is a bit more polished this year I think. Courtney Zahn did well and got a fashion seal of approval from JLo. Jackie Ness did a great job too. Three is a charm and they all get tickets.

His father is in the cast of Stomp. His mother was the first black woman to win Miss Mississippi. His mother embarrasses him by announcing on television that her son is still a virgin. Qaasim Middleton sings “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder. He mixes his voice with sound effects and it so cool. He has such an upbeat personality and great look as well. Harry compliments him on his craft and going to school to work on it is impressive. Adam enjoyed his falsetto and scatting. He is going to Hollywood.

Bridgette Guerrette is a retail associate from Latham, NY. She tries to tackle Alanis Morissette’s “Uninvited“. I did not like it at all. Adam says no to Idol but the keep working on it. Jennifer doesn’t feel like Idol is right for her and also says no. Two no responses do Harry did not need anything.

Harry decides he wants to hear Adam do his audition over do they can enjoy it. Adam indulged them. They edited it to cut between the original audition and the present and he sounds even better now.

Adam Ezegelian, age 20, is a toy designer. He is from Wantagh, NY. He brought caricatures he drew of Harry, Jennifer and Keith but made one up of Adam Lambert on the way to the audition. He sings “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf, a song Adam Lambert covered on Idol (and I still have that single in my ITunes). Adam is a character but I don’t think it was a good audition. Adam Lambert asks him to sing one more thing and he sings “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. I preferred this song. It is still rough around the edges. Harry thinks he is great. Jennifer wasn’t sold with the first song but liked the second. Three yeses.

Katherine Winston is an 18-year-old musician from Lenox, Massachusetts. She makes it through.

Travis Findlay is a star in the making. He is a music producer. Life circumstances did not allow him to go to Berklee College of Music. He is 20 years old and from Baldwin, NY. He sang Rhianna’s “Stay“. Goosebumps but he has to not do so many runs. Some were less successful than others. He also has a great memorable look about him. Harry said he is so talented. Jennifer said he was a star. The audition was pretty but not perfect but he has that indescribable something else that they often get asked but can never really answer. Adam thinks this is the type of show that is made for him. He thinks he can do very well on the show. Ticket to Hollywood!

Benjamin Farmer, a 20-year-old sales associate from Cincinnati, OH sang “Proud Mary”. He was sharp, flat and changing keys. He starts off a montage of other Idol hopefuls that stood out for the wrong reasons.

Arianna (aka Yanni G) is a 23-year-old cover band singer from Newington, CT, who did “the cup song” where she used a Solo cup to bang out a rhythm, and sang Anna Kendrick’s “When I’m Gone.” She has a nice voice but the cup was distracting. Jennifer thought her voice was sweet but she did not get to hear what she is capable of doing because of the cup. Nick Fradiani, age 28, a musician from Guilford, CT is also auditioning. He sings “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel. Yanni G goes over to the side and you can tell by her face she is unhappy about the critique and maybe worried Nick will go through and not herself. I think Nick has artistry. He is taking a song and changing its arrangement. Yanni G sang the song exactly like the original song and brought a cup gimmick thinking it would be the thing that would get the judges to remember her. But in the end her love and support shines through when he gets the ticket to Hollywood and she does not.

Hollywood Anderson, age 22, is a busker from NY, NY. He sings an original composition. Goosebumps!!!!! Jennifer says, while the young man is singing, that she has goosies and wants to record this song tomorrow. Adam was grooving. Adam said there were so many dimensions to what he just did. It was so interesting and emotional to listen to. Harry said unquestionably the best audition that day, the best audition of the last 2 days, and possibly from the last 4 cities. He shares that he moved to New York 2 years ago and just learned to play this past year when he was given the guitar at Covenant House by Norm Lotz. And Norm gets to go inside to meet the judges. Hollywood is given a ticket to….Hollywood. I am moved by his gratitude for the chance and I am in tears. Jennifer is too.





Amercan Idol Season 14 Kansas City Auditions

21 01 2015

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nThe American Idol bus went to 11 cities and stand-out contestants were invited to Kansas City. Zack Kaltenbach lives in Lee’s Summit and went to the same high school as David Cook. He decides to sing “Grenade” by Bruno Mars which is not really a good audition choice. Harry said it was a flat audition. Keith says the voice needs work. Jennifer says yes and Keith says yes.

Naomi Tatsuoka, age 24, from Portland Oregon is quite the personality but will her voice match? Goosebumps! But then there were these weird moments where she lost me from being over the top. The panel got mixed vibes from her. Keith said she can tap into emotion without the dramatics. Three yeses.

Jhameel, age 24, suffers from OCD and explained very eloquently why he presents himself the way he does to satisfy the tic in his brain. I like his voice. He is unique. Keith thought it was unusual. Yes to Hollywood. I thought

Jasmin Pinena was going to walk in and bomb the way they were setting it up, but this Bronx girl delivered–at first–but she went flat and never recovered from being off key. And the shouting was not good. Jennifer was grimacing. It was a no.

Lovey James (real name Kirsten). She sounds good but it sounds like the original singer of the song. She gets three yeses.

Jess Lamb, age 28, from Cincinnati, Ohio felt she was ready to finally audition. Love her. Harry was someone who inspired her and he looked like a beaming proud papa when she played. Jennifer says she is an artist. Keith said he would stop and listen at an open mic night. Harry says she is the definition of creativity. Harry indulges her in a piano jam and it really makes her day!

“Big Sexy” Ron Wilson is a 24-year-old accountant from Gretna, Florida who was discovered on the bus tour. Feeling shut out by his serenade to Jennifer, Keith and Harry talk and walk out the door. Jennifer loved it. Harry thinks he needs to balance his singing with showmanship. Three yeses.

Ian Subsara, a 28-year-old theater actor from Alden, NY should probably stick to acting. His rendition of “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” was not making me feel like dancing at all. The judges have a little fun with him. It is a no from all.

Ashley Lusk, age 15, from Eureka, Missouri, has a good voice. Not sure about unique though. Josh Sanders, age 26, who is in music retail, from Kannapolis, North Carolina has a great voice. It was so great to see returning contestant Casey Thrasher from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. All three are through.

Joey Cook wants to bring uniqueness back to mainstream. I love her blue hair by the way. She is a 23-year-old server from Woodbridge, Virginia. I really like her voice but I think the accordion should have not have been in there. It was overshadowing her great vocals for me. Keith said she was his favorite voice of the whole day. Jennifer and Harry love her too. Three yeses.

Alexis Gomez is a self-described hippie, Mexican, hillbilly cross. She is a 22-year-old Spanish tutor from Dayton, Ohio. I love her look and she has a good country voice, but remember I don’t like 99% of country music. Jennifer loves the whole package. Harry thinks she was good but not spectacular. Keith was a no. Jennifer says yes. Harry says yes.

Anton Bushner, a 19-year-old farmhand from Parsons, Kansas tells Keith he is his favorite country singer. He is an interesting person. When he sings, his personality completely changes. Keith was tearing up. Harry likes the way he stands, likes the way he shows respect for Keith. Three yeses.

Stephanie Gummelt , an 18-year-old cashier from St. Joseph, MO chose to sing an original song. She has an interesting folk vibe. Jennifer really likes her. Harry wants her to put more breadth of experience behind it and he is a no, but Jennifer and Keith say yes.

Ashley Stehle, age 15, a lifeguard from St. Charles, MO brought a heartwarming story with her. Her parents have been deaf her entire life but through technology her father would hear her sing for the first time. She chose the wrong song. Her father looked like he died and went to heaven but how in the world would the judges be able to say no to her. Jennifer shares that she is having trouble singing a capella. She is switching keys, singing flat. Harry compliments the love of her family and commitment but she is not ready. Keith says it is so heartbreaking because she is a beautiful girl. She asks for one more chance. But the judges all say no and Keith says how heartbreaking it is. I want to support the judges for making a hard but correct decision.

Ellen Petersen is a 22-year-old bluegrass band performer from Branson, MO. Ironically Keith was wearing his Branson MO t-shirt to the auditions that day. She has a sweet voice and anyone who can yodel impresses me. Everyone loves it and they think there is so much more in there untapped. They have a little fun with “The Beverly Hillbillies” theme song. Jennifer had never heard of it before. She claims they didn’t have that in The Bronx. I was living in Brooklyn and they got it there.  Perhaps just wrong decade.

Kohlton Pascal is a very insightful young man for being 21 years of age. He travels around playing his music. He sings an original song for the judges. He has a unique voice. Three yeses.





American Idol Season 14 Nashville Auditions

21 01 2015

Day 1

In a new twist, American Idol introduces the top 24. But of course they won’t let you see their faces. They sound like a great bunch but it is a studio recording so of course they sound great. It is the live show that makes or breaks a contestant. Wrong song choice and poor execution even just one week can send a person home. A lack of connection to the audience can cause the same kind of outcome.

The first contestant actually played with Keith Urban at an award show in 2012. Riley Bria, age 17, from Springhill, TN, sang, of course, a Keith Urban song. I liked it. Almost sounded like Ryan Cabrera at times when he got soft in his tone. Harry and Jennifer felt he was born to do this and he is through.

Confident Priscilla Barker, age 19, sang “Delta Dawn” by Tanya Tucker. I liked parts of it but not all of it. Sometimes when she sings loudly it sounds like shouting. When she added the guitar she got a little pitchy. There was nothing stand-out about her voice. She had a lovely personality though. Harry says yes. Jennifer says no because it needed to be more special. Keith thinks she needs a better song choice and gives her a shot at Hollywood week. Ryan takes her mother in to meet Keith Urban and he graciously gives her a hug.

Cameron Bedell, age 25, sings “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray Montagne. He hails from Wichita but now calls Nashville home. Lovely voice. My first goosebumps of this season. My goosebumps never lie. Keith wanted to play–errrr…jam…with him. Three yeses!

Cut to a segment where one of the contestants did not know the judges names. Oops! That’s not good. And apparently neither was she because it doesn’t look like she made it through as she was in the next montage of people who were sent home without a ticket to Hollywood.

The next contestant says if she didn’t have music she would either be dead or pregnant or part of a gang or in jail. I am glad she has music too. Amber Kelechi Walker, age 15, from Memphis took on Elvis. As much as she has had a hard life, I don’t think she is at all ready. Perhaps it was the song choice. She wasn’t hitting the notes perfectly (just under or over) and she was yelling. Jennifer says yes. Harry likes Amber but thinks she needs more time getting her vocals together. He says no but softie Keith says yes. I am not sure Jennifer and Keith did her a service–she is going to get eaten alive in Hollywood. And let the “baby” begin! But I like Amber says that she is going to work hard to win Harry over. She has a great attitude.

Kyle Blaine Corman, a 24-year-old produce stocker from Staten Island doesn’t think there is much of a music scene up there. He also does not like old ladies touching his hair. “Give A Little Bit” by the Goo Goo Dolls. It was not good. I am thinking there is no music scene in his eyes because the talent in New York is just way above his level of musicality, or lack thereof. Keith gets instantly annoyed that he tries another song when they are trying to give him feedback. It is a no. His excuse was he lost his voice. Perhaps next time he can try a different song.

Kory Wheeler, age 26, literally works at the coffeehouse across the street from the event hall where auditions were being held. He sang “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” His voice is interesting. Was it my favorite of all those showcased? No. But maybe second best. Three yeses. Ryan and crew go across the street to let his boss know.

Michael Simeon age 20 from Lumberton, Mississippi wants off his farm so he sings “Stay with Me” by Sam Smith for the judges. Love his voice. It has a great amount of restraint and a lovely falsetto. Three yeses. He wants to slow dance with Jennifer and Harry and Keith provide the music. And Jennifer graciously does it while Michael sings and Keith harmonizes. And he is beat-red embarrassed!

Jennifer says that she is a great girlfriend–she just picks the wrong BLEEP-ing guys. That made me laugh.

Emily Brooke, age 15, from West Palm Beach, FL, did shows and saved her money to come to the audition. Her song is “Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood. She is amazing for someone 15 years of age. Jennifer felt she was telling her a story and she executed it beautifully. Keith loved it and her raw talent. Harry thinks she is cool and that she knows who she is. Of course she gets a ticket. Later Harry thinks she has the most potential out of all of them.

Day 2

Andrew Annello, age 22, sang “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” He lives in Springville, Alabama. His vocals were okay but there is too much a good thing (over the top personality) and his performance somewhat affective. Keith felt like it was a caricature of a performance. Harry thought it was silly. Harry asked him to sing 10 seconds of something without the silly. He sang “My Girl”. Harry gives him some advice about when to bring the silly. Jennifer and Harry like him. He gets three yeses.

Wait! Did I just spot Savion Wright in the holding room?

Loren Lott, age 21, an actress from San Diego, CA sang “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. Harry thought she looked like a superstar. She is a lot of fun, but there is something about the tonality of her voice that hurt my ears. I have really sensitive hearing. Harry felt like she was an actress who was singing. Then she started singing Whitney Houston and it was not good. It was all over the place flat and sharp. Keith says yes. Harry says no. Jennifer says yes.

Trevor Douglas from Fort Worth is a 16-year-old science geek. He sings “Sing” by Ed Sheeran. I like him a lot! His falsetto needs a bit of work but his guitar skills are mad. Jennifer likes his quirky and loved the falsetto. Harry likes his confidence. Keith said yes, Jennifer said yes.

Piper Jones, a 24-year-old substitute teacher from Nashville gave me my first goosebumps of day 2. Absolutely yes.

Little girl Hope did a great job with “Let It Go“. She sports an adorable 1/2 after her number, the number given to her mother, Kelley Kime. Kelley is a teacher from Fairfax, VA has a great voice. And she is through to Hollywood. The kid is an actress in the making.

Never sing Adele unless you are going to crush it especially if you are only 15. Sammie Lester did not. She sounded like she could have sounded good had nerves not gotten the better of her. I have been in those shoes. It is horrible.

The montage of the next four were people who felt like this is what they were meant to be doing, one even quitting her job to audition, but they all did not make it.

Garrett Miles has been blind since birth but that has not stopped him being a musician. He hails from Phenix City, Alabama. He sounds great. Harry thinks he has a gift. He additionally sings one of Jennifer’s songs from Selena. He gets a yes from everyone.

Clark Beckham, age 22, is a street performer in Nashville but comes from White House, TN. Second goosebumps of the night. Loved it. He sang “It’s A Man’s World“. Keith says yes. Harry doesn’t think he is ready yet. Jennifer says yes.

Gina Venier, age 24, from Dixon, IL, is a one-woman band. She sings “Put the Gun Down“.  She has an interesting voice. Three yeses.

Alex Shier, age 19, from Port Huron, MI is a musician and he is awesome. I was worried when he was singing at the auditions that he was going to be one of those people who sang without playing the guitar he brought along but I was wrong. He had a few sharps. My concern is that he had a good voice but does he have a unique enough voice to make it through. Jennifer remembers him from last year. It was better than last year. Harry says no but Jennifer and Keith say yes.

Cody Fry is a touring musician and comes from a musical family. Third goosebumps of the night. He sang “Over the Rainbow.” Keith likes him. Harry liked it. Keith and Harry say yes but Jennifer was on the fence.

Hector Montenegro is a master cosmetologist from West Palm Beach Florida. He sings “Too Close“. Harry says he sings very well but there is something missing in his presentation. Jennifer thought there was an innate swagger about him. Keith liked it. He goes to Hollywood.

Sarina-Joi Crowe returns!!!!!! And of course she is through. After she left Harry thought she sounded better than last year.

Jake Black, Alison Peratikos and Steffi Ledbetter all make it through. Jake is the one that was stand-out for me in this group.

SAVION!!!!!!! I was crushed when he got cut last year. He is a Jasper, Texas boy and knows someone I know. He sings “Change the World” by Eric Clapton. GOOSEBUMPS! He wants some feedback which Harry is glad to give him.





January 19, 2015: Shooting in sunny Hamilton! Let’s check the mailbag!

20 01 2015

Great Question & Answer session for Dark Matter

Joseph Mallozzi's Weblog

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Shooting in Hamilton today and it’s been c-c-c-cold!  Although it could be colder I suppose.  The problem with shooting in these warehouses is that it’s actually chillier indoors.  The last time we were here for a location scout, we encountered a delay and, instead of sticking around, we elected to wait outside…where it was warmer!

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Back in Vancouver, whenever we shot on location, there would be big signs with the production’s name and arrows pointing the way.  Plenty of them.  Not so here. This morning, I encountered a single sign, a little smaller than a sandwich board, with the name of the production followed by an occasional parking cone.  Well, not so occasional.  I drove ten minutes up a winding roadway with absolutely no indication that I was traveling the right way before deciding “This can’t be right!” and turning back.  As it turned out, I WAS right.

I think we’re…

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