So You Think You Can Dance Season 12 Memphis and Dallas Auditions

19 06 2015

I am looking forward to Jason Derulo joining the judges’ panel. When he was a guest judge last season I was impressed with his detailed and constructive feedback. I was very sad that Mary Murphy’s contract was not renewed. Paula Abdul will be taking Mary’s spot. This season it is stage versus street. The person trying out will have to tell the judges whether they are trying out for #TeamStage or #TeamStreet. By the time Vegas week is over, there will be 10 dancers of each style who will be paired up for the show. Travis and tWitch will be the mentors. One dancer from each team will be sent home based on our votes.

The first contestant is Peyton Albrecht from Robert, Louisiana. He will be dancing for a spot on #TeamStage with a contemporary routine to Steed Lord’s “Ghost of Sky.” There were some interesting elements to it and I was on the verge of goosebumps, but not quite there. I definitely think he deserves a ticket to Vegas. Paula thought he was a powerful dancer with wonderful technique. He has it all (but she is very stoic about her delivery of the comment. Maybe Paula wants to try playing the serious one and keep it as she would with choreography try-outs versus trying to make off-the-cuff comments which sometimes get her into trouble). Jason said it was a hell of a song choice. Jason said that is what performers strive for—to create something that is your own so there is something remaining to remember you by when you are gone. Nigel thought he reminded him of a young Travis Wall (well, I wouldn’t go THAT far Nigel). He received three yeses.

Street dancer Andre Rucker is a part of the infamous Dragon House (an Atlanta group that specializes in popping and animation). He made it to Vegas in season 9 (the season that Cyrus from his house also made it to the finals). He danced to “Special Powers” by Harikiri. GOOSEBUMPS!!! This young man has mad skills in animation. Jason said it was fire. He liked his wave and tutting that he had never seen before. Paula complimented his musicality, how he utilized the choreography right to the different beats and how he enhanced certain instrumentation. He is very special. Nigel enjoyed the hand that came around like a snake. It was really creative and his musicality was terrific. He gets a ticket to Vegas.

Trying out for #TeamStage is Jordan Hilgenberg from Claremont, Florida. She has a ballet base but is more of a contemporary person and incorporates both in her dance style. Her audition song is Julia Stone’s “The Line That Ties Me.” I got goosebumps with that routine. She had enormous control and gorgeous lines. I also felt emotion coming through as well which gave me the goosebumps. I like that the lyrics had “call you the beast.” Nigel often refers to women dancers like Melanie Moore as “beasts.” Nigel said she has beautiful feet. Her arabesque is tremendous. The penche was beautiful. The control of it all was terrific. He was impressed with her grand jeté en avant en tournant and he needs to see more movement. He felt like she was a bird held in a cage. Paula said she has extraordinary elegance. Her core is amazing, balance is amazing, feet are stunning, and breadth of her training is incredible. Jason said she is a beautiful dancer through and through. Her lines were stunning that it carried the performance. She has the potential of being very amazing. Three yeses!

The next contestant planned to showcase Memphis jookin’. It combines foot work, gliding, gangsta-ness, hype-ness. It is footwork, ankle breaking, buck jumping and bounce. The bounce is the heartbeat of the dance that gives it the Memphis attitude. Representing this was Ladia Yates, age 23, from Richmond, California? Okay. I was expecting a Memphis girl. Her song was Bow Wow’s “It’s Going Down.” I love a female hip-hip dancer. Some of her hand work was weird (not as tight as the other stuff), but I liked the rest of it. Nigel said he was proud of what he had just seen. Paula thought she was special and unique. Jason said where he comes from it’s called “a movie” and she just made a movie for them. She propositions Jason to go to the movies after this is all over. He said it was incredible. He said it was so incredible he wanted her to come in and teach some of his dancers what she does. Then we find out why she is in Memphis. She has a dance team of little ones there in Memphis. Nigel calls them up. They all said they wanted to dance to Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty to Me.” Jason comes up on stage to sing while they danced. That was fantastic. Those little kids are TALENTED!! Ladia comes down to hug the judges for her ticket and lingers at Jason. That will be the last allowed hug from him for the season. We know what got Paula in trouble on American Idol (allegedly).

After a montage of stage dancers who made it through, a few street dancers came to the stage but it was not strong enough to make it through.

Fifteen dancers would be joining Team Travis, and only 9 were joining tWitch’s street team (and you know they have made it impossible for me to choose between Travis and tWitch). Courtney Barnes returned after last season to dance to Meek Mills’ “Dreams and Nightmares.” Interesting song choice. And it morphed into Selena’s “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.” He is truly entertaining. (I hope I used the proper pronoun). And then it morphed into Nick Jonas’ “Jealous.” Jason whispered to Paula, “One more hair swipe and I’m gonna lose my mind.” Jason thought it was interesting. He hadn’t seen anyone else put a mash-up together like that. It was a bit too much of hair whipping for him. Jason said it wasn’t ready for this show. Paula said she would pack him in her bag and take him everywhere with her because he adds tremendous life to everything. Nigel thought his style and flexibility were good. Nigel says he is in a difficult position because he always says that he wants them to be unique. Paula is a yes. Jason is a no. Nigel says he is going to have a lot of work to do before he gets to Vegas, but he puts him through.

An unexpected snafu occurred on day 2 of the Memphis auditions when there was an underground substation fire which made the lights go out throughout downtown Memphis and it was unknown if power would be restored. Many said they would go to the other cities to audition, but many said they spent all the money they had to get to Memphis. Mid-afternoon they made the announcement that they would be dancing; however, the auditions would be modified. They would be put into groups based on their style. They will be asked to either stay to do a solo or be dismissed. At the end of the day eight dancers will be joining Travis for the stage group and ten more will be joining tWitch for the street team.

The next stop was in Dallas. The first contestant comes from Miami and he is rather humorous as he stumbles over the word contemporary. He just started dancing 3 years prior when sports bored him. Dancing to Il Divo’s “CarusoGuillermo Morales has some great moves, but he didn’t move any emotion inside of me. His athleticism was compelling. He received a ticket to Vegas. Nigel commented that “he’s a star.”

Jaclyn Hamric danced to “Sleepwalk.” She is a beautiful young lady and she has talent, but there was not anything special to her routine. There was a lot of ponytail turning (which annoyed Jason in a previous city). I also noted that for a contemporary routine, she had her toes pointed out a lot instead of keeping them straight. Nigel thought it was pretty and her technique was good. Paula said she is lovely to watch. The camera and audience love her. Paula likes her a lot. Jason said he liked her a lot as well. He forgot about technique and became a fan. It is a unanimous yes.

Steven Ban looks like an atypical street dancer. Honestly, he looks like someone from my community—a nerd (and describes himself that way as well). Nigel thought he looked like Bill Gates. He chose Thiftworks’ “Sky Fiyah.” He had some skills, but there have been better animators to come through the doors to audition now and in the past. He had some cool moves but was it enough to get him through? Jason said he loved his musicality. He thought he was unique and he loved the whole look. Paula said she thought he was more of an illusionist than an animator. He received three yeses.

Vishona Sims is auditioning for the first time. I liked that she said she wanted to show us what she feels instead of what she can do in a freestyle routine to Eryka Badu’s “The Healer.” Wow she is great. Nigel thought it was dope. He felt it was a little static but still enough to go “wow.” Jason said wow as well. He felt he was alive inside watching her. He thought she told a story. Paula said she is a little star. She was poetic with her movement and thinks she is very, very special. She gets three yeses to Vegas.

Kiosh Monroe from Pleasant Grove, Texas takes the stage to Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk.” There was no technique in his dance but it was entertaining. Paula felt like she was watching multiple personalities. He is enjoyable to watch and a lot of fun. She does not know if he is right for the competition. Jason was honest and said it was not for him. He thought he was like the good cousin that could dance. Jason steers him to workout tapes. Jason and many women join him on stage to see if he could have a workout video.

Thirteen will join Team Travis and 16 will join Team tWitch in Vegas.

Tailor’s “Shaped Like a Gun” was the song choice for Lily Leyva, a 19-year-old from Las Vegas. She is a beautiful dancer. She is through.

Jaden Ziarha danced to “Big Spender” and fused ballet with hip-hop. His appearance is deceiving. Paula thinks he marches to the beat of his own drum. Nigel thinks he should be Stephen Colbert’s dancing double. He does not get through to Vegas.

The All-Stars got invited to do the #GimmeFive challenge with Michelle Obama to celebrate the anniversary of her initiative.

The final audition was Tank Hope’s “This Makes You Love Me.” Edson Juarez from Mission, Texas tried out in season 11 but didn’t make it; however, he has worked on those issues since. It was lovely. Jason thought it was the best routine they’ve seen all day. Paula agrees. Nigel still wants more connection. He is through.

Next up: Detroit





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.





American Idol Season 13 Atlanta Auditions

4 02 2014

LogoThat was such a cute opening with Ryan Seacrest and his mom. And changes already? Can Harry Connick, Jr. judge just as well from the left of the panel as on the right? Time will tell.

Majesty Rose has a name that sounds already like a star. She is a 21-year-old preschool teacher from Goldsboro, North Carolina. I loved her. I had goosebumps. It was very quiet but beautiful. Harry thought it was elegant in a refreshing way. Jennifer said it was effortless. Keith said she pulled him in. Going to Hollywood.

Jesse Cline, a 19-year-old gas station attendant from Ashland, Kentucky, drove straight through to the audition. I was very surprised. I wasn’t expecting that voice. Harry said to Keith that he was the ultimate Cinderella. I loved it. He is through to Hollywood.

Alyson Ragona with pink hair and a ukulele is a 19-year-old sales associate from Eldridge, Iowa and a definite no for me. She was a no for the judges, too.

Chris Medina? No, not THAT Chris Medina from 2011. And his dog, Bubbie? Harry adopts the dog. He is a 23-year-old in the Army National Guard. I was not sure at first, but then I perked up. Harry: “I believe I have a wet spot on my pants.” Chris: “From the DOG???” Harry: “No…dog’s been great. This is a personal matter.” I was laughing so hard. There are three yeses for Chris but Harry keeps the dog. What? He wants to shed the Harsh Harry image? What “Harsh Harry” image? He tells Chris to bring the dog to Hollywood. Chris says he isn’t sure that is allowed but if the dog is then he will.

Next collage of two individuals: Kristen O’Connor, a 24-year-old nurse tech from Sebastian, Florida. She had a beautiful voice. Emily Piriz is a 17-year-old student from Orlando, Florida. I liked it. Both are given yeses to Hollywood.

Ben Briley, nicknamed Brother Gumbo by the judges, is a 24-year-old server from Gallatin, Tennessee. His voice is nice but I do not like country music. I thought it was odd because he brought a guitar but then did not use it. Three yeses.

Nica Nashae, a 24-year-old student from Milledgeville, Georgia has a nice voice, but will I remember her? I don’t know. Three yeses

Jordan Brisbane says he has what it takes to shut the American Idol series down. Oh boy. This is not going to end well. He is an adorable 15-year-old student and cook from Savannah, Georgia, but a singer? I hope he cooks better than he sings. But he gets three yeses.

Sam Burchfield, a 21-year-old student, from Athens, Georgia made me smile and laugh. It is a yes for me. Jennifer thought it was original. Keith loved the voice. Harry thought there was a weird impediment and votes no, but he is through to Hollywood.

Endless jokes are made about Slapout, Alabama, but Jessica Meuse, a 22-year-old student, proves she is just as unique as the name of the town. She has this gritty rocker sound with her original song. I loved her. The right shoulder is a bit annoying and distracting, but hopeful she can work that out. Three yeses.

For the segment of #IdolHollywood or #IdolHome on Twitter, I felt this contestant was more suited towards Broadway. Fifty-three percent thought Hollywood and 47% thought home.

I hope Travis Hunter-Brown, a 26-year-old barista from St. Petersburg, Florida makes better coffee.

Jennifer got goosies with this Lauren Ogburn‘s performance. I thought it was a good singing voice for pleasure but not for Idol. She is a 19-year-old receptionist from Lake City, Florida. She gets three yeses, but Harry tells her to tone down the dressing statement.

This year marks the return of two season 11 contestants, Caleb Johnson from Asheville, NC, and Neco Starr from Atlanta. I like both their voices. Three yeses for Caleb. Two yeses from the boys for Neco.

There are so many people who can wear purple lipstick and I am envious of Bria Anai, a 15-year-old student from Lithonia, Georgia. She calls her stage mom her “mom-ager” and Harry quips, “You should meet her da-gent.!” Harry is just so funny. I had goosebumps from her voice in 3 seconds. Jennifer thought it was amazing. Harry thought it was impossible. Three yeses.

Forty-four people got tickets in Atlanta plus the 119 from other auditions brings the total thus far to 163 golden tickets.

Next up: Salt Lake City





So You Think You Can Dance S10 Detroit Auditions

22 05 2013

SYTYCDLogoThe judges at the Detroit auditions were Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Nigel Lythgoe, and Mary Murphy.

Jade Zuberi, Dearborn Heights, age 21

I think he is our Cyrus for this year. The muscle isolation involved in his movement is one of the new wonders of the world. The judges gave him a standing ovation. He is going to Vegas.

Amy Yakima, Northville, MI, age 19

After inviting her father up on stage it is clear who wears the dance shoes in this family–Amy. She reminds me a little bit of winner Melanie Moore with the passion and emotions that she channels through her dance steps. She is lost in her dance, and I was lost with her in that dance. I got goosebumps. She received a standing ovation from the judges. She is obviously through to Vegas.

Morgan “Mo” Williams, Chicago, age 22

I did not feel that his level of dance was up to par with what we have grown to expect from people on the show. He has had some training, but he has a long way to still grow. Nigel wants to see him in choreography but Mary overrules him with a ticket to Vegas.

Will “Sysko” Green, Detroit, MI, age 27

Sysko specializes in a local dance called the Detroit Jit. I have never seen that type of dance before. It was like a smash up of jitterbug meets b-boy. It was entertaining, but did look unpolished during some moments. I bet you he goes to choreography. Mary goes on stage to get a hip-roll dance from him. Okay–that will get him to Vegas! Nope! They all send him to choreography. Ultimately he is sent home because he tried to freestyle during his partnering dance and put his partner in danger.

To show people that you never stop learning as a dancer, tWitch treated us to a popping, locking hip hop that we so adore in him. He was a little Pac-Man with the music that was playing that reminded me of the game! I’d like to be the ghosts chasing after all that yummy goodness. Yes, I said it. I think I have added something to my Bucket List.

In his self-described style called “panic”, Garrett Frye, age 26, from Bowling Green, Ohio, showed that he has some flexibility and rhythm–he should think about getting some professional lessons. It is a “no” to the competition, but it sure did make me smile.

Tyrone Cobham, Jr.,  Toledo, Ohio, age 18

This is the first tapper they have shown us during the auditions do far. He has some very complicated, impressive moves. The judges are all standing. Nigel and Mary say that he really had the best performance in all 10 seasons. VEGAS BABY!

The best part of tonight’s show was the grandmother doing gangham style with her granddaughter after she was given a ticket to Vegas. The judges came up on stage and joined in.

Last up was a group of young men doing exotic dancing for a living. The first young man, Darryl “Smilez” Harrell has a terrific sense of humor. He has some great talent and threw some krumping into the mix. They let the rest of the group audition including DeFonte “Prince Charming” Thomas. His dancing was so different and bizarre. It looked like his head belonged on another body. It was fascinating. These two were staying for choreography. Smilez had trouble learning the dance and partnering but Prince Charming gave it his best try. It was not perfect but he is going to Vegas.

Next: LA Auditions Day 2





The X-Factor USA Auditions 2013

15 02 2013

 

DO YOU HAVE “THE X FACTOR”?

 

NATIONWIDE AUDITIONS FOR SEASON THREE OF “THE X FACTOR” KICK OFF IN LOS ANGELES WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6

Auditions Continue in Charleston, SC; New Orleans, LA; Long Island, NY; and Denver, CO

Competition Open to Solo Artists and Vocal Groups Ages 12 and Over

Online Auditions for Season Three of THE X FACTOR Continue at http://www.TheXFactorUSA.com

THE X FACTOR begins its next nationwide search for the best undiscovered new solo artists and vocal groups on Wednesday, March 6 in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center. Auditions continue in Charleston, SC, on Tuesday, March 19; New Orleans, LA, on Sunday, April 14; Long Island, NY, on Thursday, April 25; and Denver, CO, on Tuesday, May 14.

In addition to the open call auditions, online auditions continue until June 15, 2013 at 11:59 PM PT. Solo artists and vocal groups 12 years old and over may submit their two-minute a cappella audition videos at http://www.TheXFactorUSA.com.

THE X FACTOR auditions will be held in the following cities:

LOS ANGELES, CA – Wednesday, March 6
Venue: Galen Center
Registration – March 4-5

CHARLESTON, SC – Tuesday, March 19
Venue: North Charleston Coliseum
Registration – March 17-18

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Sunday, April 14
Venue: TBD
Registration – April 12-13

LONG ISLAND, NY– Thursday, April 25
Venue: TBD
Registration – April 23-24

DENVER, CO – Tuesday, May 14
Venue: TBD
Registration – May 12-13

Wristbands must be obtained from the venue the day prior to auditions. Additional audition details, including eligibility requirements, are available at http://www.thexfactorusa.com/. Hopefuls should check back regularly for updated information, rules and registration forms.

Full details regarding the Los Angeles auditions can be found below. Specific information on the subsequent audition cities will be announced shortly.

THE X FACTOR Audition Information: Los Angeles

WHO: Singers and vocal groups 12 years of age or older as of Jan. 1, 2013, who are legal U.S. citizens or eligible to work in the U.S. and do not currently have a music recording contract. Some restrictions apply; please visit http://www.thexfactorusa.com/ for specific information.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 6, 2013

3400 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90007

HOW: Wristbands will be distributed from approximately 6:00 AM on Monday, March 4 until approximately 6:00 AM on Wednesday, March 6. Auditioners will not be permitted to camp out. Once auditioners obtain their wristbands, they will be asked to return to the Galen Center by 8:00 AM on Wednesday, March 6. Please bring legal photo identification. Any auditioner under 18 years old must be accompanied by his/her parent or legal guardian.

Sign up now for all audition information and audition details, including rules and eligibility requirements at http://www.thexfactorusa.com/. Hopefuls should check back regularly for updated information, rules and registration forms.

Last season, Tate Stevens was crowned THE X FACTOR Season Two winner and was awarded the biggest prize in TV history, a $5 million recording contract, as well as production and creative support to develop, create, record and shoot his first original track and music video. Tate’s video debuted as a Pepsi commercial during the live telecast of the “55th Annual GRAMMY Awards®.”

During its two seasons, THE X FACTOR has discovered other diverse recording artists such as Season Two finalists Carly Rose Sonenclar, Fifth Harmony, Emblem3, and Season One winner Melanie Amaro, along with Season One finalists Astro, Chris Rene, Josh Krajcik, Marcus Canty and Rachel Crow.

Worldwide, “The X Factor” has created global superstars such as Leona Lewis, One Direction, Cher Lloyd, Olly Murs, Little Mix and Rebecca Ferguson. Artists discovered by “The X Factor” format have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including 110 No.1, 270 Top 10 and 501 Top 50 releases. Local versions of “The X Factor” are now produced in more than 40 territories and THE X FACTOR (USA) airs in 166 countries.

THE X FACTOR was created by Syco Television and is produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America. Rob Wade and Nigel Hall are executive producers for Syco Television. Trish Kinane, Richard Holloway and Andrew Llinares serve as executive producers for FremantleMedia North America. “Like” THE X FACTOR on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/TheXFactorUSA. Follow the series on Twitter @TheXFactorUSA and join the discussion at #xfactor.

(Source:  Press Release)





American Idol Season 12 Auditions Oklahoma City

2 02 2013

The American Idol city auditions came to an anticlimactic end that seemed to produce the least talented group among all the cities. Forty-five contestants were sent to Hollywood.

Wanting to prove that gingers have soul, Karl Skinner sang “I Feel Good” by James Brown for the judges. He is a young man with a LOT of energy. I preferred his original song that he played on the guitar. He “wants to be uncomparable.” I think he has already achieved that.

KarlSkinner

Karl Skinner

Contestant 80132 proved gingers did not have soul. Contestant 80685 did a poor job at singing Super Bass. And the guy who sang the Jessie J song was fun but never in tune.

Another contestant with great energy is Nate Tao. He is an American Sign Language instructor. Both of his parents are deaf. He sang “For Once In My Life” by Stevie Wonder. He has a good voice. I wished he would have signed the song as he sang it because that would have added to it (for me). We use some basic signs with Patrick (my son with autism) to communicate. Sign language is not only for people who are deaf and hearing-impaired. I hope he does well in Hollywood.

NateTao

Nate Tao

Then Oklahoma brought out the weird. Halie Hilburn is a great ventriloquist. She brought her puppet Oscar with her to do a duet. I was immediately drawn to the fact that Oscar has no eyes. If you’ve been watching “The Following” on Fox you’ll immediately get the reference (and if you aren’t watching, you should). She said she just got married. I really hope Oscar does not sleep in the bed with them because that would be downright awkward. They asked her to sing without Oscar and she sounded much better, even if Oscar could yodel. Keith felt like Oscar was holding her back. (I love Keith’s humor). It was a “no” from Randy but everyone else said yes. Then they showed Oscar on the street asking for money and ultimately in the trash. Poor Oscar. One day you are doing duets and the next day your partner dumps you.

HalieHilburn

Halie Hilburn

PoorOscar

Save Oscar

I wondered what acid the next contestant was dropping when she came to the audition. Zoanette Johnson had the nerve to disgrace our national anthem like that, not even remember the lyrics, and yet, the judges put her through. All of them. I think the woman needs Ritalin.

Zoanette

Zoanette Johnson

Oklahoma City is full of weird. Anastacia Freeman said that God told her to audition for Idol (not the X-Factor, not The Voice, but Idol). She attempted to sing “Unbreak My Heart” by Toni Braxton. Sometimes the devil disguises himself as God to fool you into doing things you should not. (2 Corinthians 11:14). This is truth because we had to endure the horror unfolding on our televisions. The whole song was out of key, several keys, was flat. This is someone who should not even sing privately. She stopped in the middle of singing because the judges were laughing. “Are y’all laughing at me?” They all say “no.” Of COURSE they are! But she continues, “…without you I can’t go on.” Yes please don’t go on. Make it stop. Her singing I consider contributes to the noise pollution in our world. Somewhere out in space that will reach the ears of some alien life form and they will come to conquer us just because we sent that crap to them.

AnastaciaFreeman

Anastacia Freeman

The last contestant was a young man, age 16, named Caden Kayden Stephenson. He brought the light of God back into that room. This is a child whose soul is much older than his tender years. Even though the life expectancy for people with cystic fibrosis has increased over the last half-century, Caden Kayden has made peace that his life may end by his mid-30’s. In 1955, children with cystic fibrosis were not expected to live past grade school. Caden Kayden is living each day to its fullest. He sang “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder. It was not gushingly great, but the aura and that wonderful personality carried him far. The judges were going to make this happen for him.

CadenStephenson

Kayden Stephenson

The last performer walked in. I happened to be on a phone call with someone in my family so I had the sound down. I keep looking at this woman thinking, “This looks like Steven Tyler in drag.” And it was. I guess this is sort of a judge hazing ritual. Although Hollywood was not in his future, Boston was (July 17-19, 2012). Indeed “Dude Looks Like a Lady.”

Tyler

Steven Tyler

Next week: Hollywood where eventually a top 40 will be picked and then to Vegas where the top 10 will be decided.





American Idol Season 12 San Antonio Auditions

1 02 2013

The San Antonio, Texas Idol auditions were carried out at Sunset Station, also known as the building of 1000 lights (The Depo). For some, those lights were on, but nobody was home. For others, they got their bright yellow ticket to the Hollywood rounds.

First up was Vincent Powell, originally from Austin, Texas, who now makes his home in Houston, Texas. He is a praise leader. He chose B.B. King’s “Rock Me Baby.” Mariah was groovin’. He made it previously to the Hollywood week during season 11 but did not get through; then he thought it would be his last year to audition and make it through, but the rules have been changed. Will this be the time his star shines? I think so. He is top 10 material.

VincentPowell

Vincent Powell

The Brothers Bacerott (Derek and David) took up way too much air time and time from the judges. They were trying to sing Mario’s “Let Me Love You.” David was trying to channel a bad Elvis imitation. He thinks he is hot. Not only could they not stay on key, they could not harmonize. The boys were very passive-aggressive. This is what they want to do. They want feedback, but apparently no constructive feedback that might save them a lifetime of pursuing something that cannot be theirs. Sometimes the truth IS a negative–the difference between what you want and what you have the talent to do. I could never build a house. But I am an excellent pet sitter. I would never attempt to build a house because it would never meet safety standards. But I have other talents and gifts I can give the world to make it a better place. Mariah tries to help but David will not be quiet. David: “But you guys were very negative.” Randy: “But it is the truth.” Then Nicki realizes they were in a state delusion. She says, “You guys were great, but it is a no from us.” Then David says, “Don’t lie to us.” Randy: “You have terrible attitudes.” Them: “We have great attitudes.” I liked Nicki intervening and said, “Your part of the audition is done.” Where is the Gong Show hook when you need it?

Savannah Votion has a lovely voice, singing, “At Last” by Etta James. Etta James seems to be real big this year at all the auditions. She will get to Vegas week I think. One comment: Watch what you wear. On the side view, you could see your abdominal fat hanging over your pants and that is just never attractive. But I’m definitely rooting for her.

SavannahVotion

Savannah Votion

Like a coyote, I was howling when Ricky Jo Garcia was singing. Randy was thoughtful: “It wasn’t good enough today.” I’m not sure it would ever BE good enough. Another person who has been deluded by people around her that she could sing well.

Cristabel Clack is another worship leader in the group. I had goosebumps. She sang, “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys. I got goosebumps. I think we’ll see her move through Hollywood and onto Vegas. Mariah loves her. I adore her hair, too.

CristabelClack

Cristabel Clack

Jordan Difani nominated his wife, Ann, a former Miss University of Arkansas. Randy Jackson surprised them at a football game. She sang, “Stronger” by Faith Hill. Her voice is good, but I did not like her performance. If I closed my eyes, it was better. Not sure exactly what was making me feel uncomfortable, but sometimes it is like that with me. Keith: “There’s a lot of faith in there.” Ann: “I hope you felt the passion.” Mariah: “He meant “Hill.” Randy Jackson: “Faith Hill.” Mariah said she liked that she had an anchor (referring to her love of country but she could crossover into pop per the contestant), and then Marian did a quick head-check to Nicki because it was this same topic that caused that big argument in Charlotte.

AnnDifani

Ann Difani

Victoria Acosta spends a lot of her time singing in mariachi groups. She sang, “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” She has a good voice, but I thought it was not a good song choice. That is one of those songs that really need instruments behind it to sound okay. It did look forced. Randy asked her to sing in her style, which she did, and it was much better. Hopefully when she gets to Hollywood she can transpose that passion in that style of song into the choices they are given to sing.

VictoriaAcosta

Victoria Acosta

Stefan Jones, Ongela Clark-Falkquay and Carolyn Jackson were all branded outlaws. That was a cute segment.

Papa Peachez is an interesting fellow. He said he felt like a big black woman trapped in a little boy’s body (a little white boy’s body). He decided to perform an original song. I’m adoring what I’m calling “Keithisms” “Papa Don’t Peach.” I was 100% surprised they said yes. He is interesting, but he’ll be swallowed alive during Hollywood week and nothing but peach pits will be left.

PapaPeachez

Papa Peachez

Sanni M’Mairura is a Pearland, Texas resident (a community south of Houston). For 16, he is adorable. If he does not make it through Hollywood week, he should definitely consider trying out for So You Think You Can Dance when he turns 18. He has a GREAT attitude. I liked his voice. He sang, “Who’s Lovin’ You” by Michael Jackson.

Sanni

Sanni M’Mairura

Adam Sanders looked like Jimmy Kimmel with a wig on. I heard some on Twitter calling him a Latino Adam Lambert. This young man would have been completely happy if he just met his idol Mariah that day. He said he felt he was R&B, Soul or Pop. This was either going to be really, really good or bad, but given that he has the last spot for the day, it is likely going to be spectacular. He sang, “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James. GOOSEBUMPS. He will be in the group going to Vegas after Hollywood. I have NO DOUBT. TESTIFY! He got a standing ovation.

AdamSanders

Adam Sanders

The number of people who made it through to San Antonio was not given, but I would guess, if it is the typical amount, somewhere in the 40-50 range. Next up: Long Beach, California on the Queen Mary.