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 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.