American Idol Season 13 Hollywood Rounds Week One

13 02 2014

LogoThe contestants have no idea that there is a twist this year in the audition process. Some people will have to sing for their life in an airplane hangar. The judges were divided on the talent of these people. I’ll give you the short version (my opinions):

Johnny Newcomb: I do not think it was good enough.
Connor Swetsch: I liked it; first time hearing her.
Ali Jane Henderson: I loved it; first time hearing her.
Caitlin Johnson: I did not like it. It was bad compared to the first three. I was not a fan of hers in the San Francisco audition.
Adam Roth (the sound healer): I still do not like his voice.
Tristen Langley (Nikki McKibbin’s kid): Not bad.
Morgan Deplitch: No for me; off pitch; last time in Austin she was too breathy.
Stephanie Petronelli (the cheerleader): I still do not like her voice.
Rich Lafleur: Goofed up.
Eric Wood: Liked it; liked him in Austin, too.
Alyssa Siebken: Not good enough.
Neco Starr: Liked him.
Khristian D’avis (aka fake-accent girl): No from me.

They were broken up into two groups. One group would be returned to the airport; one group would be going to the next round. There were 20 people in group 2 who were taken to the hotel. Among those going home was Caleb Hartsfield who is from my sister’s city of Asheville. Too bad; I liked his voice.

There are 180 people going into Day 2.

Day 2

On this day, they put them in lines of 10 and have them sing a capella or with an instrument. In the first line, George Lovett, Sandie Lee, Brandy Neely, John Fox, and Majesty Rose York were through to the group round. Going home were Jack Janowicz from the Omaha auditions, McKenna Dennis from the Austin auditions, Viviana Villalon also from the Austin auditions, and very surprisingly Samantha Calmes who was one of my favorites.

Out of the next group all we know is that Spencer Lloyd would be staying.

In the next group, I thought Austin Wolfe had a good voice. I loved Bria Anai‘s song. I did not like Selena Moreno‘s song, not just because she goofed up but she is not on the same level as some of these other singers. Going through to group rounds were Austin Wolfe, Jessica Meuse, Bria Anai Johnson, Shanon Wilson. Selena Moreno and Lauren Ogburn from the Atlanta auditions would be returning home.

In the next group, I like Sam Woolf but he may not be ready for Idol (at least this year’s talent) Keri Lynn Roche‘s song I loved. I was a “no” for Ayla Stackhouse. I adore CJ Harris. John Martin Davis and Ayla Stackhouse as well as another male who was standing in the forward line in a blue plaid shirt who I cannot identify were going home. Keri, CJ, Sam, and a few others I cannot identify by face are through to the next round.

Alex Preston, Sydney Arterbridge, Jesse Roach (Cypress, Texas), Brian Watt, Jade Lathan, Lindsay Bell, David Luning and a few others are in the next group. I loved Alex. Sydney’s vibrato bothers me. I liked Jesse. Brian has a nice voice but when I listen to him compared with the others, it is just not as good as some. Alex, Jesse and a few unidentified individuals have made it through to the next round. Brian, Jade, Sydney, David and Lindsay are going home.

Madelyn Patterson is in her own segment for #IdolHollywood or #IdolHome. I felt it would be #IdolHome as I did not enjoy it. Sixty percent felt she would remain in Hollywood and 40% said she would be going home, but she is through to the next round.

In the next group, they showcased Kenzie Hall and Quaid Edward. I don’t think Quaid is ready but he will get there at some point. Kenzie has such an interesting sound and niche in the competition. Kenzie is through and Quaid is sent home.

Then there are 10 people who make it through (but they were in a bunch of different groups). Ben Briley (I did not like this version of “Stars”.) Briston Maroney (Royals? This is a “no” on the song choice for me but the sound of his voice is unique). Dexter Roberts (The one I liked the best out of these three men). Rachel Rollier (I like her voice). Maurice Townsend (Wonderful). Casey Thrasher (Very nice. He did so much better than his audition). Tiquila Wilson (Loved her). Emily Piriz (I did not like her voice today). Malcolm Allen (Goosebumps).

Munfarid Zaidi from a close-by town of Sugar Land, Texas always adds the fun factor to the show. I think Idol needs at least one. I liked Ethan Thompson‘s performance. Austin Percario was okay. Love the rocker Caleb Johsnon. I think Stephanie Hanvey‘s performance to too affected. I loved Kristen O’Connor‘s solo. I also loved Emmanuel Zidor‘s solo as well as Briana Oakley and Jesse Cline. Keith London made an odd choice in song. I loved his voice but I agree with the judges. Allie Odom, Symphony Howlett, Olivia Diamond, Keith London, and Donald Reed are through to the next round as well as Munfarid, Ethan, Austin, Caleb, Stephanie, Kristen, Briana, and Jesse.

For the last line, Malaya Watson was up. I am not sure about her based on this song. I enjoyed Jena Ascuitto‘s performance. Savion Wright, a local Houston favorite (as well as my own), sang a song for his brother who had recently died (at the time of Hollywood week). On February 5, 2014, the Sabine County District Attorney released a statement that said he has turned the ongoing Alfred Wright case over to the Texas Attorney General’s Office. I love Savion. I had goosebumps. All three contestants are through.


Immediately, Casey Thrasher, Ben Briley and Dexter Roberts teamed up to form the Backstreet Cowboys. Austin contestants Savion Wright, Ryan Clark, John Fox and Madelyn Patterson teamed up. Matthew Hamel, Jessica Meuse, and Clark King teamed up. Clark was losing his voice. Matthew and Jessica found other groups.  Malaya Watson, Christine Collins, Olivia Diamond and Queen Bulls teamed up. Clark King decides to drop out.

Veterans from Season 12 of American Idol, David Oliver Lewis, Sarina Joi Crowe, and Tony Foster Jr. teamed up to form “Three More Days“. They choose “Too Close” by Alex Clare. It was lovely! Well done! But not everyone can go through and this time it was Tony’s turn to go home. He was genuine when he expressed a desire to know why so he could learn from the experience. I thought that was pretty wonderful instead of pouting and demanding to know why. Harry tells him that he looked at his feet too much. Tony has a wonderful attitude. I hope he comes back next year.

Dexter Roberts, Ben Briley and Casey Thrasher, the “Backstreet Cowboys” sing “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. It was the first country boy band and it worked. I loved it. All of them are going through to the next round.

Neco Starr, George Lovett and another individual did “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. I enjoyed this. Paula Hunt, Andrina Brogden and another unknown individual teamed up. MK Nobilette and Briana Oakley were part of another group and they made it through to the next round. Brandy Neely, Emily, and Kenzie Hall were all through. Spencer Lloyd, Megan Miller and Alyssa Siebken teamed up. Megan forgot the lyrics. The group fell apart. Alyssa was sent home but she felt that she was set up by the others.

Other people leaving after group rounds were Madisen Walker, Keith London, Austin Percario, Stephanie Petronelli, and Adam Roth. Tiquila Wilson respectfully quits; she does not feel this is the correct path for her.

The next group consisted of CJ Harris, Caleb Johnson, Tyler Ahlgren and Matthew Hamel also sang “Too Close” by Alex Clare. Caleb reminds me of the rocker Meatloaf. CJ and Caleb are through; Tyler and Matthew are sent home.

Members of the group “Collision” were all through. The group “Clarity” was made up of Jena Ascuitto, Sikenya Thompson, Munfarid and Allie Odom. Sikenya barely had a voice. She had lost her confidence. The judges encouraged her to push through and she did. Unfortunately Allie was the weaker link and someone has to go.

Savion Wright, Ryan Clark, John Fox and Madelyn Patterson sang “Royals.” I thought it was fine. But John J. Fox of Magnolia, Texas (the town right next to me) is going home.

The next group was Nica Nashae, Stephanie Hanvey, Cara Watson and Jessica Meuse. Stephanie’s mom was overbearing, trying to run the show. I really dislike stage moms like this. The psychology behinds it suggests that they are pushing their children to achieve recognition for themselves. They sing Beyonce’s “All The Single Ladies.” Stephanie was terrible and she goes home, not without some final words from mom.

Terrica Curry, Carmen Delgina and Emmanuel Zidor teamed up to become “Love’s Angels.” Only Emmanuel makes it through.

Loud & Fierce members Malaya Watson, Queen Bulls, Christina Collins, and Olivia Diamond did not do very well. Out of all of them I liked Malaya’s performance the best. They, however, are all through.

At this point 77 contestants remain. Solo rounds start on Wednesday, February 12.

American Idol Season 13 Omaha Auditions

11 02 2014

Last stop Omaha! My home for 4 years of my life as a child. A city full of wonderful people. The talent was unfortunately rather disappointing with only 21 tickets to Hollywood given out.

One of those people moving through was Quaid Edwards, age 21. His mother is Jolie of Jolie and The Wanted played at concerts with Keith Urban. I thought he had a nice tone but an odd enunciation, but I would probably put him through to see more. His runs are rough. JLo points that out, too, about his runs, but likes him. Keith said his runs were rough but he could work on them. Harry said the girls were going to scream. Keith pointed out that he liked that Quaid was genuinely listening to Harry’s advice. For Jennifer and Keith it is a yes. Harry likes his shade of green and says “yes” as well.

Simon Hauck, age 17, a student from Greenwood, Nebraska had trouble answering Ryan’s question about what he is studying. Do they even have majors in high school? I was a “no” on this; it was not good enough for the level of talent on Idol. The judges also say no.

The next contestant announces that today is her birthday and they have to sing “Happy Birthday” to her; Harry shuts that down as he sneezes, “no we don’t.”

I felt Madisen Walker, age 15, a student from Ankeny, Iowa was an average singer. The song dragged a bit and she was flat on a note or two. Keith felt it was a nice karaoke rendition of Carrie Underwood’s song but nothing that made it stand out. Jennifer is willing to take a chance. They both say “yes.” Jennifer tells her to listen to what they have said. Keith shouts on her way out for her to go out and get some of that life experience. Harry afterwards says he would have said no.

Alyssa Siebken, age 20, a retail assistant manager in Fremont, Nebraska. I like her personality but her vocal is average. Jennifer and Keith say yes. Harry says no; he does not think her voice is strong enough. But Ryan is now obligated to do a celebratory selfie with Alyssa.

Tyler Gurwicz, a 25-year-old musician/songwriter from Burlington, VT sings (ugh) an Adele song. I think he would have done better on a different song. Harry said it was hard to see him in this competition. Keith said he had a big voice with great range but he looks angry when he sings and it is hard to watch. Jennifer said that actually drew her in. Harry then agreed with Keith. Jennifer said yes. Keith said no. Harry asks him to pick a song to show another side of his voice. I am seeing the issue with the facial movements now. That would drive me crazy and turn me off to voting for him. I know that seems petty. Harry said yes but after Tyler leaves he admits it might be his first slip in judgment where he questioned his decision later.

Producing the first decent vocal of the night was Tyler Marshall, a 23-year-old club promoter from Omaha. Harry likes his happy face. Keith said his voice was killer.

CJ Jones has a voice that does not match him. I really enjoyed it. He sang “Stand By Me” and jokingly commanded Harry to come stand by him. Harry jumped up and did it. Harry said he did a nice job. Keith said he had a pleasing voice to hear. Jennifer was excited to see how far he could go in the competition.

The next was a group of two singers. Dajonder Lenear, age 16, a student from Minneapolis, has this huge crush on JLo. He is quite adorable and I would say “yes.” Dylan Becker, a 17-year-old shoe caddy from St. Louis, had a nice voice as well. Both are through to Hollywood.

Paula Hunt is a 20-year-old Air Force Band specialist from Bellevue, Nebraska. She has a nice voice but her cadence was strange. Keith loved the way she sings. Harry said she has eloquence about her. She gets three yeses. She told the judges that she now carries on the singing for her mother who could no longer sing because of multiple sclerosis. Seeing her mom broke my heart. MS is so cruel.

Andrina Brogden, age 18, is a shoe store employee from Fargo, North Dakota. She tries to sing a song by Beyonce, “Halo.” She has a nice voice but I did not believe she was singing for her life (in essence). Jennifer thinks she has a beautiful voice but she sees fear holding her back. She wonders if she can be fearless. Harry said that she was a better-than-average singer but it was not strong enough for Idol. Keith disagrees with Harry. He thinks she needs to be exposed to better opportunities. She is through but Keith and Jennifer tell her to conquer that fear before Hollywood week.

Hailing from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Christian School does great as a square-dancer caller. His audition, however, was totally off tune. It was a no from the judges as well.

I liked Casey McQuillen‘s voice for the most part except this weird thing she does at the end of her phrasing. Keith said it was excellent and he loved the restraint. Jennifer thought it was angelic. Harry said she was smart. She is through to Hollywood.

The last audition shown for this evening was Tessa Kate, a 25-year-old performer in Branson, Missouri. She reminded me of a young Dolly Parton. Harry said it was classic 70’s, a timeless song, and mentioned Barbara Mandrell. Keith said half of him thought she would get crushed by the other singers, but the other part thinks she has her own lane. Keith and Harry say yes.

And that concludes the 2014 American Idol season contestants. A total of 212 will be going to Hollywood.