American Idol Season 13 Hollywood Rounds Week One

13 02 2014

LogoThe contestants have no idea that there is a twist this year in the audition process. Some people will have to sing for their life in an airplane hangar. The judges were divided on the talent of these people. I’ll give you the short version (my opinions):

Johnny Newcomb: I do not think it was good enough.
Connor Swetsch: I liked it; first time hearing her.
Ali Jane Henderson: I loved it; first time hearing her.
Caitlin Johnson: I did not like it. It was bad compared to the first three. I was not a fan of hers in the San Francisco audition.
Adam Roth (the sound healer): I still do not like his voice.
Tristen Langley (Nikki McKibbin’s kid): Not bad.
Morgan Deplitch: No for me; off pitch; last time in Austin she was too breathy.
Stephanie Petronelli (the cheerleader): I still do not like her voice.
Rich Lafleur: Goofed up.
Eric Wood: Liked it; liked him in Austin, too.
Alyssa Siebken: Not good enough.
Neco Starr: Liked him.
Khristian D’avis (aka fake-accent girl): No from me.

They were broken up into two groups. One group would be returned to the airport; one group would be going to the next round. There were 20 people in group 2 who were taken to the hotel. Among those going home was Caleb Hartsfield who is from my sister’s city of Asheville. Too bad; I liked his voice.

There are 180 people going into Day 2.

Day 2

On this day, they put them in lines of 10 and have them sing a capella or with an instrument. In the first line, George Lovett, Sandie Lee, Brandy Neely, John Fox, and Majesty Rose York were through to the group round. Going home were Jack Janowicz from the Omaha auditions, McKenna Dennis from the Austin auditions, Viviana Villalon also from the Austin auditions, and very surprisingly Samantha Calmes who was one of my favorites.

Out of the next group all we know is that Spencer Lloyd would be staying.

In the next group, I thought Austin Wolfe had a good voice. I loved Bria Anai‘s song. I did not like Selena Moreno‘s song, not just because she goofed up but she is not on the same level as some of these other singers. Going through to group rounds were Austin Wolfe, Jessica Meuse, Bria Anai Johnson, Shanon Wilson. Selena Moreno and Lauren Ogburn from the Atlanta auditions would be returning home.

In the next group, I like Sam Woolf but he may not be ready for Idol (at least this year’s talent) Keri Lynn Roche‘s song I loved. I was a “no” for Ayla Stackhouse. I adore CJ Harris. John Martin Davis and Ayla Stackhouse as well as another male who was standing in the forward line in a blue plaid shirt who I cannot identify were going home. Keri, CJ, Sam, and a few others I cannot identify by face are through to the next round.

Alex Preston, Sydney Arterbridge, Jesse Roach (Cypress, Texas), Brian Watt, Jade Lathan, Lindsay Bell, David Luning and a few others are in the next group. I loved Alex. Sydney’s vibrato bothers me. I liked Jesse. Brian has a nice voice but when I listen to him compared with the others, it is just not as good as some. Alex, Jesse and a few unidentified individuals have made it through to the next round. Brian, Jade, Sydney, David and Lindsay are going home.

Madelyn Patterson is in her own segment for #IdolHollywood or #IdolHome. I felt it would be #IdolHome as I did not enjoy it. Sixty percent felt she would remain in Hollywood and 40% said she would be going home, but she is through to the next round.

In the next group, they showcased Kenzie Hall and Quaid Edward. I don’t think Quaid is ready but he will get there at some point. Kenzie has such an interesting sound and niche in the competition. Kenzie is through and Quaid is sent home.

Then there are 10 people who make it through (but they were in a bunch of different groups). Ben Briley (I did not like this version of “Stars”.) Briston Maroney (Royals? This is a “no” on the song choice for me but the sound of his voice is unique). Dexter Roberts (The one I liked the best out of these three men). Rachel Rollier (I like her voice). Maurice Townsend (Wonderful). Casey Thrasher (Very nice. He did so much better than his audition). Tiquila Wilson (Loved her). Emily Piriz (I did not like her voice today). Malcolm Allen (Goosebumps).

Munfarid Zaidi from a close-by town of Sugar Land, Texas always adds the fun factor to the show. I think Idol needs at least one. I liked Ethan Thompson‘s performance. Austin Percario was okay. Love the rocker Caleb Johsnon. I think Stephanie Hanvey‘s performance to too affected. I loved Kristen O’Connor‘s solo. I also loved Emmanuel Zidor‘s solo as well as Briana Oakley and Jesse Cline. Keith London made an odd choice in song. I loved his voice but I agree with the judges. Allie Odom, Symphony Howlett, Olivia Diamond, Keith London, and Donald Reed are through to the next round as well as Munfarid, Ethan, Austin, Caleb, Stephanie, Kristen, Briana, and Jesse.

For the last line, Malaya Watson was up. I am not sure about her based on this song. I enjoyed Jena Ascuitto‘s performance. Savion Wright, a local Houston favorite (as well as my own), sang a song for his brother who had recently died (at the time of Hollywood week). On February 5, 2014, the Sabine County District Attorney released a statement that said he has turned the ongoing Alfred Wright case over to the Texas Attorney General’s Office. I love Savion. I had goosebumps. All three contestants are through.


Immediately, Casey Thrasher, Ben Briley and Dexter Roberts teamed up to form the Backstreet Cowboys. Austin contestants Savion Wright, Ryan Clark, John Fox and Madelyn Patterson teamed up. Matthew Hamel, Jessica Meuse, and Clark King teamed up. Clark was losing his voice. Matthew and Jessica found other groups.  Malaya Watson, Christine Collins, Olivia Diamond and Queen Bulls teamed up. Clark King decides to drop out.

Veterans from Season 12 of American Idol, David Oliver Lewis, Sarina Joi Crowe, and Tony Foster Jr. teamed up to form “Three More Days“. They choose “Too Close” by Alex Clare. It was lovely! Well done! But not everyone can go through and this time it was Tony’s turn to go home. He was genuine when he expressed a desire to know why so he could learn from the experience. I thought that was pretty wonderful instead of pouting and demanding to know why. Harry tells him that he looked at his feet too much. Tony has a wonderful attitude. I hope he comes back next year.

Dexter Roberts, Ben Briley and Casey Thrasher, the “Backstreet Cowboys” sing “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. It was the first country boy band and it worked. I loved it. All of them are going through to the next round.

Neco Starr, George Lovett and another individual did “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. I enjoyed this. Paula Hunt, Andrina Brogden and another unknown individual teamed up. MK Nobilette and Briana Oakley were part of another group and they made it through to the next round. Brandy Neely, Emily, and Kenzie Hall were all through. Spencer Lloyd, Megan Miller and Alyssa Siebken teamed up. Megan forgot the lyrics. The group fell apart. Alyssa was sent home but she felt that she was set up by the others.

Other people leaving after group rounds were Madisen Walker, Keith London, Austin Percario, Stephanie Petronelli, and Adam Roth. Tiquila Wilson respectfully quits; she does not feel this is the correct path for her.

The next group consisted of CJ Harris, Caleb Johnson, Tyler Ahlgren and Matthew Hamel also sang “Too Close” by Alex Clare. Caleb reminds me of the rocker Meatloaf. CJ and Caleb are through; Tyler and Matthew are sent home.

Members of the group “Collision” were all through. The group “Clarity” was made up of Jena Ascuitto, Sikenya Thompson, Munfarid and Allie Odom. Sikenya barely had a voice. She had lost her confidence. The judges encouraged her to push through and she did. Unfortunately Allie was the weaker link and someone has to go.

Savion Wright, Ryan Clark, John Fox and Madelyn Patterson sang “Royals.” I thought it was fine. But John J. Fox of Magnolia, Texas (the town right next to me) is going home.

The next group was Nica Nashae, Stephanie Hanvey, Cara Watson and Jessica Meuse. Stephanie’s mom was overbearing, trying to run the show. I really dislike stage moms like this. The psychology behinds it suggests that they are pushing their children to achieve recognition for themselves. They sing Beyonce’s “All The Single Ladies.” Stephanie was terrible and she goes home, not without some final words from mom.

Terrica Curry, Carmen Delgina and Emmanuel Zidor teamed up to become “Love’s Angels.” Only Emmanuel makes it through.

Loud & Fierce members Malaya Watson, Queen Bulls, Christina Collins, and Olivia Diamond did not do very well. Out of all of them I liked Malaya’s performance the best. They, however, are all through.

At this point 77 contestants remain. Solo rounds start on Wednesday, February 12.

American Idol Season 13 Boston/Austin Auditions

17 01 2014

Hey, it rhymes (Boston/Austin)! So now that I already previewed the episode, let’s review.  Logo

Marrialle Sellers: “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. The judges liked it. Oops. Keith “loved it.” I’m a no. It was pitchy dawg. I like her look though.

Troy Durden, a 29-year-old club singer, from Boston, MA, doing “Over The Rainbow.” I thought the performance was going to be a disaster but it wasn’t. He has a good sense of humor. He gets 3 yeses. I would say yes as well. Keith asked him to do the song while twerking and Troy happily obliges. They all say, “It’s a long shot, but it just might twerk.”

Sam Woolf, a 17-year-old student from Bradenton, Florida. He has had a tough life. He sang “Lego House” by Ed Sheeran. I got goosebumps. If you are a first-time reader to my blogs about singing and dancing shows, my goosebumps never lie. The young ladies are going to like him; he has a good vibe. He got 3 yeses.

There is a collage of singers who all received a yes. Kevin Cassidy, Ethan Thompson, Lindsay Pedicone. I liked all three especially Ethan. Lindsey might struggle with theme nights though. All three made it through.

And then, TA-DA Jillian Jensen. This woman has problems. I didn’t like her AT ALL. (SARCASM METER HEAVY TILT). I ADORE HER. Glad she made it. I would have stopped watching had she not. Her face was priceless when Harry Connick Jr. jokingly said “no.” She sounds as brilliant as ever.

Taylor Hildack (aka The Winker) is a jazz vocalist at a community college. She tried singing, “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood. I didn’t think she was good enough. It was sharp and flat and all over the place. Jennifer said yes, but Harry and Keith said no.

A collage of clips with contestants getting “no” responses was next along with the fallout from the responses.

Stephanie Hanvey, a 16-year-old lifeguard, from Howell, New Jersey was up next singing Jessie J’s “Price Tag.” I did not like her gaspy breath at the end of all the lines of lyrics. The judges, however, gave her three yeses.

Morgan Deplitch, a 15-year-old student from Somerset, MA. “My mother loves you.” Poor Harry. She tried singing “Ooh La La” by Grace Potter. It was too breathy for me. Harry did not like that she was a 15-year-old singing that song with those lyrics. Jennifer said he was being such a dad. But Morgan is through with three yeses.

James Earl made me laugh. He did not even know what a Walkman was and reminded Harry that he is “old” because he wasn’t even born then. He sounded weird, like he was imitating three different singers while he was singing an original composition and add helium to that mix. He did not get to advance.

Jacqueline Verna, age 18, a student from West Chester, PA. Harry is not impressed with her pentatonics (i.e. the vocal gymnastics). As soon as Jennifer said, “come back next year,” she started walking out before Harry even got a chance to say “no.” And Keith had said yes so Harry could have changed his mind.

Austin Percario, a 17-year-old student from Warren, New Jersey. He comes with a stage mom. And he looks like Justin Bieber. Two strikes already for me. But WAIT! He makes a point to say that mom will NOT be with him if he makes it through to Hollywood week. He sings, “Titanium” by Sia. I’d like his voice if he got rid of that breath issue. He makes it through to the next round.

Kaitlyn Jackson, a 15-year-old student from Norwich, New York. She sings an original song that she wrote for her grandfather after he suffered a heart attack, but before he passed away the next day. She has a beautiful voice, and yes, I got goosebumps. Wow! At 15 she could keep her composure for her tender age in a song that is emotionally charged for her. I am thoroughly impressed. Three yeses. And in keeping with the Austin/Boston rhyme night, Jennifer says, “She’s smart and has heart.”

It is now day two in Boston. Keith London, a 21-year-old, who does odd jobs, from Hazelton, Pennsylvania. He sang, “Roar” by Katy Perry. If someone can improve this song in any way, they have my vote. I loved this acoustic version. Keith thought it was fantastic. Harry said okay. Jennifer loved it. Keith thought he was unique. Keith and Jennifer put him through to Hollywood week.

From Tauton, Massachusetts, Sam Atherton, age 23 and unemployed, boldly states, “I don’t practice anymore” because he thinks he is that good. This is going to be a complete disaster. A true artist never stops learning and practicing. Keith tells him to do the worst of the three songs he wants to sing for them. He croons part of his original “….love doesn’t last forever…” and I’m hoping neither does the rest of the song. Harry chimes in the same sentiment. This guy creeps me out. He claims that he is a better musician than JLo, Keith and “Tony Connick Jr” combined.

In a new segment called #IdolHollywood or #IdolHome, Christine singing “House of the Rising Sun is presented. Fifty-six percent says Hollywood and 44% say “IdolHome.” She is through.

Shanon Wilson, age 24, is a student from Houston (where I live) in the house! I was not sure about him until he went into the falsetto. The falsetto sold me. He is through to the next round.

I think Stephanie Petronelli, age 22, should stick to cheerleading. She said “Ooh La La” by Grace Potter and while it was better than the version heard by Morgan, it wasn’t great. Harry was a “no.” Jennifer said yes, and Keith was on the fence, but ultimately said yes. However, Harry said he changes his vote if it meant all four cheerleaders. (Such a funny guy).

The focus changes to the Austin auditions. Keith was wearing a “Keep Austin Weird” t-shirt. It’s unclear if Jacob Fortis, from Heartsprings, Arkansas is through or not (maybe we find out on Thursday’s episode).

Durann Cree, age 17, a student from Austin tried to sing “Cupid’s Got a Shotgun” by Carrie Underwood, but she was not ready yet. Jennifer said “yes” but she had a lot of work to do. Keith and Harry, however, said no.

Micheal (not a typo) Gonzales from Waco, Texas, age 18, builds trailers. He is a “hell no” for me. Lyden McCown, age 28, a store manager from Jacksonville, Texas, and Nikki Pool, a 19-year-old student, from Sherwood, Arkansas, journeys also end there. This was followed by another collage of “yes” responses of unknown contestants. Isabell Gallegos, a 17-year-old student from Cedar Hill, Texas is through to the next round as well.

Savion Wright, from Jasper, Texas, suffered from ADHD with a lot of behavior issues until he found music. Music was his medicine (I love that). He sang an original song and I am now a fan!! Goosebumps! Harry jokes that he is going to have to learn how to be nice to people. They played with him telling him “no.” He says his mom is JLo’s biggest fan, but I think he is wrong because, Savion, all she sees is you in this moment.

The next group of three all received yeses from the judges. I liked the little bit I heard from Terrica Curry, a 20-year-old recreation center staff member, from North Little Rock, Arkansas. Out of the three, I liked Justin Fira, a 24-year-old valet attendant, the best. I fear that Shelby Comey, a 15-year-old student from Mason, Texas, is going to be eaten alive in Hollywood. She sang “Delta Dawn” and I did not like it at all.

“Up To the Mountain” was the song choice for Madelyn Patterson, a 22-year-old hairdresser from Jackson, Georgia. She was a surprise to me and I loved it. Goosebumps! She got two yeses. Harry wanted to give her some advice, but he said he would save it for Hollywood.

The next three contestants also made it through to Hollywood. I liked Viviana Villalon‘s Maroon 5 song on the ukulele. I also liked Savannah Young, a 17-year-old lifeguard from Odessa, Texas. But Ben Boone is the one that I liked the most. He is a 22-year-old student from Pineville, Louisiana and has a very unique voice. I also liked his eyes. Jennifer said it was her first goosebumps for the season.

I thought Malcolm Allen, a 21-year-old grocer from Wrightsville, Arkansas, but I was very surprised. He does not need an air guitar in order to compete. If he could marry music, he totally would. I like his sense of humor, but it was the thing that made me first think his performance would suck. He received a triple yes from Jennifer so the boys’ opinion did not matter.

Rolando Guerrero, a 21-year-old server from Bastrop, Texas, was overcome with emotion at seeing his idol, Jennifer Lopez. She said she wanted “to crush his face.” He planned to sing, “Hold It, Don’t Drop It.” I wanted to love it, but it was not good. He receive three no’s, but I don’t think he left feeling like he lost anything. He got to meet and hug JLo.

Poor Harry Connick Jr. He gets no love. No one seems to know him, and Idol catches all the contestants who freely admit to it. They should get an immediate “no” for not doing their homework.

Then the best part of the night walks in. In walks Sugar Land, Texas resident, Munfarid Zaidi. I think he believes there is a film called, “Something About Harry” because he goes to sleep reading Harry’s Wikipedia entry. Harry goes over and picks him up, showcasing the fact that Harry indeed works out. Thank goodness Munfarid is pretty thin. Harry tells him to blow them away on the first song and he will “pick him up and hold him like a baby” for the second song. Munfarid sings “Crazy For You” by Adele. He surprised me because I figured it would suck, but it didn’t. I love him! Harry holds him for song number two, which he decides to sing, “I Just Want You Close.” Jennifer and Keith are beside themselves in hysterics. What an awesome way to end the premiere episode.

That made it 20 tickets from Austin, 25 from Boston, and 1 from Michigan (the first audition they showed at the top of the show) for a grand total of 46.

Next up: More from Austin and San Francisco.