American Idol S15 Hollywood Week No 2: Group Night

4 02 2016

Only 108 contestants remain after round 1 of solo performances.   It’s the dreaded group night that begins at 3:21 p.m. on the day before performance. They need to break up in groups of 3 to 4.

Scott Borchetta is going to be around for group to give them much needed feedback along with the vocal coaches of American Idol. He is telling it like it is; one group he told if they did what they did for him they are definitely going home tomorrow.

Shelbie Z, Marlena, and Tonie were struggling. Instead of trying to work it out, Shelbie walked off and left her group in search of another. Whether or not that was a wise move is yet to be determined. Shelbie sort of comes off as conceited a bit; I felt that way when she was on The Voice. Christian, who is in another group, overhears their dilemma, and he goes back to his group, who has four members, to see if someone would be willing to move to Marlena and Tonie’s group. Christian talks with La’Porsha, Malie and Manny. Malie doesn’t want to split up. And La’Porsha originally agreed, but then had a change of heart because she could not get them out of her head. Manny and Malie felt blindsided by that decision.

Dalton and Kassy were looking for their third member, Poh Scott. But the pressure was too much for this young lady and her father informs a crew member that she just can’t do this. They have to search for another group or a stray person who needs a group.

Team Blue Eyes consist of Jordan Sasser, Kory Wheeler, Kelsie Watts, and Jenna Renae. Their song is “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. The boys were stronger on this but the girls were close behind and Kelsie belted out this wonderful high note that would make Mariah Carey proud. They tell Jenna and Jordan to step forward and then do a fake-out and put all 4 of them through.

Milk & Cookies practiced in the toilet stall because the acoustics to them were better.   They chose “Drag Me Down” by One Direction. The ladies who make up the group are Jenn Blosil, Bri Ray, Lynnzee Faye and Sara Strum. Jenn reminds me too much of Joey Cook from last year. I thought they sounded nice together and no one forgot the lyrics. The choreography was bizarre. Keith tries to play them by saying “when I call your name please step forward” and follows with “who am I kidding, you’re all going through.”

The next group is “Ooh x 2” who choose “Need to Breathe” by Alex Clare. Amelia Eisenhauer, Tristan McIntosh, Lee Jean, and an unknown person. They are through to the next round.

Another group was composed of Avalon Young and a few others. They sang “DJ Got Us Falling in Love Again” by Usher and Harry complimented her that she could be in a video for that right now. They are through to the next round.

Jeneve Rose Mitchell was in another group. “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum. Harry told her that she made the lyric the most important thing. She and her two group mates are through to the next round.

Chynna Sherrod is in the next group which chose “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit to sing. Terrian is also in the group. It’s unclear if any made it through.

Trent Harmon was diagnosed with mono while he is there. He was cleared to continue in the competition, but he has to avoid spreading it, so no group rounds for him. His group name is called “Just Trent.”   He also sings “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit. He has a very unique voice and I give him kudos for staying because this is the last chance for Idol. Harry jokes and he says, “I know one thing about that song; it sounds better in mono.” People groan. But Trent is through to the next round.

Michelle Marie and Lindsey Carrier of “Singing Out Loud” (with Ashley Lusk). After 5 hours, they decide on a song and pick up the defector Shelbie Z. Michelle was off pitch at the beginning part of that song and I’m just going to frank at this point—I don’t know how she is still in this competition with all these other more talented female voices other than she has a personality that makes her likable. They were singing “Undo It” by Carrie Underwood. They didn’t blend well as a group. Shelbie Z has a good voice without a doubt. Jennifer thought it was a good group job. Shelbie Z also has resting bitchy face. LOL. Ashley, Michelle, and Shelbie Z are through and Lindsey is going home.

Elvie Shane, Zach Person, Jessica Cabral and another person I don’t remember formed a group and they sang “Too Close” by Alex Clare. They were admonished that they looked tired and it came through, but this is what it is really like and their job is not to let the audience see that. Elvie is going home.

Ashley Lilinoe looked exhausted and seemed to not know the lyrics of her group’s song “Renegades” by X Ambassadors. Mackenzie Bourg did well. Juno, MacKenzie and Kayla are going through; Ashley is going home.

Cameron Richard was part of a group singing “Too Close” by Alex Clare. It wasn’t good enough and the judges send him home.

Chicken Noodle Soup’s Dalton Rapattoni and Kassy Levels lost their group member Poh Scott. The group “NV” consisted of Sonika Vaid, Andrew Nazarbekian, Stephany Negrete and Anatalia Villaranda.   Anatalia’s mom takes matters into her own hands and tries to convince the group that her daughter is not the problem; it’s the song. According to Anatalia, her group left her so she is looking for another group. She joined Chicken Noodle Soup. But Dalton found out that that the other members said she was not kicked out; Anatalia left.  Chicken Noodle Soup sang “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. I thought Dalton and Kassy sounded great. I’m a little iffy on Anatalia. But their voices complimented each other. All three are going through.  NV chose “Problem” by Arianna Grande. Sonika Vaid sounded good. Stephany Negrete sounded great. Andrew Nazarbekian has a crazy voice. They sounded great as a group. Keith felt Stephany was the only one who looked like a performer. They are all going through as well.

Josiah Siska, Jaci Butler, and Brian Dale Brown were sent home because they didn’t have great dance moves.

The next group “Trick or Treat Tribe” consisted of Kylle Thomasson, Kacye Haynes, Jon Klaasen, and Marcio Donaldson. They chose “Uptown Funk” by Mark Bronson. I think Kylle maybe sounded the best out of the four, but I’m not feeling them as a group. Keith thought they did good. Jennifer thought the same. Harry thought it was a good to see people feel rhythm. They are through to the next round.

Smooth Soul chose “Domino” by Jessie J. Joy Dove, Daniel Farmer, and Lindita. Lindita was all over the place. Harry said he was surprised Joy let Lindita do that. It is a competition. Joy and Lindita are through and Daniel is going home.

Eliz Camacho, Gianna Isabella, and Dana Ordway had issues being a group because of the overbearing personality of Eliz. She decided what song they were going to sing and then went to bed for the night. Eliz said for herself that she considered them backup singers that are going to let her rock it. Michael said it was one of the worst they have seen so far. If she even makes it through, Eliz is not going to win over America’s hearts that that piss-poor attitude. You can want to do your best without belittling others. “Hit ‘Em Style (Oops)” by Blu Cantrell. Jennifer said there was obvious tension that could be felt in the performance. This was supposed to be about collaborating. Gianna and Dana go through and Eliz was dismissed. But she goes away with conceited words, not learning a thing–humility.

The Good Vibes consist of Alesana Tolai, Jessica Paige, Olivia Thai, and Joe Dahman. They were singing “Me and My Broken Heart” by Rixton.   They all have nice voices. Some forgot the lyrics. It sounded off though. Not exactly sure where. Harry said there was no joy in their performance. Jessica is the only one going through.

CJ Johnson, Jess Kellner, Jessica Baker, and Zach Joseph sang “Renegades” by X Ambassadors. They were lively and sounded great. Harry said it was a great group song but it didn’t show him which one of them were a superstar. CJ, Jess, and Jessica are through and Zach is going home.

Thomas Muglia, Joey Hendricks, Bryson Dunn, and Thomas Stringfellow also did “Renegades.” It sounded kind of depressing. Thomas Stringfellow was the one who stood out for me. Harry looked like he was falling asleep during the performance. Both Thomases were through to the next round.

Rebirth including Manny Torres, Malie Delgado, Christian Eason chose “Too Close” by Alex Clare.   Malie was suffering from pretty bad laryngitis. Keith gives them a standing ovation. The audience was clapping as the song was playing. All three of them go through and Jennifer said it was one of the best groups of the day.

Staying Alive” by The Bee Gees is the song. Soul Catz included Laurel Wright, Marshall Cunningham, Drew Angus, and John Arthur Greene. They forgot the lyrics. I would say when choosing a group song, you should go with the song that has the least amount of words to have to remember. There are a lot of words in that song. Keith felt none of them took charge. Harry says, “If you forget the lyrics and turn around to ask for help – bad move.” Marshall and Laurel are through.

The last group round number ever for American Idol was performed by The Sistas (Tonie Starr, Marlena Johnson and La’Porsha Renae) who also chose “Staying Alive” by The Bee Gees.   Even though Marlena messed up and substituted gibberish, they had stage presence and sounded like they blended well with each other). Harry said, “That is how you forget words.” The three are through to the next round.





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.