American Idol S15 Top 24 Revealed

5 02 2016

Fifty-one contestants took the stage for a final performance in front of the judges and a live audience. Now they wait for their judgment.

My thoughts on their performances (the ones they showed):

The Ladies

Stephany Negrete looked and sounded great “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys.   Shelbie Z sang another Heart song for her final performance “Barracuda.” I think she needs to ditch country and embrace the rocker inside of her. I think she has been fortunate to have gotten a lot of tips and help on “The Voice” that definitely gives her an edge up over some of the more inexperienced Idol contestants when it comes to stage presence. Michelle Marie sang “Little Toy Guns” by Carrie Underwood. She had great stage presence but she sounded sharp and flat on many of the notes. With the stiff competition, I would say no, but the judges may say yes because she has charisma and stage presence in addition to previous positive performances. Colette Lush sang “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor. Her voice was cracking a lot. Jessica Cabral’s performance wasn’t shown, but I was SHOCKED that she is not in the top 24. She was one of the stronger female voices with such a unique voice. Wow. I don’t know what to say about that one. Jenna Renae sounded okay from the small clip they showed of her singing “Flat on the Floor” by Carrie Underwood. Jeneve Mitchell sang “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash.   She has the great ability to feel her song. She has a unique place in all of this. Would I buy her music? No—because I don’t like country music (but I don’t buy Carrie Underwood’s either even though I was rooting for her on the show but on the show she didn’t sing strictly country). Amelia Eisenhauer sang “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel.   Her vocal was mediocre and her stage presence was not developed quite as much as the others. Avalon Young sang “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)” by Chris Brown.   She has such a pretty voice. Sonika Vaid sang “Surrender” by Celine Dion. She gets swallowed up by the stage. She has a beautiful voice but she really needs to work on that. Malie Delgado sang “Little White Church” by Little Big Town. She has a great voice, but I didn’t like this song for her. Olivia Rox came down sick, but she had to rally to do her showcase round. She sang “Love Somebody” by Maroon 5. She did a fabulous job. That one gave me goosebumps!! Emily Brooke sang “So Small” by Carrie Underwood. She did better than I anticipated and some of that nasal twangy thing was gone. Gianna Isabella chose to sing her mom’s song and Gianna was talking to her mother in the audience during rehearsal and Rickey Minor set mom straight about needing to let them handle this. She sang “I Still Believe” by Brenda K. Starr (her mom’s hit song).  Jenn Blosil sang “The Hanging Tree” sung by Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games series.   She is so unique. I adore her. Tristan McIntosh sang “Stronger” by Faith Hill. She felt that it was the first time she has ever “performed.” She also is one of my favorites.

The last two ladies are La’Porsha Renae and Lindita. Is there ANY question who this is going to? Not for me. La’Porsha. Lindita performed “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj. La’Porsha Renae did “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals. That gave me goosebumps.

 The Guys

Mackenzie Bourg is the first one of the guys to receive his fate. He sang Elvis Presley’s hit “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” I really like his voice and he had the ladies in the audience singing along with him for the chorus. Trent Harmon sang “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John have a mixed feeling about. He has a great voice, but his performances are often internalized where he is not even making eye contact with the audience. He is performing but not connecting. CJ Johnson sang “Parachute” by Cheryl Cole. Okay, I admit. I loved it. I know it was country. I do have exceptions. Lee Jean sang “Make It Rain” by Ed Sheeran. It was adorable but I was put off by him telling the audience to be quiet not just once but twice. Daniel Rapattoni performed “It’s Gonna Be Me” by NSync. He is one of my favorites. He has star written all over him. He has the full package. Manny Torres sang “Master Blaster” by Stevie Wonder sounded great and frankly this competition could use his Latin flare. Thomas Stringfellow sang “Story of My Life” by One Direction. I like him but he was doing this weird thing that almost sounded like a hiccup-like noise at the end of every measure. It was annoying. The girls went crazy for him though.

Kacye Haynes and Jordan Sasser were the final two guys who were competing for that last spot. I think it is going to go to Jordan Sasser (even before I heard the performances). Jordan sang “Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic. I got goosebumps. Kacye tackled “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake. Rickey Minor complimented him that he was one of the few performances that actually felt what he was singing that day. Wow, he did bring a better performance than Jordan.

 Going Home

Not going through: Ameet Kanon, Anatalia Villaranda, Andrea Nazarbekian, Ariel Sprague, Christian Eason, Chynna Sherrod, Colette Lush, Isaac Cole, Jenna Renae, Jessica Cabral, Jessica Clark, John Clausen, Jordyn Simone, Kacye Haynes, Kassy Levels, Kayla Mickelsen, Kelsie Watts, Laurel Wright, Lindita, Malie Delgado, Mary Williams, Michelle Marie, Mionne Destiny, Sara Sturm, Shevonne Philidor, Terrian, Tiffany Lemay, and Zach Person.

Top 24 are:

Ladies: Amelia Eisenhauer, Avalon Young, Emily Rose, Gianna Isabella, Jeneve Rose Mitchell, Jenn Blosil, La’Porsha Renae, Olivia Rox, Shelbie Z, Sonika Vaid, Stephany Negrete, Tristan McIntosh

Guys: Adam Lasher, CJ Johnson, Daniel Rapattoni, James VIII, Jordan Sasser, Kory Wheeler, Lee Jean, Mackenzie Bourg, Manny Torres, Thomas Stringfellow, Trent Harmon

Next week: The top 24 sing solos and then duets with former American Idol contestants. Five will be going home.

 

 

 

 





American Idol S15 Philadelphia Auditions

22 01 2016

The City of Brotherly Love was the next stop in the Idol audition tour and on hand to help screen the people auditioning was Clay Aiken who should have won Idol in Season 2.

Jennifer Lopez knew the mom (Brenda K. Starr of the late 1980’s hit song “I Still Believe”) of the first contestant, Gianna Isabella, a 15-year-old student from Jackson, NJ. She chose “House of The Rising Sun” as her song. She has a beautiful voice but the breaths she took were very loud and distracting and didn’t seem to be in natural spots in the song. Perhaps that was from nerves. She made it through.

Derek Huffman was not so great at Clay Aiken trivia (getting every single question wrong). He chose “Angel” by Shaggy to sing (and brought in karaoke music with him versus having musical accompaniment by Idol staff). Unfortunately he was no better singing. Keith gives the boom box a yes, but it is a no for the singing. He doesn’t handle the rejection well.

Country boy Isaac Cole chooses to sing his a cappella song with his guitar (he may need to look up the definition of that phrase, but that sends Keith into a fit of laughter). The song is “Love Like Crazy” by Lee Brice. He has potential for the future, but right now I don’t think he is ready, especially for the level of talent in the competition this year. I know Harry is going to get him on the fact that he does not speak with a southern twang but is singing with one. Jennifer liked him. Harry liked him, but pointed out exactly what I anticipated he would say about the twang. Keith feels like he is a work in progress. He is close to being ready but not quite. Despite all that, he gets the nod of approval from all three judges. He is going to get eaten alive during Hollywood week.

Sara Sturm from Centreville, Virginia picked “Lips Are Moving” by Meghan Trainor for her audition. It was a fair audition. She was flat on a lot of her notes. She also had a lot of wonderful notes. Jennifer liked it. Keith liked her confidence and felt it was one of his favorites that day (wow that must have been a bad audition day). Harry thinks she is adorable. She is through to Hollywood.

Ellis Banks wants his spot in Hollywood. What walked through the audition door was not the person who walked into the auditorium. My immediate reaction was this was a callback to the days when they showed the weird acts that came through who knew they couldn’t make it through to Idol but hoped for some national attention for other things. Keith asked him what “thong” he was going to pick. Obviously this kind of auditioning does not make Keith happy. He chose Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” The judges were having fun with it though. It was a no for all of them, but Jennifer told him he had a sweet spirit.

Perceived airhead (or high) Jenn Blosil chose “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons on the piano and not the guitar she brought in to the audition. My first perceptions of her presentation of herself were so off from her actual talent. She has SUCH an unique voice and I think she is one of the first contestants that sang that song over all these years where it sounded good during an audition. She put her own spin on it. Jennifer said she finds her very interesting, compelling almost, and she liked it a lot. Keith said there is a good storytelling quality about her voice and has an easy presence about her. Harry said he wasn’t expecting the voice to come out the way it did based on her quirkiness. She is going to Hollywood.

Harrison Cohen decides to sing an original song called “No Time.” He is interesting but those “seduction” eyes have to go. They are creepy and he uses them too much.   Keith liked the song and Jennifer liked the Latin undertones. Harry thinks he is talented but is he the powerhouse bookend to Kelly?  He says yes along with the other two.

The last contestant featured was John Arthur Greene who had a tragic story about playing cops and robbers with his brother when they were young. The guns were always not loaded in the house (grew up on a farm around guns all of his life), but for some reason that night they were. He held his brother and him die. (I can’t even imagine that pain). He chose Keith Urban’s song “I Wanna Love Somebody Like You.” He is currently working in the Broadway show “Matilda.” Harry is a no, but Jennifer and Keith are yes votes and he is through to Hollywood.

Next up: Little Rock and Denver Auditions (Again)