American Idol Season 13 Omaha Auditions

11 02 2014

Last stop Omaha! My home for 4 years of my life as a child. A city full of wonderful people. The talent was unfortunately rather disappointing with only 21 tickets to Hollywood given out.

One of those people moving through was Quaid Edwards, age 21. His mother is Jolie of Jolie and The Wanted played at concerts with Keith Urban. I thought he had a nice tone but an odd enunciation, but I would probably put him through to see more. His runs are rough. JLo points that out, too, about his runs, but likes him. Keith said his runs were rough but he could work on them. Harry said the girls were going to scream. Keith pointed out that he liked that Quaid was genuinely listening to Harry’s advice. For Jennifer and Keith it is a yes. Harry likes his shade of green and says “yes” as well.

Simon Hauck, age 17, a student from Greenwood, Nebraska had trouble answering Ryan’s question about what he is studying. Do they even have majors in high school? I was a “no” on this; it was not good enough for the level of talent on Idol. The judges also say no.

The next contestant announces that today is her birthday and they have to sing “Happy Birthday” to her; Harry shuts that down as he sneezes, “no we don’t.”

I felt Madisen Walker, age 15, a student from Ankeny, Iowa was an average singer. The song dragged a bit and she was flat on a note or two. Keith felt it was a nice karaoke rendition of Carrie Underwood’s song but nothing that made it stand out. Jennifer is willing to take a chance. They both say “yes.” Jennifer tells her to listen to what they have said. Keith shouts on her way out for her to go out and get some of that life experience. Harry afterwards says he would have said no.

Alyssa Siebken, age 20, a retail assistant manager in Fremont, Nebraska. I like her personality but her vocal is average. Jennifer and Keith say yes. Harry says no; he does not think her voice is strong enough. But Ryan is now obligated to do a celebratory selfie with Alyssa.

Tyler Gurwicz, a 25-year-old musician/songwriter from Burlington, VT sings (ugh) an Adele song. I think he would have done better on a different song. Harry said it was hard to see him in this competition. Keith said he had a big voice with great range but he looks angry when he sings and it is hard to watch. Jennifer said that actually drew her in. Harry then agreed with Keith. Jennifer said yes. Keith said no. Harry asks him to pick a song to show another side of his voice. I am seeing the issue with the facial movements now. That would drive me crazy and turn me off to voting for him. I know that seems petty. Harry said yes but after Tyler leaves he admits it might be his first slip in judgment where he questioned his decision later.

Producing the first decent vocal of the night was Tyler Marshall, a 23-year-old club promoter from Omaha. Harry likes his happy face. Keith said his voice was killer.

CJ Jones has a voice that does not match him. I really enjoyed it. He sang “Stand By Me” and jokingly commanded Harry to come stand by him. Harry jumped up and did it. Harry said he did a nice job. Keith said he had a pleasing voice to hear. Jennifer was excited to see how far he could go in the competition.

The next was a group of two singers. Dajonder Lenear, age 16, a student from Minneapolis, has this huge crush on JLo. He is quite adorable and I would say “yes.” Dylan Becker, a 17-year-old shoe caddy from St. Louis, had a nice voice as well. Both are through to Hollywood.

Paula Hunt is a 20-year-old Air Force Band specialist from Bellevue, Nebraska. She has a nice voice but her cadence was strange. Keith loved the way she sings. Harry said she has eloquence about her. She gets three yeses. She told the judges that she now carries on the singing for her mother who could no longer sing because of multiple sclerosis. Seeing her mom broke my heart. MS is so cruel.

Andrina Brogden, age 18, is a shoe store employee from Fargo, North Dakota. She tries to sing a song by Beyonce, “Halo.” She has a nice voice but I did not believe she was singing for her life (in essence). Jennifer thinks she has a beautiful voice but she sees fear holding her back. She wonders if she can be fearless. Harry said that she was a better-than-average singer but it was not strong enough for Idol. Keith disagrees with Harry. He thinks she needs to be exposed to better opportunities. She is through but Keith and Jennifer tell her to conquer that fear before Hollywood week.

Hailing from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Christian School does great as a square-dancer caller. His audition, however, was totally off tune. It was a no from the judges as well.

I liked Casey McQuillen‘s voice for the most part except this weird thing she does at the end of her phrasing. Keith said it was excellent and he loved the restraint. Jennifer thought it was angelic. Harry said she was smart. She is through to Hollywood.

The last audition shown for this evening was Tessa Kate, a 25-year-old performer in Branson, Missouri. She reminded me of a young Dolly Parton. Harry said it was classic 70’s, a timeless song, and mentioned Barbara Mandrell. Keith said half of him thought she would get crushed by the other singers, but the other part thinks she has her own lane. Keith and Harry say yes.

And that concludes the 2014 American Idol season contestants. A total of 212 will be going to Hollywood.

So You Think You Can Dance S10 Top 8 Perform

21 08 2013

Don’t faint. I actually was able to write this up within 24 hours after the show.

Opening Number

Song: “Move To The Ocean (Baauer Remix) by Brick & Mortar
Choreographer: Mia Michaels

That was just weird. I am not sure how I feel about that. I usually love the choreography of Mia too. Oh well. That is why it is art. Some people will love it, some people won’t, and some people will scratch their heads.

Judges Tonight

Classically trained Jenna Elfman joined Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy to judge tonight’s special event where the all-stars from previous seasons will not only dance but also choreograph their routines.

Bottom 2

Fik-Shun, Jenna, Hayley and–Tucker???? That is just so wrong on so many levels. All four will do solos. Fik-Shun is up first dancing to “If You Crump Stand Up” by edIT. I forgot that he is an animator. That was fun! Hayley chose “Skin & Bones” by David J Roch. That was great–goosebumps. Jenna danced to “Greyhound” by Swedish House Mafia. It is so difficult to do a Latin ballroom solo, but it did get my attention. Tucker danced to “Beautiful Child” by Rufus Wainwright. That was delightful.


Dancer: Aaron and all-star Chelsie Hightower
Style: Jive
Song: “Great Balls of Fire” by Million Dollar Quartet (Broadway Cast Recording)

That was a lot of fun! High energy, great chemistry, good leading by Aaron indeed! Top 2–here you come.

The judges: Mary picked out some areas for Aaron that were weak so he can learn and apply to future opportunities. Jenna thought it was awesome. She has been so impressed with his journey. Nigel thought he would have done better being a tapper but reminds America to take everything into account across the season in casting their vote tonight.


Dancers: Fik-Shun and all-star Allison Holker
Style: Contemporary
Song: “Skinny Love” by Birdy

A dance about discrimination. That was beautiful and gave me goosebumps and I got a bit teary-eyed. Allison really brought out things in him we have not seen before, but his partnering skills are still an issue where he messed up in a lift move but the pro Allison recovered so she did not fall. He may need to try some weightlifting to build up those necessary muscles.

The judges: Jenna said that Fik-Shun can do no wrong. He is already an all-star and is pure life force. Nigel pointed out that her routine must have been inspired with her relationship with tWitch (and they are getting married later this year). He said, in short, that while Fik-Shun lacks in a lot of technique, his quality that cannot be ignored. Mary agrees with everything being said.


Dancers: Tucker and all-star Courtney Galiano
Style: Jazz
Song: “Clarity” by Zedd featuring Foxes

Romeo and Juliet. I had goosebumps! I LOVED that!

The judges: Nigel told us that Courtney was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and she has lost half the vision of her left eye. (Courtney–my business is a sponsor of our local MS Walk in October!). Mary was teary-eyed as was I and she loves Courtney and Tucker and Tucker’s dad (they showed a clip about how supportive his father has been, which many times does not happen from a dad whose son wants to dance). Jenna said Tucker is so special and he moves her every time she sees him.


Dancers: Paul and all-star Comfort Fedoke
Style: Hip hop
Song: “Dum Dum” by Tedashii featuring Lecrae

Paul just had an Alex Wong moment (when he danced with tWitch). Latin ballroom dancer can get down!!!

The judges: Mary said he is one of the most versatile dancers on the show. She thinks he is going full steam ahead on the hot tamale train. Jenna is so inspired by him. Nigel said Paul got down and dirty.


Dancers: Hayley and all-star Dmitry Chaplin
Style: Rumba
Song: “Meant” by Elizaveta

They are an engaged couple. She finds out he cheated on her. That dance sizzled. I felt like I was watching a very private moment between the two. You could feel the angst. This is the kind of ballroom dancing I love.

The judges: Jenna thinks there is not anything Hayley can’t do. Nigel says that there is not anything she has done wrong in this competition. She has grown week after week. Mary said Hayley got it right tonight. It was phenomenal.


Dancers: Jenna and all-star Mark Kanemura
Style: Jazz
Song: “I Am The Best” by 2NE1

This is a fusion of styles. I saw elements of Bollywood and hip hop. That was so different and so quirky. I loved it.

The judges: Nigel thought it was phenomenal and fantastic. He thinks she is a brilliant dancer. Mary thought it was great and had some Bollywood and African and Middle Eastern and New Age Funk to it. Jenna said it was marvelous. Jenna loves Jenna’s name. She is a beautiful technician who has a long career ahead of her.


Dancers: Jasmine and all-star tWitch
Style: Hip hop
Song: “The Power” by District 78 featuring Cheesa

Superheroes! The fact that Jasmine can hold her own with tWitch speaks volumes to her talent. That was indeed on the level of superhero dancers!

The judges: Mary said she could have been intimidated by him but she was not. She is the superhero and conquered this routine tonight. Jenna thought Jasmine owned it. She thinks there is something so beautiful about her, unique and wonderful. Nigel agrees with Jenna. She thinks she out-tWitched tWitch. She has stolen his heart.


Dancers: Amy and all-star Travis Wall
Style: Contemporary
Song: “Wicked Game (Live at Killkenny Arts Festival, Ireland/2011” by James Vincent McMorrow

This is going to be good and I don’t know the whole story yet. The story is about the games that are played when first entering a relationship. This is the very best I have seen Amy dance. I really believe that partnering her with Fik-Shun was a disadvantage. Her dancing like this reminded me why I fell in love with Amy during the auditions. Travis Wall–you’ve done it again. Amy made it look effortless.

The judges: Were standing. Jenna said Amy is perfect, so full of heart and soul and technique. She thinks the world is such a better place because of both of them. Nigel thinks we saw something very special there. He thinks Travis is a genius. Mary agrees. She thinks it was mature and sophisticated.


Going Home

Jenna and Tucker go home. Tucker going home is SO wrong.


My picks

It is so difficult to choose at this time. I think Fik-Shun should be going home next week. Paul and Aaron should and deserve to be the top 2 guys. As far as the girls, Jasmine and Amy did the best job tonight, so that would leave Hayley going home.

I really enjoyed seeing the all-stars do choreography. The show should keep that aspect for next year.

Who are you favorites?  Leave a comment!  Let’s talk about it, but please keep the discussion civil.