American Idol S15 Showcase No 4 Duets & Cuts

24 02 2016

Kellie Pickler with Amelia Eisenhauer returned to a song Kellie sang on Idol called “Suds in the Bucket” by Sara Evans. Kellie let Amelia sing first. That was a fun way to start the show. Kellie did a wonderful job helping her to carry the duet. Harry loves to see a young person like her come out fighting with someone like Kellie. Keith felt the same; it was a great song to do. Jennifer thought she felt right at home with Kellie and was the perfect mentor for her.

Haley Reinhart and Kory Wheeler teamed up for “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John. I didn’t like Haley’s voice when she was a contestant and I still don’t like her voice. Kory did a great job. Keith thought it was so good. Jennifer thought it was a nice pairing. Harry said he thought having Haley helped to ground him. It was really good.

Chris Daughtry and Lee Jean sang one of Chris’ songs “Home.” It is so hard to sing with someone who is so phenomenal. Chris should have won his year, but I’m almost glad he didn’t so he could go out and do his own thing and not get tied up with a specific contract. Lee did a good job, but will it get him into the top 7 tonight? I’m not sure. Jennifer thought he did a great job. She is speechless. Harry thought it was really, really strong. It was hard to do what he just did. Keith said he did a great job bringing the storyteller quality to that song.

David Cook and CJ Johnson chose Collective Soul’s “The World that I Know.” I love this song. And I love that David is so gracious to let CJ go first. It was fantastic. I got goosebumps. Harry thought their voices sounded really good together. He thought it was a nice job. Keith agreed. He held his own pretty well. They did as good as anybody could with that song. Jennifer said there were some powerhouse duets before it so it is unfortunate but they do compare. She wished it could have been “bring the audience up” kind of performance.

Jordin Sparks and Manny Torres sang her song “No Air.” Jordin was pushing him to find the emotional side of the lyrics. He found it because my goosebumps lit up in a crazy way. Keith said they were great together. It was powerhouse duet time. Jennifer said it could not have been more perfect. Harry said that his eyes were going back and forth between the two of them despite the fact that Jordin was looking so amazing tonight that it is a testament to how much charisma he has on stage. Great vocal performance and duet together.

Constantine Maroulis and Jenn Blosil sang “My Funny Valentine” by Frank Sinatra. Major goosebumps. That was fantastic. I would have to score this as much my favorite as Manny and Jordin’s duet. Keith was standing up. Jennifer said it was the embodiment of the perfect duet, coming together but being so very different. Harry felt like it turned into a shouting match that was inappropriate for this particular song. Keith said he frigging loved it. It was fantastic.

Kellie Pickler was paired this time around with Tristan McIntosh to sing one of Kellie’s songs “Best Days of Your Life.” Tristan was a little pitchy during the verses. The chorus was better. I love Tristan so I was a little sad. Harry thought it was pretty darn good. His advice is to make sure she doesn’t rush, to make sure she is singing in the pocket, and be aware of where you are on the stage. When Kellie was planted, she tended to wander the stage a little bit. Keith said he felt it was tricky for her to start the harmony below Kellie. He said it was shaky pitch-wise. Jennifer said that when they put her up there with a seasoned performed, it does show she does not have as much experience (she is so young) as some of the other contestants.

Olivia Rox and David Cook sang one of David’s songs “Light On.” Superior goosebumps. I love David Cook and I love Olivia Rox. Keith said it is really high praise when the alumni says that all week he’s been trying to keep up with her. Jennifer said her voice is phenomenal. She agrees what David says is true that if she can find her groove in the songs, she is going to be around for a long time. Harry said she sings like someone who knows music. Idol is lucky to have her.

Haley (sigh) Reinhart and Adam Lasher are singing Haley remake of Elvis Presley’s classic “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Haley is an acquired taste and I never acquired it. Of course my Twitter friend @Idol360 would love to argue with me about that and we have. This song is doing no favors for Adam Lasher. It isn’t allowing him to show off his voice. He looked stiff and he wasn’t looking at this beautiful young lady much. Jennifer said it was very strong and it came off really well. Harry thought it was lovely and he thought they were falling in love before their eyes. Keith wanted him to equally loosen up. She was right in the moment with it and he was stiff and he wanted him to give in. Keith felt like he never quite let it go.

I am SO glad Chris Daughtry was paired with Dalton Rapattoni. Chris wanted to sing “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder because he felt he didn’t reflect his best effort on Idol during his time. There is just too much hotness here. Seriously intense goosebumps. That was insane. I loved it. Harry thinks he is terrific. Every performance of his has been great but he has to give credit to this band being behind him. He did what he was supposed to do but Ryan could have sounded good on that one. Keith said they complimented each other. It was incredible. Jennifer said she is loving him. She thinks he is like this dark horse coming to the surface right at the right time (dark horse???? He’s always be a frontrunner to me).

Ryan then entertained us with a rap. Harry and Keith stood up for that and Keith gave him an 8.5 on a piece of paper.

Jordin Sparks and Trent Harmon sang a song from Jordin’s time on Idol “To Love Somebody” by The Bee Gees. Wow, these duets tonight are fabulous!!!! I enjoyed this so much. Goosebumps again. Keith thought it was a great match up, a great song. Jordin or that song pulled stuff out of him stylistically they haven’t seen yet. Jennifer said that was the Trent that they know and love. It was a great showcase. Harry loved it too.

Constantine and Shelbie Z tackled Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Even though Constantine did it first on Idol, Adam Lambert did it better (sorry). I like Shelbie Z doing rock better than country. I really liked her doing Heart and I liked this, too but Constantine hogged the song. Jennifer said she felt like she lost Shelbie in that. And Jenn is booed. Harry said it is a difficult song to do a duet. Harry didn’t feel like she had a point of view in all of that. Keith agrees with them.

THE CUTS

Staying: Lee Jean, Olivia Rox, Jenn Blosil, Dalton Rapattoni, Manny Torres, Tristan McIntosh, and the last one through is Trent Harmon

Going home: Adam Lasher, Shelbie Z, Amelia Eisenhauer, CJ Johnson, Kory Wheeler





American Idol S15 Showcase 3 Solos

24 02 2016

The next 12 American Idol hopefuls performed their solos, hoping for a spot in top 14. Only seven more spots exist. Jennifer shared that this round is more important than the duet round.

Shelbie Z chose “Work Hard, Play Harder” by Gretchen Wilson to showcase her talents. I have never heard this song. It sounded good. She has an advantage from the rest. She got a lot of coaching while she was on The Voice, something the others never experienced. Keith said she chose the key where she was held down the whole time so she could do the big note at the end. For him, she sacrificed the whole song just so she had the last high note but she did kill it. I don’t think she expected that critique especially from him. Shelbie Z has a bit of an ego and her resting bitchy face does not help me connect to her. Jennifer agrees with Keith but she loves her. Harry thought it was a good performance and he doesn’t have much of a critique at all. He wonders how she is going to stack up to the others.

Manny Torres chose “Adventure of a Lifetime” by Coldplay. I liked it a lot but it sounded like the band or Manny was out of key (but maybe it was my TV). Jennifer felt like he could have connected with the audience a little more. It was a good song choice. Harry agreed with Jennifer. He felt it was like piecemeal to him but in the end it is all about the lyrics. Keith said he likes the way he looked on camera. He didn’t think it was a good choice to show off his vocal strengths but it did reflect his spirit really well.

Kory Wheeler took to the piano to sing “Let It Go” by James Bay. He sings it beautifully but there was some element of emotional connection I was missing. Harry said it was pretty good but not great. He didn’t think it was particularly special. Jennifer said knowing him for a couple of years now it was the most comfortable she has seen him on stage.   Keith said he has a mix of confidence and vulnerability and was the perfect song choice.

Amelia Eisenhauer chose “Wake Me Up” by Avicii. I am amazed she is only 16 years of age. I personally didn’t like it. She sounded very inexperienced. When you stack her up against the others, she is going to probably be in the bottom. Keith liked it. He doesn’t know if it was the perfect song for her but he liked that she is trying new things. Jennifer agrees with Keith about the song choice but she is a special girl for sure. Harry said special in a lot of ways. He encouraged her to find something a little quirky for songs to sing because she is quirky.

Quirky Jenn Blosil chose “Sorry” by Justin Bieber. I liked how she sang the chorus, but the verse was rough. I think the competition needs quirky. Harry said she is a breath of fresh air. He said it was extremely out of tune and it wasn’t good for him. Keith said that when he clapped, it wasn’t because she was singing now in tune as Harry suggested, but it clicked for him (as he thinks the audience) about what she was trying to do with the song. He commends her originality. Jennifer said it was shaky at the beginning and it was a risky arrangement, but that didn’t kill the end of it for her when she got into it and when everything was right it was beautiful.

CJ Johnson performed “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain. I really liked this performance. I think based on this performance he deserves one of the seven spots. He does need to wear dark shirts because gray shirts show how badly he is sweating in his arm pits. Keith said it was perfect. Jennifer agreed. Harry sang the song really well but make sure he is singing it in tune because a song that emotional and powerful would be even stronger if it was in tune.

Lee Jean sang next. He chose “Runaway” by Ed Sheeran. He is such a talented young man. It was a nice performance. There was nothing that made me go “wow” but I did enjoy it. Keith thought he sounded great but he didn’t like his song choice. Jennifer added that people are picking songs tonight that aren’t big hits, not the songs that are going to get people voting for you, and that is what they all have to think about going forward because next week America starts voting. Harry would like him to practice singing and playing the entire way through if he chooses to do that going forward because he stops playing when he gets into a singing groove. So far though it was one of the better performances of the night.

Hat stylist Trent Harmon chose “What Are You Listening To” by Chris Stapleton. I have not heard this song either. That didn’t stop me from getting goosebumps. I had them a little bit. He compels me to listen to what he is singing. Jennifer loves him. When he sings, it gets to her heart. Harry is one of the most gifted vocalists here. Keith thought it was a tremendous song choice even though Jennifer just told Lee that people are picking songs people are not familiar with and that was a bad thing. I can understand how people get mixed feedback from the judges.

Tristan McIntosh took on Carrie Underwood’s “Good Girl.” Jennifer felt that in the beginning it was like she was thinking more about it but by the end it picked up steam and that is when it got good. Harry said she was supertalented. However, everyone tonight is only giving “okay” performances (with the exception of Shelbie Z). Keith chimed in “but here is the good news.” She is extremely talented and she looks like a million bucks. All she needs to do is find the right song. He likes that song, but didn’t like it for her.

Adam Lasher sang “Black and Gold” By Sam Sparro (another song I’m not familiar with). I love the grit in his voice. It made me sit up and listen. I think he deserves a spot.   His gold shoes have to go though. LOL. Oh. I get it. He was dressed in black and gold which is the name of the song title. I’m a little slow tonight. Harry said he was a man after his own heart because black and gold were the colors of his football team, the New Orleans Saints. He said Adam needs to set the groove to drive them in a shuffle. He said he was wishy-washy on that, like a buoy in the ocean, and it was hard for him to get past that. Keith said he was baffled why he would chose that song. He has to figure out what the one thing is that separates themselves from everyone else. Jennifer felt that he could have been better too and they know what he is capable of. The song choice is everything. She couldn’t even get into the melody of it. He has to make sure people can go on that ride with him.

Dalton Rapattoni picked Billy Idol to sing tonight. He took on “Rebel Yell.” He is my favorite in the competition among the guys. Jennifer was singing to the song in the audience. It was interesting as a ballad. It was compelling. I loved it. I love him. Jennifer looked happy. She screamed his name. She said that made her feel something. He is as pretty as can be. She wants to squeeze his little face. It was a great performance. Harry said it was a phenomenal performance. It was a great interpretation of the song. He sang the lyrics. It was powerful. It was absolutely tremendous. Keith said he never disappoints. He is going to Dalton-ize a song that they know. It has his own genre and it is very cool.

Olivia Rox closed the show with “Confident” by Demi Lovato. It is hard to believe she is just 17. I love a female rocker. Keith was standing up. Harry said she was very, very strong. That is the type of song she should be singing. One nitpicky thing he could say was to make the rhythm paramount. It’s another shuffle. Keith says “and the show starts now.” God gave her an amazing gift. Jennifer said if there was any advice is that she needs to get into her inner rock chick.





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 Hollywood Week Auditions No 3: Final Solos

4 02 2016

Seventy-five contestants remain. The difference between the first round of solos and now is that they have one night to pick out a song and work out an arrangement with the band. They will get no immediate feedback. At the end of the day they will be split into three rooms where they await the judges on who stays and who goes.

Stephany Negrete is up first and has no friends or family in the audience to support her unlike other Idol contestants. Other contestants are in the holding room. She chose Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain.” She sounded really good with the band. Harry and Jennifer quietly said they liked it as she walked out.

Thomas Stringfellow sang “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. He stumbled during his performance and you could see the worried look on his face that it might be what gets him cut. Jennifer and Harry quietly shared with each other they liked him while Keith said it was a terrible song choice.

Avalon Young sang “One Last Time” by Ariana Grande. She felt she could have done better. Jennifer and Keith again quietly commented that she is talented.

Olivia Rox went a different way and sang an original song for them. Keith and Harry were complimentary about your songwriting skills.

John Wayne Schulz ditched his hat (or perhaps the hat ditched him). He sang “John 3:16” by Keith Urban. Keith mouthed the words. It was okay. Keith liked him but asked Harry and Jennifer what is exactly missing.

Mackenzie Bourg is doing an original song called “Roses.” The first goosebumps of the evening for me. Keith asked whose song was that and when Jennifer and Harry shared it was Mackenzie’s, Keith gave him a thumbs up as he walked away from the stage. Jennifer and Harry liked it, too.

Shelbie Z sang “How Do I Get You Alone” by Heart. I liked that song for her. I like it better than the country songs she sings because her twang disappears when she sang this song.

Kory Wheeler chose “Fix You” by Coldplay.  He did well.

James VIII sang “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak. Second batch of goosebumps this evening.

Malie Delgado was kind enough to give up her song choice “What Hurts the Most” by Rascal Flatts to Tristan McIntosh for whom the song had a special emotional connection for her with her mother being a soldier and leaving to go overseas. Third goosebumps of the night. Keith softly said, “It’s a girl’s season.” I hope this choice doesn’t bite Malie in the butt.

Sonika Vaid sang “One Last Time” by Ariana Grande. She has a beautiful voice. No goosebumps here, but still I think will be in one of the groups going through and likely even the top 12 girls. They all loved her voice but agreed that she needed to get the performance better.

The new best buddies were performing next. Lee Jean sang “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes. He’s a cutie pie. He got the audience to clap for the end part of it. Harry said he is heartbreakingly cute. His friend Sara Sturm took the stage. She chose “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane. She is a little powerhouse. Lee hopes they get through together. Jennifer said, “I would put her…” and then “She better than that.” Keith said, “She’s much better than that.”

Jenn Blosil to no surprise chose “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper sounded great. She didn’t feel like her performance went well. Every season needs a contestant like her and I hope Jenn makes it.

Emily Rose sang “What Hurts the Most.” I liked her MUCH better on this song. My ears were pleased by this. Maybe she needs to sing more when her voice is hurting. When she got off stage, she mentioned the song not being in the key she wanted and it just sucked.

Malie was diagnosed with laryngitis. Mionne Destiny and Jessica Cabral are both suffering the effects of being ill. Malie Delgado is singing “Stitches.” What a brave, brave girl. Keith liked this version of the song better. She gets a great amount of supportive applause from the audience. Mionne sang “Chains” by Nick Jonas. I haven’t heard her sing before so I don’t know what her original voice sounded like. Jessica Cabral sangUp to the Mountain” by Kelly Clarkson. Keith was heard to say, “Good Lord.”

Joshua Wicker took the stage to sing “A Thousand Years” and I really liked him but this was a very bad song choice for him. It was so out of key. Keith said he wouldn’t mind seeing him again. Harry thinks there is something mournful and soulful about him.

CJ Johnson sings a breath-of-fresh-air upbeat song, “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac. It was great. Keith said he liked him and Harry said it was good.

Jeneve Rose Mitchell sang “Danny’s Song” by Kenny Loggins. She always sounds good, but I don’t see her being the winner of American Idol. Harry thought she has something else. Jennifer said she barely heard the song.

The final solo performance was Dalton Rapattoni. I really love him. I hope he goes through. He chose “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” He doesn’t look well. I don’t think this was a good song for him. Keith said he loves his song choices. He didn’t remember his performance. He said when he looked down at his guitar because it wasn’t working that was when everything went fuzzy.

Room 1 includes Jordan Sasser and Dalton Rapattoni, Shelbie Z, Jessica Cabral, Mackenzie Bourg, Stephany Negrete, Lee Jean, La’Porsha Renae, Tristan McIntosh, and a few others I don’t recognize. This has to be a room that is going through. Jennifer announces that they are going through.

In the next room, I recognize Joshua Wicker and John Wayne Schulz. Their group received a ‘no” from Keith Urban.

Room 3 includes Malie, Trent, Thomas Stringfellow, Jenn, Avalon, Sara Strum, Manny Torres, and Jeneve. I think this room gets a yes. Yep, this room goes through.

Next up: They perform in front of a live audience in the showcase and the last cuts ever for American Idol that are made by the judges.





American Idol S15 Hollywood Week No 2: Group Night

4 02 2016

Only 108 contestants remain after round 1 of solo performances.   It’s the dreaded group night that begins at 3:21 p.m. on the day before performance. They need to break up in groups of 3 to 4.

Scott Borchetta is going to be around for group to give them much needed feedback along with the vocal coaches of American Idol. He is telling it like it is; one group he told if they did what they did for him they are definitely going home tomorrow.

Shelbie Z, Marlena, and Tonie were struggling. Instead of trying to work it out, Shelbie walked off and left her group in search of another. Whether or not that was a wise move is yet to be determined. Shelbie sort of comes off as conceited a bit; I felt that way when she was on The Voice. Christian, who is in another group, overhears their dilemma, and he goes back to his group, who has four members, to see if someone would be willing to move to Marlena and Tonie’s group. Christian talks with La’Porsha, Malie and Manny. Malie doesn’t want to split up. And La’Porsha originally agreed, but then had a change of heart because she could not get them out of her head. Manny and Malie felt blindsided by that decision.

Dalton and Kassy were looking for their third member, Poh Scott. But the pressure was too much for this young lady and her father informs a crew member that she just can’t do this. They have to search for another group or a stray person who needs a group.

Team Blue Eyes consist of Jordan Sasser, Kory Wheeler, Kelsie Watts, and Jenna Renae. Their song is “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. The boys were stronger on this but the girls were close behind and Kelsie belted out this wonderful high note that would make Mariah Carey proud. They tell Jenna and Jordan to step forward and then do a fake-out and put all 4 of them through.

Milk & Cookies practiced in the toilet stall because the acoustics to them were better.   They chose “Drag Me Down” by One Direction. The ladies who make up the group are Jenn Blosil, Bri Ray, Lynnzee Faye and Sara Strum. Jenn reminds me too much of Joey Cook from last year. I thought they sounded nice together and no one forgot the lyrics. The choreography was bizarre. Keith tries to play them by saying “when I call your name please step forward” and follows with “who am I kidding, you’re all going through.”

The next group is “Ooh x 2” who choose “Need to Breathe” by Alex Clare. Amelia Eisenhauer, Tristan McIntosh, Lee Jean, and an unknown person. They are through to the next round.

Another group was composed of Avalon Young and a few others. They sang “DJ Got Us Falling in Love Again” by Usher and Harry complimented her that she could be in a video for that right now. They are through to the next round.

Jeneve Rose Mitchell was in another group. “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum. Harry told her that she made the lyric the most important thing. She and her two group mates are through to the next round.

Chynna Sherrod is in the next group which chose “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit to sing. Terrian is also in the group. It’s unclear if any made it through.

Trent Harmon was diagnosed with mono while he is there. He was cleared to continue in the competition, but he has to avoid spreading it, so no group rounds for him. His group name is called “Just Trent.”   He also sings “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit. He has a very unique voice and I give him kudos for staying because this is the last chance for Idol. Harry jokes and he says, “I know one thing about that song; it sounds better in mono.” People groan. But Trent is through to the next round.

Michelle Marie and Lindsey Carrier of “Singing Out Loud” (with Ashley Lusk). After 5 hours, they decide on a song and pick up the defector Shelbie Z. Michelle was off pitch at the beginning part of that song and I’m just going to frank at this point—I don’t know how she is still in this competition with all these other more talented female voices other than she has a personality that makes her likable. They were singing “Undo It” by Carrie Underwood. They didn’t blend well as a group. Shelbie Z has a good voice without a doubt. Jennifer thought it was a good group job. Shelbie Z also has resting bitchy face. LOL. Ashley, Michelle, and Shelbie Z are through and Lindsey is going home.

Elvie Shane, Zach Person, Jessica Cabral and another person I don’t remember formed a group and they sang “Too Close” by Alex Clare. They were admonished that they looked tired and it came through, but this is what it is really like and their job is not to let the audience see that. Elvie is going home.

Ashley Lilinoe looked exhausted and seemed to not know the lyrics of her group’s song “Renegades” by X Ambassadors. Mackenzie Bourg did well. Juno, MacKenzie and Kayla are going through; Ashley is going home.

Cameron Richard was part of a group singing “Too Close” by Alex Clare. It wasn’t good enough and the judges send him home.

Chicken Noodle Soup’s Dalton Rapattoni and Kassy Levels lost their group member Poh Scott. The group “NV” consisted of Sonika Vaid, Andrew Nazarbekian, Stephany Negrete and Anatalia Villaranda.   Anatalia’s mom takes matters into her own hands and tries to convince the group that her daughter is not the problem; it’s the song. According to Anatalia, her group left her so she is looking for another group. She joined Chicken Noodle Soup. But Dalton found out that that the other members said she was not kicked out; Anatalia left.  Chicken Noodle Soup sang “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. I thought Dalton and Kassy sounded great. I’m a little iffy on Anatalia. But their voices complimented each other. All three are going through.  NV chose “Problem” by Arianna Grande. Sonika Vaid sounded good. Stephany Negrete sounded great. Andrew Nazarbekian has a crazy voice. They sounded great as a group. Keith felt Stephany was the only one who looked like a performer. They are all going through as well.

Josiah Siska, Jaci Butler, and Brian Dale Brown were sent home because they didn’t have great dance moves.

The next group “Trick or Treat Tribe” consisted of Kylle Thomasson, Kacye Haynes, Jon Klaasen, and Marcio Donaldson. They chose “Uptown Funk” by Mark Bronson. I think Kylle maybe sounded the best out of the four, but I’m not feeling them as a group. Keith thought they did good. Jennifer thought the same. Harry thought it was a good to see people feel rhythm. They are through to the next round.

Smooth Soul chose “Domino” by Jessie J. Joy Dove, Daniel Farmer, and Lindita. Lindita was all over the place. Harry said he was surprised Joy let Lindita do that. It is a competition. Joy and Lindita are through and Daniel is going home.

Eliz Camacho, Gianna Isabella, and Dana Ordway had issues being a group because of the overbearing personality of Eliz. She decided what song they were going to sing and then went to bed for the night. Eliz said for herself that she considered them backup singers that are going to let her rock it. Michael said it was one of the worst they have seen so far. If she even makes it through, Eliz is not going to win over America’s hearts that that piss-poor attitude. You can want to do your best without belittling others. “Hit ‘Em Style (Oops)” by Blu Cantrell. Jennifer said there was obvious tension that could be felt in the performance. This was supposed to be about collaborating. Gianna and Dana go through and Eliz was dismissed. But she goes away with conceited words, not learning a thing–humility.

The Good Vibes consist of Alesana Tolai, Jessica Paige, Olivia Thai, and Joe Dahman. They were singing “Me and My Broken Heart” by Rixton.   They all have nice voices. Some forgot the lyrics. It sounded off though. Not exactly sure where. Harry said there was no joy in their performance. Jessica is the only one going through.

CJ Johnson, Jess Kellner, Jessica Baker, and Zach Joseph sang “Renegades” by X Ambassadors. They were lively and sounded great. Harry said it was a great group song but it didn’t show him which one of them were a superstar. CJ, Jess, and Jessica are through and Zach is going home.

Thomas Muglia, Joey Hendricks, Bryson Dunn, and Thomas Stringfellow also did “Renegades.” It sounded kind of depressing. Thomas Stringfellow was the one who stood out for me. Harry looked like he was falling asleep during the performance. Both Thomases were through to the next round.

Rebirth including Manny Torres, Malie Delgado, Christian Eason chose “Too Close” by Alex Clare.   Malie was suffering from pretty bad laryngitis. Keith gives them a standing ovation. The audience was clapping as the song was playing. All three of them go through and Jennifer said it was one of the best groups of the day.

Staying Alive” by The Bee Gees is the song. Soul Catz included Laurel Wright, Marshall Cunningham, Drew Angus, and John Arthur Greene. They forgot the lyrics. I would say when choosing a group song, you should go with the song that has the least amount of words to have to remember. There are a lot of words in that song. Keith felt none of them took charge. Harry says, “If you forget the lyrics and turn around to ask for help – bad move.” Marshall and Laurel are through.

The last group round number ever for American Idol was performed by The Sistas (Tonie Starr, Marlena Johnson and La’Porsha Renae) who also chose “Staying Alive” by The Bee Gees.   Even though Marlena messed up and substituted gibberish, they had stage presence and sounded like they blended well with each other). Harry said, “That is how you forget words.” The three are through to the next round.





American Idol S15 Denver Auditions

9 01 2016

Taylor Hicks came along to help out in the pre-auditions. The next young lady is very interesting. She lives off the grid in the elk wilderness of Saddle Mountain (Crawford, Colorado) but they turn on the generator twice a week for American Idol. The nearest city is 6 miles. Fifteen-year-old Jeneve Rose Mitchell chose a The Band Perry song, “Chainsaw.” She was unique and entertaining but I don’t think she is right for Idol. Her facial expressions (her eyes) were distracting for me.   Keith thought she had originality that was compelling. Harry thought it was crazy stupid funk (in a good way) she was playing on the cello. She is a work in progress but boy is there a lot to work with. She gets three yeses. And a huge hug from Taylor Hicks who was waiting with her in the holding room.

And then my DIRECTV bombed out and came back on after a performance I probably wanted to see. The judges were so impressed. She was contestant 47925. Black hair, muted purple dress, black boots that came up to her knees or thighs. Apparently Harry told her she could win the whole thing. Thanks bad weather crashing out my satellite feed.

Shevonne Philidor, a 24-year-old DJ from Tampa, Florida, was trying out for the sixth time. Kory Wheeler returned after auditioning in season 14. I loved both of them. Laurel Wright, a 19-year-old from Maryville, Tennessee, is a musician who auditioned in season 13. She had a lovely voice. All three are through to Hollywood.

Classically trained Joseph Kohlruss, a 16-year-old from Scottsdale, Arizona made his entrance to the holding room with an entourage of supporters including dancers.   Oh dear—that tends to backfire—huge ego making up for lack of technique. Here is an example of a person who had a few great notes where you wonder if there could be promise but probably needs a different vocal coach because his pitch sucked. He turned “Hello” by Lionel Ritchie into a song that dragged out and didn’t do him any favors. As the song moved on, I wanted it to stop. I thought it was appropriate that his last line was “I want to tell you so much, I love you.” I really did, but I couldn’t. It was bad. He didn’t seem to suffer from stage fright, so I can’t chalk it up to that either. Jennifer thought it was a super strong voice but it was inconsistent. Keith thought he had a big flexible range but he hasn’t learned how to use it yet. It is a no from all three. But he was classy at the end when he said he appreciated the judges’ honest opinion. He also looked quite humbled.

The next contestant is a Hobbs, New Mexico police officer. The judges had a lot of fun with Reanna Molinaro. Harry wanted her to handcuff him because he wanted to see how fast she could do it and then tried to play the piano like that. She sang Patsy Cline’s “Leavin’ on Your Mind.” I liked it. It was a solid performance. Harry thought she was a pretty good darn singer. He also called it a solid performance. Jennifer thought it was good and hoped for a bit more performance quality to it, but she had a good voice. Keith thought she had lovely voice with a pure country tone about it. Harry went on to say she had a really strong voice and he was extreme pain right now (because he still had his handcuffs on).   Harry asked the panel to please hurry up in giving their decision. Keith hems and haws with his decision leaving Harry to languish in agony, even going so far as fake-requesting her to sing another song, something slow. She gets two yeses; I think Harry was in too much pain to comment.   Harry expressed a desire to be tasered as well, but by her, and not a full jolt.

Kerry Courtney is a 24-year-old hailing from St. Petersburg, Florida, who chose the song “Blacksun” by Death Cab for Cutie for his audition. I have never heard of this song before so it was like I was listening to something original. He is unique and I would remember him. His voice is full of emotion and is really good. Keith thought he had a unique style. Harry liked it. He was interested in it and it was quirky and different. Jennifer thought it was super quirky and dark and scary at times, but the sound of his voice was very beautiful. Keith loved it, too. Three yesses.

Shelbie Z? I remember a Shelbie Z, but what season? OH WAIT!! I remember her from The Voice (season 5)!!!   As soon as she said she was a hair dresser, it clicked. She has a massive voice. She chose “Last Name” from Carrie Underwood. Jennifer likes her. Harry doesn’t like her; he loves her. He said people like her are very dangerous in this competition. Keith said yes from him and the other two agreed.

A surprise visit from Kanye West who sang then a rap song written for Jennifer that was beeped out quite a bit. He gets a golden ticket.





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!