American Idol Season 14 Hollywood Week Night Two

6 02 2015

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nWhen last night’s episode ended, Gabby Zonneveld had a mini-panic attack while singing what she said was “Down by the River” by Delta Rae but was actually “Bottom of the River”.  I thought her guitar string broke or that she sliced her finger open. She lost her place in the song. Harry runs up to the stage to help her get back on track. I love that man. He tells her take a deep breath and relax for a little while.

Kelley Kime steps up (her little girl Hope sang the song from Frozen and was the ½ of the audition number given. Katherine Winston also performed “Wild Horses”. Jennifer commented that she was much better than she remembered. Gabby comes back. And Keith gives her an “Alright!” shout of approval and her peers in the audience rose to their feet and cheered her on. They all made it through to the next round.

The next line is called up and includes Andrew Annello who sings “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse. Maddie Walker is also among the singers in the line. Alexis Gomez takes on Carrie Underwood. Andrew is the only one going home. This is such a shame because I enjoyed him more than Maddie or Alexis.

Cody Fry performs in the next line. He and three others make it through.

Loren Lott chose my least favorite solo to hear sung— “Radioactive”. She is among some others in the line that makes it through. I don’t know how though as it wasn’t good.

Shi Scott is strange. There is something about her voice in this particular song that grates on my nerves. Rayvon Owen is also the next group. Rayon gives me goosebumps. They both made it through. Clark Beckham is hot on the trail to the next round. Daniel Seavey thinks he has the chops to be the next American Idol and sings a song just for Jennifer. They are through to group rounds. I would like to see Rayvon and Clark in the top 10.

Dakota Suarez wants to be the first drag queen on Idol. It wasn’t good. That’s too bad because I was rooting for her. And they showed a few contestants that I don’t remember who did poorly who would be leaving the competition. Jax has a crush on Qaasim Middleton. Hey, love happens. Look at Jillian Jensen and Alex Preston. He is on to the next round which makes it more likely for something to happen with Jax. Also through are Nick Fradiani, Quentin Alexander, and Zack Kaltenbach.

Time for group rounds! They are to pair up in groups of 4 but it is totally up to each individual to stand out.

“Double Stuff” performs first and it contains David Oliver Willis, Clark Beckham, Jesse Cline, J. None, and Mr. Crispy. They take on “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” They went to bed early last night and morning rehearsal did not go well. It was a strong group according to the judges. All four are through.

“Sheba Squared” featuring Shi Scott, Big Sexy Ron Wilson, Andrew Bloom and Adam Ezegelian sing P.Y.T. I liked Shi better on this song. Keith also agrees she sounded better than the day prior. Andrew is the one going home in the group. I am surprised.

Steffi Ledbetter, Maddy Hudson, Tyanna Jones and Reno Anoa’l make up the youngest group named “The Dream Team.” They sing “I Want You Back.” Lyrics were forgotten. Jennifer said it was shaky and not the best group performance they have seen. Steffi will be going home. I don’t agree with that. I felt that Maddy on this song was the one to leave.

Michael Simeon, Hunter Larsen, Jaq Mackenzie, and Nick Fradiani are part of “Team Dimples.”  I will bet good money Jaq came up with that name. Jennifer thinks it’s cute. Ugh. I hate this song (Magic’s “Rude“). I turn the radio station to a different one only to find it on THAT station as well. It was played so much I never want to hear that song for the rest of my life (say yes, say yes, ‘cause I need to know). I liked Michael the best. Everyone is going through.

The next group is “Sal’s Gals” featuring Jax, Sal Valentinetti, Kelley, Kaitlyn, and Alexis who was having a panic attack, and I started having one for her. They take their places and Alexis says that you have to go on as a performer whether you feel well or not, but once on stage she collapses. And with that they announce a “take 5” and the episode will continue next week.

American Idol Season 13 Final Judgment Part 2

13 02 2014

The CJ Harris and Casey Thrasher cliffhanger starts the show. Casey is going through to the top 15. AND SO IS CJ Harris!!!! That was the right decision.

Solo Performances

I was not thrilled with was Marrialle Sellars doing “Wrecking Ball.” It was off-tune. Jena Ascuitto‘s original song was lovely. The first one that sounded good singing “Radioactive” thus far this season was Caleb Johnson. Kenzie Hall has a beautifully unique voice but her solo was terrible. I thought Sandie Lee‘s solo was much better than Austin Wolfe‘s solo but when both had to face the final judgment together, they chose Austin over Sandie.

Rest of The Boys

10. Caleb Johnson


11. Ethan Harris


12. Briston Maroney


13.  CJ Harris


14.  Casey Thrasher


15.  ?? Neco Starr or Ben Briley



Rest of The Girls

9. Marrialle Sellars


10. Jena (that’s GINA, not JENNA) Ascuitto


11. Majesty Rose York


12. Briana Oakley


13. Brandy Neelly


14. Kenzie Hall


15. Austin Wolfe


Going Home

Sarina Joi Crowe, Nalani Quintello, David Oliver Willis, Savion Wright (are you FRIGGING KIDDING ME???), and Sandie Lee.

Savion Wright deserves to be there. I could do without Briston Maroney. His voice is like sandpaper on my ears. Personal thing. I’m sure others find his voice pleasant.

Twisted Fate

America will decide the fate of Neco Starr and Ben Briley as to who will be the 15th boy contestant. If I have to choose, I prefer Neco’s style of music. I will be voting for him.

Next Week

Next week, AMERICAN IDOL XIII’s“Rush Week” will be LIVE for two nights of performances and the season’s first results show. In a new twist, not all 30 singers will get to perform, as the judges – Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. – will choose only whom they think are worthy of America’s vote, leaving some packing their bags before they get a chance to sing. On Tuesday, Feb. 18 (8:00-10:00 PM ETlive /PT tape-delayed), Randy Jackson returns as in-house mentor, and the Top15 girls will take the brand-new stage designed by acclaimed designer Baz Halpin (Britney Spears’ Piece of Me, Pink: Funhouse Tour). On Wednesday,Feb. 19 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed), the Top 15 guys do the same.

Then, on the first results show of the season, Thursday, Feb. 20 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), the Top 10 finalists chosen by America – five girls and five guys – will be revealed, followed by the judges’ wild card picks to round out the Top 13 finalists.

American Idol Season 13 Detroit Auditions

29 01 2014

One of the best things Idol has done was to go to Detroit for one of their audition cities. We all know about it being the birth of the Motown sound, but they have suffered more than most American cities with the recession. Not only did it bring some much needed revenue into the city, but it also showcased some wonderful talent.

I think Radioactive is just a bad song with which to audition. Fortunately for 24-year-old Keri Lynn Roche, the judges asked her to sing a different song. She slayed it. She should lose the guitar. The judges said absolutely yes.

Julian Miller is an 18-year-old shoe salesman from Detroit. He was excellent and is through to the next round.

Paris Primeau is a 16-year-old student from Macomb, Michigan. I thought she was quite unique. Keith did not like her theatrics, but she is through to the next round.

My first thought about Samantha Furtwengler was that she would need to change her name if she becomes famous. (Sorry I don’t mean to make fun of people’s names but this one just doesn’t roll off the tongue very easily). I am iffy on her voice. She received a no. When she returns to the lobby, her sister (I think) looked shocked like “how is that possible? Am I being punked?”

I loved Olivia Diamond, a 22-year-old student from Detroit. She is through to the next round.

Tuba-player Malaya Watson is adorable. She is a 15-year-old student at Southfield High School in Michigan. I was amazed by the control in this young one’s voice. I had goosebumps (the first of the night). Jennifer felt that God gave her something so pure and real and special. Welcome to Hollywood.

This is the last shot for Bryan Watt, a 29-year-old, nonprofit director from Thomasville, Georgia. Another goosebump-maker. Harry said it was competent, patient and an easy performance. They jokingly referred to him as Superman because he looks like the actor. He was instructed to bring his cape to Hollywood (and cue the song from Daughtry).

I don’t like Khristian D’avis‘ voice. She is a 22-year-old server from Chicago. She has a band. I do not think she was good enough. She was going in and out of different keys. Keith said it was dynamically inconsistent and her pitch was shaky in spots. Jennifer said that her style came from her lack of ability to hold notes. Harry said it was funny how she lost her accent that she had at the beginning of the audition in just the last 3 seconds. Jennifer noticed that, too. Jennifer says yes; Keith says no. Harry gives her another chance with a warning to figure out what is real and what is fake. After she left the audition they start to talk. Keith said he got upset when she did not listen to the great advice she was getting and she was not even trying to learn.

I was not impressed with Jena Asciutto‘s performance with Rolling in the Deep. She has this weird thing she does on some of her notes that was just plain annoying. It is not the level of quality we have seen with other contestants. Harry notices that her tongue closes off her throat at times (this must be what is causing that annoying sound). Keith loved it. Jennifer likes when a song does not sound like the original singer. She gets three yeses.

Dam Dinh, Antonio Brown, and Chaz Coley are all no’s.

Her father toured during her young years but he gave up his dreams to give her a good life. Melanie Porras, age 19, an administrative assistant from Kennesaw, Georgia, now follows in her father’s footsteps. I like her. The song did not show a lot of range though. She reminded me a little bit of Hayley Reinhart. Jennifer thought she played it safe and asked her to do another song. She chose “Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi. I thought that was a much, much better choice for her. Keith, too, thought it was way better. It proves that song choice is CRUCIAL! She gets three yeses.

Then we had some hilarity with the judges. Jennifer excused herself to go to the bathroom and Harry auditioned for Keith. Harry botched his performance on the Star Spangled Banner but Keith was still going to give him a golden ticket.

Harry must have loved the next contestant, Liam Newberry, an 18-year-old student from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, because he loves Harry’s music. He sang a Frank Sinatra song without the Sinatra in it. He has a nice voice but there was no soul in it. It is a sound we haven’t heard yet within the competition this year, but it is just not good enough. Maybe he was nervous. Jennifer said it did not have any swag. Keith thinks the sexiness of the genre was not there. Harry tells him to forget everything he learned in musical theater. He told him to find the emotion. Liam tries to convince him if they give him another chance he could do that right then. They hand him three no’s.

I liked Jade Lathan, a 20-year-old student from Monroe, Michigan. She performs an Amy Winehouse song. She did great. Harry thinks she is adorable. It was “absolutely yes” from the three judges.

Keith played guitar for Jared White. From what I heard, he sounded really good. He is through to Hollywood.

Sarah Scherb, age 19, a student from Birmingham, Michigan. There is something about her tone I did not like. Maybe it was too nasal. But she has three yeses and is through to Hollywood.

Sydney Arterbridge planned to do Minnie Riperton’s “Lovin’ You”. At her tender age of 15, she nailed it. I like her. She is through to Hollywood.

Last contestant being shown from the day-one auditions is Maurice Townsend. He is the minister of music at his church and a student. He sings “So High” by John Legend. I had goosebumps. They asked him to bring in his wife and 4 children. Jennifer and Harry coached one of the children to tell his dad that he was through to Hollywood.

Day two of the Detroit auditions and Jennifer is late (10:23 a.m.) . Returning to Idol is David Oliver Willis from Mount Dora, Florida. He had made it to the Vegas week. The past year he was working on his music and he and his wife opened a coffee shop in town. I love his voice. Harry thinks his instrument drives his vocals and he worries about those times he can’t play during American Idol (really? I don’t remember them restricting contestants in the past). Keith loves him. David is through to Hollywood. After leaving, however, Harry thinks he was born to play and sing, but does not think he is going to win. Jennifer says to him that you never know.

Identical twins Rakita and Karlita Gulledge say they have “natural talent.” They are terrible. Oh dear. I really want it to stop. Harry thought it was a minute of screaming. Jennifer thought it was like a high school talent show and was out of tune and a lot of screaming. Keith just says he has nothing more to add. Bye-bye.

In tonight’s #IdolHollywood or #IdolHome, Amanda with a copper wire in her hair was told by Harry that singing was not for her. I think that might be a bit harsh. I think singing for herself or her loved ones is just fine. Amanda now hates Harry.

Blake Soles was hoping for a ticket to Hollywood. Keith gives him some great advice instead.

Another returning Idol contestant was Brandy Neely sporting a new haircut. She was last seen in the Chicago auditions for season 12. She sang “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes. It was too breathy for me. I would like her voice if she got rid of that quality. Harry tells her to keep the guttural sound she makes but Jennifer tells her that is what has her on the fence and she thinks Brandy should lose it. But with Keith and Harry saying yes, Jennifer did not even mention her opinion, but I think she would have been a no.

Ethan Harris, donned “the lost Osmond brother”, is not only a good singer but a talented artist. He drew this beautiful sketch of Keith and he signed it. He had the audacity to sing Keith’s song, “You’ll Think of Me.” I would say yes even though the song did not allow him to show a huge range in vocals. They all dug him and he is through to Hollywood.

Next is a group of three auditions: Leah Guerrero, a 21-year-old file clerk from Clinton Township, Michigan. I think she needs to lose some of that vibrato. Zach Day, age 19, a tram driver from Stearns, Kentucky. I did not see enough to have an opinion. Symphony Howlett, age 24, a hostess from Miami, Florida. She was nasal and that sound in the back of the voice where it sounds like she is swallowing her own tongue is annoying me. Harry noted that, too, and said it was incredibly annoying and distracting. However, all three are through to Hollywood.

Although she is now living in Hollywood, Ayla Stackhouse returned to her hometown of Detroit to audition. She is a 17-year-old student. I was impressed with her vocal control and she has this light around her that is appealing. She is very articulate for her age. They see her star quality and say yes.

Eric Gordon, age 27, a lab technician from Richmond, Kansas is up next. His voice reminded me of the Motown sound; however, he needs a different hairstyle. He receives three yeses.

Of course, they still have to show the occasion bad audition. This time it was from Xavier Calvillo, age 25, a machine operator from Dearborn Heights, Michigan. He has a gritty voice that yells all the time. Harry was not impressed. Jennifer does not think it is as good as it needs to be. He wants more chance. Harry encourages him to leave with his dignity intact. He keeps begging. He gets three no’s, but as he is walking out begs for one more chance.

I think Tony Delbarrio should stick to construction work. He gets three no’s. He wants to try singing “Born to Be Wild” They say no. He sings Radioactive in the lobby and he thinks he has nailed it (right in the lobby) but he did not.

Ryan Nisbett is someone I will remember. He has a great story (having lost weight from 320 pounds), a great look, and a great sound. I loved his voice but especially his falsetto. He messed up on a note, but Harry and Jennifer looked as though they found it endearing. He pulls it back together to end it well. He is a 24-year-old art student from Deckerville, Michigan. Jennifer thought he was one of a kind. Harry thinks he is unique. He gets three yeses. He gets additional props from the judges when they discover he is sick after he politely told Keith he didn’t want to shake his hand because he had just coughed in it and didn’t want to spread his germs. The judges found it refreshing that he did not try to use it as an excuse. Ryan also appreciated the no-handshake gesture.

They closed out the Detroit auditions with a touching story about Marrialle Sellars, the 17-year-old young lady we saw at the top of the first show for season 13. Her father had encouraged her all her life to do musical things whether it was her voice or an instrument. He built her and her sisters a studio. In 2008 he died several days after Christmas. He left her a note to go forth and use her God-given talents. I think this is one of those cases where Harry commented about Nikki McKibbin’s son, if the story wasn’t there would they put the son through. In this case, I think their emotions of the story clouded their ears. I did not like it. It was off key in a lot of spots. Harry thinks she will be a nightmare for the other contestants. I don’t think so. She gets three yeses.

In Detroit, 40 tickets were handed out giving a new grand total of 119 bound for Hollywood.

Next: Atlanta