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.