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.