American Idol Season 14 Top 12 Girls Perform

27 02 2015

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nTonight the top 12 girls of Season 14 perform in Detroit. First to perform is Lovey James. She sings “Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic. It was a very, very rough start. Her low range is a hard place for her. I didn’t care for it. Jennifer thought it was a great start. Harry thought it was a strong job. Keith said it got better and better as the song went on (so that made it great). Again, where is the critical feedback so they can learn?

Adanna Duru is next. I’ve had mixed feelings about her along the way. She is singing “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne. I applaud her effort to make it sound different, but it was not good either. Sorry. Keith thought it was a really good performance. Jennifer thought she was going for blood. She said she will learn when she gets that excited to learn how to stay in control. Harry said when it got loud it got slightly out of control. However, the first part of that tune was the best he’s actually heard her sing. He called her dangerous.

Ohio native Alexis Gomez is next. She sings “Gunpowder and Lead” by Miranda Lambert. I don’t like country music, but that is MUCH better. The show for me starts here. That was excellent. Harry said she is so lovely and talented, but he doesn’t remember having a twang like that. He cautions her about it because it made her sound like she was imitating the record. That is a valid point. Keith loved it. He said when she isn’t comfortable playing the guitar, get rid of it. Jennifer loved it and loves her.

Joey Cook brings her accordion to the stage. I think this may not be a smart move for Idol.  That will only last so long before a judge says something about it.  She sings “Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban. That’s brave. Keith is laughing and clapping. I don’t know what the original sounds like. She has such a wonderfully unique voice. She is so quirky, too. Keith is standing up. Jennifer says to him, “I bet you never heard the song like that.” Keith lets out a “wooooo.” Jennifer said that was all of the best things about her—incredibly unique. Harry said that if Keith and he ever had a kid that is what the music would sound like. Keith said it was fantastic. She took a song and made it hers.

Katherine Winston goes next singing “Safe and Sound” by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars. It was a little bumpy during those first few notes but I love her voice. Keith said it was really nice but don’t forget to feel as she is singing. Jennifer said she has a magical quality to her voice and it is special. Harry thinks she is a phenomenal vocalist but questions her song choice with respect to the show (by singing ballads)? What? Other people sing ballads. When has this been a problem? She is getting all my votes tonight just because of that bizarre comment from Harry.

Shannon Berthiaume sings “Who Knew” by P!NK. It was not good. When it speeded up, she did not keep up with the band. Oh my—make it stop. Harry said they have seen a lot of polish especially from the guys who look like they belong there. One nice thing is the fact that she is so green but that novelty is going to wear off so she needs to be more energetic and more committed to the lyrics and things like that. Keith said that P!NK is such a phenomenal singer. Her songs sound like anyone could sing them but they can’t. He did not think it was a good song choice. Jennifer said they (Harry and Keith) hit it on the nose and she is a phenomenal singer and she is here because of that.

Loren Lott sings “Note to God” by Charice. It already sounds flat when she starts. Then I liked it for awhile. Then I think I didn’t like it again. I went back and forth about it the whole entire song. Jennifer said it was very brave and good job. Harry said it was powerful. Keith said it was good and she was going to give them a run for their money.

I was looking forward to Shi Scott’s performance. She choses “Umbrella” by Rihanna. I think this was a bad song choice. Keith said it was powerful, gutsy, and it was a bold performance but she didn’t get him with that song choice. Jennifer said they didn’t get the best of her with that song. Harry said she is very talented but it wasn’t the right song for her.

Another country girl is Maddie Walker. She sings Shania Twain’s “Love Gets Me Every Time.” Parts of it were fine; parts were not, but not horribly so. There were moments when she was just under the note. Harry says that sometimes her voice sounds a lot older than she is. He thought it was a good solid performance. Keith said that out of all the Shania songs that particular one is not great to show off her abilities but there is a character in her voice that is compelling. Jennifer agrees. She didn’t think it was the right song to pick on the first night to wow America.

Sarina-Joi Crowe picks “Mamma Knows Best” by Jessie J to sing. This gave me goosebumps. I was grinning from ear to ear. She is going to go far in the competition. Jennifer said she rivaled Jessie J on that song. It was pretty impressive. Harry said that was really, really strong. Keith said it was the perfect combination of loose and tight. It was right on point.

Jax is another one of my favorites. She chooses to sing “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) by Nancy Sinatra. Goosebumps again. That was fantastic. Keith loved it. He loves her artistry and originality. Jennifer said they are so lucky to have her this year. Harry agrees and that she is one to watch. Two powerhouse performances in a row.

Tyanna Jones is another favorite. She sings “Lips Are Movin” by Meghan Trainor. It was a rough start. I think she was nervous. When she got to the chorus it got better. But it seemed like she was just under the note. I’d love to see her sing a Janelle Monae song. It was solid. Harry said she is in the ridiculously talented category. Keith said don’t be afraid to tell the band you can sing something in a slightly higher key. Jennifer said for her to just be her. There is something beautiful about her and her voice is from God himself.

The guys are much stronger this year. I had a hard time yesterday picking four for my bottom guys; I don’t have a problem here with the ladies. My bottom girls are Lovey James, Adanna Duru, Shannon Berthiaume, and Maddie Walker. My top favorites were, in order, Sarina-Joi Crowe, Jax, Tyanna Jones, Joey Cook and Katherine Winston tied for the next spot.





American Idol Season 14 Final Judgment Part 2

23 02 2015

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nWe left off last night with a pause in discovering Hollywood Anderson’s fate. Hollywood had a mixed experience in Hollywood, some of what could have been from his slacking off. But we tune in to find Josh Sanders approaching the judges instead. He receives a no. Jennifer says, however, that she would have been a yes as she is a real fan of his. Hmmm. Harry looked a little annoyed and does say something to her but then flicks her hair and smiles.

Now we discover the answer for Hollywood Anderson. He sounded good at the House of Blues. Keith tells him he has a real gift but it is a no this year. Judging from his face, Hollywood was expecting a yes. Obviously that makes the emotion of the moment even more difficult.

Joey Cook is showcased next singing “Sweet Pea” by Amos Lee. She has such a unique sound and I hope she receives a yes. They talk about apples and oranges and that she is the kiwi of the bunch and they don’t have any kiwi. She is so surprised.

Katherine Winston sang “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac. It sounds wonderful. I especially liked the way she went up on the note for “state of mind” lyric. Jennifer felt like something magical happened when she got up to perform and she is part of the top 24.

Maddy Hudson walks the floor way to the judges. She says she didn’t anticipate the nerves she would get on stage even though she is a street performer and sings to strangers. She had a rough night at the House of Blues singing “Diamonds” by Rihanna. She sang the entire song off-key. Jennifer tells her she was a frontrunner but she needs more time to get comfortable on stage. Today is a no for going forward.

Alexis Gomez got some advice from Jennifer that she was sounding the same in every song and perhaps she should get in touch with her Mexican side or something that will help her stand out. She put a Latin twist on The Band Perry’s song “Better Dig Two”. It is nothing personal but I am not a big fan of her voice. She has the desired look for Idol and she has a country voice they also need to have a big enough mix but they were many other people with better voices who did not make it through. She makes it into the top 24.

Quentin Alexander sang “Youth” by Foxes. I have heard this song a few times. He sounded great. Keith mentions he has had some ups-and-downs in the process. They invite him into the top 24.

SAVION!!!!! Please, please let him into the top 24. I don’t know if my heart can break again. He sings “I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)” by John Mayer. Goosebumps! How CRUEL!!!! A damn commercial. Keith is terrible dragging this out. Woooooooooo Hoooooooooooo! He made it through.

People we will not be seeing this year are Jaq Mackenzie and Hunter Larsen.

Mark Andrew has his last chance for Idol and having a newborn son on top of that must exert tremendous pressure. He sings “Take Me to Church” by Hozier. I have liked some of his performances but this was okay. Some spots were rough. Harry said he has a unique sound but is he different enough? He is in! As a hard-rock vibe foes, I prefer Mark over Adam. (Postnote: I just listened to the Vevo version of the full song and he did really well. It was just what Idol edited in that didn’t sound great).

I hope Trevor Douglas makes it. At the House of Blues he sings “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley. Hmmm. I don’t think that was his best song I have heard from him. But I think he has been stellar enough to have made it. Harry says they think he could have done better too. Harry says they wonder if he will have consistency. He says 16-year-olds are unpredictable. Harry is just toying with him now. He gets a spot in the top 24.

Emily Brooke has been singing for 6-1/2 “whole years” (giggles). But she has nerve doing Keith Urban’s “Stupid Boy.” It sounded rough. She did not make it through but Jennifer said she is phenomenally talented and she hopes they see her again.

Another person who only has this year to claim a spot in Idol is Nick Fradiani. He sings “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” by Train. He sounded great. He is in.

Sarina-Joi Crowe is next and has been at this point three times before. I got goosebumps as she sang “Big White Room” by Jessie J. This is her year!!! She is in.

Qaasim Middleton is quite the character. And he is from Brooklyn (born there baby) He sings “Satisfaction” by Allen Stone. Not only can this young man sing but he entertains as well. He had Jennifer chair-dancing. Keith and Jennifer were standing up at the end. I can just fast-forward through this because he is in. He vows to get Harry standing up by Jennifer tells him he never stands so don’t worry about that—only Keith and her stand. Hmmm I will have to check my notes on that because I think he stood up once at least.

Ricky Dale Hendricks and Riley Bria are going up against each other for the final spot. Riley performed with Keith on stage at the 2012 American Country Awards. Ricky sang “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Alan Jackson. He seemed to be just over the note. Riley sings “Love This Pain” by Lady Antebellum. He did a better job. Riley gets the spot.

Jelly Joseph goes up against Shi Scott. Jelly had a panic attack at the House of Blues. Her song “Bang, Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. It was rough. Shi doesn’t have a lot of experience singing in public and has a lot of nerves every time she does. But when she sings the right song, she is phenomenal. She too has a unique voice. She sings “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder. She slays it. I think Shi has the slot. And I am right.

What an amazing top 24 with a diverse amount of talent and sounds.

 





American Idol Season 14 Hollywood Week Final Solos

13 02 2015

 

Eighty contestants survived group rounds and that number goes down to 48 tonight by the end of solos.

For her final Hollywood Week performance, Loren Lott picks “Skyfall” because it makes her cry which makes Harry smile. I think that is the best I have heard her sound. I would say yes to that. Jennifer stood up in applause. Harry said he couldn’t fault it and it was an Idol-worthy performance.

Daniel Seavey sings next. He sings “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran. That gave me some goosebumps there at the end of the song. Jennifer thinks he is so friggin’ cute it’s crazy. He replied, “Right back at’cha.” Keith thinks that is so cute. Keith said there is so much joy in him.

“Big Sexy” Ron Wilson gets into a heated discussion with Ricky Minor because Ricky, in all his years of experience on Idol, gave Ron some advice. He couldn’t get into sync with the band and Ricky felt he was trying to oversing the song. He sings his audition song, “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye.  I am not sure that was a smart move. The judges don’t like to hear repeats. It sounded like he got with the program. The judges seemed happy with it as well. But then he disses Ricky Minor to the judges. That is NOT cool. That made me dislike him as a person. I realize that maybe he was trying to be funny but it did not come off that way to me. Keith does mention it and Harry agrees. He tells the camera—“not to be cocky or anything” but he is the energy Idol has been missing for years. If he makes it through, he will not get my vote.

Shi Scott is feeling terrified. She chooses Etta James’ “All I Could Do Was Cry.” I really love her voice in this genre. Harry said her being out of breath and her heart racing was evident. He felt it wasn’t her strongest performance.

One of my favorites, Adam Lasher, is up next. He sings, “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty. It was okay. Keith said the only thing that bothered him about the performance is that he started with the higher octave and then had nowhere to go with it when he got to the chorus.

The first cuts occur. Oh my God! Adam Lasher did not make it through. I was not surprised about Ron. Shi, Loren, and Daniel and another unnamed contestant are through. Three other contestants who I don’t readily recognize also go home.

Quentin Alexander made his entrance in style and took his coat off in such a rock-star moment that JLo went on stage to take his coat from him. His song brought Keith to his feet. JLo was clapping. Harry was stoic. It wasn’t the best vocal in my opinion but he deserves to make it to the top 48. Country singer Maddie Walker sounded good. Keith was enjoying it immensely. Geek Trevor Douglas advances to the next round as well.

Alexis Granville sings—are you kidding me? “You Light Up My Life” by Debby Boone. I was suddenly channeling Simon Cowell to make a snarky remark about being at a wedding reception…a wedding reception where one of the family members gets up and sings out of tune with several key changes. Harry is kind and lets her start again after getting her note again from the band. She doesn’t improve and she goes home.

Jax kills it with “Let It Be” by The Beatles.  This song has special meaning to me as it was the favorite song of a dear friend who died. Whenever I hear it, I am certain Diane is nearby. Jax sings it to her father, a first responder at 9/11, which also has meaning for me because I knew someone who died at the WTC. It was an easy yes.

Michael Simeon gave me goosebumps. This is a do-or-die moment for Nick Fradiani since he will age out for Idol. I really enjoyed it. Everyone enjoyed that. Katherine Skinner’s psychic cat Mustafa died (I am sorry for her loss). She takes on Heart and it did not go well. She was a little off tune and it sounded like she was yelling. After hearing soothing sounds from Nick, this was a sharp contras. Jennifer said that was like the third time she had messed up and she didn’t deliver. Michael, Emily, and Nick are through to the next round. Katherine is going home. But shockingly, Jessica Lamb is also going home along with Alex Shier, and Piper Jones.

Clark Beckham performs and I get goosebumps. WOW!!!! Mark Andrew was ‘meh’ and I normally like what he does. He apparently forgot the lyrics. Harry warns him not to do that again. Keith is compassionate about how tired they are but JLo says if they can’t handle this they aren’t going to be able to handle the show and all its activities. Harry tells Naomi Tatsuoka that there are a lot of words that were garbled. Jennifer feels that Alexis Gomez’s performances are always the same. Briana, Travis Findlay, and Naomi are going home. Harry tells Mark that his voice is a special voice and is the only thing that gave him a pass this time. Shannon Berthiaume and Katherine Winston also make it through.

Joey Cook is concerned she will forget her lyrics again. She gives a so-so performance. I really like her but two mistakes in a row may be enough to send her home. Lovey James chooses that awful wedding song. She did a better job than Alexis Granville did, however. Another one of my favorites, Tyanna Jones, impressed Jennifer. I wish I could have seen her whole solo. Where is Savion? Rayvon Owen goes next and I have full-body goosebumps. Riley Bria was good but there are strong voices in this competition. Harry loved it. Joey, Riley, Tayvon, Tyanna are through.

Next week they sing live at The House of Blues.

And oh wait! I see Savion next to the woman in red. He made it! PHEW!

In some of the scenes about next week’s show, we see Adam Ezegelian, Hollywood Anderson, and Reno Anoa’l in the top 48.





American Idol Season 14 Hollywood Night 3

12 02 2015

Group Night Continues

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nLast week’s episode ended with contestant Alexis Granville who was about to pass out on stage right before they were about to sing for the judges. After she gets the all-clear from medical personnel, “Sal’s Gals” tries once again to perform. Sal Valentinetti did well with his part but it sounded weird with his voice with this song. I had mixed feelings about Alexis’ performance as well. Jax, someone I love, sounded weird too and the weird drama in the performance was odd. It was like all these voices just did not belong together and it was a bad song choice. Alexis and Jax go through. Sal, Kelley Kime and ? are cut. I really like Sal. He has a kind heart and he should come back next year.

Emily Brooke in the group “Three to One Brunette” has food poisoning. Keri Lynn Roche, Jake Black and Riley Bria developed a backup plan in case she couldn’t perform. I enjoyed the entire group seeing “With A Little Help From My Friends.” All of them are through.

The next group all went to college together at Belmont University. They form the group Boulevard (Blvd). They change up the song “Since You’ve Been Gone.” Cody Fry, Rayvon Owen, Piper Jones and ?. I didn’t like the arrangement. It dragged. I liked Rayvon out of this bunch. The song was not suited to Cody’s voice and Piper was a little off in the beginning. Harry liked the arrangement and was his favorite group of the day. Everyone is going through.

“Team Yup” sings “Love Runs Out.” Tiffany Stringer is the only showcased singer in the group and I don’t recognize any the three guys joining her. Tiffany is from Southlake, Texas. I didn’t like what I was hearing and neither did the judges as no one makes it through.

“Vital Signs” performs next. Will their vitals be strong or will they go into cardiac arrest? They sing “I Want You Back” but will they be wanted back? Adanna Duru sings first. The judges liked her during the auditions but I didn’t see the magic there. It was average. There are better and more unique voices in the competition this year. Cindy Maslov is not shy about saying she is in this for herself. She voice is about the same as Adanna. Denise Napoli is a Sayville girl and I won’t let my high school rivalry with them cloud my judgment. (Patchogue Medford HS here baby). It too sounded very similar to the others. Camille Peruto was the only voice that got my attention. Adanna and Cindy are through; Denise and Camille go home.

Daniel Seavey, Qaasim Middleton, Trevor Douglas and (woot!) Savion Wright. “LKYCO” is their group name (Ladies Keep Your Clothes On). Awesome! What happened to Trevor? Poor Daniel looks terrified. “The Story of My Life.”  It was a weird arrangement but I feel good they are through. And they are!

Hollywood Anderson was caught up in the experience and flirting with all the ladies. “Team No Sleep” seemed to be an appropriate name. Hollywood didn’t perform his captain duties to Laurel’s approval so she assumed control and seemed to be bossing people around. He sang first and he sounded exhausted. Laurel Taylor Taunton didn’t sound any better. Amber Kelechi needs a few more years for her voice to mature. I stand by my statement that the judges felt sorry for her and thought by allowing her to come would be a gift. Monica sounded terrible and Brittany didn’t get a solo part. Oddly, in the end, Amber sounded the best of the bunch. Hollywood and Monica go through.

Alexis Gomez sounded great in her group. Loren Lott still is not doing anything for me music-wise. Quentin Alexander did well in his group. It appeared they and their entire groups made it through.

Lovey James, Jess Lamb, Kory Wheeler and Karla Davis sing another one of those songs I am sick of—All About That Bass.”  They made me forget that I hated that song. I loved all their performances. Kory and Karla did not make it through. I am sorry. That was the wrong call. They deserved those spots and Hollywood and Monica in the other group did not.

“Rocky’s Crew” consists of Rocky Peter, Rich, Tanya Mackenna and Trent. Tanya is the only one going through to the next round.

A lot of cuts follow of many unnamed contestants but include Cindy Jo Scholer, the bear killer.

Team “Soul Connection“’s Heatherle Spires did not want to be in the group anymore. She seems to be upset that the group went to sleep and she doesn’t feel they have her back. She refuses to sing with them (so she says to the crew). She has to sing. They start off “Grenade” sounding great. Also in the group were Erika David, returning contestant Sarina-Joi Crowe, and Adrianna Simon. I thought Sarina-Joi stood out but all the ladies sounded good except for Adrianna. The only one who does not make it through was Heatherle.

Mark Andrew, Vanessa Andrea, Katherine Winston and Alex Shier sang together. Mark is my favorite but they sounded wonderful together. Mark, Katherine, and Alex are through.

In another group, Angelica and Tion make it through. Jelly and Regina make it through in their group.

“Grenade” is performed by yet another group. Jackie Nese did not sound good in this song. Maddie Walker did not either. I don’t recognize the other two. Jackie is the only one going home in her group. She is gracious about extending support to the rest of the group.

“Garrett’s Girls” include Garrett Miles. He sounded a little off his game. I know he didn’t make it through but I think his ‘girls’ did.

The last group to perform was “Violet Vixens” who sing “Somebody To Love” by Queen. Joey Cook fell apart during rehearsals and she forgots her lyrics during her performance but cleverly covers it up by inserting her own words that the people hearing her mess up–well it’s all in their imagination.  That was a cute cover. I like Joey’s uniqueness and I hope she goes through. Shannon Berthiaume sounded great. Naomi Tatsuoka dropped the drama from auditions and that allowed me to enjoy the beauty of her voice. They didn’t show the one girl singing solo. I hope the three they did show make it through. They are all through.

Solo night tomorrow!





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 14 New York Auditions

22 01 2015

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nKeith Urban could not be part of the judges’ panel so Adam Lambert was his substitute. He was a great mentor so I look forward to hearing him judge.

Bethpage’s Sal Valentinetti has a huge personality. He sings Sinatra. It’s decent. Harry thinks he is talented but not for Idol. Adam thinks the Idol viewing audience would love him. Jennifer and Adam are yes votes; Harry is a no.

J. None brought Mr. Crispy (an old stuffed bear) into his audition to give him comfort and he turned into G-rated Ted with Jennifer Lopez courtesy of Harry. J. None is a 24-year-old amusement park performer from Orlando (I am betting you it is Disney). He does a good job with “My Prerogative” by Bobby Brown. Harry channels his critique through Mr. Crispy that he liked him the minute he saw him and thought he sang very well. Jennifer agreed with Mr. Crispy. Mr. Crispy flirted with Adam saying he was so friggin’ handsome and Adam had a great comeback–“I’m really not into bears.” Adam thought he had a good pocket and groove. All three vote yes.

Jax came with a touching story about her father who was a first responder on 9/11. I expected the audition to suck and was so happy to be proven wrong. She is a true artist with a lovely rendition of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles. She has one of those awesome unique voices. I was completely captivated. She said, “Not to kiss butt,” but she voted for Adam. Harry thought it sounded strong and lovely. Jennifer said she was shy and confident at the same time and Harry shouted “Shonfident!” Adam was drawn in immediately. He felt her energy was warm, grounded, and earthy. She is through to Hollywood with three confident yeses. Her mom planted a kiss on Ryan right on the lips.

Street performer Johnny Arco was arrested for playing violin in the subway system and giving attitude to the cops. He hails from Bushwick, NY. He decides to sing a Radiohead song. He is interesting. Harry thinks he is super talented but that Idol is not the right venue. Jennifer and Adam agree. It is a no for him but at least he got some exposure.

A self-described glamorous subway performer, (and I saw a Bedford Ave stop (I lived on Bedford Ave after I was born), Najah Lewis can make 300 in about 3 hours. She did “Payphone” by Maroon 5 (which is my ringtone). Her voice was very affective but if I closed my eyes I did liked it better. Harry was captivated. Adam felt she did things that were inventive and interesting. She goes through.

In a collage of blonde ambition, Maddie Walker returns to Idol having auditioned last year. She is a bit more polished this year I think. Courtney Zahn did well and got a fashion seal of approval from JLo. Jackie Ness did a great job too. Three is a charm and they all get tickets.

His father is in the cast of Stomp. His mother was the first black woman to win Miss Mississippi. His mother embarrasses him by announcing on television that her son is still a virgin. Qaasim Middleton sings “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder. He mixes his voice with sound effects and it so cool. He has such an upbeat personality and great look as well. Harry compliments him on his craft and going to school to work on it is impressive. Adam enjoyed his falsetto and scatting. He is going to Hollywood.

Bridgette Guerrette is a retail associate from Latham, NY. She tries to tackle Alanis Morissette’s “Uninvited“. I did not like it at all. Adam says no to Idol but the keep working on it. Jennifer doesn’t feel like Idol is right for her and also says no. Two no responses do Harry did not need anything.

Harry decides he wants to hear Adam do his audition over do they can enjoy it. Adam indulged them. They edited it to cut between the original audition and the present and he sounds even better now.

Adam Ezegelian, age 20, is a toy designer. He is from Wantagh, NY. He brought caricatures he drew of Harry, Jennifer and Keith but made one up of Adam Lambert on the way to the audition. He sings “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf, a song Adam Lambert covered on Idol (and I still have that single in my ITunes). Adam is a character but I don’t think it was a good audition. Adam Lambert asks him to sing one more thing and he sings “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. I preferred this song. It is still rough around the edges. Harry thinks he is great. Jennifer wasn’t sold with the first song but liked the second. Three yeses.

Katherine Winston is an 18-year-old musician from Lenox, Massachusetts. She makes it through.

Travis Findlay is a star in the making. He is a music producer. Life circumstances did not allow him to go to Berklee College of Music. He is 20 years old and from Baldwin, NY. He sang Rhianna’s “Stay“. Goosebumps but he has to not do so many runs. Some were less successful than others. He also has a great memorable look about him. Harry said he is so talented. Jennifer said he was a star. The audition was pretty but not perfect but he has that indescribable something else that they often get asked but can never really answer. Adam thinks this is the type of show that is made for him. He thinks he can do very well on the show. Ticket to Hollywood!

Benjamin Farmer, a 20-year-old sales associate from Cincinnati, OH sang “Proud Mary”. He was sharp, flat and changing keys. He starts off a montage of other Idol hopefuls that stood out for the wrong reasons.

Arianna (aka Yanni G) is a 23-year-old cover band singer from Newington, CT, who did “the cup song” where she used a Solo cup to bang out a rhythm, and sang Anna Kendrick’s “When I’m Gone.” She has a nice voice but the cup was distracting. Jennifer thought her voice was sweet but she did not get to hear what she is capable of doing because of the cup. Nick Fradiani, age 28, a musician from Guilford, CT is also auditioning. He sings “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel. Yanni G goes over to the side and you can tell by her face she is unhappy about the critique and maybe worried Nick will go through and not herself. I think Nick has artistry. He is taking a song and changing its arrangement. Yanni G sang the song exactly like the original song and brought a cup gimmick thinking it would be the thing that would get the judges to remember her. But in the end her love and support shines through when he gets the ticket to Hollywood and she does not.

Hollywood Anderson, age 22, is a busker from NY, NY. He sings an original composition. Goosebumps!!!!! Jennifer says, while the young man is singing, that she has goosies and wants to record this song tomorrow. Adam was grooving. Adam said there were so many dimensions to what he just did. It was so interesting and emotional to listen to. Harry said unquestionably the best audition that day, the best audition of the last 2 days, and possibly from the last 4 cities. He shares that he moved to New York 2 years ago and just learned to play this past year when he was given the guitar at Covenant House by Norm Lotz. And Norm gets to go inside to meet the judges. Hollywood is given a ticket to….Hollywood. I am moved by his gratitude for the chance and I am in tears. Jennifer is too.