American Idol S15 Showcase No 4 Duets & Cuts

24 02 2016

Kellie Pickler with Amelia Eisenhauer returned to a song Kellie sang on Idol called “Suds in the Bucket” by Sara Evans. Kellie let Amelia sing first. That was a fun way to start the show. Kellie did a wonderful job helping her to carry the duet. Harry loves to see a young person like her come out fighting with someone like Kellie. Keith felt the same; it was a great song to do. Jennifer thought she felt right at home with Kellie and was the perfect mentor for her.

Haley Reinhart and Kory Wheeler teamed up for “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John. I didn’t like Haley’s voice when she was a contestant and I still don’t like her voice. Kory did a great job. Keith thought it was so good. Jennifer thought it was a nice pairing. Harry said he thought having Haley helped to ground him. It was really good.

Chris Daughtry and Lee Jean sang one of Chris’ songs “Home.” It is so hard to sing with someone who is so phenomenal. Chris should have won his year, but I’m almost glad he didn’t so he could go out and do his own thing and not get tied up with a specific contract. Lee did a good job, but will it get him into the top 7 tonight? I’m not sure. Jennifer thought he did a great job. She is speechless. Harry thought it was really, really strong. It was hard to do what he just did. Keith said he did a great job bringing the storyteller quality to that song.

David Cook and CJ Johnson chose Collective Soul’s “The World that I Know.” I love this song. And I love that David is so gracious to let CJ go first. It was fantastic. I got goosebumps. Harry thought their voices sounded really good together. He thought it was a nice job. Keith agreed. He held his own pretty well. They did as good as anybody could with that song. Jennifer said there were some powerhouse duets before it so it is unfortunate but they do compare. She wished it could have been “bring the audience up” kind of performance.

Jordin Sparks and Manny Torres sang her song “No Air.” Jordin was pushing him to find the emotional side of the lyrics. He found it because my goosebumps lit up in a crazy way. Keith said they were great together. It was powerhouse duet time. Jennifer said it could not have been more perfect. Harry said that his eyes were going back and forth between the two of them despite the fact that Jordin was looking so amazing tonight that it is a testament to how much charisma he has on stage. Great vocal performance and duet together.

Constantine Maroulis and Jenn Blosil sang “My Funny Valentine” by Frank Sinatra. Major goosebumps. That was fantastic. I would have to score this as much my favorite as Manny and Jordin’s duet. Keith was standing up. Jennifer said it was the embodiment of the perfect duet, coming together but being so very different. Harry felt like it turned into a shouting match that was inappropriate for this particular song. Keith said he frigging loved it. It was fantastic.

Kellie Pickler was paired this time around with Tristan McIntosh to sing one of Kellie’s songs “Best Days of Your Life.” Tristan was a little pitchy during the verses. The chorus was better. I love Tristan so I was a little sad. Harry thought it was pretty darn good. His advice is to make sure she doesn’t rush, to make sure she is singing in the pocket, and be aware of where you are on the stage. When Kellie was planted, she tended to wander the stage a little bit. Keith said he felt it was tricky for her to start the harmony below Kellie. He said it was shaky pitch-wise. Jennifer said that when they put her up there with a seasoned performed, it does show she does not have as much experience (she is so young) as some of the other contestants.

Olivia Rox and David Cook sang one of David’s songs “Light On.” Superior goosebumps. I love David Cook and I love Olivia Rox. Keith said it is really high praise when the alumni says that all week he’s been trying to keep up with her. Jennifer said her voice is phenomenal. She agrees what David says is true that if she can find her groove in the songs, she is going to be around for a long time. Harry said she sings like someone who knows music. Idol is lucky to have her.

Haley (sigh) Reinhart and Adam Lasher are singing Haley remake of Elvis Presley’s classic “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Haley is an acquired taste and I never acquired it. Of course my Twitter friend @Idol360 would love to argue with me about that and we have. This song is doing no favors for Adam Lasher. It isn’t allowing him to show off his voice. He looked stiff and he wasn’t looking at this beautiful young lady much. Jennifer said it was very strong and it came off really well. Harry thought it was lovely and he thought they were falling in love before their eyes. Keith wanted him to equally loosen up. She was right in the moment with it and he was stiff and he wanted him to give in. Keith felt like he never quite let it go.

I am SO glad Chris Daughtry was paired with Dalton Rapattoni. Chris wanted to sing “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder because he felt he didn’t reflect his best effort on Idol during his time. There is just too much hotness here. Seriously intense goosebumps. That was insane. I loved it. Harry thinks he is terrific. Every performance of his has been great but he has to give credit to this band being behind him. He did what he was supposed to do but Ryan could have sounded good on that one. Keith said they complimented each other. It was incredible. Jennifer said she is loving him. She thinks he is like this dark horse coming to the surface right at the right time (dark horse???? He’s always be a frontrunner to me).

Ryan then entertained us with a rap. Harry and Keith stood up for that and Keith gave him an 8.5 on a piece of paper.

Jordin Sparks and Trent Harmon sang a song from Jordin’s time on Idol “To Love Somebody” by The Bee Gees. Wow, these duets tonight are fabulous!!!! I enjoyed this so much. Goosebumps again. Keith thought it was a great match up, a great song. Jordin or that song pulled stuff out of him stylistically they haven’t seen yet. Jennifer said that was the Trent that they know and love. It was a great showcase. Harry loved it too.

Constantine and Shelbie Z tackled Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Even though Constantine did it first on Idol, Adam Lambert did it better (sorry). I like Shelbie Z doing rock better than country. I really liked her doing Heart and I liked this, too but Constantine hogged the song. Jennifer said she felt like she lost Shelbie in that. And Jenn is booed. Harry said it is a difficult song to do a duet. Harry didn’t feel like she had a point of view in all of that. Keith agrees with them.

THE CUTS

Staying: Lee Jean, Olivia Rox, Jenn Blosil, Dalton Rapattoni, Manny Torres, Tristan McIntosh, and the last one through is Trent Harmon

Going home: Adam Lasher, Shelbie Z, Amelia Eisenhauer, CJ Johnson, Kory Wheeler





American Idol S15 Showcase 3 Solos

24 02 2016

The next 12 American Idol hopefuls performed their solos, hoping for a spot in top 14. Only seven more spots exist. Jennifer shared that this round is more important than the duet round.

Shelbie Z chose “Work Hard, Play Harder” by Gretchen Wilson to showcase her talents. I have never heard this song. It sounded good. She has an advantage from the rest. She got a lot of coaching while she was on The Voice, something the others never experienced. Keith said she chose the key where she was held down the whole time so she could do the big note at the end. For him, she sacrificed the whole song just so she had the last high note but she did kill it. I don’t think she expected that critique especially from him. Shelbie Z has a bit of an ego and her resting bitchy face does not help me connect to her. Jennifer agrees with Keith but she loves her. Harry thought it was a good performance and he doesn’t have much of a critique at all. He wonders how she is going to stack up to the others.

Manny Torres chose “Adventure of a Lifetime” by Coldplay. I liked it a lot but it sounded like the band or Manny was out of key (but maybe it was my TV). Jennifer felt like he could have connected with the audience a little more. It was a good song choice. Harry agreed with Jennifer. He felt it was like piecemeal to him but in the end it is all about the lyrics. Keith said he likes the way he looked on camera. He didn’t think it was a good choice to show off his vocal strengths but it did reflect his spirit really well.

Kory Wheeler took to the piano to sing “Let It Go” by James Bay. He sings it beautifully but there was some element of emotional connection I was missing. Harry said it was pretty good but not great. He didn’t think it was particularly special. Jennifer said knowing him for a couple of years now it was the most comfortable she has seen him on stage.   Keith said he has a mix of confidence and vulnerability and was the perfect song choice.

Amelia Eisenhauer chose “Wake Me Up” by Avicii. I am amazed she is only 16 years of age. I personally didn’t like it. She sounded very inexperienced. When you stack her up against the others, she is going to probably be in the bottom. Keith liked it. He doesn’t know if it was the perfect song for her but he liked that she is trying new things. Jennifer agrees with Keith about the song choice but she is a special girl for sure. Harry said special in a lot of ways. He encouraged her to find something a little quirky for songs to sing because she is quirky.

Quirky Jenn Blosil chose “Sorry” by Justin Bieber. I liked how she sang the chorus, but the verse was rough. I think the competition needs quirky. Harry said she is a breath of fresh air. He said it was extremely out of tune and it wasn’t good for him. Keith said that when he clapped, it wasn’t because she was singing now in tune as Harry suggested, but it clicked for him (as he thinks the audience) about what she was trying to do with the song. He commends her originality. Jennifer said it was shaky at the beginning and it was a risky arrangement, but that didn’t kill the end of it for her when she got into it and when everything was right it was beautiful.

CJ Johnson performed “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain. I really liked this performance. I think based on this performance he deserves one of the seven spots. He does need to wear dark shirts because gray shirts show how badly he is sweating in his arm pits. Keith said it was perfect. Jennifer agreed. Harry sang the song really well but make sure he is singing it in tune because a song that emotional and powerful would be even stronger if it was in tune.

Lee Jean sang next. He chose “Runaway” by Ed Sheeran. He is such a talented young man. It was a nice performance. There was nothing that made me go “wow” but I did enjoy it. Keith thought he sounded great but he didn’t like his song choice. Jennifer added that people are picking songs tonight that aren’t big hits, not the songs that are going to get people voting for you, and that is what they all have to think about going forward because next week America starts voting. Harry would like him to practice singing and playing the entire way through if he chooses to do that going forward because he stops playing when he gets into a singing groove. So far though it was one of the better performances of the night.

Hat stylist Trent Harmon chose “What Are You Listening To” by Chris Stapleton. I have not heard this song either. That didn’t stop me from getting goosebumps. I had them a little bit. He compels me to listen to what he is singing. Jennifer loves him. When he sings, it gets to her heart. Harry is one of the most gifted vocalists here. Keith thought it was a tremendous song choice even though Jennifer just told Lee that people are picking songs people are not familiar with and that was a bad thing. I can understand how people get mixed feedback from the judges.

Tristan McIntosh took on Carrie Underwood’s “Good Girl.” Jennifer felt that in the beginning it was like she was thinking more about it but by the end it picked up steam and that is when it got good. Harry said she was supertalented. However, everyone tonight is only giving “okay” performances (with the exception of Shelbie Z). Keith chimed in “but here is the good news.” She is extremely talented and she looks like a million bucks. All she needs to do is find the right song. He likes that song, but didn’t like it for her.

Adam Lasher sang “Black and Gold” By Sam Sparro (another song I’m not familiar with). I love the grit in his voice. It made me sit up and listen. I think he deserves a spot.   His gold shoes have to go though. LOL. Oh. I get it. He was dressed in black and gold which is the name of the song title. I’m a little slow tonight. Harry said he was a man after his own heart because black and gold were the colors of his football team, the New Orleans Saints. He said Adam needs to set the groove to drive them in a shuffle. He said he was wishy-washy on that, like a buoy in the ocean, and it was hard for him to get past that. Keith said he was baffled why he would chose that song. He has to figure out what the one thing is that separates themselves from everyone else. Jennifer felt that he could have been better too and they know what he is capable of. The song choice is everything. She couldn’t even get into the melody of it. He has to make sure people can go on that ride with him.

Dalton Rapattoni picked Billy Idol to sing tonight. He took on “Rebel Yell.” He is my favorite in the competition among the guys. Jennifer was singing to the song in the audience. It was interesting as a ballad. It was compelling. I loved it. I love him. Jennifer looked happy. She screamed his name. She said that made her feel something. He is as pretty as can be. She wants to squeeze his little face. It was a great performance. Harry said it was a phenomenal performance. It was a great interpretation of the song. He sang the lyrics. It was powerful. It was absolutely tremendous. Keith said he never disappoints. He is going to Dalton-ize a song that they know. It has his own genre and it is very cool.

Olivia Rox closed the show with “Confident” by Demi Lovato. It is hard to believe she is just 17. I love a female rocker. Keith was standing up. Harry said she was very, very strong. That is the type of song she should be singing. One nitpicky thing he could say was to make the rhythm paramount. It’s another shuffle. Keith says “and the show starts now.” God gave her an amazing gift. Jennifer said if there was any advice is that she needs to get into her inner rock chick.





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 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 Season 14 Hollywood Week Final Solos

13 02 2015

 

Eighty contestants survived group rounds and that number goes down to 48 tonight by the end of solos.

For her final Hollywood Week performance, Loren Lott picks “Skyfall” because it makes her cry which makes Harry smile. I think that is the best I have heard her sound. I would say yes to that. Jennifer stood up in applause. Harry said he couldn’t fault it and it was an Idol-worthy performance.

Daniel Seavey sings next. He sings “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran. That gave me some goosebumps there at the end of the song. Jennifer thinks he is so friggin’ cute it’s crazy. He replied, “Right back at’cha.” Keith thinks that is so cute. Keith said there is so much joy in him.

“Big Sexy” Ron Wilson gets into a heated discussion with Ricky Minor because Ricky, in all his years of experience on Idol, gave Ron some advice. He couldn’t get into sync with the band and Ricky felt he was trying to oversing the song. He sings his audition song, “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye.  I am not sure that was a smart move. The judges don’t like to hear repeats. It sounded like he got with the program. The judges seemed happy with it as well. But then he disses Ricky Minor to the judges. That is NOT cool. That made me dislike him as a person. I realize that maybe he was trying to be funny but it did not come off that way to me. Keith does mention it and Harry agrees. He tells the camera—“not to be cocky or anything” but he is the energy Idol has been missing for years. If he makes it through, he will not get my vote.

Shi Scott is feeling terrified. She chooses Etta James’ “All I Could Do Was Cry.” I really love her voice in this genre. Harry said her being out of breath and her heart racing was evident. He felt it wasn’t her strongest performance.

One of my favorites, Adam Lasher, is up next. He sings, “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty. It was okay. Keith said the only thing that bothered him about the performance is that he started with the higher octave and then had nowhere to go with it when he got to the chorus.

The first cuts occur. Oh my God! Adam Lasher did not make it through. I was not surprised about Ron. Shi, Loren, and Daniel and another unnamed contestant are through. Three other contestants who I don’t readily recognize also go home.

Quentin Alexander made his entrance in style and took his coat off in such a rock-star moment that JLo went on stage to take his coat from him. His song brought Keith to his feet. JLo was clapping. Harry was stoic. It wasn’t the best vocal in my opinion but he deserves to make it to the top 48. Country singer Maddie Walker sounded good. Keith was enjoying it immensely. Geek Trevor Douglas advances to the next round as well.

Alexis Granville sings—are you kidding me? “You Light Up My Life” by Debby Boone. I was suddenly channeling Simon Cowell to make a snarky remark about being at a wedding reception…a wedding reception where one of the family members gets up and sings out of tune with several key changes. Harry is kind and lets her start again after getting her note again from the band. She doesn’t improve and she goes home.

Jax kills it with “Let It Be” by The Beatles.  This song has special meaning to me as it was the favorite song of a dear friend who died. Whenever I hear it, I am certain Diane is nearby. Jax sings it to her father, a first responder at 9/11, which also has meaning for me because I knew someone who died at the WTC. It was an easy yes.

Michael Simeon gave me goosebumps. This is a do-or-die moment for Nick Fradiani since he will age out for Idol. I really enjoyed it. Everyone enjoyed that. Katherine Skinner’s psychic cat Mustafa died (I am sorry for her loss). She takes on Heart and it did not go well. She was a little off tune and it sounded like she was yelling. After hearing soothing sounds from Nick, this was a sharp contras. Jennifer said that was like the third time she had messed up and she didn’t deliver. Michael, Emily, and Nick are through to the next round. Katherine is going home. But shockingly, Jessica Lamb is also going home along with Alex Shier, and Piper Jones.

Clark Beckham performs and I get goosebumps. WOW!!!! Mark Andrew was ‘meh’ and I normally like what he does. He apparently forgot the lyrics. Harry warns him not to do that again. Keith is compassionate about how tired they are but JLo says if they can’t handle this they aren’t going to be able to handle the show and all its activities. Harry tells Naomi Tatsuoka that there are a lot of words that were garbled. Jennifer feels that Alexis Gomez’s performances are always the same. Briana, Travis Findlay, and Naomi are going home. Harry tells Mark that his voice is a special voice and is the only thing that gave him a pass this time. Shannon Berthiaume and Katherine Winston also make it through.

Joey Cook is concerned she will forget her lyrics again. She gives a so-so performance. I really like her but two mistakes in a row may be enough to send her home. Lovey James chooses that awful wedding song. She did a better job than Alexis Granville did, however. Another one of my favorites, Tyanna Jones, impressed Jennifer. I wish I could have seen her whole solo. Where is Savion? Rayvon Owen goes next and I have full-body goosebumps. Riley Bria was good but there are strong voices in this competition. Harry loved it. Joey, Riley, Tayvon, Tyanna are through.

Next week they sing live at The House of Blues.

And oh wait! I see Savion next to the woman in red. He made it! PHEW!

In some of the scenes about next week’s show, we see Adam Ezegelian, Hollywood Anderson, and Reno Anoa’l in the top 48.





American Idol Season 14 Hollywood Week Night One

5 02 2015

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nThey are calling up some of their favorites from the auditions to sing right away. They call up Jax from Brooklyn up to sing. She was one I remember well (her dad being a 9/11 responder). She sings “Toxic” by Britney Spears. My first goosebumps of the night. There will be no critique from the judges.

Mark Andrew from the Minneapolis auditions was up next. I remember him as well. Then Emily Brooke (who I don’t remember too well except her name). Crooner Sal Valentinetti was called up. Adam Ezegelian did not sound as good as the audition (maybe nerves?) because he was having to take inappropriate breaths within the song.

Tyanna Jones goes next. Pitch issues still but I still love her. Savion Wright is next (adore him!). Hollywood Anderson performs a weird interpretation of Adele. Shannon Berthiaume (rhymes with perfume) takes on “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder. I like her style but I think she needs to work on enunciation within her voice style. Then, she forgets the lyrics. OOPS! But she has little experience singing in front of a crowd, so it is not unexpected. It’s a terrifying thing to do (I have, so I know first-hand; it’s why I stopped singing in public). I feel so sorry for her.

Adam Lasher is definitely top 10 material. The people who are just mediocre or have a common voice who are sitting in the audience are freaking out just about now in the day when they see what kind of competition they are up against, but still it is wonderful that they are cheering for excellence. Harry speaks among the judges that he thinks Adam is a superstar.

Keith calls up Garrett Miles. He is the man who is blind. He sings, “To Make You Feel My Love.” He is a little off-pitch.

A string of bad luck happens for the guitar-playing singers with guitars out of tune. Just as people should stay away from the Adele songs, people should really not sing the “Paris (Oooo La La)” song by Grace Potter either. Trevor Douglas makes his way to the stage. He makes a joke about how he hopes his guitar is in tune. I got goosebumps. He sings the song from The Hobbit, “I See Fire.” It wasn’t perfect but it was pretty damn great.

Joey Cook does her thing on stage. She is unique. Joey is used to playing the accordion with her songs, she is forced to turn to a ukulele and is feeling vulnerable. Jennifer turns to Harry and says she loves her voice.

Amber Kelechi is having a panic attack in the waiting area. I told you she would get eaten alive during Hollywood week. Jennifer and Keith did her a disservice. She wasn’t ready. This is just way too much pressure on this little girl. She thinks her entire family’s fate rests on her getting through Hollywood week. She wants to get her family out of the hood back home. She tries singing “Radioactive.” This is not a song that people need to sing a capella. It needs full music behind the song to make it sound okay. She is brave. I still believe she isn’t ready. I don’t want to see the fall-out of that crushed moment. Harry says to Keith and Jennifer that it was far inferior to the Nashville auditions. Jennifer thought she sounded great. Harry does not.

All the performers asked to sing thus far are asked to come up on stage. Jennifer says they were not all that great today but they are getting the benefit of the doubt and are through the next round. Harry tells everyone else that they are safe…for now.

Day two of Hollywood week commences. The people who have not performed will be called up in lines of 10. After each line has performed they will ask some to step forward and others to stay back. Half of the remaining contestants will be going home.

Reno Anoa’l is in the first group of 10. Country singer Priscilla Barker goes to the microphone. Jaq Mackenzie says her great grandmother and aunt performed on that exact stage. She is the next American Idol because…she is. She is confident, but I wasn’t impressed by her vocals on her audition. She sings “Cool Kids.” She sang it well but there is stiff competition this year. Harry says to Jennifer that she “does that waif thing but she gets loud, too, which is good.” And the cuts happen. Jaq and Reno are through along with some others I don’t recognize. Priscilla is going home. I think that was a mistake. I liked her over Jaq and that is saying A LOT because I don’t like country music.

Some of those cut were Courtney Guns, Tara Honda, and Courtney Zahn.

In the next line of 10 is Erika Washington who sings “This Girl Is on Fire.” And she is through to the next round. It looks like Casey Thrasher is also in the group going through.

Michael Simeon and “Big Sexy” Ron Wilson are in the next group of 10 to perform. They are among those going through. Jacob Tolliver (the understudy for the Million Dollar Quartet as Jerry Lee Lewis) was among those going home.

Gabby Zonneveld sings “Down by the River” by Delta Rae. She has a little mini panic attack on stage (I thought her guitar string broke) and that is how they end the episode.





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.