Home of Rice a Roni, and hopefully the next American Idol winner, San Francisco is the last stop on the American Idol audition tour. It can't get worse than Los Angeles, which might have been the worst audition city to date, but I guess we will see. So, let's get to it:
How Were The Contestants?:
*First up is Ukraine born Inessa Lee. She wants to be a blend of Shakira, Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Katy Perry, yet wants to be unique....Ok. She is also a belly dancer/yoga instructor. Well, she better stick with one of her other hobbies, because her voice is pretty terrible. No from all 3 judges. Oh, and on her way out she says "we missed out", I highly doubt it.
*Brittany Mazur, Lara Johnston, Matthew Nuss all receive a "Yes". None of them impress me tremendously but we only saw each of them for about 7 seconds.
*Accident survivor Stefano Langone is quite a story. Told by doctors he would never be able to walk, or be the same, Steffano is quite a determined and brave guy. He has a very peppy voice, it's a little quirky, he shouts in a couple spots, but if he can control that he might be very good. Stefano gets a "Yes" from all 3 judges.
*Long Beach native Clint Jun Gamboa is all fully of cockiness, he is confident, and actually has some nice runs in his voice. The judges feel his vocals are beautiful. Randy calls him "one of the best he has seen in S.F". I don't know if he is the best I have seen, but he could go a decent way.
*Kenneth Berba, Weston Lee Smith, and car transformer Drew Beaumier leave with quick "No's" and silence from the judges. Weird attempts. Very weird.
*A bevy of California girls are next up. They don't actually put up their names, so we will just call them the California girls for now. If they are so good why not put up their names?
*Colombian born and birthday girl Julie Zorrilla is very proud of her heritage and her parents. She begins to sing "Summertime" which in the American Idol world is synonymous with Fantasia Barrino. It's still one of the best performances in AI history. Julie in my opinion does a little too much with the song, and her voice goes through some very high highs and lows. It takes her about 2 minutes to get through only a couple lines. I wish she just sang it straight through. The judges are impressed and all 3 agree that Julie is going to Hollywood. They say she is a contender. Not sure if I see it but I guess we shall see.
*Rocker Dave Combs tried with a Beatles song but Steven Tyler is not impressed. He almost had a voice, but almost doesn't count. Rick Deschamp, David Johnston, and Sabrina Corbett also fall into this category.
*Emily Anne Reed has had a rough time recently. Her home burned down and lost all of her belongings. But on the positive she is cute as a button. Her voice is just as cute. Not sure if she will be able to handle Rock weeks or anything very crazy, but she has quite a unique voice. Steven Tyler doesn't think she has it, Randy likes that she is so different, and as the deciding vote Jennifer Lopez lets Emily go on through to Hollywood. Before she leaves she plays her guitar, and it makes her even more cute.
*Last contestant of San Francisco is James Durbin. His father passed away at a young age from an overdose. He was diagnosed with Tourettes and Aspbergers, which is on the Autism spectrum. But he has also met Heidi. He and Heidi have a son together. They are an awfully cute family. Inside the audition room he sounds like Adam Lambert a whole lot and that is a great compliment. He asks Steven Tyler for permission before singing "Dream On". I enjoy that he asked him for his permission before attempting it. James is a great character. He has a great back story. I can see James doing really well in this competition and the judges agree and send him to Hollywood.
How Were The Judges?:
Steven Tyler finally has found his place. He is very kind and flirtatious at times, but if he doesn't think you have it, and are mocking the song or artist that the contestant is singing he actually becomes pissed at them. I love that he is taking this so seriously, it makes him very endearing.
Jennifer Lopez also is very into this job. You can tell that she is serious about the whole process about putting the right people through. I think her honesty is a great quality. She isn't going to rock you with negative criticism but she will tell the contestants the straight honest truth about their level of singing.
Randy Jackson is just Randy. He hasn't really changed it up too much. Although he is the lone remaining original judge you would have thought he would have stepped it up, but he hasn't. It's not a knock against him, he just hasn't increased his role at all like I wish he had.
How Was The Show?:
San Francisco had an interesting mix of really good to possible Top 20 contenders and beyond. The show definitely rebounded from the atrocious Los Angeles audition.
I am so happy audition rounds are over and we are onto the Hollywood round. It's been 7 cities and many many hours so it's time to really get to narrowing the bad from the good, and the good from the really great. I always enjoyed Hollywood rounds so I really can't wait.
We will see you back tomorrow night for Round 1 of Hollywood Week.