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.


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